Thursday, January 08, 2009

Looking at this job opportunity

When Gene says he had a stack of names ready to go, he wasn't lying. There are only 120 head coaching jobs in college football. They are a precious commodity. And the nature of the business is that everyone throws their name in the ring. Because until this week, there had never been any downside to a coach doing so. You could be the most entrenched, richest, winningest coach, at your beloved Alma mater, living in Eden, have a perfectly happy home life and you'd still listen to a call from BC or have your friends or intermediaries float your name. It's Gene's job to separate the wheat from the chaff. Once things get serious, candidates have to look at the BC job for what it is and ask themselves: "do I want this?" Here are the pros and cons of taking a job at BC right now:

Pros
-- You can win here. Some in the coaching community thought TOB was a miracle worker for winning at BC. That made a few potential names skeptical of how good the job was last time around. If you are going to be thankful to Jags for anything, be thankful that he won. Now there are plenty of folks thinking, "If he won there, so can I."
-- Little to no booster pressure or media pressure. If you are reading this blog, you are into BC. I thank you for being here and am glad you share one of my passions. Unfortunately there are not enough of us. You know the reasons. Hopefully that will change, but we certainly don't make the head coach's life miserable. He won't spend months on the rubber chicken circuit. He can go to restaurants in Boston and not be recognized. Also, we have two beat writers who are generally soft in their coverage and their angles. The rest of the Boston media barely pays attention and the national media doesn't expect much from BC. Meaning that anything you do is going to be portrayed as the "little engine that could."
-- We will pay for good coordinators. A good coach will need a good staff. BC stepped up to the plate last time around. I expect them to do so this time around.
-- You'll have the most secure contract in America! Assuming he keeps his nose clean, the next BC coach will get to complete the length of his contract...regardless of on the field results. I don't think any of us want that. I don't even know if Gene really wants that, but his stance just painted us into that corner.

Cons
-- You have an involved AD. Gene might give the next guy more breathing room, but I doubt it. Old habits die hard. Last time around Gene had a strong say in staffing. I expect him to do so again. So the new coach will have to take on at least a few of the current staff.
-- You cannot leave for the length of your contract. The flip side of the security is that Gene is clearly going to bake in strict job movement and interview clauses. That will scare some guys off.

I didn't get into things like recruiting with restrictions or the cost of living in Boston. Every program has its own unique qualities that intrigue or turn off potential candidates. I didn't mention salary either. No one is going to come for less than they are currently making. BC has been middle market on salary, so don't expect coaches in the SEC making $3 Mil a year to pack their bags this weekend.

For this exercise I wanted to get into things that are unique to the profession and taking this job right now.

Given the above the search will likely narrow to internal guys, guys who know Gene, or coaches desperate for a spot in a BCS conference.

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16 Comments:

At 2:06 PM, Blogger brianflem23 said...

I'd have to add that I think a con might be the new HC may feel restricted by the academic standards. It's no coincodence that while BC has been graduating 90% or better of its players, we are not getting to bowl games. While the right coach with the right roster can and, I believe, will change that, it's not like he would be inheriting a program where a coach knows he can just bring anyone onto the team. Think about what Tom O'Brien said when he took the job at NC State - he indicated that there were no limits. And to a lesser extent maybe there is some pressure to finally have an 11- or 12-win regular season to earn a BCS bowl berth. Since 1984, BC hasn't competed in a BCS-level bowl so there might be some internal pressure (from the athletics department) to win an ACC title.

 
At 2:08 PM, Blogger Brian said...

I am putting the name out there again: Turner Gill

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turner_Gill

He turned the UB program from a perennial doormat to MAC champion in 3 years. His players love him, he is well schooled in football (Nebraska Heisman candidate, coached at Nebraska, Green Bay Packers, UB), very well spoken, and genuinely cares about his team. He just signed an extension, but it is common knowledge that he is ready to be head coach in a BCS conference. It's actually pretty interesting that his story is similar to Charlie Strong in that his chances at an SEC job may have been hurt due to racial issues...

