The idea of a "coach-in-waiting" seems to be getting more popular. Jimbo Fischer at Florida State, Will Muschamp at Texas - Nick Saban has expressed interest in the idea at Alabama. I wonder if this will be a major trend. It looks like Washington and Tennessee and Clemson -- maybe Auburn and probably Notre Dame again will all have to go through high profile searches -- which seem to become more ridiculous every year. When Rodriguez gets the machine going at Michigan I hope he designated a coach in waiting -- somebody who can pick up where he leaves off -- so we don't have to go through a huge turnover again in philosphy etc.
I think it works when it's a long term assistant, but this "hire the top assistant" trend is dumb.
Yes, loyalty to assistants. Is this not something we all swore off last year with the thought of Head Coach Mike DeBord? Wasn't it just a year ago that we absolutely hated the idea of naming a successor, and blaming Carr on his loyalty to his assistants?
And I think its not necessarily "hire the top assistant" either. Jimbo Fisher has been around for quite some time. He will be with FSU for 3-5 years. Muschamp will probably be with Texas 8-10 years minimum before he gets a shot at head coaching at Texas. If anything, the name the coach in waiting ensures (as much as possible) that you have a tenured assistant take over.
but sooner or later someone is going to Weiss it up by signing the coach in waiting too many years in advance for too much money and be stuck choosing between two buyouts or keep their word and hiring a guy they suspect isn't the best candidate. Almost like what NBC did with the whole Leno/Conan transition. Leno needs to go, but it doesn't seem like Conan is as sharp as he was 5 years ago when he was named as Leno's replacement.
hey hey hey...whats wrong with conan?
It's not necessarily always the best move. I think, for example, FSU is making a huge mistake by designating Jimbo.
I dont think its a problem. But when they arent (see DeBord) well then it sucks. It depends on the situation, there is no right or wrong way. You do whats best for the team.
It looks like an overreaction to what has happened at a few schools like Michigan. But look at what has happened at a lot of schools like Alabama and Florida when they promoted the team's senior assistant. Bielema and Fitzgerald both practically had their jobs fall in their laps after very limited (and unimpressive) stints as DCs. Bielema's 2005 defense, in particular, was awful. A major program should never hire a guy who wouldn't be able to get a job elsewhere if he had to go through a search and vetting process.
With Muschamp, I think it was much more a way to retain their DC. Muschamp was going to get major job offers, and this was the only way they could keep him.
Imagine if Bo was formally designated as Woody's successor in 1963 to prevent him from going to Miami.
Nationwide coaching searches have turned into huge headaches for schools that have big football programs. Plus there is the growing myth of the 'genius' coordinators who are now commanding big pay, more power.
Certain departing HCs take bigger roles in the development of their assistants, and I think that leads to a smoother transition. Bo -> Moeller -> Carr was a solid coach in waiting format; I guess it would be interesting to see why our past structure proved successful compared to the Bowden -> Jimbo, or possible Paterno -> Paterno transition.
I think it has a lot to do with the assistant having an inventory of successful experience underneath the departing coach, and applying the same philosophy. The tradition therefore attracts the talent, and the school effectively puts a vote of confidence in the status quo. Jimbo isn't a part of the Bowden success tradition at FSU (which now almost seems like ancient memory), so I don't see him as having the traditional traits of a successful coach in waiting. I also wouldn't be surprised if WV takes a hard look at Jimbo next year, seeing as he's from the state.