Unverified Voracity Is Giving Out Disciplinary Hugs From Now On

Submitted by Brian on January 8th, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Just because that one guy missed them. And because there are a thousand tiny newsbits this week.

Goodbye , Mr. Crankypants. Jim Leavitt is the third coach this season to get the axe for being mean. When was the last time even one coach fired for being a firebreathing monster to his charges? Was it John Makovic? Surely it hasn't been that long. (Gary Moeller doesn't count since his transgression didn't have anything to do with doing something mean and crazy to a student.) Inquiring minds would like to know.

Anyway, while Leavitt's lasting bitterness towards Rich Rodriguez induces a Nelson reaction the cause of that bitterness might come back to bite Michigan. Leavitt tends to react to cheatin' much like Angela Bassett, so I'm pretty sure the animosity stems from Rodriguez's tendency to pirate assistants from USF. Rodriguez yo-ho-ho-ed guys from USF three times (OC Calvin Magee, QB coach Rod Smith, and OL coach Greg Frey) in just a few years.

Now one of those guys might move into the captain's chair in Tampa:

Florida defensive line coach Dan McCarney, former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville -- who has strong ties in the state from his tenure on Miami's coaching staff -- and Michigan offensive coordinator Calvin Magee are expected to be candidates to replace Leavitt, a source told ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel.

Tuberville and McCarney are both semi-retreads who were well-respected coaches terminated prematurely—McCarney led Iowa State to its only sustained success in forever—and probably have the inside track. But Tuberville might end up at Texas Tech and Magee does have more connections in Tampa than those guys. He's virtually guaranteed to get an interview since there's a lot of pressure on schools these days to informally adopt a collegiate Rooney Rule. He'll be a serious candidate.

Losing Michigan's offensive coordinator going into a critical season would be bad. Obviously.

Well hang on just a minute. That Chuck Heater rumor I dismissed earlier now seems considerably more plausible:

For the second time this week, the Dolphins have lost a key linebackers coach to the college game.

Thursday it was inside linebackers coach George Edwards who, according to a source, has resigned his position. Edwards, who the source stressed was not fired, will become defensive coordinator at the University of Florida.

This means that Heater is not going to be the defensive coordinator at Florida and suggests he might either be on the outs with the new guy—thus prompting the trial balloon rumor from Huntington—or amenable to a move back to his alma mater. FWIW, Heater and new AD David Brandon overlapped on a few teams in the 70s.

If they can add Heater it would be a coup. He's been coaching in college since two years after his Michigan career ended and has been a recruiting coordinator since 1998 (he lost that title for a promotion to assistant DC at Florida two years ago). He's almost always coached the secondary in his tenure, so it's a little bit of an awkward fit that would require Greg Robinson to handle all the linebackers, but Heater's positives seem to far outweigh that small negative. He has vast experience, excellent recruiting ties, and would be coming home. It remains to be seen whether there was any credibility in that newspaper report; here's hoping.

We has him. So I'm bringing this article from the News up with a warning to remember the wholesale politics ban around these parts. I think this guy is pretty conservative and thus inclined to like David Brandon a hell of a lot but still, sign me up for some despondency at his removal from state politics:

The precise reasons that University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman so ardently wooed Brandon -- deep management experience, sound personnel judgment, crisp communication skills and an impressive leadership mien leavened with a knack for building teams -- are precisely why Brandon will be sorely missed from the public arena that matters most in Michigan.

This 57-year-old guy who played for the legendary Bo Schembechler is leaving the field too early, long before he's done delivering his best play and long before the final gun sounds.

May Brandon's reign be long and profitable. John Bacon also has a classic Bo story involving Brandon.

It's happening.

It is happening.

Thank you. Darren Everson is, AFAIK, the first person to acknowledge that the Big Ten might not be a nuclear wasteland full of things that are bad at football:

In fact, the Big Ten does just fine year after year—in the early New Year's Day bowls that no one remembers. (It's the big games that have been the embarrassments.) Over the past dozen seasons, the Big Ten is now 13-11 against the SEC in the Outback and Capital One bowls. That is a winning record over a significant time span against upper-level SEC teams in SEC country. …

Another myth that needs to die: the belief that Big Ten teams are boring and stuck in the Stone Ages strategically. Northwestern put on arguably the most entertaining bowl performance since Boise State's classic Fiesta Bowl victory over Oklahoma following the 2006 season.

It's a delightful novelty when someone actual forms an opinion based on data coming into his senses.

Etc.: Three Penn State blogs consolidate into one borg blog. DocSat with sympathy for Colt McCoy. I would also like to extend sympathy to everyone who watched that eye-bleeding game in which both coaches seemed determine to out-caveman each other after the McCoy injury.



January 8th, 2010 at 1:27 PM ^

I'm a little surprised you didnt say anything about your adventures in twitterland last night.

Keep the reverse jinx tweets coming, my friend.

Seriously. Every game. Until it doesnt work. I want a tweet like that when the chips are down.

I mean you're not the only one. I said in the Scorn that Sims is the most inconsistent player i've seen at Michigan since the Judge. Then he went off. So, I am working up my own list of snarky reverse jinx comments for the weekend.

