Sunday, October 24, 2010

For those who fear coaching turnover, I give you the counter argument: Stanford

I still think Frank Spaziani will be our head coach in 2011. I've always felt that only a 2-10 record (with 10 straight losses) would get him fired. But I think many share my opinion that he is not the right coach for BC. But most BC fans assume the school won't and shouldn't make another coaching change after just two years. The belief is that the PR hit and the shakeup would hurt BC more than another bad year under Spaz. I disagree. I think when you have the wrong guy in place, you are better off making a change. Find the right guy and people won't care about public relations or fairness. There is no better example of this than Stanford.

Following three poor seasons from Buddy Teevens (2-9, 4-7, 4-7) they hired an established head coach in Walt Harris. Harris seemed like a good fit but went 5-6 and 1-11 in two years. Stanford realized their mistake and made another change. They brought in Jim Harbaugh and are now winning and recruiting like they haven't done in years. Do recruits care about past instability? Do fans clamor for the old days or say that Harris didn't get a fair shot? Of course not. Everyone has a short memory and is happy with Harbaugh.

I don't know if Gene thinks Spaz is the long term solution. But I hope that if he no longer thinks Spaz is the right guy, that he doesn't hesitate to make a change. We try to emulate Stanford in so many things. Maybe copying their coaching turnover will lead us back to winning and exciting football.


mod34b said...

Good post ATL. Change is required. We CAN find the next Harbough, the next Chip Kelly!

The main argument for "staying the course" is that a change will create instability and hurt recruiting. Not so.

It is true that we are attracting some excellent recruits (eg, Rettig), and someone in Spazland is selling BC well. But I doubt the recruiting pitch is selling Spaz or selling Tranq, the recruiting success is based on selling BC's decade of football success.

In fact, without a change I think our recruiting will suffer because we can't sell our success and the idea that we are just a player or two away from being a top 10/15/20 program and a team that can make it to a BCS bowl.

But why did GDF pick Spaz in the first place? GDF lacked confidence he could get someone better. I think back, and remain stunned that right after the Ryan years GDF settled for Spaz.

Maybe GDF will see that bad football costs us $$$ via poor exposure - ESPN3 - and poor attendance, and this will ring the bell for action ($$$ prospects seems to have been an impetus to replace Skinner)

mod34b said...

Ps. When hired, Spaz got $1M, Harbaugh when hired got $750k

Deacon Drake said...

Honestly, I never expected the Spaz era to have... this. I expected about 5 years of TOB football, 5 bowls, no BCS. That would not have been a crime. The big mistake was not getting a leader on the offensive side of the ball. No coach, no player has stepped forward and said, "I am accountable, this is how we plan to correct it." Spaz has no clue, so it's just finger-pointing. Shinskie was the closest thing they had to that guy, and in a different situation, maybe he is living the Chris Weinke dream.

I respect the small steps that the coaches tried to make the past two weeks (pistol formation, etc), but it clearly isn't enough to reattach the severed head to this wandering offense.

And if GDF feels his commitment is to Spaz runs deeper than wins and losses, keep him at his salary to run the defense and bring in (still search for someone who would take the job) a younger, proven coach who can bring a real offensive philosophy. Or GDF can take his walking papers with Spaz to a AA school.

Changes have to be made.

mod10aeagle said...

Every facet of the program is getting worse: recruiting, player performance, preparation, play-calling, game management, attendance, game-day experience, revenue (I assume), tv coverage, etc. I can't think of a single aspect of the program that is in better shape today than it was three years ago. Is there any reason to believe that this trend will be reversed in the next season or two simply through attrition/recruiting and incremental adjustments? I don't see how. So, GDF, what do you do? You're in a death spiral; you either eject or grab the stick and pull hard in a different direction and hope the thing rights itself.

TheFive said...

It's all about who the next hire is, and who picks that person. Gene has shown absolutely no ability to successfully choose head coaches, and has shown a disturbing tendency to meddle with those that we have had. So, it's not that it's the wrong move to fire Spaz this year --- especially if the program continues its rapid downward slide --- it's that we have the wrong man choosing his replacement. And that won't get us anywhere.

John said...

Please do something. As a season ticket holder, the 24-7 Maryland lead late in the game was as bad as it gets (the place was a morgue). The only saving grace is that I only have to endure two more games. Clemson is a loss and Virginia will be 50/50. I wonder what is going though Mark Herzlich's head. This is my senior season. Maryland was such a beatable team which made yesterday even more excruciating. So here's the deal. You want me back as a season ticket holder next year - man up and make some tangible changes.

Knucklehead said...

