Tag:Mike Leach
Posted on: December 18, 2010 2:59 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2010 7:23 pm
 

Report: Friedgen will accept buyout

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Following a conference call on Friday, the writing seemed to be on the wall for Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen.  Now that James Franklin had left for Vanderbilt and was likely to take a number of assistants with him, Maryland was no longer interested in bringing Friedgen back.  Now, a day later, there's a report that Friedgen will accept Maryland's buyout offer and will no longer serve as head coach.
University of Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen has verbally agreed to a buyout of his contract and will not return for the 2011 season, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to InsideMDSports.com.

Which means that Maryland is now in the market for a new head coach, and many people seem to think that former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach will be the school's first choice.  Though, if that is the case, Leach would go to Maryland with a bit of excess baggage in his hands thanks to the lawsuit he currently has filed against Texas Tech for wrongful termination.

As for Friedgen, it seems the school was worried about how Friedgen could perform after possibly losing so many assistants, and was also worried about recruiting considering that Friedgen would be entering 2011 in the final year of a contract the school didn't seem interested in extending.  So Maryland figured it was better to move on now rather than spend another year in limbo.

At the moment Friedgen is still expected to coach Maryland in the Military Bowl, but it's not clear whether he'll retire, take a job in the Maryland athletic department, or look for employment elsewhere.
Posted on: December 17, 2010 6:45 pm
 

Ralph Friedgen on way out at Maryland?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Here's an interesting twist to what's going on with the Maryland football team.  On Friday it was made official that James Franklin, the school's head coach-in-waiting, was leaving to take the head coaching job at Vanderbilt.  Now, depending on how you want to interpret the words of Maryland AD Kevin Anderson, it's starting to sound like Ralph Friedgen could be on the way out at Maryland as well.

During a teleconference on Friday, Anderson was asked about Freidgen's future, to which he replied he'll "sit down and everybody will understand where we're going...with the program.  At this point I'm not going to answer that question."  Which, on it's own, isn't exactly the most encouraging answer you can hear from your boss if your Ralph Friedgen.

What makes it worse?

A month ago Anderson said that Friedgen would be back. Now he's suddenly changed his mind.  To make things even more interesting, even though Friedgen hasn't been let go -- and at this point you almost have to think he will be -- people are already speculating on who his replacement will be.  The popular pick seems to be the one and only Mike Leach.

Would Leach be interested in the gig?  Of course he would be, he's come out and said he'd be interested in any job that was offered to him.  I'd be interested in seeing it happen as well, because it could lead to some teenage mutant ninja pirates, and if there is anything in this world cooler than some kind of hybrid ninja pirate, then I sure as hell haven't thought of it yet.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 3:38 pm
 

If Mullen's off the board, where will Miami turn?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

With the news that Urban Meyer has resigned/retired at Florida (delete as you personally see applicable), the Dan Mullen sweepstakes has a new almost-certain winner. The Gators will likely see Mullen as their Nos. 1, 1A, and 1B candidates, and there's no better fit -- and no place that can pay him more money -- for Mullen than his old stomping grounds in Gainesville. From the outside, it appears to be the kind of marriage that'll have both parties at the courthouse before anyone even knows they're courtin'.

That may be great news for Gator fans who would be happy to sacrifice Meyer if it meant replacing Steve Addazio' s hapless play-calling with Mullen's tried-and-proven offensive acumen, but it's a terrible blow for Mississippi State (who given their financial constraints will have no chance of keeping Mullen if/when the Gators come calling) and a big one for Miami as well. Depending on which reports you believe, the 'Canes had made Mullen their top candidate after being turned down by Jon Gruden , and given his offensive pedigree and performance in Starkville, he was the option with the best combination of availability and likelihood of success.

If he's off the board, where might Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt turn? A flurry of reports out of South Florida have identified the candidates currently at the forefront of the search. (The 'Canes will apparently risk receiving another sternly-worded letter from Donald Trump , as Mike Leach is not among them.) Taking them one coach at a time, and assessing their chances of eventually taking their talents to South Beach:

Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech: Tuberville has a strong Miami connection, having coached there for eight years and winning a national-title as a defensive coordinator under Dennis Erickson, and would certainly be capable of preserving the team's defensive improvement under Randy Shannon. He would almost certainly accept the job if offered, as whispers have indicated Tuberville has been campaigning hard for the job behind the scenes. (Then again, Tuberville's agent is infamous rumor-starter Jimmy Sexton, so take that with a grain of salt.) The problem is that Tuberville is already 56, with his best coaching days behind him, and has struggled at times putting together a working offensive staff. Would he cause enough of a splash?

Randy Edsall, UConn: Then again, if the 'Canes are seriously considering Edsall, making a splash isn't high on their list of concerns. Edsall would maintain Shannon's sense of rugged discipline, with an old-school grinding running game to match, and there's no doubt he's wrung the most out of his fledgling program. But the Huskies haven't actually been "good," even by Big East standards, as much as they have been the team least-prone to shooting itself in the foot.

