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Tag:Colorado coaching search
Posted on: December 6, 2010 4:14 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2010 4:17 pm
 

Embree and Bienemy: A win-win for Colorado?

Posted by Chip Patterson

Colorado can finally move past the Dan Hawkins era in Boulder, and they will have some familiar faces returning to lead the new regime.  On Monday, the school officially introduced Jon Embree as their new head coach.  A Colorado-grad, Embree played tight end for the Buffs in the 1980s and now is an assistant coach under Mike Shanahan with the Washington Redskins.  While Colorado did not get a coach with any head coaching experience, they were able to bring along another name from their wish list.  Eric Bienemy, the school's all-time leading rusher and now running backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings, will be brought on as offensive coordinator under Embree.  

Bienemy and Embree not only will bring a sense of school pride to the program, but also were both names being discussed for the head coaching position.  In getting both of them, the Buffs find themselves in a win-win situation.  Combine that with winning 2 of their last 3 games, and there is reason to be excited about the beginning of this new chapter in Colorado football history.  The last time both coaches were on staff was under Gary Barnett in 2001 and 2002, with the first year being Colorado's only Big 12 Conference Championship.  It would be difficult to pencil them in as Big 12 contenders in 2011, but a change of scenery after next season could provide new opportunities for the evolving program.
Posted on: December 1, 2010 3:14 pm
 

Bieniemy in line for Colorado job?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

We know now who the new Colorado head coach won't be, namely, Troy Calhoun . We also know that the Buffs appear set on making a run at Les Miles that has as much chance of succeeding as a run at Ralphie-powered space travel. But what we don't know yet is who the Buffs might actually hire.

According to the Denver Post , though, we know who's edged into pole position : former Colorado great and current Minnesota Vikings running backs coach Eric Bieniemy . Why?
Ex-CU players are putting a great deal of pressure on athletic director Mike Bohn to hire the former Buffs tailback, who had a good interview Saturday. The committee was impressed with the potential staff Bieniemy said he could put together.
In one sense, Bieniemy would be an uninspiring hire. The track record of NFL position coaches as college head coaches isn't a strong one (just ask Tim Brewster and Sylvester Croom ) and Bieniemy has never been a coordinator at any level. Well-meaning as the former Buffs may be, Bieniemy's hire would also only reinforce the impression -- first created by the school's flirtation with 70-year-old Colorado legend Bill McCartney -- that the program is simply trying to recreate their late-'80s-early-'90s heyday rather than living in the present.

But if Bieniemy does indeed have a pair of inspiring choices in mind to help him out as coordinators, he could prove a galvanizing choice. Few coaches should be able to sell the Colorado program to recruits as well as a young, (allegedly) charismatic, energetic head man with ties to Boulder as deep as Bieniemy's. That both Bieniemy and McCartney have received as much popular support as they have shows how deep the Buffalo fanbase's respect for the CU glory days runs, and Bieniemy should be able to tap into that optimism in a wa ythat Dan Hawkins never could. And as Doug Marrone 's impressive salvage job at Syracuse shows, NFL assistants coachin on behalf of their alma mater can certainly have success.

None of that guarantees Bieniemy anything at this stage. But if the Buffs are as intent on making a quick hire as the Post article suggests, the other candidates in the Buffs' pool will have to move up the ladder quickly if they don't want to see the job wrapped up.


Posted on: November 29, 2010 10:52 am
 

Take Houston Nutt rumors with a beach of salt

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Wherever there are head coaching openings in college football and wild unsubstantiated rumors about who will fill them, there will always be one name whose presence in those rumors and frequency of being "connected" to those jobs rises above all others: Houston Nutt .

Ever since his move from Boise State to Arkansas in 1998, Nutt has been linked with every conceviable opening, from a laundry list of SEC gigs to the Dallas Cowboys head coach to President Obama's "health care czar." (Only made up that last one, by the way; rumor had it before the Wade Phillips hire that since Jerry Jones is an Arkansas alum and enjoyed Nutt's time in charge of the Razorbacks, he would turn his franchise over to a guy with no NFL experience whatsoever that most of the pro football media have never even heard of.)

The reason for this is simple, and bears the name Jimmy Sexton . The most influential agent in the SEC, bar-none, one of Sexton's favorite longtime ploys for leverage has been to float rumors in the press that his clients could leave for other destinations, then using the apparent "interest" to help wrangle his client a new contract extension. This is exactly what Sexton ought to be doing, since it's a strategy that works and works well; when Auburn was in the market for a new coach after Tommy Tuberville 's departure in 2008 (a Sexton client who himself had reportedly been interetsed in jobs at Texas A&M, Arkansas, Miami, etc. over they ears), reports flew fast and furious that Nutt was the Tigers' top choice, and within a handful of days the Rebels had given Nutt an extension and a raise despite the fact that there's little evidence Auburn ever considered Nutt at all.

So when you read the now widespread "report" that Nutt has already accepted the Colorado job , remember that no one is better at conjuring "Nutt to new position X" stories out of thin air than Sexton.  (Especially when no one with a shred of credibility is lending the rumor any legs , Nutt himself included.) Admittedly, quotes like this one ...
Nutt added the intrigue when he was asked after the game what sort of items he wants to address after the season. “There’s a few things,” he said. “I’m going to get into that Sunday. I just — I want to talk to my team first before they read it. I want them to hear it first.”
... don't exactly help the "nothing to see here" argument, but it seems substantially more likely that Nutt's referring to staffing changes (maybe the dismissal of under-fire defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix ?) than any kind of change in his own job status.

Besides, a quote like that ensures Nutt can stay in the headlines for another couple of news cycles. No doubt Sexton is smiling somewhere over that.