I would be very concerned if Boston College follows the Stanford method of building a program. First, they hired a maniac in Jim Harbaugh who has had brushes with the law involving driving while intoxicated. The incident occured while he was the coach at University of San Diego. Second, Stanford has lowered its recruitng standards. They are offering scholarships to everyone everywhere. Look at BC's recruitng pages we have 3-4 players who Stanford had recruited and offered scholarhips. That has never happened before. This is not a statement about the quality of BC players but a concern that BC would lower it's standards under this Stanford analogy.

GDF is not going anywhere. Tennessee made an offer to him and so did Notre Dame.His biggest mistake was not hiring Mark Whipple. GDF can fix this by hiring the guy. He is the O Coordinator at Miami and would probably accept an offer from Boston College.

I like the idea of trying to keep Spaz as the D-Coordinator while hirng someone with an offensive mentality.

If we lose to Wake, Duke, and UVA then coach Spaz should be demoted. We recruit for classy hardworking players with schools and losing to them will absolutely have a negative impact on our program.

Some other coaches that we should consider if things do not work out: 1)Al Golden 2) Greg Schiano (one of these two will be the new Penn State coach very soon. The other will be available)3)Andy Talley at Villanova

mod10aeagle said...

There's no way to bring in a new head coach and demote Spaz to DC. That would be like taking the cancer from Herzlich's thigh and moving it to his ankle. Any inbound HC worth a damn is going to insist on hiring his own guys at OC and DC, probably along with a few other assistants. At this point, I don't think any of them should be considered indispensable.

EagleManhattan said...

Schiano makes 1.5M a year. BC doesn't have the balls to pay our coach anywhere near that.

EAGLE_IN_LA said...

I'm not sure firing Spaz will be the magical remedy for BC's problems. That is a pretty drastic measure. He went 8-5 last season and is 2-5 right now. This team has not had a true quarterback all season. Its offense is a mess. They need to make some serious changes on offense.

Plus, comparing the Stanford situation to BC isn't all that fair. Stanford for years has been the doormat of the Pac-10. They went to the Rose Bowl in 1999 for the first time since 1972. And since 1999, they only have found success under Harbaugh. BC had tremendous success in the 90s and in the 2000s. It almost seems like a knee-jerk reaction to fire a guy who was a talented DC for the program for about 12 years. You have to give Spaz at least one more season, and probably two, to see what he can do. The short-term results have been ugly, but the conference isn't that great ... so that doesn't mean he can turn things around next season. And who's to say that Rettig doesn't continue to improve this season? It sounds like the conservative approach, but you cannot just keep getting rid of head coaches. Two years is not enough time for a head coach to get his program in place. And for those who think we should fire GDF, that would be a far more dangerous move. He has been one of the greatest things to happen to BC athletics in a long, long time. Aside from the move to the ACC, his teams have been very competitive in sports not named basketball or football.

Knucklehead said...

Spaz stayed when TOB left. There is precedent for it. Keeping Bill McGovern would be as important.

Spaz makes 1 million. Sooner or later GDP is going to have to pay more if he wants a good established coach to stay for an extended period of time.

EagleManhattan said...

"Two years is not enough time for a head coach to get his program in place."

Complete BS. The entire reason for hiring Spaz was program continuity. Most of the assistants and position coaches are carry-overs.

70sGuy said...

Mod10aeagle said it best....

Every facet of the program is getting worse: recruiting, player performance, preparation, play-calling, game management, attendance, game-day experience, revenue (I assume), tv coverage, etc. I can't think of a single aspect of the program that is in better shape today than it was three years ago.

The BC administration is deluding itself if it thinks giving Spaz 2-3 more years to energize the program is the solution. Him and the staff have sucked all of the enthusiasm from the program by playing a 1970s style of ball coupled with zero HC accountability.

Lenny Sienko said...

I, too, fear that we will not see the "clean sweep" needed to revamp the football program. I suspect what we will see is Tranquill and one or two other coordinators offered up as sacrificial lambs by GDF and Spaz to keep Spaz in place.

This will be the football equivalent of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

A note on Tranquil. He was happily ensconced in retirement until he was asked by Spaz to be OC. I'm certain Tranquill will walk the plank for Spaz.

The problem with these half measures would be that Spaz has shown no propensity toward success in the top job. He has allowed the near complete collapse of the program on his watch. There is no way can he can stay on as DC. He takes his $1 million consolation prize off into the sunset.

GDF should have a real search for a head coach, who can have a staff in place for spring football. Otherwise, there should be a search fro a new AD.

Of course, none of this will happen, except the fiddling with the coordinators.

Dean Bulldogs said...

Been reading the blog / site for a while, thank god there are some college football fans with a brain and root for the right team.....