Kevin Sumlin, Houston: Sumlin is a young, charismatic coach with an exciting up-tempo offense that ought to put butts in seats; he should be able to immediately connect wit hthe 'Canes fickle fanbase in a way the above candidates might not. But he's also by far the least proven, having made his name by maintaining Art Briles' previous good work at Houston.

Al Golden, Temple: Golden's resuscitation of the Owls is one of the most impressive feats of college coaching of the past few years, and he's young enough that he could be a cornerstone for Miami for years and years to come. But there's a strong sense -- bordering on consensus -- that Golden is waiting for Joe Paterno' s retirement for a shot at the Penn State gig. After Turner Gill' s struggles at Kansas , it's also worth wondering if rebuilding jobs in the MAC are easier than they're made it out to be.

Mike Stoops, Arizona: In what might be seen as a too-close-for-comfort parallel with the Shannon era, Stoops's steady year-by-year improvement project in Tucson took a minor step backwards this year. But Stoops' sideline antics prove he's got the energy for the job, and his reclamation job with the Wildcats has been impressive. But Miami may not be able to pay him much more than Arizona can, and there doesn't seem to be as much buzz as there is with the candidates above.

And that, for the time being, is the list (though the reports also agree that other candidates are likely on the radar screen). There's a few reasonably solid options there, and at this point you might have to consider Tuberville the favorite; he has the biggest name, the strongest ties, and likely the most intense interest. But if Mullen is truly no longer in the picture, Hocutt might also have to get creative to stave off the perception that the Gators stole his hire's thunder clean out from under him.

Posted on: December 7, 2010 1:33 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2010 2:55 pm
 

Michigan players enthusiastically support RichRod

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It doesn't happen all that often -- usually college football players are fully behind their coach come bowl-less hell or high water -- but occasionally when a head coach comes under fire, the lukewarm response from the players (or even more rarely, outright hostility, as in the case of Mike Leach at Texas Tech) gives away the fact that even they aren't really sold on the coach being retained.

Given their comments this week , it's safe to say the situation at Michigan with the beleagured Rich Rodriguez is not one of those times. Junior wideout Darryl Stonum:
"I love my coach ... I committed to Coach (Lloyd) Carr and Coach Rod came in. Coach Rod treats us like his own kids. Like Denard (Robinson) said in his MVP speech, we're all brothers and we're all family. I'd be pretty devastated if anything happened."
That's one thing. But maybe the best indication of how badly the Wolverines want A.D Dave Brandon to keep Rodriguez at the helm is Ryan Van Bergen' s defense of his coach's now infamous Josh Groban -soundtracked appeal at the team banquet. Van Bergen:

The pressure he's subjected to, especially over the course of his three years here, I think he's been handling it with as strong a front as you could possibly have. I think it was really appreciated by some of the seniors. That was directed toward them. The guys who stuck around -- there's not too many of them -- they were his closest supporters."

As for some public ridicule, Van Bergen said: "He wasn't doing that for them."

Bear in mind that even Groban himself thought RichRod's banquet presentation went too far in the direction of corny. If his players are willing to not only look past but even embrace that kind of decision, give Rodriguez credit: they really will follow him anywhere. That won't do as much for him as beating Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl or, say, not losing quarterback commitments to Wake Forest, but it's something.

Posted on: December 1, 2010 2:20 pm
 

Donald Trump offers Miami free advice: hire Leach

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We already knew that Mike Leach has one major player in his corner for the Miami job in the person of Mike Leach , but as we've been reminded today, he's got friends in some very high places. Like, Trump Tower high. As in Donald Trump his own self, who befriended Leach several years ago and recommended him to Miami president (and Trump acquaintance) Donna Shalala before Randy Shannon was hired in 2006.

After Shannon's firing, it would appear Trump might have had the right idea after all, not surprisingly for someone who knows from hiring and firing (or so television would have us believe). Maybe also unsurprisingly for someone with the self-confidence to wear Trump's hair, he hasn't been above reminding Shalala of that, and in the most perfectly "billionaire eccentric" manner possible: a handwritten note scrawled across the Palm Beach Post 's story reporting Shannon's dismissal.
No, really: you can see the note for yourself right here . The message:
Donna – You made a big mistake when you did not take my advice and hire Mike Leach of Texas Tech – look what happened to them since he left – (they knew he was leaving) – Jealous! Hire Coach Leach and you will be #1 – And you can now get him for the right price. Best wishes, Donald."
While we're not sure what "Jealous!" is supposed to mean exactly, it's worth noting that otherwise, Trump is mostly on the ball: Tech is almost unquestionably worse off for his departure, and hiring a coach with Leach's impeccable college track record seems like a much, much better idea than trying an NFL retread who's been out of coaching for two years and college coaching for more than 20.

Besides, the U has always been on the cutting edge of celebrity fanhood, and bringing Trump into the stable would be quite the coup; you know he and Luke Campbell would get along famously. Make this happen, Miami.

HT on note image: DocSat .

