Friday, October 14, 2011

More Head Coaching Ideas

I wanted to chime in with a few thoughts I had on BC’s presumptive coaching search.  Mike has done a good quick-and-dirty on some of the possible candidates out there and ranked them according to likelihood they will be hired.  Additionally we’ve received a bit of real solid feedback in the comments.  As per usual, I will bring little to the table, but will tear down suggestions put forward by others.

With regard to former Tennessee Head Coach Phil Fulmer and missionary-in-waiting at Georgia, Mark Richt, I’d be very surprised if BC gave either of them a serious look.  Both coaches have great records of success in the best league in college football.  Fulmer won a National Championship and Richt has won a pair of SEC Championships.  Under Fulmer, the Vols were one of the elite teams in country.  Richt turned a stagnant Bulldogs team into a perennial contender for the SEC East.  Despite their success, these two are doomed by their very serious shortcomings in player discipline.  I'm not sure which is greater, the number of players they graduated or the number of players who spent time in the clink while playing for them.  Player misconduct under these two has been wonderfully documented by the venerable college football blog EDSBS.  For now, suffice it to say that under Fulmer UT had a series of 20 arrests in a 16 month period from 2004 to 2005.  Under Richt at least 9 UGA players were arrested from during the 2010 off-season.  I’d say that’s enough to rule out Richt and Fulmer.

Another pipe dream that was tossed out in the comments is Auburn Offensive Coordinator Gus Malzahn.  Malzahn is arguably the hottest head coaching prospect in the NCAA.  He flew up the ranks as a High School Coach in Arkansas and was the offensive architect behind last year’s National Championship team. Like anyone else I’d be elated if BC hired Malzahn, but I just don’t see how it happens. According to Wikipedia, he’s making in the neighborhood of $1.3 million as a coordinator.  From the most recent data I can find (2009) Spaz was making around $1 million a year.  I’d be impressed, but really surprised, if BC was willing to shell out enough dough to make him an offer he’d seriously consider. To be honest I don’t know what that would be. One would think somewhere in the neighborhood of 2 – 2.5 million would be sufficient.  Odds Gene, Father Leahy, etc. commit that kind cash to the Head Coach?  We’ll save that for another post, but it doesn’t seem likely to me.  Another point of skepticism is whether Malzahn would even consider taking the head coaching job on the Heights.   He seemingly has a very bright future in front of him.  The guy turned down the Vandy job last year, and while I think the BC job is certainly more attractive, I get the feeling Malzahn will hold out for a top-tier position.

Next I have a question about one of the candidates Mike discussed in his second installment of the New Head Coach Power Rankings.  Number 7 on the list was Navy Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo.  My question is how does the triple option offense Niumatalolo runs affect his chances at getting hired as the next BC Head Coach?  Would Gene and the other decision makers be willing to bring in a guy who runs the option?  Are they worried about the impact running the ball all day every Saturday would have on attendance?  I personally find Paul Johnson’s offense fascinating and beautiful to watch.  I do wonder what affect it has on casual fans.  On the other hand, when a team runs it as well as Georgia Tech has this year I don’t imagine they have a problem drawing fans.  Also one would think the triple option would be a great fit for BC.  Traditionally, BC has very strong and physical defenses and really good Offensive Lines.  No problem recruiting there.  Why not employ an offense that relies on the positions we recruit well?  I wonder what impact hiring a guy like Niumatalolo would have on our program.  Please leave your thoughts in the comments.

Lastly, I have to take a minute to indulge my very unrealistic fantasy.  I realize there’s very little chance that the powers that be would display the fortitude required to take a chance on a guy like Mike Leach right now.  I do however take issue with the opinion that the pending ESPN law suit is of any significant consequence.  The real reason the guys up on College Road and down in the Yawkey Center won’t take a serious look at the former Texas Tech Head Coach is their cautious approach to athletic hires.  This isn’t a criticism of the Athletic Department or the Administration.  In fact, one could very well call this cautious approach prudence.  The point here is that regardless of how little evidence there may be that Leach did anything wrong, there’s a perception that he’s a risky hire.  I think this is enough to scare the BC Brass back to their room in Bapst.  So yeah, I realize this isn’t going to happen, but just for a minute imagine if it did.   

Think about having Mike Leach as the Eagles Head Coach.  Think about a pirate swinging his sword on the heights.  Imagine for a second the Air Raid Offense - long bombs launched through the Boston sky.  The anticipation as each pass hangs in the air.  The disappointment when it’s picked off and the sheer joy when it falls into a receiver’s hands.  Think of lightening fast drives. Think of the 5 wide sets - THE 5 WIDE SETS.  Picture Leach giving out Christmas Hams.  Think of him going at it with the Boston Media.  Imagine him mixing it up with other teams in the ACC, giving the Eagles an exciting face for the program.  Imagine once again having the feeling that no matter how far down the Eagles may be, there’s always hope for a comeback.  It would be awesome.  Thank you for indulging me.  I needed that.  However delusional it may be, it’s a welcome relief to the reality of this football season.

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