Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Coaching Search Update

Mr.SEC.com has a great recap on the state of play in the Vanderbilt coaching search. The search for a new head football coach run by Vice Chancellor Williams has been a model from which future searches will be run in college (if Williams ever decides to run a seminar, I'd recommend Tennessee's Athletic Director Mike Hamilton attend. Biddle and Climer can chip in for the registration fee). According to the Mr. SEC report and Jeff Lockridge's Tennessean piece in yesterday's paper, the candidates include (thanks A.J. for highlighting my error): Tulsa Coach Todd Graham, Nebraska offensive coordinator Shawn Watson, Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin, Michigan State offensive coordinator Don Treadwell and Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren. Of these 5 supposed candidates, only 1 is a head coach, 3 are offensive coordinators, and 1 is a defensive coordinator. Notably, 2 of the candidates come from the Big Ten, with 1 from the ACC, Big 12 (although soon to be member of the Big 10), and C-USA. The SEC does not have a representative according to the lists that are out there. According to Mr. SEC there are still people in Nashville who say Randy Shannon might not be completely off the list at this point, although FootballScoop.com says: "[Kentucky Head Coach] Joker Phillips is interested in hiring Randy Shannon to run the Kentucky defense."

11 comments:

Stagger Lee said...

No offense to any of the gentlemen above, but none of them are exactly what I had in mind - certainly none of them make me say "we need to throw $3 million on the table right now to get this person." Given the parlous state of the program right now, a new hire needs to come with a certain amount of sex appeal and track record to instill confidence in a fan base ready to say "here we go again" again, and the longer the search goes on, the more I despair of getting somebody like that...

Bobby O'Shea said...

Stagger Lee, who did you have in mind? Who do you think the Commodores should be targeting that they're not?

AD said...

I can't answer Bobby's call, but I find myself agreeing with Stag-o-lee a bit. (Perhaps a head coach for the list besides Graham, who's recent history (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Graham#Rice) makes me uncomfortable? An SEC name might also make the Commodore fan base more accepting.)

That said, I was a Michigan State fan long before I became a part of the Vanderbilt family, so I have been watching Treadwell very closely this season. Although a coordinator, he ran the show while Dantonio was out due to the heart attack he suffered following the Spartans' overtime defeat of Notre Dame. Treadwell acted as head coach for MSU's victories over Northern Colorado and Wisconsin (yes, the Wisconsin that's going to the Rose Bowl instead of the Spartans). Treadwell and Dantonio were part of Jim Tressel's staff when The Vest was head coach at Youngstown State.

Bobby O'Shea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bobby O'Shea said...

I mean no disrespect to Stagger Lee, AD, or any of our readers who agree with their sentiments, but I've got to say I find the frustrations you express to be both unconvincing and weak. The list of potential coaches all come from I-A schools (Bobby Johnson was a I-AA coach), and are widely respected enough to be mentioned as potential candidates for other openings. Is the fact the Jim Harbaugh's not on the list surprising? Sorry, but that's not realistic.

Vanderbilt's best options will come from up-and-coming coordinators, or hot head coaches from lesser I-A programs (see Kansas hiring Turner Gill). The "3 million dollar man" isn't taking a job at Vanderbilt.

I'm not suggesting the Commodores need to settle (a la Tennessee hiring Derek Dooley last season after being publicly turned by Cutcliffe and others) in who they hire, far from it. But I think Vanderbilt has to be smart with who they hire and look for someone who can build a sustainable and winning program. Would you like to see Mike Leach on the list? Randy Shannon? Who?

I'm perfectly willing to debate the merits of this list as compared to Vanderbilt's other options, but to dismiss this list and bemoan the search process as it has unfolded (privately and professionally, I might add) is counterproductive

Anonymous said...

What does "parlous" mean?

Drew said...

Does Urban Meyer's retirement effect our search pool?

Bobby O'Shea said...

I've got to be honest, I really don't see how it would. If we were targeting Malzahn (which is sounds like we're not), than it definitely would, since I suspect Gus would be domino 3 or 4 once UF replaces Urban, whatever school UF poaches from, etc...

A.J. said...

Reading the Tennessean article I didn't get the idea that those guys were THE list of candidates, I just though it was a list of guys who were confirmed candidates.

"the pool of candidates Vanderbilt has spoken with about the job, either in person or by phone, has grown to include:"

That's pretty different than being "the remaining candidates."

And the Mr. SEC story seems to just be responding to the names listed in that article.

Bobby O'Shea said...

You are absolutely correct. I've updated the post to reflect your comment.

Stanimal said...

From a fan's perspective, people would absolutely like to see Randy Shannon or Mike Leach on the list, perhaps especially Mike Leach. But it's not going to happen, from his perspective or ours.

The casual Commodore fan will not be excited about our next hire. That's all there is to it. It won't be a Bowden, or a Malzahn, or a Bud Foster. My only hope is that it is a coach who can bring some offensive innovation.


While I've privately been a bit of a thorn with the rest of the VSL crew over my lack of enthusiasm in this coaching hire, I will say that, observing the candidates, I like Vanderbilt's focus on offensive prowess. The SEC has become an offensive league, and the winner is typically the one with the most innovative offense. This isn't to suggest we should "expect" to win the SEC, but I really think that we need to be dictating pace and ball control as opposed to being reactionary. Bobby Johnson was a terrific defensive coach and no one can take that from him, but offensively we really regressed after Cutler graduated. Whether that was an unimaginative offensive gameplan, poor offensive recruiting, or a combination of both is anyone's guess, but whatever it is, it must be fixed....NOW.