Monday, January 05, 2009

Coaching Candidates

When news first broke of the NFL's interest in Jags, I started prepping profiles of potential replacements. I assumed that like last time we would have a normal, national search. Now that is out the window. Gene has already pulled a major power play. He better have something lined up quickly. As I have said, long term I think BC will be fine. Short term is another matter. What Gene does in the next week will impact us for good or bad for at least the next five years. I've abbreviated this a bit from last time due to the circumstances. I'll flush the candidates out more as the situation plays itself out.

In house
Given the timing, this is the likely way to go. I don't know if I am thrilled with the choices though.

Jack Bicknell, Jr. -- Great guy. Could be a good face of the program. Has true ties to the school. Unfortunately he had a losing record as Head Coach at Louisiana Tech. Probably the safest choice short term.
Steve Logan -- An experienced head coach and great offensive mind. Ties to Jags may make this unfeasible. If we go in house, this would be my preferred choice.
Frank Spaziani -- The glue that held the last transition together. His relationship with Gene makes him a favorite for the spot, but I think the reasons he didn't get the job last time still hold.

All the other guys on the staff are either too inexperienced or not the right guy to handle this awkward situation. The only benefit to promoting one of these guys is that you can keep the staff intact for the 2009 season.

TOB Guys
Gene went with a former TOB staffer last time. He may go that way again. But given the Jags things, would anyone trust Gene now?

Al Golden; Head Coach, Temple -- the timing was wrong for Golden the last time around. I'd have numerous gripes about bringing him on, but the upside is he knows BC, knows the ACC, knows Gene and has relationships with many of the current staff.
Mike London; Head Coach, Richmond -- Has BC ties, NFL ties and ACC ties. Just won a DIAA national championship. Is a rising star. Would he touch this job given the circumstances?
Don Treadwell; Offensive Coordinator, Michigan State -- BC ties and has been a coordinator for many years. Just got passed over at his Alma mater though. Has a TOB like personality.

Long shots
If Jags had left under normal circumstances the following guys would have been long shots. Now none are even likely to take Gene's call. They are all in good positions. Why risk taking a job with a guy who just gutted a coach who won 20 games in two years?

Brian Kelly; Head Coach, Cincinnati -- The only reason he would take the job is because he longed to be the BC coach. Even if we gave him a blank check, why should he trust Gene?
Chip Kelly; Offensive Coordinator, Oregon -- He is now the coach in waiting and Nike will match any money we offer. If he were to take it, it would be just to get back to New England.
Randy Edsall; Head Coach, UConn -- This is a guy who knows what it is like to get surprised by a BC AD! He thought he had the job 12 years ago. He wants out of UConn, but can probably wait for a better situation.

There are other big fish out there who may have considered the job a week ago (Turner Gill, Mike Leach, Jim Fassel), but I doubt that will happen now.

The following guys all interviewed last time and did not get the job. Would they want it this time? Would Gene go to a guy he passed over once?

Mark Whipple; Philadelphia Eagles, Offensive Assistant -- he didn't kiss Gene's ring enough last time. Will he use Gene's desperation against him this time around.
Kevin Gilbride; Offensive Coordinator, New York Giants -- He just won a Super Bowl and might win another. He doesn't need this headache.
Jay Norvell; WR Coach, Oklahoma -- He might still be interested. I would be very, very lukewarm if he were selected.

NFL Guys
Given that BC doesn't seem to let their coaches return to the NFL, I don't think a rising NFL assistant will have much interest this time around. That said, I would think these two would be good fits.

Mike Sullivan; WR coach, New York Giants
Bill Musgrave, QB coach, Atlanta Falcons

College Guys
There are dozens of college guys looking for their shot who would put up with any of the nonsense around. Some of their names might surface. But if we were conducting a normal search I would hope Gene would reach out to these two guys:

Charlie Strong, Defensive Coordinator, Florida
Kevin Wilson, Offensive Coordinator, Oklahoma

Both have good profiles, have worked at schools like BC, have risen to the top and under normal circumstances would probably be very interested in BC.

Bottom Line
This will not be a normal search. For a guy to take this job right now, he will either have love for BC, trust Gene or really be desperate for a shot as a head coach.

I hope we get another Jags, a guy who is a good coach and appreciates what BC is all about. My fear is that this is going to be handled as well as this Jags standoff.


Joe Bags said...

Would you still consider this a major power play by Gene if Jags was in violation of his contract by agreeing to the interview? If, as suggested on EI, Jags' contract forbade him to interview for new jobs before the end of his third year, aren't the Gene trust issues moot?

matthew2 said...

I like Jim Fassel.... but let's be honest, he would gladly take a high school HC job if one were offered to him right now. The guy has been begging people to hire him (see Oakland Raiders).

I don't know if he would actually be interested in college... Although it would be funny to see someone do the reverse commute (NYGiants to BC).

Eagle1 said...


Please explain what Gene has done wrong here. You note that at least one candidate may have trouble "trusting" Gene. What did Gene do to suggest that he is not trustworthy? It seems that it is Jags who has that issue, not Gene.

This seems very simple to me. Once a NCAA coach starts showing interest in another job, he's bascially telling recruits that he's looking to leave his current job. That undermines the whole program, and, as far as I'm concerned, it's time to go replace that coach and get a guy who wants to stay at BC.

BeantownBC85 said...

Well, either he's looking to leave his current job like Eagle1 says or he wants his school to commit to him longer and for more money. Coaches do that, too.

EAGLE_IN_LA said...