This year isn't like years past when we had some no names putting 8 wins together and making it to consecutive bowl games. I keep my goals with the team realistic going into each year (Make it to a bowl game and finish the year with a national ranking in the top 25), A conference championship game and a possible BCS bid is always a plus but again lets not shoot for goals that may sometimes be out of reach. When we lost to VT a few weeks ago, i was thinking "no problem, we will beat them in the ACC championship game and return the favor(s)". Could'nt agree with spaz more when he said we were on "life support" last year and only in "ICU" this year,,,Not sure if Spaz has any medical edu / history but we might need to be hooked back up to the life support machine. After dropping 5 games in a row........the ACC championship game is now a dream, and being bowl eligible will is turning into a nightmare.

Upcoming games:
Clemson who is going to run all over us.
Wake Forest should be a nail bitter.
Duke should be an easy win.
UVA who is no slouch.
Syracuse (who just beat a ranked WVU)

All of which is not helping our 6 win situation to be bowl eligible.

Rettig has all the tools to be a superstar. He can move, strong arm, solid flight / spiral on each throw, not afraid to go long and if so the ball is where a receiver can get to it ONLY (shinskie on the other hand is a different story). His statistics don't show his stable mechanics but he has not played push over teams so far. Notre Dame on a nationally televised game which was a lot closer than the score, NC State, FSU (which we should've won if our Defense stayed home on the reverse), Maryland which we should have won as well)

We can go on and on about the individual talent (Harris, Momah, Swigert, Kuechly, Herzlich, ETC) but it shows our revolving door of quarterbacks since the Matt Ryan years (Crane, Boek, Davis, Shinskie, Tuggle, Mascovetra) is limiting our success.

Want to give a shout out to Big Game Rowe, greatest BC Season Ticket Holder of all time.

Eagles on the Warpath!

Dean Bulldogs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dean Bulldogs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brett said...

A question - financially, is it even possible to fire Spaz this year? Correct me if I'm wrong, but as of now BC is paying Jags, Skinner, Spaz, and Donahue. Paying multiple coaches for each sport can't be sustainable.

Benjamin said...

For the record, Harbaugh went 4-8, 5-7, and 8-5 in his first three seasons. Granted, anything after Stanford's 1-11 season would seem like a huge improvement.
I like Spaz because he is a great defensive mind, and in the past few seasons, BC has won with its defense, and lost with its offense.
I do not like Tranq. He was a bandaid,but what we need now is a skin graft. If people are calling for us to have another coaching changing at the HC position, I would argue that should only happen if we go 2-10, or even 3-9 (depending on how bad these losses are). Our offense needs an overall. Our defense has been the foundation of BC football for the past few years.
I would say that we find a new OC, with the intention of having him become the next HC.

Big Jack Krack said...

It is shocking how far this team has fallen since the Vanderbilt debacle in the Music City Bowl.

We stink and are not getting any better with this crew of coaches.

It's not my decision. I have been a faithful BC fan since high school, and a season ticket holder for many years - like 40 years.

I can only vote with my feet and I am seriously considering giving up my 50 yard line seats.I am getting too old to put up with this crap.

Meanwhile players - keep trying and work your own ways out of this. You'll be better men for it.

BCNorCal07 said...

My opinion on firing Spaz: this team is not competitive. It has no identity. Even the D is incapable of keeping most games close. The coaching on both sides of the ball is abysmal. The coaching staff projects an image of not caring. This is essentially the same team that won 8 games last year. We'll be lucky to finish the year with less than 8 losses. When talented players all over the field regress from one year to the next it means that the coaches aren't doing their jobs. They're not forcing players to get better, to study film and hit the weight room. The coaches are allowing the players to be complacent. Why would that change if the coaches don't change?

This team is depressing.

Emil said...

We're 2-5 officially, but that's really more like 0-5 to me. We shouldn't even count wins over Weber St and Kent St as successes...

Anonymous said...

Spaz is a good guy, but it is over. Let's correct the mistake and keep Spaz as DC. It would be refreshing to hear "we made a mistake and here is what we are doing about it."

Michelle said...

The Eagles need help! This goes both in coaching on the field and recruiting off the field. I have been a BC fan since the age of 5 and now as a recent alum I am disgusted at what I am seeing. I understand when Jags was fired, BC turned to Spaz to lead the team. But after witnessing last season and this one, shouldn't BC be considering other options?

I fear that BC does not realize that poor coaching and poor performance this year can lead to a bad season next year. Recruiting is just as important for a successful season. No one is going to want to come to a school with a poor coaching staff and who doesn't seem to care that games are not being won. BC is known for their sports. Yes acaedmics help make the school what it is, but BC and top sports go hand in hand...or at least they used to. The school can lose a lot of support from alumni and more importantly their season ticket holders. After witnessing most of the fans leave during the 3rd quarter of yesterday's game it made me realize how low the morale is. BC needs to make changes and they need to make them fast. I don't know how much more of this I can take.

