This week in As The Coaching Carousel Turns…

As the World TurnsWhat a bizarre few days this has been for football coaches, more so than normal even.  If neck braces, nepotism, runway dismissals and billionaire babblings don’t scream made-for-television drama, I don’t know what does.

Shake-ups occur at the end of every football season but this off-season has taken the proverbial cake.  Only during a week like this could the hiring of a new Penn State head coach take a back seat to all the other lunacy that’s grabbed the headlines.

In one part of the country, we had a program rehire a coach who was only discovered to be cheating on his wife after he crashed his motorcycle into a ditch with his mistress on the back of it.  Another gentleman, whose last three coaching performances were widely considered comical, might soon become offensive coordinator at one of college football’s most successful programs.  We had an NFL head coach hired whose only head coaching experience came in the Arena League.  And while another tenured coach was forced to resign from his post, the hiring of his replacement, one of the most sought after coaches in the nation, was openly scrutinized a millionaire booster, not so conspicuously because of his race.  All we needed was an N-bomb mixed into the sound bite to seal the deal.

No wonder Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden prefer the friendly confines of the broadcast booth.

Petrino motorcycle accidentThis week, Bobby Petrino was once again hired by the University of Louisville despite what ESPN’s Bob Ley so accurately described as “a timeline littered with questionable behavior.”  In case you don’t recall, Petrino was the one who wrecked his motorcycle with a woman he had hired to work for him, and was sleeping with, on the back.  Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich was unwavering in his decision to rehire Petrino, fully confident his once and future football coach will be on his best behavior.  Oh, to read the terms of that contract.  I, Bobby Petrino, do solemnly swear to keep it in my pants for the rest of my time here at Louisville.  Oh, and no motorcycles either.  Good luck with that, sir.  One can only assume another episode like that would end your career forever but if nothing else, the rehire has proven, in this day and age, anything is possible.

We all knew former Raider, Volunteer and Trojan coach, Lane Kiffin, would wind up on someone’s sidelines once the dust of his previous failures had settled.  We just didn’t expect for him to resurface alongside Nick Saban at the University of Alabama.  Saban doesn’t appear to be a patient man.  One would think he’d have to be with the seemingly incompetent Kiffin running his offense.  As if losing to Auburn as time expired wasn’t devastating enough, Crimson Tide fans have to be shuddering at the thought that Kiffin could ultimately become Saban’s successor.

Jay Gruden presserThe Washington Redskins rival only the Dallas Cowboys when it comes to leading the league in dysfunction.  They have a guy behind center who can’t stay healthy and who ranked 29th in the league in quarterback rating.  Now they have a brand new head coach whose only real NFL experience came in three years on the sidelines with the Cincinnati Bengals.  Otherwise, his resume includes stints with the Nashville Kats, Orlando Predators and Florida Tuskers.  The Redskins are hoping that six Arena Bowl championships count for something; being the younger brother of Jon Gruden obviously does.  We all knew ‘the other’ Gruden would eventually get a head coaching job somewhere.  We just didn’t expect for it to be with the Washington Redskins although, with Daniel Snyder as their owner, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised of any football-related decisions that go on in the nation’s capital.  Gruden becomes the eighth Redskins coach since Snyder took control of the team in 1999.  In other words, don’t unpack your bags, coach.

And then we have the good old boy network once again rearing its ugly head.  Charlie Strong has made quite the name for himself.  Not only did he cut his teeth at Florida, Notre Dame and South Carolina but he led Louisville, Petrino’s former school, to a 23-3 record over the last two years.  He was the logical, and certainly most qualified, candidate to succeed Mack Brown at Texas.

Red McCombsThe only problem is that one high-profile booster didn’t think so.  Red McCombs, multi-millionaire and former owners of the Spurs, Vikings and Nuggets (which leads us to believe he must know something about sports), sounded off on the hire.  “Strong would make a great position coach, maybe a coordinator. But I don’t believe (he belongs at) what should be one of the three most powerful university programs in the world right now at UT-Austin. I don’t think it adds up.”  McCombs also called the Strong hire “a kick in the face.”  Nothing says “Welcome to Texas” more than a hearty “Who the fuck is this guy?”

McCombs obviously has the right to his opinion, no matter how incorrect or dare I say, racially charged, it might be.  This can’t be Strong’s first run in with the gold old boy network.  Keep in mind he coached at Florida for years.  McCombs has since apologized for his remarks and the two have kissed and made up.  We’ll see whether Strong forgives and forgets.  McCombs and company will once the wins start piling in.

