With the fake news of Butch Jones withdrawing from consideration – and, of course, the speedy retraction by Sporting News – we have a reached a stage in this coaching search I didn’t think possible: anything goes.
Seriously, if I reported that Bob Pruett (hint: he coached Marshall) or Woody Hayes (hint: he’s dead) was being considered for the WVU position, you probably wouldn’t be all that amazed. It might take a second to sink in, but after about 15 minutes, you’d have a list of four or five things that rationalized his candidacy (“Well, even dead, Hayes is probably better than Mark Snyder”)
At this point, we’re trained to accept almost anything. There have been so many twists, turns, and oopty oops (oopty fucking oop?) that nothing seems that far-fetched. And I’m here to tell you, that’s not a good thing.
It is obvious that, on every level of command, the University was not prepared for this coaching search. From a short-sighted initial list of four candidates – all with varying degrees of WVU ties – to an expanded list that exists only after significant booster outcry, this administration has astounded me by its ineptness.
(Of course, when your first list has a combined 1 year of head-coaching/coordinator experience in the last decade, what do you expect? Temple could come up with a more experienced list.)
There is nothing wrong with a longer search, so long as you know going in that it’s going to be done at a more deliberate pace. Unfortunately, with our first list of home-grown coaches, this had all the makings of a quick job.
It was certainly anything but.
From the Holliday almost-hire to the Fisher backtrack and everything in between, this search has been conducted with the preciseness of a sledgehammer. Instead of interviewing a multitude of candidates right from the start, this search seemed to jump from favorite to favorite, only moving on when some cataclysmic event forced the administration’s hand.
In chronological order, here is a rundown of this search’s always-changing list of candidates:
1) Doc Holliday
2) Terry Bowden
3) Rick Trickett
4) Butch Jones
1) Doc Holliday
1) Terry Bowden
1) Jimbo Fisher
1) Butch Jones
2) Mike Locksley
3) Chris Petersen
4) Jim Haslett (maybe)
If you examine the lists above, only the last grouping of four coaches has the feel of a legitimate, varied coaching search (save for Jimbo Fisher). And holy shit, head-coaching/coordinator experience! Whooopty do!
So maybe there’s hope yet. We’ve finally taken a step in the right direction. Of course, it only took us 7 wrong ones to get here. And there’s certainly no guarantee that the next few moves won’t be unmitigated disasters. And with our administration, would that surprise you?
Filed under: want to coach wvu?