Claver2010 said...

I am just apathetic post-losses which is both scary & sad.

Thanks Gene & Spaz!

mod34b said...

People are mentioning keeping Spaz and getting a new OC. I can't see that working too well.

Look at the last go round. Apparently not too many guys wanted to be OC to Spaz and he reached for Tranq and pulled him out of retirement. Logan refused to play #2 to Spaz.

which up and coming OC wants to cast their lot with Spaz?

As for the DC, McGovern, why is his bend don't break defense good?

Scott said...

I doubt Logan or Bick had any particular issue with Spaz, particularly since it was the defense that held the team together that last year. Logan and Bick took their hard-line stance of "make me head coach or nothing" to enhance their leverage.

Regardless, the offense is lost and a clean sweep is needed. Regardless of whether any particular position coach is good, they are motley crew of different styles, that failed to establish any identity for the team.

The need for a strong OC (who should also be an assistant head coach), is particularly accute b/c our head coach is a defensive guy.

BC can lure an attractive OC if they will (1) pay a boat load; (2) give the OC complete control of the offense and its staff/recruiting (essentially a co-head coach); and (3) have an inside promise to succeed Spaz if all goes well.

The one positive about being an OC for a guy like Spaz is that everyone knows he would be 100% responsible for any success we have. If nothing else, it's a good stepping stone.

Mike said...

Two quick points:

1. I agree completely that change is needed but we are crazy if we think that BC is likely to hire an up and coming coach who will be as good for us as Harbaugh has been for Stanford. Simply put, there is a good chance that a young and relatively unproven head coach falls flat on his face. That being said, that's a risk I'm willing to take after watching some of the terrible performances this team has had week after week. We just need to acknowledge that risk up front.

2. If one of the reasons Al Skinner got fired was because he wasn't selling the basketball program, then Spaz should be fired on his inability to sell football alone. Think about this; the student section was probably 25 percent full (possibly less) in the closing drives when BC was down by just three points this weekend. THREE POINTS!!! BC students are certainly not the most die hard fans in college football but that is ridiculous.

Dan said...

This could be completely imagined on my part, but I swear when Spaz hired Tranq he made some reference to it kinda not being a long term thing. I really hope I didn't imagine that. Oh, and PS why do people keep saying the recruiting is getting worse, that is false.

A few people have echoed today what I've been saying for a while, and I will repeat it for the umpteenth time: target a strong OC that wants to be a HC. Give him control of the offense and a inside shot at the HC after Spaz. When Spaz's contract is up he can hand over the reigns to the OC and retire or move back to DC on his own terms.

Continuity perserved
Offense restored (hopefully)
Spaz shown respect he has earned
3rd Catastrof--k coaching change avoided

Dan said...

Oh and also 5 of our current recruits had offers from Stanford on the table and chose us.

As did, Swigert, KPL and Keuchly

Bravesbill said...

Harbaugh is a maniac Knucklehead? That's the furthest from the truth. Anyways, Spaz needs to be fired but I don't see that doing much good considering GDF will be conducting the hiring process once again. Back when TOB left, I strongly advocated for BC to sign Harbaugh out of USD. If a yoho like myself can make this decision from his living room couch and GDF cannot after spending millions of dollars in a "search," he needs to go. There is no excuse for that. You heard it here first: the next BC coach should be Brady Hoke, the coach of SDSU. Look what he has done with that team in 1+ years. If not for 2 outrageously blown calls this season, they would be undefeated and would have beaten Missouri on the road. Brady Hoke also did lead Ball State to a 12-1 season a few years ago.

BCDoubleEagle said...

Albright out for the season.

Big Jack Krack said...

You have a good eye for coaches, Bravebill - too bad we have a hiring authority with limited vision.

BCDouble - I feel terrible for Albright - there's a guy who has been significantly injured during his career. I wish him the best - he seems like a real nice guy. The same goes for Davis, and I hope he is okay - the neck injury thing is very scary. If he decides to call it a career, I would never question his decision. He owes us nothing, and we thank him for his dedication, great play and leadership.

I hope Gause is okay as well.

Since this season is going in the wrong direction, maybe we should try Quinn at DE. Da'Quan Bowers of Clemson plays at about 280 lbs. The 245 - 250 lb model that we use at BC doesn't work as well.

Speaking of that - if Holloway and Edebali have the speed, why not consider them for LB - they might be very sucessful.

Big Jack Krack said...

Bowers carries a load in the classroom as well, majoring in community recreation, sport, & camp management.