Gene Defilippo’s legacy will be our move to the ACC. However, Football is our flagship sport and we are at a crossroads. The decisions Gene makes over the next few weeks are critical. No one from BC has asked for my advice, but think these are the paths we could and should follow. Regardless of which pool or path you want, I think the new head coach needs two traits.
1. Has to believe BC can win an ACC championship. Not every year but occasionally.
2. Has to respect and support BC’s belief in the student athlete. The focus on graduation predates TOB. I think we have used it as a crutch for bad losses, but I don’t want to see the philosophy trashed. Wake Forest proved you can graduate players and compete.
Some fans are worried that we will never find another coach like TOB. BS. Numerous guys can get us into the Tire Bowl every year. There are only 119 head jobs out there and thousands of assistants looking for their shot. We can find a good Head Coach. I have broken down the pools of candidate into a series of posts.
Part III: College Assistants
Some of the best guys in college got their current job without any prior Head Coaching experience. Hell, it worked with TOB. Assistants also come a little cheaper and with a lot of enthusiasm. The flipside is often a lack of track record. There are too many assistants to list, so here are a few that I think might be in the mix.
Rob Spence. Offensive Coordinator, Clemson.
Pros: Born, raised and played in the Northeast. Coached at Holy Cross. Recruited the Midwest and South. Great offensive mind. Very good recruiter.
Cons: Aside from lack of Head Coaching experience, hasn’t recruited at school with BC’s academic restrictions in a long time. Never beat TOB. No ties to BC.
Bottom Line: I think I am Spence's biggest BC-related supporter. I don't think he'll be on Gene's short list.
Randy Shannon. Defensive Coordinator, Miami.
Pros: Coaches aggressive defenses. Could open up recruiting for BC in South Florida. Has been groomed to be a head coach.
Cons: No ties to BC. Only knows the "U" and BC would be culture shock in how we recruit and deal with student athletes. Despite his praise, still couldn’t prevent Miami from falling apart.
Bottom Line: I wouldn't be too excited about this. I always thought his success was based more on a talent advantage.
David Cutcliffe. Offensive Coordinator, Tennessee.
Pros: Ties with Gene D. Prior Head Coaching experience. Renowned QB coach.
Cons: No ties to BC. No experience in the Northeast. Has health issues.
Bottom Line: I think he wants and will be a good Head Coach again, but would he willing to be a fish out of water in Boston?
Jon Tenuta. Defensive Coordinator, Georgia Tech.
Pros: Puts together aggressive, quick defenses. Has recruited at a school with academic restrictions. Has recruited Ohio and the Mid Atlantic.
Cons: Supposedly “gruff/jerky” personality. No ties to BC. No experience in the Northeast.
Bottom Line: Coughlin had a rep for being a jerk. I think BC fans would embrace a hard ass if he won.
Jimbo Fisher. Offensive Coordinator, LSU.
Pros: Solid offensive track record. Great recruiter. Aggressive young coach looking for his shot.
Cons: Would certainly view BC as a stepping stone. Experience primarily in the South. Has never worked at a school with BC’s restrictions. No ties to BC. No experience in the Northeast.
Bottom Line: The guy clearly wants a head coaching job. Could he adapt to BC?
Rob Ianello. Wide Receivers Coach, Notre Dame.
Pros: Great recruiter. Ties to the Northeast. Has recruited at schools with similar academic requirements to BC.
Cons: No Head Coaching experience. Not even a current coordinator. No ties to BC.
Bottom Line: Plenty of ND names will be kicked around. Look for Ianello as a stealth candidate.