Sun Belt, the new cradle of coaches?

This article suggests that some SEC athletic directors may not look too far away in compiling a shopping list of replacements for head coaches on the hot seat.

Just my two cents here, but I think Willie Taggart is going to make some bigger program a helluva fine head coach.  And soon.


Filed under SEC Football

89 responses to “Sun Belt, the new cradle of coaches?

  1. Carolinadawg

    “I think Willie Taggart is going to make some bigger program a helluva fine head coach. And soon.”
    But not Georgia, ’cause we’re good with who we got and where we are…not showing off by succeding too much, but not failing by losing too much. We’re right in that comfortable sweet spot of mediocrity, right where most of our fan base wants us to be.

  2. Keese

    Polite way of saying we need new leadership

  3. Derek

    If we were looking, which we aren’t and shouldn’t be, looking at taggart would be a wonderful idea but I just don’t think very many sec schools would hire that guy and frankly if I were him I’d stay away as well.

    • Yeah…that would be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

    • Really? I can see UK taking a close look at him if they decide Joker’s not getting it done.

      • Derek

        They and msu have shown they would hire a African-American head coach, so yes uk could do it. Of course you can’t win there so I don’t know how good a career move that would be.

        I was referencing UGA, bama, auburn, Florida, LSU, USC, UT.etc…. Just not sure one of those schools could or would do that and I’m not so sure that I’d want to be the first at one of those places especially one that you have no connection to. Croom at bama had a chance because he played under bear, but taggert, or anyone like him, to a big boy sec school probably won’t happen anytime soon.

        • Hackerdog

          Joker is making $1.7 million per year at UK. They would probably pay Taggart comparably for at least 3 years. Taggart is currently making $225k at WKU. So it’s a good move regardless of his success.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        His 14-16 record as a HC kinda has a young Derrick Dooley like flavor to it.

  4. Sometimes it seems like UK is not quite SEC worthy.

  5. King Jericho

    Did anyone watch the WKU/Troy game last night? I can already see Georgia fans ripping the coach apart for his late game management. Up by two, 1:20 left in the game, Troy with no timeouts left, WKU decides to throw for the touchdown on 3rd and 5 at the 8 rather than run the ball and at worst give Troy half the time on the clock. Then again, maybe that sort of non-conventionalism is just what all the “anti-Richt” folks are looking for.

  6. Stoopnagle

    Ole Miss did, Arkansas is about to… Hudspeth & Cristobal have been on radars at least…

  7. Bulldawg165

    I’ve always wondered why ADs don’t look at proven coaches in non-BCS conferences a lot more, as opposed to successful coordinators at big name schools. Especially when the non-BCS conference coach manages to hold their own against middle of the pack BCS conference teams, considering that they are at a (usually) large talent disadvantage and thus have no choice but to scheme their way into the game. Not to mention the problems we often see with great coordinators not making great CEOs. Urban Meyer at Utah is a prime example and I’m sure there are others, I just can’t think of them off the top of my head.

    I’ve also wondered why a major program hasn’t completely thrown the entire check book at Chris Peterson, considering what he’s managed to do at BSU. I suppose that’s why the ADs make the big bucks and I’m a measley CPA though.

    • Spence

      Recruiting plays a big roll in those. See, Johnson, Paul

      • Bulldawg165

        Not all the time, such as LMU vs Arkansas and Auburn. My main point was that any non-BCS school is at a competitive disadvantage to BCS schools (generally speaking… Duke football and the likes notwithstanding), and therefore to keep the games respectable (or to win them especially) on a consistent basis requires the coach at the lesser school to be significantly better at some combination of recruiting, player development, and/or scheming/game prep.

        Those coaches in the article may not be better than Richt, Saban, Meyer, etc., but a few of them are sure better than the coaches at Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and maybe even Auburn. Wouldn’t you agree?

    • Orl Dawg

      Kragthorpe was awesome at Tulsa and an absolute bust at Louisville. You have to be careful hiring coaches from lesser conferences. Not everyone can handle the pressure of the SEC

  8. Mayor of Dawgtown

    None of the guys mentioned in that linked article are good enough to even carry Mark Richt’s jockstrap.

