The Coaching Candidate Manifest

Trojan Family –

I have more to write on Pete’s departure and will post it later today. For now, I thought the following would generate discussion: This is not a “preferred order of candidates” – just names on a list and the pros/cons/etc.

(1) Jeff Fisher – yes, a Trojan, and yes, a proven winner. But my understanding is that he has $8mm on his contract next year AND $8mm the year after. Absolutely a dead end if this is true.

(2) Mike Riley – I suppose it is not a bad hire, and I do know that he turned down Alabama a few years ago because his wife wanted to come to the west coast so bad (when they thought the UCLA job was coming his way). The idea that he is committed to the God-forsaken pit that is Corvalis, OR is ridiculous. But is he the perfect hire for us? I doubt it. But not the end of the world.

(3) DeWayne Walker – it sounds to me like an utterly ridiculous rumor, and I can not even comprehend that it is serious. But we would get him for about what I pay my nanny … But no, this is not happening. And if so, it is one of the only doomsday scenarios I can see.

(4) Jon Gruden – everything I hear is that he told Notre Dame he did not even want a meeting because he wants to be back in the NFL some day. He would cost more than we were paying Carroll.

(5) Jack Del Rio – I have a strong feeling something may happen here. He is a real Trojan, and did incredible work in restoring a weak Jacksonville team. He is a disciplinarian but also young and energetic.

(6) Mike Leach – I would hire him tomorrow, and I would be even happier to see him as Offensive Coordinator, but I think we all know the drama attached to him is too toxic

(7) Norm Chow – It will never happen. He has no interest in recruiting. He is a darkroom guy. How did Charlie Weis do as a head coach? Could some HC come in and get him to move across town as our OC again? Sure, it is possible. But HC – no way.

(8) Steve Sarkisian – I would have to know the details of his contract with UofW but it would be extraordinarily immoral move to keep Locker out of the NFL draft and to have recruited the way he has and then leave them after one year. I just do not believe it is even possible. But Sark is going to be a very good head coach.

(9) Nick Saban – LOL. We all know that all we have to do is offer him more money and he will come. =) But no, this is not real.

(10) Ed Orgeron – I would hire him today, and we would win a national championship within three years. I am not kidding. I do not believe it will happen, and I think his family wants to stay in the south for good. But if he even came back as a recruiting coordinator and defensive coach it would be a dream for me. I know the impact Ed had in our dynasty run and I would love to have him back.

(11) Dave Wanstedt – not sold. If you’ve had one former University of Pittsburgh coach, you’ve had them all. No thank you to that kind of deja vu.

My preference is that we not hire within the conference (Sark, Harbaugh, etc.), and that we not hire a very old guy from the NFL (Wade Phillips, Herm Edwards, etc.). I love the idea of Del Rio and Oregeron being involved. Leach would be a lot of fun, but I believe the baggage of him disciplining a whiny brat kid with a punk clown of a dad will be a problem (huh?). I have heard speculation that the assistants we keep will be a huge issue, and it is true that Carroll’s decision to keep Orgeron and Pola (and them ONLY) was among one of the best decisions he made coming into USC> I like Pat Ruhl, but he was the SECOND best offensive line coach USC has had in the Carroll era. And I like Jethro Franklin, but he was the SECOND best defensive line coach USC had in the Carroll era. Tim Davis and Ed Orgeron were far superior, and we won even when they left.

My deeper thoughts on this development are forthcoming, but one thing can be said now: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”