November 27, 2012

The Coaching Carousel

I must admit first I've always had a weird fascination with coaching carousel's in sports. It's fascinating to see what team/school hires a coach quickly, which team/school takes forever to hire a coach because they swung and miss at so many candidates, and which team/school hires a retread that makes you say out loud, "How the hell did that guy get another job?".

The last part is always what is so fascinating to me. In every sport at every level there's a coach who receives a 2nd or 3rd or 4th attempt to prove they're head coaching material when they're clearly not. Think of Norv Turner with the Chargers. Chan Gailey with the Bills. Jim Tracy, who I'm sure will be managing a baseball team again one day. John Gibbons was rehired by the Blue Jays after they had already fired him a couple of years ago. *My favorite example is Vinny Del Negro proving he was a horrendous coach with the Chicago Bulls and then receiving the Los Angeles Clippers job almost immediately after receiving his pink slip in Chicago. Meanwhile a great coach who had bad luck at previous jobs, Rick Carlisle, had to sit out a year and work for ESPN before the Dallas Mavericks hired him. Guess what team won a championship recently?

*Another good example is Terry Francona. Do you realize it took three years before Boston hired him after the Phillies fired him? 3 years! Meanwhile Jim Tracy was barely fired from the Dodgers job before Pittsburgh stupidly hired him. The people making the decision on who to hire must be really stupid.

The last part is what really gets to me. How the hell does a person like Carlisle have to sit out a year waiting for a new job while Del Negro gets rehired immediately? Well one answer is that the Clippers are cheap and I'm guessing Del Negro is probably the lowest paid coach in the NBA or darn close to it. Still my point is how the hell do terrible retreads keep getting jobs? Do they blackmail teams/schools? Are they great interviews? Are organizations afraid of making a bold hire and go for the safe choice (most likely answer)? Do they have world class agents (another most likely answer)? How do these people keep getting jobs?

I bring this up because we're currently in a new coaching carousel, the college football carousel. I saw this post at CBS about the jobs that are opened in college football and who the candidates might me. And let's just say there's a few retreads on their.

First we start with Kentucky where reportedly Dirk Koetter is a candidate. Koetter coached at Boise State after they transitioned to division 1 and was successful and then moved on to Arizona State. Koetter was moderately successful at Arizona State, he finished with a winning record, but he never came close to winning the Pac-10 title with his closest finish was third for two years and only won 1 bowl game. Koetter is a fine candidate but come on there are better hires out there including Willie Taggert at Western Kentucky.

Next we have Mike Sherman as a candidate at Boston College. Yes that Mike Sherman. The same Mike Sherman who was fired at Texas A&M last season and saw that school immediately improve even as they left for a tougher conference.

Now CBS said that Boston College was looking for someone with "coaching experience". That could explain how these guys keep getting rehired. Teams looking for someone with "experience" who most likely comes as cheaply as possible. That can be the only explanation how Mike Sherman's name is brought up for a coaching job.

Those are just two retread names being brought up. It wouldn't surprise me though if more retread names pop up for job openings the next couple of weeks and it wouldn't surprise me if some retread besides Koetter and Sherman get hired. These guys have "experience", they probably come cheap (which these schools are looking for right now since most of these athletic departments appear to be broke), and they swindle dumb athletic directors into thinking they are the man for that job (After listening to Colorado AD Mike Bohn talk about why he fired Jon Embree yesterday I can understand how some of these retreads get rehired. These AD's are dumb.)

So yes expect some retread to get rehired in the latest coaching carousel. Sherman, Koetter, Ron Zook, Houston Nutt, someone who has proven they're not head coaching material will get rehired. Some sucker will fall for their line of BS and hire one of them. The coaching carousel, ain't it great?


  1. I've always believed it's cheapness which leads teams to hire someone like Chan Gailey and Dave Wannstache over a risky hire like Chip Kelly. That being said a risky hire is not always the smartest hire. See: Lane Kiffin.

  2. Because AD's/GM's/owners are looking to hire people who won't challenge them or their control over a program/team. It's why Mike Leach scared the UMD admins, and ended up stuck with Randy Edsall.

    1. Related: how many fucking kids did Mrs. Stoops have?

    2. That's another reason. That's why I think you'll see Yow hire a lame duck at NC State.

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