Experience Over Potential

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 11.18.2016

Yes, you have to win right now if you are a college football coach. Greatness is fleeting and so are boosters checkbooks. No one likes to give money to a loser after all and college football has turned into a perennial ‘keeping up with the jones’ world. So if winning is, as the great Vince Lombardi once said ‘the only thing’, then why don’t more college football programs go after coaches with a track record of winning?

Butch DavisButch Davis was hired on as the head coach at Florida International (FIU). He has spent the past few seasons on TV since he got run out of UNC for pretty much not having any kind of academic standards. Despite that he is a winner on the field. He has a career record of 79-43 in 10 years of being a head coach and brought Miami back from the brink as well as being the last head coach to take the Cleveland Browns to the post season (that was the 2001-2002 season). It’s a smart hire by FIU who have been a doormat ever since they ran Mario Cristobal out of town.

Speaking of Cristobal, why hasn’t anyone hired this guy yet?

Cristobal is young (46), turned FIU into a conference champion while taking them to back-to-back bowl games and is considered to be one of the best recruiters in the country. Oh, his current job is coaching the ever dominant Alabama offensive line. He did nothing wrong at FIU except start losing games. Since they fired him they have gone straight into the toilet.

Two other names that don’t seem to be getting a lot attention despite having successful collegiate head coaching experience are Al Golden and Greg Schiano.

Al GoldenGolden is coaching with the Minnesota Vikings and helping make Kyle Rudolph one of the better tight ends in the game. He made the best of a unwinnable situation at Miami, turned around Temple and stayed classy doing it.

Schiano on the other hand resurrected Rutgers into a legitimate program. Schiano has a winning record as the Rutgers head coach which should say something about his coaching abilities. He took Rutgers to their first bowl game since 1978 and was named Coach of the Year in 2006. While he has a good gig right now (AHC/DC for Ohio State) you’d have to imagine that he would want the chance to run his own show again.

The list can go on and on but it should give schools like Purdue, LSU and others some pause. Pause to not chase after the next sexy hire but instead to hire someone with a track record of winning. Hire someone looking to prove that they still do have what it takes and learned from their mistakes in the past. Hire experience, not potential.

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