Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Coach Watch Day 52: Coker shows up
So some show on ESPN2 says former Miami head man Larry Coker interviewed for the vacant SMU head coaching job. If you read the message boards, you found out about it early yesterday; if you don’t, you can read about it in today’s paper.
At his press conference IN OCTOBER, Orsini listed four criteria that he would use to evaluate candidates: (i) past success; (ii) academics; (iii) conduct of his players on and off the field; and (iv) ability to sell SMU.
During Larry Coker’s tenure, there was a well-publicized melee during a game between Miami players and the players of Florida International. As someone reminded me, the fight started when a Miami player took a bow in front of the fans after scoring a touchdown. After the fight, Coker remarked:
"I think that it will affect the image of our program greatly, but in a positive way," he said. "I think that when they see the video and they see how it was handled they will be impressed with our players." Additionally, he was quoted in the Miami Herald as saying "I think you've got a lot of players from their team frustrated because they're not here, and maybe were not recruited."
To paraphrase Ron Burgundy, “You stay classy, Larry Coker.”
At this time I would also like to point out that during Larry Coker’s time as head coach of Miami, four players died and none were by natural causes. Tow died in car accidents. One was shot and killed. A fourth was “bludgeoned” to death. That is right. I said, “bludgeoned.”
In his first season after Butch Davis left for the Cleveland Browns, Larry Coker’s team went undefeated and won a national championship. His next season, Miami lost in the national title game. The next season, Miami lost two games. The next year, Miami lost three games and again three the next. The next and final season, Coker’s Miami team lost six games. That is called a trend in my book. Take the number 1 team in the country when you take over and get it knocked out of the top 25. And make no mistake, that was the number one team in the country before Coker got there: One of my clearest memories in 2000
Oh, and the word on the street is Coker loathes recruiting. One of the things that people say did Coker in at Miami was his inability to effectively recruit South Florida …in Miami! He lost too many players to Florida, Florida State and USF. Miami's recruiting class were consistently ranked lower and lower each year.
Did I mention the guy is 60?
In case you can’t tell, I have no interest in this guy. I said it a long time ago: too old; too many issues. More importantly, I am angered that this guy got an interview and others apparently have not. I view this guy as every bit as untouchable, if not more so, than Gary Barnett, Dennis Franchione, Rick Neuheisel and Terry Bowden.