    • Scott W.

      I like the new Mayor, a big thank you to you fella.

      • Ghost of Dawgs Past

        You got to be kidding me! With all the resources available to UGA athletics, you don’t think we could get Taggart and be as “successful” as we are today? I believe we could, and save $1MM!

        • Scott W.

          Oh no, someone has an opinion different from yours. Do you know the difference in known knowns and unknown knowns?

        • AthensHomerDawg

          Because Taggarts 14-16 record as a HC impresses you so much. How’s that working for UT.

          • cube

            Great analysis of his overall record. In his first year, 2010, they went 2-10. The year before that (2009) they went 0-12 and the year before that they went 2-10 (2008).

            In his second year, 2011, they went 7-5 (7-1 in conference). They are 5-1 (2-0 in conference) this year.

            It takes time to reverse what the previous coaching staff put in place (see Jim Donnan’s first year after the Goff regime).

            • AthensHomerDawg

              “Excuse me while I whip this out.”
              Todd Berry Overall 41–76
              Willie Taggart Overall 14–16
              Mark Hudspeth Overall 79–26 (college)
              Derrick Dooley Overall 31–36(before UT)

              Taggart looks very Dooley like and no one else impresses except Hudspeth.

              • cube

                Way to just ignore the facts in my post and just restate what you already said. Awesome analysis.

                By the way, Dooley went 8-5 and 4-8 in his 2nd and 3rd seasons at La Tech (he was only there 3 years). Taggart’s 2nd year record is similar to Dooley but he’s 5-1 in his 3rd year, so I’d say you need new glasses.

                Also, La Tech went 7-4 and 3-10 in the 2 seasons prior to Dooley’s arrival. Not exactly the same as the 2-10 and 0-12 seasons that preceded Taggart.

                And I’m not saying I’d hire the guy at Georgia (actually, I definitely wouldn’t at this point) but don’t just yap b/c you’re offended that someone dared to criticize the person getting paid 3 million dollars a year to run our football program.

                • AthensHomerDawg

                  Dawgs don’t yap…. they Woof! 😉

                • Mayor of Dawgtown

                  I think you and I actually are on the same page about Taggart. He may end up being a good coach. Hell, he’s a pretty good coach now. But I’m not quite ready to turn over the keys to our program to a guy who is 14-16 lifetime based on one season at 5-1 halfway through it or even based on one good complete season for that matter

                  • Mayor of Dawgtown

                    P.S. Does anybody out there remember Bill Lewis? He was DC at UGA under CVD for awhile after Erk. Then got a HC job at East Carolina. He turned EC around going 11-1 his final year there. Tech was coming of a MNC in ’90. Lewis got hired in ’92 when Bobby Ross left. GT hired him as HC and he was supposed to be the next big thing. Anybody remember what happened? Lewis destroyed their program, going something like 1-10 his last season. Tech never really has recovered from that and has, for the most part, been mediocre at best ever since. Be careful what you wish for is all I’m saying.

                    • cube

                      I agree with you. We’re pretty much on the same page. We shouldn’t just jump into firing our current coach without at least analyzing what will potentially be available.

                      With that said, programs very rarely have something lined up perfectly ahead of time when making a switch. That’s part of the risk of doing it. And I do think some people get too wrapped up in the fear of making the change and use that fear to convince themselves that what we have going is good enough.

                    • Mayor of Dawgtown

                      I haven’t heard or seen anyone raise anything even approaching the right names. If one were to engage in speculation, the potential replacement(s) should be discussed and vetted, wouldn’t you think? The potential replacement(s) would have to be at least reasonably an upgrade. You run out of names really quickly when you start doing that.

                    • sniffer

                      I don’t think McGarity makes any move before 2014. I also think the there’s a potential opening at Boise State soon. They are about to find themselves sorely under talented after these new sanctions kick in. Pity, but I think Peterson (Petersen?) will be long gone and unavailable if we have an opening.

