Having just faced David Cutcliffe and heading into a game against Dave Clawson, I thought it might be time to look back at what could have been. Both guys were very friendly with Gene Defilippo and were considered in 2006 when TOB left. And since we're going back, I thought we might as well examine Al Golden and Mike London too. (It always feels like the ACC is littered with guys who talked to BC about the job.)
Of all the guys listed in this, Cutcliffe probably advanced the least in the process. I think his age, the lack of New England or even northeast ties, his health and his persona kept him from being considered strongly. After TOB, I think everyone wanted someone a little more passionate and a little more high energy. Cutcliffe is not as dry and reserved as TOB, but he is not rah rah type. I never wanted him and would have been livid if we had hired him. Yet maybe that was a mistake. He's exceeded everyone's expectations at Duke and turned them into a viable, somewhat consistent football program. Imagine what he might have done in Matt Ryan's final year or with someone like Chase Rettig? Since he was a Gene crony, Spaz probably would have stayed on as DC. In retrospect, that might have been pretty formidable. Even though our Whale Pants booster crowd might not have taken to a southerner like Cutcliffe as head coach, the guy is a devout Catholic (supposedly attends Mass daily). Maybe it would have worked.
I had never heard of Dave Clawson until the BC job opened up. His candidacy (and much of his career) was directly tied to Gene D. At the time, he was head coach at Richmond. While successful there, he had yet to coach at the DIA level. The jump to BC would have been massive and a real question mark in recruiting. Aside from his relationship with Gene, what Clawson did have in his favor was a track record of building good teams. First at Fordham and then at Richmond. That success continued at Bowling Green. Will he turn Wake into a winner? Who knows? But I don't think BC missed anything. Unlike Cutcliffe, who was more of Gene's peer, Clawson was Gene's mentee. That style of management blew up with Jags. It probably would have with Clawson as well.
London was a serious candidate when Spaz got the job. A year later he got the UVA job. They've been very patient with him and he is still well under .500. I don't think BC would have had as much patience. At the time I preferred London to Spaz. In retrospect, he probably would have failed here too. I don't even know if he would have won as many games as Spaz did (London's winning percentage is below Spaz's). London is and was a better recruiter than Spaz, so the bottom might not have been as low, but there still would have been multiple bad, frustrating seasons.
For a guy who put so much planning into his career progressions, Al Golden's timing with BC has always been bad. Unlike the other guys, he was a candidate after TOB, Jags and Spaz. Now that the Miami fans are fed up, it looks like Al probably should have left when BC came calling after firing Spaz. Even if it meant a pay cut, it would have gotten him out of the mess he's been dealing with in South Florida. Of all the guys on the list, I think Al has the most in common with Addazio. They are both intense rah rah guys. Both are passionate about recruiting. And both are guys who raise a lot of questions with their game management. If we had hired Golden instead of Addazio, I think we would probably be a in a very similar situation: a lot of young talent, but questions on if the coach can take the team to the next level.