Friday, November 29, 2019
The tricky balance of "fit" when making a coaching hire
Fit is very important in college football. There are unique institutional and regional challenges to every job and if a coach is not prepared for those challenges, he is constantly battling up hill. For recent examples you can look at Chris Ash never connecting with New Jersey high school coaches and their recruits at Rutgers or the already awkward relationship between Joe Moorhead and the Mississippi State fanbase.
But you have to be careful when considering fit. You don't want to overlook someone just because he hasn't played or coached at your school. For me, I want someone who understands the type of challenges BC faces, but also understands how to leverage its advantages.
But the biggest trap when considering fit is limiting the search to just candidates the fans know. I write this because of the rumors that Al Washington and Don Brown are favorites to replace Addazio. I don't think this is true (for a variety of reasons). I also think it is way premature to assume anyone is the favorite. But even accepting it at facevalue, I think hiring Brown or Washington now would be a huge risk and a sign of a bad process. Are both guys beloved and respected around BC and New England? Yes. But would any other Power 5 school even have them among their final choices? No.
This is also hard for me to write but age is the biggest factor against both. Brown is too old and Washington is too young.
Brown will be 65 this summer. While he seems to have the energy of a younger man and seems to relate to young players, these jobs are a real grind that will wear even the best. Plus his age will be used against BC over and over in recruiting. Could he do it? Sure. But is he the guy to take BC to the next level? I don't think so. And I think we can do better this time around.
Washington is 35, which while young, isn't a deal breaker. But Washington's resume lacks any coordinator experience. He has never managed a game and never hired a staff. It would be a huge unknown. I like that he has been getting experience away from BC, but he still hasn't checked all the boxes.
If either of these guys are hired, they will have my support. I just don't think it is the right time for either and would be a sign that the searched prized BCness over everything else.