Tag:Bill McCartney
Posted on: January 19, 2011 5:29 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2011 5:30 pm
 

Headset Reset: Welcome to the Pac-12 and Big Ten

Posted by Adam Jacobi

"Headset Reset " is the College Football Blog's series reviewing the 22 new head coaches in the FBS and what they'll need to accomplish in their new jobs to succeed. In this edition: the four new head coaches in the Pac-12 and Big Ten.

DAVID SHAW, Stanford

Why him? Shaw represents a reaffirmation of the Jim Harbaugh regime, which rose from doormat to Pac-10 power with Shaw as offensive coordinator. Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby didn't get Boise State head coach Chris Petersen during negotiations after Harbaugh's departure, but Bowlsby's bona fides in football coach hiring are pretty solid. By hiring Shaw (and interviewing two other in-house candidates), Stanford has told its fans, "it ain't broke, and we're not fixin'."  By 2014, Shaw will need to: perpetuate Stanford's recent successes. Harbaugh isn't the first coach to win at Stanford, and he's also not the first coach to bolt for greener pastures at the first opportunity. So being that Stanford's main opposition in the Pac-12 North is Oregon and four programs with a light history of success (and let's ignore Stanford's time in that role since 40 years ago), there's an opportunity for the Cardinal to assert some authority.  Chances Shaw gets what he needs? Pretty good. Stanford's athletic department has a surprising amount of money, and with Oregon and Nike trying to start an arms race with the rest of the Pac-12, Stanford is one of the few schools that can probably keep up -- as long as it still wants to, anyway.

JON EMBREE, Colorado

Why him? Well, let's just not ask Bill McCartney that question. Past that, Embree was hired because he's a former Buffalo, and it would take a Colorado man to take this job and not flee the first time the Buffaloes put together seven wins in a season. By 2014, Embree will need to: get his team competitive with USC -- or whoever else is atop the Pac-12 South. There's no indication that Colorado's better or even as good as the rest of the division it's entering. CU can thank Dan Hawkins in some respects for that, but really, Colorado football hasn't been relevant for almost 15 years (yes, CU went to two consecutive Big XII Championships ... and lost them by a hilarious combined score of 112-6). Continued sub-mediocrity won't fly, especially as the Buffaloes try to acclimate themselves to a new conference without the strong tradition of success the Big XII had. Chances Embree gets what he needs? Not great. Colorado has struggled with keeping its football program relevant ever since the shared title year of 1990, even with some apparently decent head coaching hires. The move from the Big XII North to the Pac-12 South won't help lighten the Buffaloes' burden any, either. Colorado's struggles could very well be an institutional problem, not a coaching problem, and if that's the case it's probably easy to see how the Jon Embree Era will end in Boulder.

KEVIN WILSON, Indiana

Why him? This might actually be the most surprising hire of 2010, mainly because we didn't know Indiana could do something like this. The Hoosiers tabbed the vaunted Oklahoma offensive coordinator for his first head coaching gig, and they briefly had Boise State WR coach Brent Pease as the offensive coordinator. Hello, points! Problem was, Boise State's OC position opened up, and Pease went back to Boise for that gig, as would most sane coaches. This is still Indiana we're talking about. By 2014, Wilson will need to: prove that his offensive genius wasn't just "hand the ball to Adrian Peterson or DeMarco Murray and watch what happens." It likely wasn't, of course; Texas ably demonstrated this year that there's no such thing as a team too talented to get run into the ground by mediocre coaching. But still, the question remains; what's Wilson going to do when week in and week out, his players are inferior to their opponents? Chances Wilson gets what he needs? The better question here is whether Indiana gets what it needs, which is a solid football program led by a solid coach. That seems unlikely. Either Wilson fails badly in Bloomington like pretty much everyone before him, or he actually puts together a winning season, and starts getting wooed by job offers. What's going to keep Wilson in town when that starts happening? He doesn't have any prior connection to Indiana (both the school and the state itself), and his salary is only ("only") $1.2 million. As soon as he wins six games in a season up there, he's getting phone calls.