That, however, holds true for any of the aforementioned coaches.  Win and all is forgotten.  Lose and you’ll be forgotten as well.

And so concludes another episode of As the Coaching Carousel Turns. 

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18 Replies to “This week in As The Coaching Carousel Turns…

  1. Pingback: What a bizarre few days this h ... - BallHyped Blog Network, NCAA Football | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. Chris

    Jay Gruden is now the head coach of the Washington Redskins ? What’s next ? Elder sibling Jon Gruden becomes a US Congressman or Senator ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!! GM Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder are as dumb as they look !

    So the BBWAA have denounced and taken away Dan Le Batard’s voting rights for baseball’s Hall of Fame nominee candidates ? Nothing wrong in that , given the journalist’s idiotic explanation, as to why he says his vote was not sold to . Having met the guy at various Canes’ functions, he comes off as a pious and supercilious @ss !

    Will be doing a piece on that and baseball’s off-season moves and news .


    tophatal …….

  3. Al…

    Jurich and Louisville liked Petrino. Again. Wouldn’t you like to have been in the room of the Board of Directors when someone suggested rehiring him? There had to be a least a chuckle or two, no?

    And Gruden? I get that he comes from a football family but what football coaches don’t? It’s not like someone wakes up one day with no football background and suddenly decide they want to coach football for a living.

    There are subtleties that go with coaching in the NFL that certain people can’t master. Just ask Greg Schiano.

  4. Sorry such a talent as Strong had to land in Austin… Now its a conundrum in my mind. Don’t like the Longhorns and yet would like to see Strong do well.

    The Redskins will continue to do poorly so long as Dan Snyder keeps butting in to what should be a decision making process carried out by knowledgeable football people. Jay Gruden may surprise me, but I really doubt it. I’m sure the owners and management with the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York football Giants are ecstatic to be residing in the same division as teams owned by Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder.

    Petrino is proof once again that winning is everything. If Louisville continues to do well under this man’s guidance (and with Strong’s recruits) will Petrino attract another NFL gig and once again bail on the Cardinals? I have to say it would serve them right and the same goes for someone like Dan Snyder (the timeline would be perfect for Snyder to be back in the market for yet another head coach with the Redskins) who throws big bucks at losers…

  5. It’s okay, Dwin.

    Let’s be honest. How often do you see Strong sticking around? I’m not saying he won’t succeed there but he might be a little out of his element in Austin. Remember when Billy Donovan coached the Magic for a day then had buyer’s remorse about his decision? I’m sure McCombs’ comments didn’t exactly make Strong feel welcome in his new home.

    You’re also right about the ‘Skins and the NFC East next year. The Giants aren’t going to have the same shitty year they had. The Eagles should be improved with another league in the year for Chip Kelly. The Cowboys will most assuredly make another push. What leads anyone to believe the Redskins are on the road to improvement?

    And Petrino, ugh! I’m all for second (third? fourth?) chances but can a leopard of his nature change his spots? A year ago, this move would have been laughable. Oh wait, it still is.

  6. Chris

    Jay and Silent Bob ? Now it’ll be Jay and the Not so Sutble or Silent Jon , if Jay asks his elder sibling to join him as part of the Redskins’ coaching staff . LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    I’m sorry but the AD of Louisville has to be using some illegal substance . The rehiring of Petrino is simply idiotic . I mean what now happens if there now happens to be female graduate assistant on his coaching staff ? I mean , will she be asked to “rock the mic ” for the coach and certain members of the staff or team just to make feel good about themselves ?

    Dan Le Batard
    has no issues, in terms of his honesty or integrity . Plagiarism will be his move , when he writes his next column in the Miami Herald .

    All of a sudden , it’s now that the IRS takes an interest in Dennis Rodman because he’s said to owe over $100,000 in non payment of taxes ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    Schiano will end up with another gig as a member of an NFL coaching staff . I mean look at where Raheem Morris ended up .

    tophatal ………….

  7. ….and it seems no one cares about Kiffen’s worthless hide being hired to supplant Saben? Talk about a strong ‘no confidence’ vote by Alabama!!