                    • Mayor of Dawgtown

                      I don’t think McGarity makes a move at all, even in 2014 as long as CMR doesn’t fall off the planet with a losing season. Rather, he will probably let CMR retire. Hypothetically speaking only, I also like Petersen. Another quality candidate is Gary Patterson of TCU. Chip Kelly of Oregon, too. All three are proven winners over a period of time rather than a flash in the pan for one season that has an overall losing record. UGA would have to open up the checkbook, though. I think all three of those guys would not let the UGA administration dictate to them, either. The HC is supposed to control the terms of team discipline, not the University President. The HC is also supposed to be in charge of recruiting (how many kids to sign and when,etc.) not the AD. Any of those 3 would demand complete control as a condition precedent to coming to Athens and if McGarity and whoever ends up being UGA President won’t agree to that in the contract those guys wouldn’t come.

    • What fresh hell is this?

      damn straight

    • Carolinadawg

      Maybe not, but in order to carry it anywhere, they’d first have to surgically remove your lips from St. Marks ass.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        “TrollDawg, what an ugly thing to say. I abhor ugliness… does this mean that you and the Mayor are not friends anymore? You know, TrollDawg, if the Mayor thought that you weren’t his friend, I just don’t think he could bear it.”

      • Dawgfan Will

        Did you even look at their records?

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        CD, shame on you! I thought just the other day you were upset about people on this blog getting personal with you just because they had differing opinions from yours. I stand by what I said–none of those guys has shown himself to be a coach of high enough quality to even be seriously considered. The only one with a winning record is Hudspeth and that came in an inferior league. A couple of years ago someone on this blog was seriously promoting Al Golden ( Skeptic, I think). How’s that working out for Miami? If you are going to talk about alternative coaches at least talk about somebody who would be an upgrade.

  9. Always Someone Else's Fault

    The whole, “Look how good he is with X players; just imagine how awesome he would be with Y resources as a force multiplier!” argument sounds great, but it ignores a lot a relevant factors.

    CD, you made some excellent points originally, but you’ve tossed them overboard with the personal stuff. It’s a Georgia blog. You’ve taken a contrary position. You’re so deep into “winning the argument” that I wonder if you’ve forgotten why you even started coming here in the first place – which is to share viewpoints with other Georgia fans. If you want people to hear yours, you gotta listen.

    Take a break, offer an olive branch, accept that who Mark Richt is as a person directly impacts how some people see him as a coach – and that it’s perfectly fair for them to do so. You have a right to your opinion. They have a right to theirs. We all have a right to start a new day and new thread without resurrecting the same grudges again and again.

    I’m with you on the question how Georgia can keep no-showing for such crucial games on an almost annual basis at this point. But no one wants to discuss it, and I can’t make them. More to the point, I don’t want to make them talk about it. Conversations get pretty boring when one person always keeps choosing the topic and the destination.

  10. Skeptic Dawg

    “accept that who Mark Richt is as a person directly impacts how some people see him as a coach…” This statement is what drives me nuts. Since 2006 we have seen a different Richt and a differnt UGA program. Why? Your guess is as good as mine. Since 2006 Richt is 54-25 overall and 30-18. Just to shed some light on those numbers, Donnan was 40-19 during his tenure with the Dawgs. Donnan won at a .475 clip, while Richt is right there with him at a .462 clip. There has been a clear drop off since 2005. Add to that the crushing losses that Richt routinely delivers, and the unpreparedness of his teams at times. It is simply time for a change. This is why you can not let your warm and fuzzies get in the way in regards to Richt. He is a modern day Ward Cleaver. But he is coaching like the modern day Jim Donnan. The time for change is now.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Your observations are not unreasonable. The lines have already been drawn and the expectations have been agreed upon. Richt is here through 2013. At the end of that time frame Georgia either fished or cut bait. CMR and Honey Bobo. ( anyone notice that another nickname not unlike Coach Goof came from the uSC leadership). Will move on and Georgia will move forward. Shelves will be stocked and we won’t suffer the embarrassment of burning mattresses, Fire Zook .com….. or the hailstorm of Curry or Shula. At some point we are in a reasonable career slump for CMR … one that we can come out of …. or there are no more bullets in the gun. Let’s err on the side of caution for all the right reasons. LSU has a D coordinator that the Hillbillies had no more use for.
      just sayin’