 
At 2:12 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Enough about Turner Gill. He just signed a 5-year contract with Buffalo. The LAST thing Gene would do now is try and steal away someone who recently made a deal with his school.

 
At 2:20 PM, Blogger BlockParty said...

about turner gill... why would he come to bc? is he someone who would want to stay for X number of years as required by his contract? when auburn fired their HC, people were throwing out turner gill's name. he is destined for a big time job and i doubt he will leave buffalo until HIS "dream job" comes along. i dont know what that dream job is because i dont know enough about TG to say. but i sincerely doubt that he becomes our HC.

for the record, i would love having gill as our head coach. i just dont see it happening.

 
At 2:23 PM, Blogger Eagle in Brighton said...

TG would be phenomenal, but I agree: it would be hypocritical to pry him away from Buffalo.

Personally, I'd love Charlie Strong or London (over Brian Kelly, Fulmer, etc.), but I have to think it would be Spaz, for good or for ill.

Also, Herzy came out for Spaz in his comments about coming back next season, for what that's worth.

 
At 2:27 PM, Blogger ATL_eagle said...

IMO, I think Turner Gill would be a terrible fit at BC for many reasons. If we are going to go with MAC coaches rebuilding, go with Golden. If we want a rising AA coach go with London or Strong.

 
At 2:41 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Does anyone have a good comeback to the frequently-made argument on the ESPN and Boston Globe message boards that Gene is a hypocrite for backing out of promises to the Big East, yet demanding that Jags keep his promises to BC? If so, I'd like to hear it...

 
At 2:47 PM, Blogger Eagle in Brighton said...

Atl: if you were handicapping the search, what odds would you give to each Strong, London and Spaz? Any intuition about the timeline of the search?

 
At 2:49 PM, Blogger ATL_eagle said...

Specualtion here: but Spaz and Bick Jr are the clear front runners given the conditions. No idea of even the interest level of London or Strong. Their names are not among the ones I am hearing who are aggresively trying to get interviews with Gene.

 
At 3:02 PM, Blogger will the thrill said...

Matt: This distinction will be lost on almost all of the ESPN comment poster types, but membership in a conference is different from an employment contract. When BC was spurned by the ACC, it obviously had to recommit to the Big East. But there is no specific term of membership for an athletic conference like there is for a coaching contract. Someone could make the argument that membership in a conference is theoretically "forever," but (1) contracts that last forever are illegal as a matter of law and (2) no one actually believes this. There is only an exit fee that a school must pay, which BC did. In that way, BC's membership in the Big East was more akin to an at will employment situation, whereas Jags' contract with BC obviously was not. That's the best I can come up with. Unfortunately, it's not a great distinction and people can more easily view Gene's broken promise to stay in the Big East the same as Jags' promise to stay at BC.

 
At 3:15 PM, Blogger Darius said...

I'll put it even more plainly and succinctly for Matt:

Gene didn't back out of diddly to the Big East. Read the minutes:

http://mysite.verizon.net/fethrs/

 
At 4:01 PM, Blogger EagleinNYC said...

FWIW - I heard we have to wait until tomorrow to talk to "someone" we want to talk to. That has to mean he is coaching in tonight's game. My guess would be it's Strong or Norvell.. Either one could be a big splash, but who knows if either one has serious interest. They are both fully into tonight and will worry about everything else tomorrow.. Just food for thought..

 
At 7:08 PM, Blogger eagleboston said...

Matt,

Didn't the State of Connecticut sue over BC leaving the Big East and didn't they lose? Enough said.

 
At 10:25 PM, Blogger Joe Bags said...

Good write-up. I haven't agreed with a lot of what you said this week, but this was an excellent synopsis.

 
At 5:36 AM, Blogger Alex L. said...

"If you are reading this blog, you are into BC."

Yeah, the former makes the latter a little less like banging your head against the wall.

In other words, thanks for the blog, Bill. It makes following BC so much easier on the nerves.

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger joet said...

I read somewhere that Norvell was interested when Jags was the hire. I would prefer Strong, but either one would be a big hire. If it's Norvell, it may be possible to keep the defensive staff if Spaz would want to stick around.

 

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