BRADY HOKE, Michigan

Why him? Michigan went back to its roots by hiring a former assistant, effectively admitting that the Rich Rodriguez dalliance was a mistake (also conveying that message: firing Rich Rodriguez) and that there was a formula to be followed. Hoke has whipped two programs into shape in short order, and he'll need to do it again at Michigan, which is just a mess. By 2014, Hoke will need to: have Michigan reloading instead of rebuilding. Michigan's biggest challengers in its new division are Nebraska and maybe Iowa or Northwestern. Hoke has no excuses for not routinely making the conference championship (or if not, being just a game out). Beating Ohio State would also be strongly recommended. Chances Hoke gets what he needs? Pretty darn good. Michigan has the resources, tradition, and expectations to get at least 10 wins a year, and now it's got a coach that can make that happen too. The common theme about the Hoke hire was that it wasn't "sexy," which means he's literally not an attractive person and/or that his teams play defense. Neither fact is a valid reason not to like this hire. Hoke wasn't Michigan's first choice, but neither was Jim Tressel at OSU. That's not to say "hiring fifth choice = national championship" is a valid strategy, but it's just extremely unlikely that there's only one right choice at a school with the inherent advantages that Michigan or any other traditional college football power would have. Jim Harbaugh probably would have succeeded at Michigan. So might Hoke. So might a cardboard cutout of Bo Schembechler (which is what the older part of Michigan's fanbase really wants in its heart of hearts anyway).

JERRY KILL, Minnesota

Why him? Aside from the obvious--that his name is literally just "Kill"--Minnesota hired a guy with 200 games of head coaching experience and a 63.5% winning percentage, all before his 50th birthday. Kill has succeeded in the MAC, where success is fleeting at best, and at a Southern Illinois program that wasn't really in good shape when he arrived. The track record's there, in other words. By 2014, Kill will need to: keep the stadium full. Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium is the newest house on the block in the Big Ten, but it's not exactly the biggest -- more like the opposite of that word. The luster of the new stadium was already wearing off by the time Tim Brewster was fired, as the team struggled to fill the stadium or do anything else of merit.  Chances Kill gets what he needs? Well, this depends solely on Kill's recruiting ability. He's been a head coach for almost 20 years, all of which came in the Midwest, so he knows the drill, and he knows the coaches. He just hasn't tried to land any big names before, and while bringing big names to Minnesota seems like a challenge, both Brewster and Glen Mason did it every now and then. So there's a chance he makes a turnaround happen.


Posted on: December 2, 2010 1:21 pm
 

McCartney: CU job offered to Embree

Posted by Tom Fornelli

So about that whole three finalists for the Colorado job post we put up a little while ago, it seems that there is only one finalist.  At least, that's what former Colorado head coach Bill McCartney is saying.  According to McCartney, who himself was a candidate for the job, the school has offered the job to former tight end and current Redskins tight ends coach Jon Embree.

Embree has been given a formal offer for the position with hopes that he'll hire Eric Bieniemy, another finalist for the job, the position of offensive coordinator.  McCartney says that while he was a candidate for the job, as soon as it became clear that he wasn't going to get the job, he started pushing for either Embree or Bieniemy.

"It was never about me doing it again," McCartney told The Denver Post. "It was about setting the table for a black man to come in (as head coach). And he (Mike Bohn) hired one. Now, give him a chance."

The report also says that neither Embree or Mike Bohn could be reached for comment, and that the word around the Washington Redskins office is that Embree has received the offer and is mulling it over.

Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain was also considered a finalist, but was deemed a longshot since he had no ties to the school.
Posted on: December 1, 2010 12:37 pm
 

Troy Calhoun not interested in Colorado job

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is a name that is likely going to come up as a possible candidate for a few different head coaching jobs this offseason. Calhoun has gone 33-18 in four seasons at Air Force, and his history both in college and the NFL is appealing to schools looking for a new head coach. One spot his name has come up pretty often is at Colorado.

Along with his experience, the fact that Calhoun is familiar with the state of Colorado thanks to his time at Air Force and with the Denver Broncos only makes him more attractive to the school.  Unfortunately for Colorado, Calhoun had to let the school know that while he's flattered, he's just not into them.

Calhoun recently let the school know that he won't be a candidate to replace Dan Hawkins, and removed his name from the discussion.  He's the second candidate to do so, as former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti removed himself from consideration a few weeks ago.

As for who the new front runner for the gig is, the names Bill McCartney and Eric Bieniemy keep popping up, and interim head coach Brian Cabral had an interview earlier this week.  There are also rumors that the school still has the pipe dream of stealing Les Miles from LSU.  Why Miles would ever leave LSU to take a pay cut at Colorado, I'll never know.
Posted on: November 21, 2010 5:30 pm
 

Bellotti pulls name from Colorado's list

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Well, we can scratch one name off of the list of potential Colorado football coaches.  Former Oregon head coach and current ESPN analyst Mike Bellotti has pulled his name from consideration, saying that the timing just isn't right for him to get back into the coaching game.

"At this point, the timing wasn't right for me," Bellotti told The Denver Post. "And I'm not sure it's the best fit. It's a combination of all that. Colorado is a great job for anybody, and I didn't want to stand in the way of focusing on somebody else."