    • Skeptic Dawg's Better Half Relative

      Whether you like him or not – I am on the like side – Clay Travis has a solid take on this. I ask a different question than he asks as I noted a couple of days ago, but his thoughts from today are good enough to share.

      “You are the AD at UGA. Do you keep the status quo of UGA being the best second-tier football program in the SEC, or overhaul the program in hopes of becoming an elite school?

      Please keep in mind Georgia’s history: we have only been truly “elite” for one three year period, from 1980-1982, and that was on the back of the greatest college running back of all-time, Herschel Walker. Why is that? With Georgia’s talent base, money and facilities, what is keeping us from breaking through to that next level?”

      I’m getting this question from a lot of Georgia fans in the wake of the debacle against South Carolina.

      And there’s no easy answer.

      After 12 years I think it’s pretty clear that Richt isn’t going to win a national title at Georgia.

      But it’s also clear that Richt isn’t going to completely submarine the program. Over his 11 years and counting Richt is 111-39. That’s pretty damn good when you compare him with Ray Goff and Jim Donnan, but Richt’s only won two SEC titles and the last of those came seven years ago.

      So when do you take a risk on hiring someone new? Basically, how do you decide to toss aside good in a quest for great?

      Because it’s awfully easy to regress if you make the wrong hire. (See Vols, Tennessee.)

      I agree with you that Georgia is an amazing job, but do you have confidence that you could definitely get someone better than Richt? I don’t. So if I was a Georgia fan I’d be inclined to keep on keeping on and just hope that my team wouldn’t tank in big games.

      Which you know, inevitably, will happen.

      I just don’t think you can get rid of Richt right now.

      By the way, if Georgia loses to Florida would this be the most disappointing 10-2 season in SEC history? I think so.

      • Dawgfan Will

        Very well-said. While I sympathize with the frustrations of the “fire Richt” crowd, my biggest problem is the “anyone would be an improvement” tone that has overtaken logic and reason in some of the posts on the Dawgosphere. It’s not that I don’t believe that there is a chance we could get someone who could be more successful than Richt; there is, of course. But just looking at winning percentages over any length of time makes it fairly obvious that there aren’t that many head coaches who are more successful than Richt has been. That ain’t fear talking; it’s common sense. I am just as impressed by what Saban has going in Alabama as anyone, but I’ll reserve judgment on calling him the OMG GREATEST COACH EVAR until he sustains it for more than five years. Look at Meyer: awesome success with Strong’s defense and Tebow’s talents, decidedly mediocre without them. I don’t require a guarantee of future success before parting ways with Richt, but I damn sure want more than the “why are you so afraid of success” talk that’s been bandied around lately.

        I don’t agree that Richt’s history so far makes it clear he won’t ever win a national championship. If anything, I think the circumstances in which he has missed out while other coaches with similar records have won it all proves just how flukey winning a MNC really is a lot of the time.

        I do, however, have to agree that a loss to the Gators would make this the most disappointing 10-2 season ever.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          +1. Look at Gene Chizik: awesome success with Malzahn’s offense and Newton’s talents, decidedly mediocre (maybe even outright bad) without them.

      • Two coaches that would have fit into that well if they haven’t won a title in 10 years they probably won’t ever are as follows: Bobby Bowden went 22 years with no titles. Then won 2 titles in the 90’s and played for another in 2000. The other would be Tom Osborne. He went 20 years without a title and then in his 21st as head coach he won 1 in 1994. Then again (with what is the best team I’ve ever seen play college football) in 1995. Came close in 1996 and then won again in 1997. He retired having won 3 titles in his last four years. I am not saying we should keep Richt that long if he doesn’t win a title before then but just giving some perspective to that argument.

