Cutting to the chase

I gave Washington State AD Bill Moos a lot of credit for hiring Mike Leach – for all the pluses a coach like Leach brings to a moribund program, he also carries enough baggage to scare most decision makers off – but I like Moos even more for having the nerve to say this:

“There’s the Charlie Weis deal,” he says of Kansas’ hire. “He failed miserably at Notre Dame, but, ‘By God, he was at Notre Dame.’ Down at Ole Miss, they have to have 15 people on a search committee (actually it was five). By the time they get through the introductions on the search committee, all the good coaches are hired.

“I don’t need 15 people sitting at the table. Where are the other 14 when I get evaluated on (the performance of) my football coach?”

I’ve brought this up before in the context of minority hires, but your typical big school athletic director’s major flaw isn’t prejudice.  It’s lack of courage.


Filed under College Football

26 responses to “Cutting to the chase

  1. Lrgk9

    Lack of Courage – Long an affliction of the gray suit men…

  2. gastr1

    Small wonder considering the stakes, however. Hire the wrong guy and you get the axe too.

  3. Krautdawg

    There does seem to be a certain rationality to the ‘cowardice,’ though. If you hire Charlie Weis and have 3 bad seasons, your rear is most likely covered exactly because “By God, he was at Notre Dame” (although as soon as my generation takes over, ND won’t carry this kind of currency).

    In contrast, if you hire Skip Holtz and have 3 bad seasons, his failure sticks to you. You won’t get to hire the next guy. So the question seems to be how much risk an AD is comfortable with. Picking a newcomer who wins makes you a genius; if he loses, though, you’re fired. Or pick a known quantity — if you win, your job is safe; and if you lose, you most likely get another bite at the apple.

    Thank goodness that some programs, like WSU, simply don’t have that much to lose.

    • The one thing I wonder about with Moos – what was Plan B if Leach had turned him down?

      • Krautdawg

        That’s a very interesting question. If Leach turns him down AND that information gets leaked, Plan B is probably prayer. If no leak, my guess is … well, no, probably still prayer.

    • gastr1

      Kansas, too. Going 6-6 is success there.

      • Tom Haverford

        This Catholic is counting the seconds until ND “doesn’t carry this kid of currency!” They should not get their own seat at the BCS table–who agreed to that madness!?

        That is like letting Puerto Rico have 30 Senators. Join a conference or STFU Notre Dame.

        Leach was a great hire for WSU–Ole Miss was stupid for letting the pirate enthusiast get away. He would have broken the longstanding QB recruting plan which seems to be ‘only sign transfers’.

        • Governor Milledge

          Having their own national broadcast deal speaks volumes about their weight at the BCS table.

          If you thought the recruitment of Texas by other conferences was melodramatic, imagine what it would be like if ND announced they were shopping for a conference. EVERY conference would throw themselves for a shot at bringing in ND

  4. Will Trane

    ADs, like any employer, are paid to think and to make sound decisions. Some work, some do not. You can not expect every decision they make to be world class. But you do not expect them to sit there on there hands when the hand writing is on the wall. It is about courage. It is about management of the programs and departments. That is why they are hired. Thought that was the role of an AD. If not go ahead and hire 14 guys and gals and let them run the show. But expect chaos. The AD is Athens is coming to a cross road on some programs. Let’s see if he has the courage to make good decisions.

  5. HahiraDawg

    prejudice in its own way also reveals a lack of courage

    • Cojones

      And another good So Ga Dawg observes. Wonder when we realize that the new voting IDs required by some states are similar to a poll tax?

      • Mg4life0331

        Which is solely the reason I oppose it, however some type of positive identification needs to be done.

        • Just Chuck

          If you have no ID,
          you can vote absentee. (at least in Georgia)
          Is that poetic or what?
          How did we get off on voting?

  6. Cojones

    Real pirates are a minority.

    Moos takes full responsibility for his decisions. How long since you’ve seen that in an AD? It ain’t guts when you really know people. Now you have us cheering for the Wa St coach and his AD, Senator. Hell, we don’t even do that to our own!

  7. Beer Money

    No doubt about it, Wazoo will win with Leach. After the top 2, the Pac-12 is awful. Not sure they will challenge Oregon or USC, but they will now be a consistent bowl team.

    • Nate Dawg

      In what small tier bowl does PAC-12 meet Big-12? Get your tickets now folks, for the 2013 bowl game Texas Tech vs Wazzou!!

      • Governor Milledge

        Holiday Bowl in San Diego: Pac-12 No. 3 vs. Big 12 No. 5
        Alamo Bowl in San Antonio: Pac-12 No. 2 vs. Big 12 No. 3

  8. W Cobb Dawg

    Seems like recruiting would be difficult at a place like WSU. So you need a coach who can maximize whatever talent is available, is a gambler, and makes good seat-of-the-pants adjustments during games. I think Leach fits that description as well as any coach in the land. But winning at WSU is surely an up-hill climb..

  9. Todd

    So was Hiring Red Panties Evans coward? No experience, but very PC.

    • No experience? Dooley had been grooming Evans as his replacement for several years.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        No, no, no, no, no…..Evans was Adams’ guy. He was placed there by Adams to spy on VD. VD knew that. VD knew that ole Red panties was a screw-up and would do things in the future that would hurt the UGA Athletic Department. Ergo, when VD “endorsed” Evans to take his job after Adams had canned VD, it was a way for VD to get back at UGA/Adams, kind of like placing a turd on the living room floor before moving out because you were being evicted. VD has no loyalty to Georgia particularly after the circumstances surrounding his departure. VD has always been an Auburn guy, not a UGA guy, anyway. Personally I wish that he had taken the Auburn job after the ’80 season. Then UGA would have hired Erk and UGA would have won a dozen SEC Championships and half a dozen BCSNCs in the 20+ years that followed with Erk as HC. The day VD recanted and backed out of the Auburn job was the unluckiest day in UGA football history.

      • Todd

        Dooley grooming = proven track record as an AD at a major university. I don’t think so. The Evans hire screamed PC(especially in the SEC). Charlie Strong didn’t get offered an SEC job because of a white wife. Atlanta being a “world city” has a major influence on the perception of the state university. Evan’s hire is the equivalent of Clemson hiring Dabo. Stupid. A person shouldn’t start out at AD without a proven record. Age also plays a big part of a position with that kind of power. IMHO, UGA should not be a “training ground”. Save that shit for GT.
        So did Dooley = Foley(UF)? I don’t know, nor will I ever know, the reason that McGarity wasn’t offered instead of Evans.

        • You do realize that McGarity, prior to his hire at Georgia, had exactly the same “proven track record as an AD at a major university” as Evans did, right?

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            Yeah. And Obama had the same proven track record as President of the United States before he got the job as George Washington did. Right?