HT: TSK .

Posted on: November 24, 2010 1:14 pm
 

Does Colorado have a shot at Miles?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

If most of us were compliling a wish list of candidates for Colorado and their open head coaching position, we'd rank Les Miles somewhere between Condoleeza Rice and Zombie Knute Rockne . All three are intriguing options, but the day any of the three accept the Buffaloes'  head job is the day the world ceases spinning on its axis.

Or so we think. That's reportedly not the way Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn is thinking , however, as he tries to lure the former Buffs assistant back to Boulder:

Bohn isn't talking about the ongoing coaching search, but Miles' name will not go away. School sources say Miles remains high on Bohn's wish list, along with Air Force's Troy Calhoun . And if he pulls off a third straight win Friday, interim coach Brian Cabral should get prominent consideration.

What are the chances of Colorado luring Miles, winner of the 2007 national championship and the coach of the 10-1, fifth-ranked Tigers?

"Two weeks ago, I would've given that story a lot of validity," said Brandon LeGrange, a booster for 15 years in the powerful Tiger Athletic Foundation. "The pressure on him before his win in the Alabama game, I don't know how one man can stand it."

Pressure or no, the list of reasons Miles wouldn't relocate to Colorado seem endless; he'd be forced to take a huge pay cut to join cash-strapped Buffs, his chances of winning championships (both conference and national) would shrink dramatically, he'd have to abandon an LSU program he's recruited into one of the most talented in the country and is poised for its third BCS berth on Miles' watch, and all of that is before we start getting into the pain of uprooting his family.

In short, the pressure (along with Miles' alleged love of Boulder as a city) would be the only reason Miles might abandon Baton Rouge for Boulder, and after starting 9-1, Miles seems to be thriving as fully as he ever has under that pressure. If Miles was looking for a way out of his LSU job, it stands to reason he'd have taken the chance to go to a Michigan job he reportedly covets three years ago.

Stranger things have happened. And at this relatively early stage, there's not much cost (if any) to aiming high. But until there's some indication Bohn's interest is reciprocated in any fashion, we'd suggest the Buffs focus their efforts on Calhoun, or maybe some kind of unholy rite involved in hiring a vampire Vince Lombardi .

HT: EDSBS .

Posted on: November 11, 2010 11:21 am
Edited on: November 11, 2010 11:37 am
 

Colorado AD: Buffs "just not good enough"

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

 
Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn went on Denver radio station 104.3 the Fan yesterday and spoke a little bit about what he was looking for in a new head coach for his struggling Buffalo football program. One factor cited: improved recruiting, which has lagged near the bottom of the Big 12 in recruiting ranking estimates ever since Dan Hawkins ' big (and unfortunately, largely overrated ) splash of a class in 2008. Bohn is right to say that hiring a coach with enough energy and savvy to pay dividends on the recruiting trail would make a big difference as the team prepares to take on its new rivals in the Pac-12 .

But could Bohn have done so with a little more tact? Yes, he could have done so with a little more tact:
"In the end, I think that [Hawkins] just wasn’t able to galvanize, not only a lot of our constituents that are important to us in the end, but being able to galvanize enough recruits to come. We had some challenges with some academic performance issues and things like that that just kind of ate away at it in a negative tone that didn’t allow it to click. The bottom line is, as much as we love Cody Hawkins — he’ll probably end up being the all-time quarterback — and Scotty McKnight , the all-time leader receiver, doggone it we love those kids, but they’re just not good enough, big enough, strong enough, fast enough to really put us over the edge.
Maybe Bohn is right. But now -- with Cody's father just fired and his being forced to take over the offense anyway as the only fucntional quarterback available -- seems like a really terrible time to tell the world that Cody Hawkins isn't a good enough athlete to play football at this level. Most coaches and administrators would be bending over bakwards to praise a player like McKnight who had stuck it out through so many terrible seasons t obecome a school record holder. Instead, Bohn openly wishes he'd had someone better all along. This is how he "loves those kids"?

If Bohn is truly that worried about recruiting, maybe he should take the first step by showing recruits that if they choose Colorado, they won't have their accomplishments belittled and their talent made fun of by their athletic director on local radio.



Posted on: November 8, 2010 10:43 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2010 9:34 am
 

Report: Hawkins out at Colorado

Posted by Chip Patterson

UPDATE - Tuesday 8:30 a.m. - John Henderson of the Denver Post has confirmed with several sources that Dan Hawkins will meet with the team Tuesday morning, then there will be a noon news conference to formally make the announcement.  Associate head coach Brian Cabral is expected to be promoted to interim head coach for the final three games.  However, most of the staff (likely Cabral included) is not expected to return for the 2011 season.         

-------------------------------- 

From the category of "pre-written headlines" comes Monday evening's reports from Colorado.  After five seasons as the head coach of the Buffs, Dan Hawkins is out at the University of Colorado.  Vic Lombardi of CBS4-Denver reported that Hawkins is expected to meet with the team Tuesday morning, and at that time we will learn whether Hawkins will finish the season, or leave immediately.  If the position becomes vacant immediately, it is expected that assistant coach Brian Cabrel will take over the head coaching duties.  

Hawkins was on the hot seat coming into the season, and Saturday evening's meltdown against Kansas had to have been the straw that broke the camel's back.  Colorado blew a 45-17 fourth quarter lead to a Jayhawks squad that has not scored more than 28 points in a game all season.  Despite the outspoken sentiments of the team after the game, Colorado is obviously focused on acting this week.  

Keep it here on the College Football Blog, as we will update as the inevitable begins to unfold.
 
 
 
 
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