Bates has done many things as an Athletic Directer at Miami of Ohio and Boston College. He's also hired dozens of coaches and even more staffers. But his challenges with finding good football coaches remains disconcerting. Addazio still may turn things around, but given track records, I don't know if I trust Brad Bates to handle the football hiring and firing.
We all know about Addazio, so let's look at the three coaches he hired at Miami of Ohio. The MAC school had a great history of developing coaches and winning football. It had even been nicknamed the "Cradle of Coaches." Sid Gillman, Woody Hayes, Ara Parseghian, and Bo Schembechler all coached there. That history creates great opportunities for an AD. Many young assistants would gladly jump at the chance to learn in the place that molded all those previous legends. In fact, the two head coaches prior to Bates' arrival were Randy Walker and Hoeppner. Both left Miami of Ohio with winning records and both got hired away by Big Ten schools where they continued their successes. (Both also died at their next stops, which is an unfortunate coincidence.) Being the AD at Miami of Ohio would seemingly be a dream. Any time you had a football opening, you could tap some of the best and brightest assistants around.
Now I don't know all the politics or issues involved with each decision. Nor do I know exactly how much autonomy Bates had each time, but from afar it seems like he followed the young up and comer model. Also note the win percentages of Walker (.621) and Hoeppner (.657) before Bates' series of coaches took over.
Shane Montgomery -- Four Seaons: 17-31. .357 win percentage
What happened: This seemed like the classic case of hiring the guy who is there in an effort to keep the good times rolling. Montgomery had been a critical part of Hoeppner's staff and credited with developing Ben Roethlisberger as a first round pick. Bates hired him right before their Bowl game when Hoeppner was out the door to Indiana. Miami's own recap of the situation even speaks to it being a surprise move:
In an unprecedented move, Miami University Director of Athletics Brad Bates made a locker room announcement in front of a national television audience prior to the playing of the 2004 Independence Bowl, naming then-offensive coordinator Shane Montgomery head coach of Miami's venerable football program.Whether he was too young or it came too soon or the challenge of finding another Big Ben, Montgomery had one winning season and three losing ones. He is now as assistant at Youngstown State.
Mike Haywood -- Two Seasons: 10-15. .400 win percentage
What happened: I don't know where to start with the Mike Haywood situation. You could almost call it a successful hire with a major, major asterisks. Following firing Montgomery, Bates hired Haywood from Notre Dame where he served as Charlie Weis' OC. Prior to being on Weis' staff, Haywood was on Mack Brown's at Texas. He was considered one of the next big things. On paper, he was perfect for Miami of Ohio. His first season was terrible (1-11), but his second season saw a huge turnaround (9-4). Haywood leveraged that success into the job at Pitt. As you might know, he never coached a game at Pitt. From the ESPN article:
Pittsburgh fired football coach Mike Haywood on Saturday, saying he could not continue in the job he held for only 2½ weeks because of his arrest on a domestic violence charge.Bates is professionally lucky that Haywood's arrest came only two weeks after he left Miami. I don't know if Bates gets the BC job, if that happened on his watch. I know an AD can't monitor the behavior of all his employees 24/7, but it speaks to the need for due diligence in the process. An AD needs to ask all the tough questions and turn over every rock. For better or worse the football coach is often the face of the university. The only defense Bates has of this hire is that Pitt made the same mistakes. Even with the off-the-field issues, Haywood left Miami with a losing record.
Haywood was released Saturday from St. Joseph County Jail in Indiana on $1,000 cash bond, said an officer at the jail who declined to give her name, after the charge was upgraded from a misdemeanor to felony domestic battery in the presence of a minor.
Don Treadwell -- Three Seasons: 8-21. .275 win percentage
What happened: Treadwell was Bates' last football hire before coming to BC. The former TOB assistant came back to his Alma mater after a successful run as Offensive Coordinator at Michigan State. Even going back to his BC days, Treadwell always participated in different programs and workshops designed for black assistants to become head coaches. Getting the Miami job seemed like the next step and a good hire on paper. It didn't work out. His first two seasons saw identical 4-8 records and then, after he started 0-5 in Year 3, they fired him.
I don't know all the challenges at Miami or each coach's issues -- other than not winning enough. Maybe Bates was just unlucky or maybe he can't see that subjective "it" that happens when you put the right guy in the right place at the right time. Since Bates has been gone, Miami's latest football coach Chuck Martin has failed to turn things around. (Martin is now 5-25 at Miami.) Maybe -- like BC -- they need to address why they continue to struggle given their rich history. But every AD is going to face institutional challenges. The good ones work around those challenges and find the right coach.