Bellotti went on to say that his family played a role in this decision, as he didn't want to uproot his son -- who is a high school junior -- for his senior season of high school.  Of course, while the family is a convenient excuse to have, there's also the fact that the money Colorado could offer Bellotti probably isn't in the neighborhood of what he's looking for.  Which he hinted at a bit while discussing the differences between the facilities he was used to at Oregon, and would have to deal with at Colorado.

"There's a need to move forward and improve them," Bellotti said. "There's a need, too, for the administration, the boosters and everybody to get on the same page and help Colorado football."

As for who Colorado will now turn its attention to, the Denver Post lists Air Force's Troy Calhoun, Les Miles and former Colorado head coach Bill McCartney as the members of athletic director Mike Bohn's "A-list."  Of course, considering the way the Buffaloes have played under interim coach Brian Cabral the last few weeks, you have to think he's making a case for himself.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 2:41 pm
 

Could Bill McCartney return to Colorado?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that Dan Hawkins has finally been disposed of at Colorado, the process of finding a new head coach has begun.  While there were rumors that Colorado might make a run at Les Miles, following an LSU win over Alabama last weekend, the idea of Miles leaving for Colorado becomes an even bigger pipe dream.

So where will the Buffs look?  Will they go after the big splash by poaching a coach from somewhere else, or could they possibly look to the past?  Former Colorado head coach Bill McCartney says that if Colorado were to call and ask him if he'd be interesting in returning, he'd be interested as well.
Former CU coach Bill McCartney, who led the Buffs to a national championship, will be a strong candidate to succeed Hawkins, but other candidates from around the country will be considered, sources said. McCartney retired from coaching in 1994.

"My heart hurts for coach Hawkins and his family," McCartney said Monday night. "He's a guy that did his best. It's a difficult time. Our hearts go out to him."


Asked whether he would be a candidate for the job, McCartney said, "If Colorado was interested in me, I would definitely be interested in returning."
Now, on the surface, this idea seems somewhat silly.  Yes, McCartney was the man in charge in Colorado the last time the program truly mattered on the naitonal landscape.  He led them to a share of the national championship in 1990, and won three Big 8 conference titles before retiring in 1994.  Still, today in 2010, McCartney is 70 years old, and does Colorado really want to hire a 70-year old coach to rebuild the program?

I mean, it just wouldn't make sense.  Excuse me, what's that?



Well then.

Now it's possible that Colorado could just be paying McCartney lip service because they don't want to insult someone who meant so much to the program.  At least, I hope that's what's going on here.
Posted on: November 3, 2010 12:43 pm
 

Malzahn leaves Colorado door open, sort of

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

One of the most talked-about columns to emerge in the college football media this past week has been this one by the Denver Post 's John Henderson, which not only confidently claims that Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins won't survive into the 2011 season but offers an early shortlist for his replacement. The four names allegedly being considered by Buffs brass: Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain , retired former Colorado head coach Bill McCartney , LSU head coach Les Miles , and Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn .

Of those four, Miles is widely seen as unattainable; McCartney (who has been out of coaching for the past  16 seasons) is seen as old and potentially out-of-touch; and McElwain is seen, as, well, the less-exciting of the two Alabama-based coordinators. Which has focused most of the speculation in response to Henderson's column on Malzahn, whose go-go offense has transformed Auburn from one of the SEC 's worst attacks to one of the nation's best in two short seasons (not to mention turning Cam Newton into the Hesiman front-runner). His approach would seem to be a good fit both for the Buffs' move to the high-scoring Pac-12 and for a Colorado fanbase that could use some excitement after the stultifying Hawkins tenure.

But Malzahn, like his quarterback , has already taken enough turns on the coaching speculation carousel to know not to give anything away this early :

"To be honest, I’m in my own little world," he said. "My entire focus is on this team and making it the best it can be. I’m extremely happy. I’ve said that time and time again. I love coach (Gene ) Chizik and I love coaching these kids. And my only focus is trying to win games and trying to win a championship."

"Somewhere down the line I’d like to [become a head coach]," he said. "I’m in no hurry. I feel like a lot of people think I am. But like I’ve said before, we’ve got a good thing going here and I’d like to see it through.”
This is standard boilerplate for a coach who's a candidate for another job in midseason, but of course that boilerplate is something other than "I'll be at Auburn next year" or "I'm not going to Colorado."

So the door for a move to Boulder still is, in the most technical sense of the metaphor, still open. But at this premilinary stage, reading anything into Malzahn's comments other than that he doesn't want to comment is reading too much into them.





 
 
 
 
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