Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Coaching Search Day Nine

Much of the discussion these days centers on a handful of candidates: Gary Barnett, Terry Bowden, Glen Mason, Rick Neuheisel and to an extent, Dennis Franchione. Obviously, these candidates have one thing in common: All are (or soon will be) unemployed. They are available now. They can be interviewed today and the media can openly discuss their interest today.

Now, if the guy that Orsini truly believes is the best man for the job is available now, you go get that guy now and not worry about who may be interested in the future.

However, the question has to be asked, “Why should SMU limit itself to candidates that are now on the market? Why not wait? Why not see who is interested at the end of the season?”

A better way to phrase that question is, “Why allow the timing of your decision to fire Phil Bennett with four games left limit your pool of candidates?” The answer is to do so would be ridiculous.

While I agree with Steve Orsini that there is some urgency in this hire, I believe, like Orsini, the urgency is to get it right this time. Making the wrong decision now is not an option.

I don’t believe that the job interest will wane or become stale. The job is the job. Just because it is the first open, doesn’t mean it must be the first to be filled. While there is some concern that the increased competition in the next few weeks will make the search more difficult, it is more important to hire the right guy. And again, I keep telling people, there won’t be as many openings as people think.

Further, I think we overestimate what a coach can accomplish between now and the end of the season. Obviously, he won’t be coaching. Recruiting? Sure. The coach can recruit, that has its own difficulty. The coach will have no staff. The coach will be spread too thin. Any coach is going to let most of the current staff go. It is absurd to suggest the coach will hire a staff completely filled with current unemployed coaches. That is not going to happen.

So, I am not concerned that SMU hasn’t hired anyone yet and doesn’t appear to be likely to this week. The level of my concern will increase after Thanksgiving, but even then, it won’t be time to panic.


Just Curious said...

you guys should really consider Larry Coker. He won a NC at Miami during his first year and almost a 2nd one his second year. He made the vital mistake of not putting much emphasis in recruiting QB's but it is safe to say that he will learn from this.

I think he will be a great fit for your program.

Anonymous said...

I am sick to death of the aggies suggesting that Fran would be a "get" for SMU. I guess that they think just because they made a bone-headed hire, we would be delighted to make the same one. He is a loser and everyone can now see it.

I agree that the best hire for SMU is probably still coaching somewhere and his interest is known only to himself and the search firm.

Just Curious said...

thats a good point. Its so hard to pick the "right" coach when yo have so many parties involved. Think about it, the AD has to satisfy the booster's expectations and the boosters seem to want a guy with Coaching Experience.

How about a guy who can simply identify talent and know how to find role players to fit a great system. That's how Miami was able to do it in the 70's and 80's when they couldnt dare win out the blue-chip recruits from state-programs like UF, Alabama,etc.

I think SMU is in a similar position now with UT, A&M, OU and LSU in the mix for all the top Texas Talent. SMU should focus on getting a good signal caller who knows how to spot and develop talent. Applewhite fits this role well...but who do you have in mind?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Glad to see you are back in the blogging game Mr. SMU Football Blog.

Anonymous said...

do yourself and larry a favor. let him take a job at a division III school, where he won't be over his head. a nice guy, but not a good fit for a program trying to make a comeback. bowden sounds ineresting.

Anonymous said...

How about Houston Nutt? Is he in the hunt? I've seen his name linked to the position as a possible.