How do we know that Jags is no longer the head coach? This matter is not resolved yet, one way or the other. Commenting on potential coaching replacements seems a bit premature. Let's wait for the dust to settle before we jump to such judgments.

Eagle1 said...


First, I love your pic.

Second, I strongly doubt that this is a negotiation tactic by Jags. After the TOB antics, he should know how DeFilipo operates. Further, why would Jags try to negotiate after Year 2 on a 5-year contract? Yes, he brought BC to two ACCCG, but he did it largely with TOB's kids. More importantly, it's not like an avalanche of 5-stars suddenly are headed to BC because Jags is here. I see mostly 2-stars on that commit list.

Anonymous said...

To: Gene DeFilippo

From: Brookline 12

Re: Boston College Athletics – Post Jags

Good Morning Gene,

I hope that you had your morning cup of java and that you are ready to take on the world again. It was sure a bittersweet weekend for you. We knocked off #1 UNC and then word leaked out that Jags was interviewing for the Jets Job. It felt like the sky was falling right?

I’m sure that this is all the work of Brett Favre and that delusional owner of the NY Jets Woody Johnson to get him to come back one more year. No one on the Jets even wants Favre there, let alone have Jags coach the team. He ain’t getting the job so don’t worry.

Some of us knew when you hired Jags that he was only looking to jump to the NFL in 3 to 4 years. We cautioned you about that. Jags is the “PT Barnum” of head coaches. He wowed you during the interview like no other candidate did. His enthusiasm for BC was unbelievable. Sometimes appearances are quite deceiving. He never hit the recruiting trail and his coaching this season was sure suspect. It is a miracle we made it to the ACCCG. Maybe, Jags knew he was bolting before the game which is why the team looked so unprepared. We probably were better off hiring Whipple. We can’t wallow in self pity now. We must move on.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, sham on me.

Gene your legacy at BC depends on who you hire to replace Jags. Your “its BC or the highway” statement is legendary and it shows a fire inside of you that we have no seen in a while. YOU CANNOT BE FOOLED INTO PROMOTING LOGAN TO HEAD COACH. We need to look for a long term solution. You have three options. The leading candidate would be Randy Edsall from UCONN. Second is George O’Leary. Third, Jim Fassell - - remember his kid graduated from BC in 2001.

Don’t be fooled into promoting a young assistant coach from within or outside of the program it is only going to backfire. We need a coach that can take us to the promised land. The next coach must deliver us to a BCS bowl, at the least, and a National Championship to replicate our academic and professional reputation throughout the world.

Your legacy depends on this so tread with caution.


Brookline 12

BCNorCal07 said...

It's a power play by Gene because the ultimatum was completely unnecessary. If Jags was in breach of contract, just wait until after any interviews to make your move. Make it clear after the fact that he was in breach of contract. And even then, it's only one interview. It's not like TOB was at the end, taking multiple interviews during the offseason and openly pining for several jobs each year. It establishes Gene as stubborn and hard to work with because the ultimatum was unnecessary and overly emotional. As Beantown says, expressing interest can be a negotiating tactic, too. Not saying that's the case here, but this establishes a precedent that Gene will hold coaches to the letter of their contracts. Again, it's not that this is what Gene intended, but it's how it will appear to possible future coaches. While he might be completely justified in firing Jags, he's not being politically savvy and it makes it look like he has it in for his head coach, never a smart move by any boss.

eagleboston said...

With all of the BC players in the NFL, one would hope we are just a few years away from generating our own internal coaching candidates. These would be BC guys who have BC in their best interest.

Bicknell would help make a clean break and don't be so concerned about his prior record. Bilichek and Carrol were not exactly successful in their earlier jobs.

At the very least, Gene needs to consult Sir Doug Flutie, Duke of Natick. He knows a ton of football people and no one has the best interests of BC more in their hearts.

Well, get ready for a very rough patch. Championship games will be a pipe dream for awhile unless we can land Brian Kelly or Turner Gill.

Anonymous said...

I just read the following quote from someone on ESPN message boards:

Apparently, the AD is just trying to prevent this man from doing something as stupid as applying for the Jets!!!!

Great comment.....It really sums up the situation.

In all honesty, Gene and the school are taking a real hit outside of this site by the general public. Many are calling for Gene's head.

Alex F. said...

George O'Leary?? The guy who was fired from ND before coaching a game because he lied on his resume and whose UCF team went something like 3-9 this year?? That George O'Leary????

Anonymous said...

I have on occasion been critical of Gene and BC, but I am 100% in support of firing Jags if it was in his contract not to talk for three years or similar. We stuck with Jimmy O'Brien when his wife died and he probably was going to be fired, Jimmy O then lost a battle to the admissions office, we now fire a coach that breaks his contact. Sounds like a school with a moral streak and I would love my kids to educated at BC.

Enough of this coaching carousel.

Eagle1 said...

Brookline 12:

Please run for mayor. You easily could take Mumbles. I love your fire and would vote for you in a second, under one condition: You must make it illegal for the idiots on my street in South Boston to attempt to save "their" parking spots with traffic cones, beach chairs, etc., after a snowstorm. You seem like the guy who could bring sanity to a retarded and selfish world.

Leather D said...

We tried to interview Charlie Strong last go-round, but work was he wasn't interested in a job this far north. Don't know if the fact that he hasn't gotten a sniff elsewhere would change his mind or not.

BOSANH said...

Look, the name is Turner Gill. This is who should be the next HC @ BC.

I thought you guys were BC fans? This is the guy.....Knows bigtime Football, Nat. name(recruiting), and just turned around a program going no where.

This is the guy!