Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Looking at Bates' football hires while at Miami (OH)

Hiring is tough in any profession. It is even tougher in sports because your hires are so public, as are the results. Even the best Athletic Directors like Louisville Tom Jurich or Florida's Jeremy Foley get it wrong sometimes. Also you can have a good process and hire the wrong coach or have a bad process and luck into a great coach (think of Jerry York at BC). But if you are repeatedly making bad hires, you probably shouldn't be the one making more hires. That brings me to Brad Bates.

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.
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.
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.

 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.


bceagle91 said...

35-67 collectively. A "winning" percentage of 0.343. I think it's very unlikely Addazio and Christian will do well enough to finish their current contracts. Bates can't be the one to find their replacements.

mod34b said...

BB's hoops hire/fire/retain decisions at Miami are not good either.

Did BB really make the call to hire Daz? I do wonder.

knucklehead said...

Who would hire Bates with that track record when hiring football coaches is major problem with your football program? Boston college.

Did Bates get facilities built there? What made him right person for bc job?

I cannot find anything in my research.

Bravesbill said...

But but but his hair!

John said...

You beat me to the punch. 😊

JBQ said...

BB is a charmer and Tom Sawyer type of guy. He gets others to "paint the fences" while he is out spreading his charm around. This story on Miami of Ohio is actually horrifying. Father Leahy hired him and it is obvious that he was charmed out of his socks because the track record was deplorable. BC needs to let his contract expire at the end of this year. The logical conclusion would be to bring in Tom Coughlin on an interim basis to sweep up the mess.

Napolean Bonaparte said...

Good article - I saw the same history (including poor basketball hires as well) at the time we hired him and wondered if we had done any research. Perhaps the BC human resources folks made it a priority to deliver an articulate, measured and good looking "Ken Doll" who would look like a godsend compared to the weeping - foot in his mouth predecessor and a head football coach who struggled with his diction and sentence structure. Yes - hiring is always an uncertain and risky endeavor but you try your best to make it a reasonable risk by doing your homework. Not sure that was done effectively here.

mod34b said...

I think BB's great strength from BC's point of view is that is he is a former athlete and am educator. He has an advanced education degree form Vandy, and, of course, he talks a very good game about the student-athlete. He remains very focused on graduation rates etc.

so that is good, but not nearly enough. He can't pick a coach; he does not manage the coaches properly (giving unwarranted extensions) and he appears to be bs'ing everyone about facilities upgrades. So far, we have seen some drawings.....but no application to Boston/Newton for plan approvals. His fund raising seems bad, and his claims that he has really improved the football game-day experience are just nonsense.

one new AD candidate I like is the RU guy Tim Pernetti - he was run out of RU for stupid PC reasons, but seems like a can-do guy

from wiki: " at Rutgers University as part of a five-year contract. In the role he oversaw 24 men's and women's sports, fundraising and development, a staff of more than 200 employees and also oversaw coaching searches and hires in men's and women's sports. Pernetti is credited with transforming the business at Rutgers and for record-breaking fundraising results in four years. During his tenure, Rutgers Athletics generated more than $100M in incremental revenue for the department. Pernetti is also credited with building the Rutgers Athletics brand, and creating more media visibility than ever before. Pernetti is credited with negotiating the agreement to bring Rutgers to the Big Ten Conference in 2014. For his efforts, Pernetti was named one of the five candidates for Sports Business Journal National Athletic Director of the Year." (although his one basketball HC hire was bad and his one football HC hire was debatable)

Napolean Bonaparte said...

Mod - there is no way a school in Boston is going to interview or hire someone who only suspended and heavily fined (as opposed to immediately fired) a basketball coach charged with making a homophobic slur (among other things). Ain't gonna happen.

knucklehead said...

Don't you go for the assistant AD for football at Texas or Stanford or Georgia? Someone who knows football and comes from a successful program with social and academic standards.

Napolean Bonaparte said...

Would you consider an AD from an FCS school who has a stellar record (including hiring) as long as they had previous lower level experience in an FBS environment?
If so, does anyone come to mind? Look at some of the FCS AD's who were recent winners of the Under Armour AD of the Year Award -

mod34b said...

Nap. His initial sanction of the coach was approved by higher ups.

You act as if he agreed and supported comments by coach.

Not the case. He punished the guy. Just not enough according to sports hating leftists.

He was then railroaded by RU's nutty PC police.

- he is a MaN of action and I think he passes the nice hair test too

Napolean Bonaparte said...

Mod - I basically understand what happened and have no view on the merits. I think the coach was equally chastised for assaulting one or more of his players and some of it was caught on video. Pernetti wanted to fire him but claims that after an independent investigation the school's HR and outside legal counsel told him there were insufficient grounds for doing so under RU policies and advised in favor of a fine and suspension. Then, because of the video, a firestorm erupted among NJ elected officials, the media and some RU senior academicians that put the university's president in the public ringer. They then terminated the coach by mutual settlement and Pernetti then cut a deal to get the hell out of there (probably on friendly terms to save the president's rear end). My guess is that he never wants to go back to a Catch 22 environment like that. And I doubt BC would want to get involved with it all even though he would probably be an excellent AD. Life is unfair.

Knucklehead said...

Yeah, the Rutgers AD is what Boston College needs. Not. Rutgers is the worst athletic program in the history of I-A sports. Right now we need to hire someone who can turn football around - I think bball would turn around too as a result of football improving.

Like I said before, we need 2-3 offensive line man and 2-3 serious bballers and we are back on track(or real coaches who in turn provide the aforementioned). The rest of the athletic programs are top notch or trending that way: hockey, sailing, soccer, baseball you name it.

I don't want someone from a school whose only claim to fame is beating Princeton in the first college football game. They have done nothing since.

mod34b said...

knuck -- educate yourself

knucklehead said...

Anyone who advocates for anyone or anything related to Rutgers needs their head examined.

That school is a pit literally and figuratively.

mod34b said...

knuckle, you have a very close-minded New England perspective. it is about as enlightened as those knucklehead (pun intended) Red Sox fans who think Derek Jeter is not a HOFer.

So, if you can, imagine a leader who could resurrect Rutgers Football. A guy who gets a huge nice new stadium built, gets freakin' Rutger in the B10, a guy with very solid sports TV connections, and who massively increased sports fund raising? Well that kind of person must be pretty special to accomplish such things at lowly Rutgers (a place with very nasty state politics and nasty academic PC-ness)

And that is Tim Pernetti.

Pernetti is not perfect, but could be an interesting candidate

And, sad to say, Rutgers has been a better run athletics program that BC as of late. Nobody is lining up to hire Brad Bates of GDF.

mod34b said...

ps. RU out ranks UMass in USNWR.

knucklehead said...

Yeah mod the previous thoughts on this thread indicate that I am close minded and focused on new England.

You sound like my scatter brained ivy league dip shit boss.

knucklehead said...

No one has mentioned this name for head coach though.

Don brown.

Bring him back. I like new Englanders.

knucklehead said...


You get all hot and bothered over Timmy and Ryan day.

mod34b said...

Who is Timmy?

Knucklehead said...

The mentally retarded character from South Park . . . Tim Pernetti.