Finding the Best Leaders for the Leaders and Best

Finding the Best Leaders for the Leaders and Best

Submitted by michelin on October 8th, 2014 at 4:59 PM

IMO, since Bo left, UM has often looked not at the strength of its leaders but their weaknesses.  So, it has often chosen opposite, new leaders who lack these weaknesses, but who often also lack the strengths of their predecessors.  And that has led to serious problems.

Consider first coaching.  UM went from the defensively-principled, tough-as-nails Bo to the offensively-minded Moeller.  But Moeller was perceived to have an alcohol problem, which he reportedly refused to get help for.  So (regardless of the truth or falsity of this perception), UM turned to a man they perceived as more principled and intelligent Carr.  Yet, when Carr’s record began to plateau, he was called too old and predictable.  So, UM turned to the inventive spread-coach, RR.  But his defensive incompetence then made UM go the opposite way.  So, now UM is back to a defensive-minded but offensively disorganized Hoke. 

In choosing its AD, UM also has seemed to choose each succeeding leader as the opposite of his predecessor.  For example, under the cloud of scandal, the aggressive fund-raiser, Roberson was replaced as AD by his opposite: the less profit-minded, more flamboyant and humanistic Goss.  Then, after Goss led the UM AD to the brink of financial ruin, UM chose the opposite once again: a quiet, out-of-touch financier named Martin.  Ill-equipped for the myriad public relations disasters during the hiring and demise of RR, however, Martin himself was then also was replaced by a dramatically different type of AD: the publicity-seeking brand-maker Brandon.  His public relations campaign seemed to work wonders at first.  But the obsession with publicity and profit ended up making UM look far worse.

So what can we learn from the past forty years of UM’s athletic leadership choices?  Most clearly they have taught us what not to do—that is, just choose the opposite type of leader from the one you have now.  It does not work for very long.  Why?  When you choose a leader, he fills his program or department with one type of student or employee.  But if you then fire him and choose just the opposite type of leader, there is no growth in the program.  It is like putting matter together with anti-matter.  If they collide, what do you get?  They annihilate each other in a violent explosion.  In an organization, that means turnover, disorganization, and chaos.

So, no matter how angry we feel sometimes, we should learn from past experience.  We should recognize not just the bad in our past leaders and seek their opposites. We should also recognize the good in our past leaders, then search for new ones with their best characteristics.  The toughness of Bo, the fire of Moeller, the inventiveness of RR, the intellect of Carr, the likeability of Hoke.  The decision about whom we should choose now I leave to others, who are far more knowledgeable than me.

But IMO, only if we seek to see the Best in our own past Leaders can we hope to find the new Leaders and Best.

OT: The Art of Hiring a College Football Coach

OT: The Art of Hiring a College Football Coach

Submitted by UMgradMSUdad on April 22nd, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Seems to be a super slow day for new information on the board today, so I thought I'd throw this out there: an interesting article on head football coach searches and hiring, looking at the PAC 12 and focusing mostly on Washington State AD Bill Moos and his hire of Mike Leach.

Here's an excerpt from the article, quoting Moos:


"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. 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?"


At the end of the article, there's a list of head football coach salaries in the PAC. Colorado's coach is listed at $725,000!  


CC - Mortensen Harbaugh Rumor

CC - Mortensen Harbaugh Rumor

Submitted by umhero on December 20th, 2010 at 12:40 AM

More crap to add to the fire.  Chris Mortensen thinks Harbaugh wants to coach in the NFL and stay on the West Coast.

In other words, the only real way to lure Harbaugh out is to get him hired by an NFL team (or another college team). The Panthers stand out as an obvious location for both guys, because they'll need a new coach after 2010 and are likely to hold the top spot in the NFL Draft.

However, Mort notes the Panthers would need "a stroke of luck" to get Harbaugh, who apparently would prefer staying on the West Coast. 

In other news, Jim's brother John says he thinks Jim wants to stay at Stanford:

"I think he wants to stay at Stanford, I think he’d love to stay there, but then again, you just have to see what happens. He’s not the kind of guy that’s going to make any kind of commitment until he’s ready to make a commitment. I think his commitment right now is having a baby and winning the Orange Bowl. So, we’ll see what happens."

Personally, I think this is much ado about nothing.  RR will be back next season.  We will win many games.  The hot seat will cool to a very comfortable temp.  RR will stay for a long time.  We will look back at this as very amusing while we count our NCs.