        I think the fact that Richt right now has the best winning % of any coach in UGA history (over a certain number of games a think) shows that he has elevated our program since he has been there. I get why the question is being asked (can he get us there) but we have to look at all sides. The place I look is at the very top of why we hoard so much of our money instead of reinvesting more of it into the entire athletic department. There is no excuse for us lagging in spending behind other schools when we have one of the highest profits in the country. Don’t just throw money at problems but also spend where it needs to be spent. Hire a consultant that does no actual coaching but reviews only special teams play and offers his opinion to the coaches on what we should do. Hire a consultant that is a defensive guy that his only job is to watch game film of our offense and then meet with the offensive coaches to tell them tendencies and how he would defend them. Do the same in hiring an offensive guy. Have a full size indoor practice facility. Completely redo the baseball stadium instead of just putting band-aids on it. With that type of spending comes full expectations from the top of what they want. You do half measures from the top and it trickles down to the coaches of what is Ok.

        That went on far too long so I’ll stop there.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Skeptic, your math skills are TERRIBLE! Are you sure you didn’t go to Tech? Using your numbers for wins and losses CMR is right at 68.5% for that period (the worst of his career) and Donnan was just under 68%. Do the math again son.

      • DawgPhan

        I didnt have the heart to point out that winning at less than a .500 clip means losing records. He just seemed so proud of himself. bless his heart.

  11. AthensHomerDawg

    We are starting to snarl and snap at one another. This team and the fan base needs a Victory at the WLOCP. We need it bad.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      We need a victory from Kentucky first and then we need to put the SC thing behind us.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        Beating Kentucky wont quite get the taste of uSC out of our mouths. Right now we are suppose to beat Kentucky and we will. I doubt a majority of pundits pick us over the gators. Win there and some of that embarrassment in Chickumbia goes away. Especially if Muskchamp upsets the Visors apple cart. Season has a way to go.

        • AusDawg85

          Re: JAX and “some” of our “fan” base

          Dawgs win big…biggest dawggrade ever will be given to the gators. And FIREMARKRICHT!!!!1!
          Dawgs win barely….(see above)
          Dawgs lose barely…FIREMARKRICHT!!1!!
          Dawgs lose big…GTP flooded with “I told you so’s” and FIREMARKRICHT!!1!!

          I think I’ll just save myself the time and skip GTP for a few days after JAX.

          • I with you AusDawg. Having just tuned into GTP; I don’t think I can bear another loss on this blog. Has it always been like this?

            • Mayor of Dawgtown

              It got pretty ugly in ’09 and got downright nasty in ’10. That’s where all the current hostility comes from. CMR used up all his goodwill in those years, especially ’10. Several regular posters made up their minds back then that they wanted CMR to be gone and it actually pissed them off when UGA won the SEC East last year. They were hoping that he would fall on his face and then McGarity would ax him. They have been waiting this season until the first opportunity to start the war chant again. The USCe game gave that to ’em even though the idea of firing a HC who is coming off an SEC East title and is 5-1 is so patently absurd as to boggle the mind. Rationality is not the long suit for these folks.

              • Wow….I am not gonna let the bastards get me down. How silly to feel that way just to prove your point. “EGO thy name is MAN”

                On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 10:53 PM, Get The Picture wrote:

                > ** > Mayor of Dawgtown commented: “It got pretty ugly in ’09 and got > downright nasty in ’10. That’s where all the current hostility comes from. > CMR used up all his goodwill in those years, especially ’10. Several > regular posters made up their minds back then that they wanted CMR to be > gone”

  12. You’re right that ugly embarrassing loss against SC, stays with you a long time! It.’s not exactly the loss per say, but the amount of the loss and not being prepared by CMR makes it hard to let go! But just like CD stated above, we’re got DAWG fans that’s cozy and content with CMR and 10 wins per year. And CMR says it was caused by a PERFECT STORM!