I think we can ride this to a successful 2010 sports year for us Michigan fans.

Cheers and enjoy your weekend. Have a drink. Or 10.

Zone Left

January 8th, 2010 at 1:59 PM ^

I worked for Brandon a little while during college, and I agree with everything Brian's quote box said. He's smart, personable, and hard working.

Howeva, he does not sail.


January 8th, 2010 at 1:59 PM ^

I think they're quite good - he's a perfect fit at USF. He worked there previously, he's got Florida recruiting experience, and he'd be able to hit the ground running with BJ Daniels at QB (didn't Magee recruit him two years ago?).

So, I wouldn't be shocked at all if he leaves.

Next question: Who replaces him, and does the loss of Magee set the program so far back the RichRod can't survive until 2011?


January 8th, 2010 at 3:10 PM ^

I can't believe this would set us back all that much. With GERG now established, I would imagine that RR himself could act as the OC for an extended period if need be.

At any rate, I can pretty much assume that a change in OC would not result in any material schematic changes. The impact to the players would be minimal. Impact to RR's marriage is another story...

Evil Empire

January 8th, 2010 at 2:11 PM ^

Probably not news, but Everson wrote for The Michigan Daily in the mid-90s. He failed to pass on any common sense to his teammate on the IM football team of Daily staffers, Michael Rosenberg.


January 8th, 2010 at 3:47 PM ^

I can hardly wait to pay homage to the Stanzlehman when he takes the field on October 16 by chanting my favorite three letter refrain!

I love it, Ricky Bobby! I love it.

lexus larry

January 8th, 2010 at 3:56 PM ^

The one I always remember was Frank Kush.

Unreliable wiki follows:


Colorful career and motivational activities.

All that said, most successful coaches are jerks (college and professional). Witness those NFL refugee coaches in the college ranks. And the anecdotal evidence our beloved M players in the NFL have endured less than touchy-feely (not Jay Feely) coddling by NFL coaches. (Numerous Wings and Canadiens have commented how the only day of the year they liked Scotty Bowman was when they were getting their Stanley Cup rings.)


January 8th, 2010 at 4:08 PM ^

Elway was drafted by the Colts while Kush was coach there, and Elway outright refused to sign with them. Elway's father Jack was a longtime coach out on west coast and was very familiar with Kush's demeanor and treatment of players, and was dead set against his son playing for Kush in the NFL. Needless to say John was in full agreement with his father, and eventually Elway ended up in Denver, much to Cleveland's eventual sorrow.


January 8th, 2010 at 4:00 PM ^

Frank Kush. From the SI vault: (read the whole thing; pretty interesting...)


March 11, 1985
New Game Plan For Mr. Tough

"Kush most likely would have coached for 40 years at Arizona State had he not, in 1978, become involved in that celebrated incident with punter Kevin Rutledge. Oddly, Kush was fired in 1979 not, it was emphasized, for what he might have done to Rutledge, but for supposedly seeking to have his action covered up by getting coaches and players to lie on his behalf."


January 9th, 2010 at 12:45 PM ^

If we wanted to hire Heater or Corwin to help Gibson coach the secondary, we could move Dews over to defense to help Greg coach the LB's. Dews was a college TE but coached LB's at UNLV.

That would be less viable if MaGee goes to South Fla and takes another offensive guy or two with him, but with Rich Rod focusing almost 100% on offense, I wouldn't mind having an imbalance in the assistant coaching staff towards the defense.


January 9th, 2010 at 2:28 AM ^

We all like our football coaches to be tough and all, but hey... it's 2010 guys, they have to be tough without acting like the neighborhood / schoolyard bully. Somehow I don't think it's too much to ask.

The fact that Leavitt lied through his teeth during the investigation damned him just as much as his violent behavior.


The 33-page investigative report, ... shows Leavitt regularly lied during his interview with the investigator.

All this points to a guy who deep down inside is still a 5 year old who can't deal with adversity. Player bad? PUNCH! I make mistake? LIE!

He doesn't deserve a job at the level he was at and I for one am glad douchebags like this are being outed and losing their jobs.


January 9th, 2010 at 8:37 AM ^

Magee becoming USF's coach makes sense from a lot of angle. His youth, local connections and ability to build a sustained program over time all weigh in his favor. Plus, Tuberville and McCarney are not the type of guys who can give you a sustained program. USF's program is still very young and developing. Hiring Magee would make a lot of sense.

Losing Magee is a huge blow. He's Rich Rod's right hand man. If that happens, then Michigan has to make sure they don't lose Rod Smith, who's done and excellent job with recruiting. Maybe promote him to OC but still have RR call the plays. Greg Frey might leave with Magee and become a coordinator. He's done an okay to mediocre job with the O-Line, so losing him isn't a big deal.

I remember hearing Heater's name during the DC search. He would obviously be an excellent fit. With Meyer, Weis (he was a good offensive recruiter) and Carroll gone, the time is now to pick up some blue chip recruits.

Winning under RR would really swing a lot of factors in our favor given the new configuration of college football. To do that, Brandon has to quash the internal divisions and publicly support RR, at least for next year. This is now more urgent now that Magee might well be gone.