Posted on: December 1, 2010 11:27 am
Edited on: December 1, 2010 11:45 am
 

Leach makes pitch for himself as Miami candidate

Posted by Chip Patterson

Since his departure from Texas Tech in 2009, Mike Leach has seen his name connected with most of the semi-available jobs in the Bowl Subdivision.  But the recent opening at Miami has someone making a strong pitch for Leach as a candidate - Mike Leach.  

"[Miami] could hire me and we'd have one decade after another of success with students that graduate and don't get into trouble," Leach said to the Palm Beach Post. "...or they can hire somebody else."

Leach, who currently resides in Key West and hosts a three-hour satellite radio program on Sirius, has openly expressed interest in returning to coaching - though his name has not been listed on many of Miami's rumored wish-lists.  He interviewed for Randy Shannon's position in 2006, but the two sides reportedly could not agree on staffing issues with the assistant coaches.  Leach, now with no current employment ties, has gone out of his way to point out his successful coaching record to the people of South Florida. He did not hesitate to mention his ability to prepare players for the NFL, a Miami cornerstone of the last 10+ years.

While Leach does not have any employment ties, he does have some ongoing legal issues surrounding his dismissal from Texas Tech.  Recently, Leach filed a lawsuit against ESPN for the way they handled the reporting of his firing.  It is very possible that those legal issues could prevent Miami (or other programs) from pursuing Leach, but the former Red Raider insists that he has done nothing wrong.

Stay tuned to CBSSports.com as the Hurricanity Insanity continues in Coral Gables.
Posted on: November 28, 2010 12:10 am
Edited on: November 28, 2010 12:11 am
 

So who replaces Randy Shannon?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

So now that it's official and we know for a fact that Randy Shannon has been fired by Miami, I suppose it's about time we got to speculating about who is going to replace him in Coral Gables.  Though the program hasn't been what it used to be, Miami is still the type of job that plenty of coaches wouldn't mind trying on for size.

After all, Florida is still a hotbed of football talent, and it's not like the ACC isn't there for the taking.  So who are some of the names likely to come up in the coming weeks or months?  Miami has said it will begin a national search, so just about anybody is in play.

Let's look at some of the likely suspects.

Mark Richt -- It sounded like Mark Richt would be in danger of losing his job earlier this season, but things have since calmed down at Georgia.  Still, that doesn't mean he wouldn't consider leaving the grind of the SEC for the sunny beaches of Miami.  After all, he liked the school so much he did decide to go to college there.

Dan Mullen -- Another SEC coach that the 'Canes may want to consider poaching.  Unlike Richt, he's at an SEC school that is considered more of a stepping stone than a destination.  Plus, if Mullen can do the job he's done in Starkville with a perennial bottom-feeder in the SEC, imagine what he could do at Miami.

Mike Leach -- As far as I'm concerned, there won't be a coaching vacancy anywhere that I don't think Mike Leach should be considered for.  College football needs it's Pirate King, and with Miami so close to the beach, Leach will finally have a place to keep his pirate ship.

Gus Malzahn -- There won't be many schools looking for a head coach who won't give Malzahn consideration.  He's been successful everywhere he's been, especially with what he has done with Cam Newton and Auburn this year.  He's an offensive innovator that will get a shot somewhere, so why not Miami?

Mario Cristobal -- A bit of a darkhorse candidate here.  Cristobal is currently the head coach at FIU, who just won the Sun Belt Conference on Saturday.  He also happens to be a former offensive lineman for the Hurricanes.

Tommy Tuberville -- I'm sure Miami could get him if it asked, but really, why would it?

Howard Schnellenberger -- Come on, Donna Shalala.  You know you want to.

Ron Prince -- A big name coach would be nice, but a power towel would be better.

These are just some of the names that are likely to come up, obviously, there will probably be many more floated around before Miami finally does settle on it's new head coach.  That's what happens anytime a big-time program begins a coaching search.
Posted on: November 24, 2010 6:28 pm
 

Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach suing ESPN

Posted by Chip Patterson

Former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach has spent this football season commentating for CBS College Sports, hosting his own satellite radio show, and now flexing his lawyer muscles a little bit.  Leach's lawyers filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against ESPN and Spaeth Communications for libel and slander, among other accusations.  The suit focuses on ESPN College Football commentator Craig James, father of Adam James, who was at the center of Leach's firing at Texas Tech.  Leach's camp is accusing James, ESPN, and Spaeth of actively conspiring to smear the coach's name in the wake of December's firing.

I may have my biases (Leach was kind enough to sit down with me back in October) but I do feel as though the former head coach of the Red Raiders was mistreated by the media during the time surrounding his dismissal.  People may have their own opinions about how players should be treated, but there definitely appeared to be a distinct slant in the way the story was being reported by certain outlets.  The success of the lawsuit is months away from determination, and some have called this a move of a "desperate man" searching for someone to blame.  No matter who's side you take in this one, we can all agree that re-hashing the details of the Adam James incident will not be pleasant.  For anyone.   
 
 
 
 
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