I think the whole purpose of the HighRoad/Petrino thread ...

was to indicate how few quality coaches are available for us anymore.

I was talking to a rabid Bama fan yesterday and he insinuated that our highly embarrassing losses to lowly North Texas or Colorado State were due to hiring a high school coach. Then he said that’s all anybody was able to hire nowadays–high school coaches. “The whole world is going to high school coaches!”, he lamented; then he said when Nick retires they will have to look at HS coaches also.

(However, I should have reminded him Bama has Dabo waiting in the wings.)

I just don’t know how anyone can evaluate a coach. Frank Broyles knew how to do it, but I don’t know anyone else who seems to. Oh sure, we can all evaluate those who’ve won big at a major college level, but even then it’s risky hiring someone who might have lost the fire or played a completely different kind of game. (Bud Wilkinson failed as a pro coach after being out of the game & tremendous success at OU years earlier.)

Some schools succeed just because the school itself can attract recruits. Notre Dame, Bama, etc. But even those can fall if they hire the wrong coach. However, if you put someone like Saban into the place, it’s going to succeed mightily.

I have no idea if Morris will succeed here. I sure don’t want to judge him based on this season, but even if we were to fire him today, I don’t know who in the world we get to replace him. No one is a certain success. Bret Bielema had a great record at UW. Danny Ford did a Clemson. Petrino had us near the top, but he’s not doing great at Louisville these days.

Bret Bielema and Danny Ford were, BY FAR, the most decorated coaches we have ever hired (at the time of the hire. Lou Holtz made his name at Arkansas…then of course became a legend at ND).

Neither Bret nor Danny succeeded.

It is indeed hard to evaluate.

Morris has succeeded at every level of his career. Before someone posts and pastes his record at SMU…I consider his career at SMU a success. Taking SMU, where they were when he arrived, to a bowl in 3 years? That’s a success. You gotta look at the context underscoring the bottom line in evaluating.

But…who knows how Chad is gonna do here.

He could have helped himself by beating Colo State. Even if we lose to UNT…beating Colo State totally changes the conversation today.

One thing that makes it tough I feel is the out of control salaries the successful coaches get these days. No multimillion dollar coach is going to transfer to a school such as Arkansas today and that reduces the options when seeking a new coach.
The pool is reduced to new head coaches or experienced position coaches or yes high school coaches. Peersonally I thought the Memphis coach was the one I would have gone after but there is no longer a good list of successful coaches available.

This is kind of a convoluted thread. A lot of good coaches came out of the high school ranks and a lot of bad coaches never coached a down in a high school. Neither is a guarantee of success. Some great athletes make great coaches and some great coaches never played a down of college football. Frank was always leary of hiring coaches without head coaching experience. Just because a guy is a good assistant coach or coordinator does not mean he will be a good coach. Frank knew that a proven head coach is critical. So what do we have with Morris? He was a successful offensive coordinator at Tulsa and Clemson after succeeding first in Texas High School Coaching. We hired him after three years as SMU’s head coach and, despite the record, a very respectable three years considering their situation when he arrived. We did not hire a high school coach. Hiring a college head coach straight from a high school has rarely been done. Gerry Faust is the only one I can think of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerry_Faust

Before you go agreeing with your Bama Buddy too much, check this out: <LINK_TEXT text=“https://coachtube.com/football/articles … l-football”>https://coachtube.com/football/articles/10-nfl-college-head-coaches-got-start-high-school-football</LINK_TEXT>

They’re right to a large extent. Look around the country. Even the blue bloods generally usually have to go way down their list and hire an “up and comer”.

Bama lucked out in landing Saban. He repeatedly lied and said he wasn’t leaving the Dolphins. Then he fell in their lap.

But, almost every SEC school has had a fairly bad hire in the meantime. Fla hired Muschamp and Mcelwain. They were awful. Tennesse has had a carousel of flame outs. LSU thought they were going to go a lot better than Orgeron. Freeze was an overrated cheater. Sumlin was mostly swag and little steak. Muschamp was a retread hire at USCe. Kirby is working out at UGA but was unproven as a HC and has been one of the few Saban disciples to do well as a HC.

USCw has struggled to replace Carroll. OU hired Stoops’ young heir apparent. Brian Kelly was ND’s 6-7th choice. FSU reached for Taggert.

Ironically, on paper, we have made 2 of the biggest “name” hires in recent memory. Petrino fired himself and Bielema’s downfall was poor OL and QB recruiting and development and poor in-game coaching.

You just never know what you’re going to get. That’s why on paper the Morris hire could conceivably work. He has recruiting ties to an area we must hit hard, and I’m told he has a high-powered system that shrinks talent gaps.

But, he needs to show some base line competence and competitiveness and ability to get the guys to play hard for him. If they won’t he needs to play guys who will.