  8. I don’t know what kind of warped full moon has come out this early in the New Year but they just get stranger and stranger. The Petrino hire is so off the charts you almost want to play devil’s advocate and reach for a bible. Who are we to judge when someone finally gets it. And, he is going back from whence he came. But even if Bobby’s finally on a better path why a big-time school would take on ALL of that baggage is truly bizarre. Somewhere Redskins owner Dan Snyder is yelling at his aides by now saying “I said Jon Gruden. Jon!” Jay Gruden was last seen calling routes in the flat for a QB who historically goes color blind in the post-season and can’t tell his team from the other. Charlie Strong got a warm taste of Texas hospitality and immediately landed on the warmest of seats before he even knows where the restroom is in his offices. He’s in over his head and will be gone once the boosters release Bevo in his direction. Kifflin to Alabama? I can only figure Nick Saban found out another SEC school was interested and if you don’t want to worry about beating him, hire him. Yet, the most puzzling hire may yet to be made, James Franklin to Penn Stste. I speak for at least a few us PA residents when I say…please, no. Resume not strong enough and his program at Vandy is still sifting through a sordid situation…just what Nittany Valley doesn’t need.

  9. There seems to be a rash of “shoot yourself in the foot” lately in college football, and it’s not limited to coaches. Former Tech quarterback Baker Mayfield left the program at the end of the season and prior to Tech’s appearance in the Holiday Bowl over what has been termed “misunderstandings” between Mayfield and the Tech coaching staff, Kliff Kingsbury in particular. Mayfield was upset that he was having to work out with the second string and didn’t like sharing playing time with Davis Webb.

    Mayfield enrolled at the University of Oklahoma yesterday, hoping to put his athletic skills to use as a Sooner. First problem- there are already four or five quarterbacks on the OU roster. Bob Stoops had said there was no room for another quarterback in the OU program at this time even before Mayfield enrolled as a student at OU.

    Second problem- in order for Mayfield to walk on at OU, he has to obtain a release from Tech before he can even talk to the OU coaches. Tech refused to give him that release. Mayfield appealed the decision before an appeals committee with NO TIES to the athletic department. Today, that committee voted unanimously to deny Mayfield’s appeal. Now, he must sit out for one year before he can talk to the Sooners or any other Division 1 team for that matter.

  10. Al…

    If it weren’t so asinine, I’d say Jurich’s move was almost mensch-like by giving the guy a second chance. Either that or Petrino has more dirt on Jurich than we all had on Petrino. Either way, Petrino’s made his bed and now he’s laying in it. All the way to the bank.

    Re: Schiano, I’ve heard it’s more likely he ends up back in college. He burned too many bridges with his antics in the NFL.

  11. Tree…

    I guess you and I are in the wrong business.

    In what industry that professional sports can you prove to be totally worthless and/or a lying, cheating piece of shit and still make a couple million dollars a year?

  12. Al…

    Re: Gruden, how many really good coaches are there in the NFL anyway? I don’t think he’ll succeed, at least not immediately anyway.

    More importantly, was RGIII consulted on the hire? What do you think?

  13. Wow, Burns. Lots to discuss.

    You’re spot on about Petrino. Can’t imagine how tight his leash will be. Think they’ll put an ankle bracelet on him just to be sure, he he?

    I said JON Gruden. Hysterical. Reminds me of the old joke with the cowboy, who is captured by indians about to be scalped and whispers in his horses ear for help. His horse comes back minutes later with a hot naked blonde on his back who unties the cowboy and screws his brains out. The cowboy then whispers in the horse’s ear again and says “I said POSSE.”

    Saban hiring Kiffin away from another SEC school? Sounds like something the Yankees or Red Sox would do, bidding on a player to drive up the price. But don’t you think that if another school wanted Kiffin, Saban would just let that school have him?

    Strong’s a good coach and a monster recruiter. I think he’ll end up leaving Texas on his own terms.

    And Franklin. There’s been so much acclaim surrounding the job he did at Vanderbilt that I didn’t realize he came with his own share of baggage.

  14. Chris

    Isn’t Red McCombs related to the late Strom Thuromnd somehow ?

    Team RGIII and his cabal of advisers are to busy thinking about their next strategic play . As for Jay Gruden , it will be intriguing to see whether or not he brings in Jon as part of his coaching staff .

    So A Rod’s lawyers having been embarrassed by their client get to fight and live for another day . Joe Tacopina and David Cornwell would have been placed as defense attorney in a homicide trial , rather than having to deal with an @ss like Alex Rodriguez . The one bad thing about his year-long suspension , will be the reprieve it allows the Yankees in taking that $29 million off the books that he would have been paid in 2014 .

    We the people , deserve better !

  15. Al…

    I don’t know if they’re related but they shop at the same cowboy hat store.

    One would have to think that with all the ruckus that went down between RGIII and Shanahan, Snyder would have at least consulted Mr. Griffin on who to hire next, for his own sake.

    So can A-Rod appeal the decision or has he already?

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