If you’ve been anywhere close to a television, or receive alerts from a sports apps on your smart device, no doubt you’ve seen all the craziness that’s taken place this week with Division 1 college football coaches. There are 17 coaching vacancies the week after the season ended, with all due respect to Army and Navy who play their annual battle in Philadelphia Saturday. It’s almost like the last day of free agency in baseball or basketball.
No doubt, if you’re a college athletic director, and you want to make any moves in your football program, you need to do it sooner rather than later. There are prized recruits that the new coach/coaches need to firm up their verbal commitments and put at ease those who have already signed. You also have recruiting that’s taking place and alumni relations, something most every college coach has to deal with.
One deal that I didn’t see happening took place in Bloomington last week with the “resignation” of Kevin Wilson over “philosophical differences”. He compiled an 18-38 record in his five years at the school but led the Hoosiers to back-to-back bowl games, including this year’s tilt with Utah in the Foster Farms Bowl at Levi Stadium in San Francisco on Dec. 28.
IU athletic director Fred Glass had just signed Wilson to a 6-year extension that paid him $2.55 million per season. However, alleged incidences of abuse and forcing players to play through injury, including not going through concussion protocol, may have caused him to walk, and allow Tom Allen, the Wabash College Special Team's coordinator back in 2007, be given his first collegiate head coaching position.
The rumor mill at Purdue might as well had Joe Tiller coming back to be the head coach as many guys who were speculated to be the next Boiler mentor. There was former LSU coach Les Miles, Houston, new Texas, head coach Tom Herman and Western Kentucky head coach Jeff Brohm.
They decided on Brohm, whose mentor is Louisville’s Bobby Petrino. Brohm led Western Kentucky to a 30-10 record in his 4-years, including two straight Conference USA Championships.
Cincinnati and Baylor were also said to be courting Brohm, but neither could match Purdue’s $3 million per season offer.
One coaching change that didn’t happen was in South Bend. I really figured the Irish would be a team to contend with this season after last year’s 10-3 record. However they stumbled out of the gate losing to a struggling Texas team, another coaching vacancy, and crawled across the finish line at 4-8 including a loss to Michigan State.
Kelly was able to avoid the dismissal, but I’m sure the pressure will be on to make the Irish faithful forget about this past season and lead them back to prominence - oh wait that hasn’t happened since Lou Holtz - and beat the five ACC schools they have to play every season. I think the Irish should follow their hockey team and just join the B1G once and for all.
There are two places that I hope don’t have a vacancy for awhile and that’s Michigan and Ohio State. The Buckeyes have had their number, but the Wolverines are beating on the door. What a great rivalry with Meyer and Harbaugh!