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.


Anonymous said...

Based on what is reported about Bowden and West Virginia (or Virgina as some t-shirt makers say) SMU will not have to worry about him. He sounds like a puppy trying to get out of the dog pound as he looks for a job. He is salivating over the WVU job.

I think time is going to run out on SMU and someone like Coker will get the job. Probably not the best hire, but then you would not have to worry about about him leaving for the next big job opening.

Bill Gray said...

The best man for the job hasn't even been talked about. It's Randy Allen, the Highland Park HS coach. After he wins the state championship next week, he'll be a better hire than either Art Briles (Houston, from Stephenville HS) or Todd Dodge (UNT, from Southlake Carroll). He'd give instant credibility, create local interest, stir up attendance, and be a shot in the arm for recruiting. Also, he runs the same spread offense that's already in place at SMU.

Anonymous said...

Are we putting too much stock in what Orsini was saying back in October? After not getting a former head coach that met all the criteria mentioned, maybe he's moved on to one of these intriguing assistants you've mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Excellent points! By the way, where did Coker coach last year? Didn't Steve O. say he wanted a current winning head caoch? Steve O still says this is where he planned to be back in October. No wonder he never shared the details of his plan with the public. When is the selection committee going to get involved and get this job done? Everyday makes it a harder and harder job for anyone that takes the job. I guess that was Stve O's plan, too.

Anonymous said...

How absurd to insinuate that Larry Coker was responsible for his Miami players deaths! That is just stupid. If you are going to criticize him, do it on real issues not something that no coach anywhere has control over. While Larry Coker was at Miami, there was never a hint of NCAA investigation or scandal. The brawl that occurred his last season resulted in Coker suspending or punishing many players. Yes, it was unfortunate, but that one incident should not define Larry Coker's coaching career. Just because of Miami's past history, the media loves to blow things way out of proportion. His graduation rate reached 85%, far above the national average of 58% at the time. You also have no idea what you are talking about in regard to recruiting. Larry Coker has been in the homes of some of the greatest college players of all times--Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas while at OSU; Reggie Wayne, Clinton Portis, Andre Johnson, Jonathon Vilma, Jeremy Shockey among to many other at Miami. Coker recruited heavily for Miami--which is a fact! Coker was at Miami from 1996. He endured a losing season under Butch Davis in 1997. If you think for one minute that Larry did not have an active part in the success of Miami during and after Butch Davis, then you don't know anything about college football. How the media judges a coach is really irrelavent--obviously your info on Coker is based on rumor and your opinion only. Your opinion is just that--an uninformed personal opinion against someone you have never met. Get real--you are SMU! With Coker's name being thrown around as head coach, your school has received more publicity than the year you received the death penalty.

Anonymous said...

hey if you knew any football at all you would see that larry coker is the best this school could get for fair reason... you guys suck and for the record one miami player that he coached died when he was at miami the car accident were former players in there 30,s and the guy that got beat to death was in 1997 buddy get you facts right he was 50-15 in 6 seasons how many wins is your former head coaches have maybe 20 at the highest so before you talk get you facts right just his name brings you guys fame i cant name one player on your team... exactlly