Coaches to Watch this fall Part 2: Current Head Coaches that need winning 2012 seasons
Since everyone has Spaz on the Hotseat List, now is as good a time as any to look at future BC head coaching candidates. Unlike our past profile series, the timing and style on these posts will be a little different. Instead of being weeks or days away from a potential change, we have the benefit of a whole season to evaluate these guys. Some stocks will rise, while others will fall and it will make our usual scoreboard watching that much more interesting.
The second part of the series will look at current head coaches who don't have the resumes to take the job now, but could get consideration if they win this fall. The added twist is that all the guys have some tie to BC or Gene. Our past three head coaches had zero head coaching experience prior to taking the BC job, so prior head coaching experience is not a prerequisite. But I do think it will help any potential transition to BC. In fact if we hire a guy who lost at a previous school until this year, we receive the benefit of his head coaching learning curve without all the loses.
Head Coach, Bowling Green
This name should be familiar to most since Clawson was a surprise candidate during the 2007 search. At the time he was a rising star in DIAA and had worked with Gene back in the Villanova days. BC fans were surprisingly receptive to his candidacy then. The years since have been a rollercoaster for Clawson. He left Richmond to take over play calling at Tennessee. Richmond won a National Championship and Clawson became a scapegoat for all that went wrong in the final Fulmer days. He landed the Bowling Green job, had a great first year, terrible second and losing third. Even if Clawson has a strong year in 2012, I don't think he'll be a hot name nationwide. The stink from Tennessee is still too strong. But I do think Gene would revisit the potential fit. One thing we've learned in this process is that personal relationships with Gene carry a lot of weight (if Gene is still calling the shots).
What to watch for in 2012: Clawson needs to win. Not blow the doors off, MAC Champion type winning, but prove that he can turn a FBS program around. If he goes 8-5 or 7-6, he might be a tolerable replacement for Spaz. If he does really well, that makes it even better. Bowling Green is expected to improve this year, so that will give his candidacy some momentum. If Gene is not involved in the hiring process, Clawson's going to need 10 or 11 wins to even get on BC's radar.
Head Coach, San Jose State
Despite his losing record Macintrye enters 2012 as a "hot" name. He was a well respected assistant and impressed people with how competitive the Spartans were last season. If he has a winning third season, multiple programs will be interested. As far as being a fit at BC, Mac's got ties to the ACC, coached in the northeast at Temple, coached at schools with tough admissions departments, and worked for Parcells. He'd be pretty ideal except for one looming issue -- his ties to Gene. Macintyre's first offensive coordinator at San Jose State was John Defilippo. If Macintryre interviews there will be the perception that he's another Gene puppet. That might not be fair to Mac, John D or Gene, but that is the reality.
What to watch for in 2012: Winning primarily but also how their offense changes now that John D has returned to the NFL. The young Defilippo actually has a pretty good reputation in coaching circles. If his last name was Smith, BC fans wouldn't care one bit about Macintrye's former OC. But I do think the offense will play a part in his BC candidacy. If they explode will it impact how Gene views Mac? Will it mean that Mac knows how to build a staff and find good replacements? Will it mean that he can bring his new OC with him to the Heights? I actually like the idea of Macinyre right now, but he does need to win this year.
Head Coach, Miami (Ohio)
Another familiar name to BC fans. Not only did he interview in 2009, but he was on TOB's first BC staff. The long time assistant finally got a shot at a Head job when he took over Miami of Ohio last season. The Redhawks finished a disappointing 4-8, but they are expected to rebound this year. Treadwell was never the most exciting guy in the room, but he has a solid reputation and could probably have a TOB like career if BC hired him and gave him time to build a program.
What to watch for in 2012: Can Treadwell win enough to leave after just two years? Miami is his alma mater, so walking away won't be easy. If they win seven or eight games and he bails, that will be a burnt bridge and follow him on the recruiting trail. It they win the MAC, he can claim "I've won a championship and now I am ready to move on." Miami is known as the "Cradle of Coaches", but you still have to leave in the right way.
Head Coach, Elon
Swepson is a long-time BC assistant who followed TOB to NC State. Last year he became a head coach for the first time at FCS school Elon. Swepson also has the added benefit of being a BC grad and former player.
What to watch for in 2012: Winning big. Real big. That is the only way a Swepson candidacy becomes tolerable. Let's face it, no other BCS program in the country would even consider Swepson after just two years at Elon. The only reason we might is because he's one of us. Swepson's first year was okay (5-7) but he needs to get to 10 wins for this hire not to leave people feeling empty. If he is hired after a seven win season, then you know that our coaching search was a disaster.