Monday, December 10, 2007

Head coach in waiting? Please ...

Just when you thought Dan Radakovich’s coaching maneuvers at Georgia Tech were ridiculous, Florida State’s administrators trumped him.

Radakovich is the athletics director who fired football coach Chan Gailey because he wanted somebody to energize the fan base. Then Radakovich hired Navy’s Paul Johnson, an excellent coach and nice enough guy who isn’t any more a marketer than Gailey.

That’s like trading in your Toyota Corolla for a Honda Civic and acting like you just bought a Corvette.

What Florida State has done is worse. The school announced Monday a bizarre set of agreements designating offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher as “head coach in waiting.”

Fisher will become head coach when Bobby Bowden retires. Bowden, 78, is staying for a 33rd season and said he has a deal that will let him decide at the end of each year whether he wants to continue.

That part of the deal, though unusual, is fine. Bowden has a record 373 Division I-A wins, two more than Joe Paterno, and should go out on his own terms. But the “head coaching in waiting” idea seldom works.

Just ask Skip Holtz, who thought he was in line to succeed his father, Lou Holtz, at South Carolina but instead was demoted before ultimately reviving East Carolina as head coach there.

When Bowden retires, a football program as prominent as Florida State’s should search nationally for the best possible candidate. Instead, the school is tied to a successor who has never been a head coach at any level.

So now that two ACC schools have bungled their coaching situations, Duke athletics director Joe Alleva is on the clock as he tries to replace Ted Roof. Surely Alleva can do better than this.

– Ken Tysiac


NCnole99 said...

Does the head coach have to come from outside the organization? Fisher will have been at FSU for three years by the time Bowden steps down (prob end of 2009).
FSU was built on stability -- something the rest of the ACC knows nothing about.

Anonymous said...

You cannot be serious. Jimbo Fisher was a huge steal out of LSU to come to FSU. The only way he came was because he knew he was going to be next in line. This announcement is simply a public confirmation of what was discussed behind closed doors.

And to compare Skip Holtz to Jimbo Fisher is like comparing a Civic to a BMW. The only thing Skip had ever done was be Lou's son (just like Spurrier's kid). Jimbo has won 2 SEC championships and a National Title at LSU as the OC.

Further, naming him as the coach in waiting, only helps when it comes to recruiting, which Jimbo is perfect at. Lest you forget who brought JaMarcus Russell AND Matt Mauch to LSU, it wasnt Saban/Miles, it was Jimbo. And this isnt a passing thing, if you review the terms of his new contract, he gets serious dollars if they name someone else as head coach. This level of stability and having someone on the inside get moved up is a great move for FSU. Just a few more years until we are relevant again.

Anonymous said...

The whole world knows Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno are locked in a race to be the #1 alltime winningest D1A coach in history and neither will even consider retiring unless the school does it for them but that is highly unlikely because FSU and PSU knows that it stands to be the beneficiary of this college football duel of the geezers even though BB is a couple yrs younger than Pappy Joe who turned 80 but hey that never stopped Bruton Smith who is 81 and just been re-energized too on the local level showing he is the King with no competition able to bring small town arrogant politican to their knees to cry uncle and beg so noone got anything on the
Metro-Charlotte area in this age department thingie either.

All this should be an incentive to all the old fart geezers out there with pace makers and canes. In the end when JP and BB or BS in racing all hit 100 wearing pace makers and in wheel chairs then you may see a coaching change but thats 20 yrs off. All these young whippersnappers bitchin about them will all be dead.

nolealways said...

It does not matter.Jimbo Fisher
will never be a Bobby Bowden.
Jimbo Fisher can never feel the shoes of Bobby 'NEVER"

NinerPride said...

Good move, FSU. The ACC should take note on stability. Not any coach is going to build a dynasty without bumps in the road. GT made this mistake with Gailey, NCSU with Amato (although the replacement is still strong, he'll probably see the same fate). And Carolina almost did the same decades ago, with Dean Smith a bumpy start. Patience, guys!