Time for change (Football)

Given the current state of our football program I think it is time for a change. Why do we not look to winning high school coaches in the Arkansas, Oklahoma or even Texas area. Gus is a great example of how this can work and whatever program our current coach has us on is not working. Yesterday driving home from Greenville, SC to Columbia, SC I listened to a talk radio program about the current state of South Carolina Baseball and how the coach is running out of options, after taking a Lamborghini and making it a pinto. While we may not be a Lamborghini we were definitely a Corvette and turning us into a Yugo is not what we hired this guy for. The AD has to make the tough call of letting him go and paying him to go and hiring someone worthwhile. I have watched to many games that he has coached with bad decisions being made at every turn. Listening and watching stories on him and his wife is great for reality TV but we did not hire him for this and he has not fulfill our expectations of him as the head coach of the Razorbacks.

This was your first post? I can’t wait to see what you bring to the board. :roll:

[quote=“BobC”]
Given the current state of our football program I think it is time for a change. Why do we not look to winning high school coaches in the Arkansas, Oklahoma or even Texas area. Gus is a great example of how this can work and whatever program our current coach has us on is not working. Yesterday driving home from Greenville, SC to Columbia, SC I listened to a talk radio program about the current state of South Carolina Baseball and how the coach is running out of options, after taking a Lamborghini and making it a pinto. While we may not be a Lamborghini we were definitely a Corvette and turning us into a Yugo is not what we hired this guy for. The AD has to make the tough call of letting him go and paying him to go and hiring someone worthwhile. I have watched to many games that he has coached with bad decisions being made at every turn. Listening and watching stories on him and his wife is great for reality TV but we did not hire him for this and he has not fulfill our expectations of him as the head coach of the Razorbacks.
[/quote]It is curious to me that so many have the mindset that all it takes to have a winning football program is to have fans setting high expectations and have a revolving door for head coaches who do not meet those high expectations, realistic or not. Since the poster is from South Carolina, it would seem that he has been in a position to witness the challenge of football excellence.

South Carolina hired two different Hall of Fame coaches, neither of which set the world on fire as Head Gamecock. So I do not see it as easy as just playing musical coaches. I cannot say with certainty that Bret is the right guy, but I think our best chance of having a good football program is with stability and working the process. Based on this preference, I am content to play this hand a while longer.

Ok, I’ll respond to your first post with my first post. I’ve been around a long time just reading. Had to take a couple of years off for health reasons. I was under a different screen name before, Pigrollo. I was healed, a spiritual thing, some will understand and some will not.
To date myself, growing up my favs were Billy Moore, Brittnum and Bill Montgomery with many of their team mates. Cliff Powell, Bill Burnett and Dicky Morton and So many more. So I understand the history and realize the challenges that our Hogs face.
Hire, fire, hire fire, silly. There are several successful programs that stuck by their coach while a change of culture was taking place. I truly believe Coach B is changing our culture. These things do not happen overnight but it is happening. We play in the toughest division in the toughest conference in all of college football. There are some cracks that are appearing in the SEC west. Grumblings in College Station, Orgeron hired at LSU, great news for us. Freeze, really. Gus, really. Saben and Bama win for many, reasons. Many to be respected, some nefarious. Mullen is a really good coach and I can’t believe he will be there for much longer.
So with all that being said, you want us to hire a High School coach. Child please

I agree that it’s time for a change.
I think that change may have the opportunity to come this season with the new defense. I’m not a huge CBB fan, but his willingness to adapt and recognize what needs to change leaves me feeling encouraged. I’ll give him this season to work the kinks out, but it’s time for a 9 win season or the boot.

I heavily disagree on looking at the high school ranks. Most of those coaches have absolutely no idea how to handle ta college football team. It would be disastrous.

Hi Bob.

Welcome to the Football Insider’s Board. Before you got here there has been quite a bit of discussion on your point. Since this board tends to have fewer foaming at the mouth reactionaries and more older, veteran, fans, I think the majority (but certainly not all) think Bielema deserved at least 5-6 years to install his system and fix things at Arkansas. We (and I am one of those) tend to think it is time to make it happen in the next two years with definite progress happening this year.

There aren’t many Gus fans left on this board although I think there are several lurking quietly. The Malzahnistas pushed too hard too quick for Gus when he was just breaking into the college game and turned a lot of fans off. The Auburn payola recruiting machine has supplied Gus with a lot of athletes and, as long as he has a Cam Newton type QB, his offense works. Many of us believe, without the recruiting edge that Auburn offers, he would not be that successful at Arkansas.

Bielema’s system did and is stilll working at Wisconsin. Stanford, Georgia, and Vanderbilt are running similar offenses. Arkansas is now known as a great location for tight ends, pro-style quarterbacks, power running backs, and offensive linemen. Because we are not a spread offense and run a pro type power offense, we have a recruiting edge that Arkansas has never had. So, it is time for all of that to bear fruit. I think it will. I also like Bielema, like the character of his team, and feel he is a good fit for Arkansas. His history is that he can do more with less recruiting stars than most coaches and that is what we need at Arkansas. He coached Russell Wilson, super bowl winning QB, J.J. Watt, and the top paid offensive tackle, guard, and center in the NFL.

I don’t think grabbing some hot high school coach and hoping for the best is a smart move right now. If we flop next year, I might reconsider. JMVVVVVVHO

Its May 31st. No way you get rid of a coach now (we saw what our options were when we fired a coach in April, not good). I realize you are probably not saying “today” (but heck, you may be saying that, your post sounds like it.) If you are saying today, that would be a stupid decision. If you are saying at the end of the season, I still question the timing of your post. What if (not that I think we will) we went 11-1 and won the SEC? At this point, let the season play out.

I am anything but a huge BB fan. Didn’t like the hire when it was made. But, in general, we have improved each year under him. Obviously not last year. Yes, my expectations are more than 6 or 7 regular season wins. No, that isn’t satisfactory. But you do have to look at the big picture. Where are we headed? A good time to ask that question is after the season (or at least far enough into the season to see where we are going.) May 31st is not a good time to call for a change.

Seldom is a transition straight from high school to SEC West going to happen. It didn’t happen for Gus. He had time at Tulsa as an assistant, time at Auburn as an assistant, time at Arkansas State as a head coach and then finally a head coach at Auburn. I think he would have told you that it would have been very difficult to jump from Springdale head coach to Auburn head coach. I do not think his first job should have been at Springdale High, either. He did it in a logical way, building first at Hughes, then moving up the ladder in high school. That’s the best way for it to happen. The tough part is for a high school coach to give up being the man to be an assistant at an SEC school. Few want to do that and maybe fewer SEC coaches want to do that since recruiting is a big piece to the puzzle. Some high school coaches can handle that part, some can’t.

So that part of the original post I’m not sure I understand totally. I think there are some changes happening at Arkansas right now as far as the defense. Time will tell how that works out.

I do think the head coach understands the need to win games. I think the athletic director does, too. I don’t think the Arkansas football program is far away from where it needs to be. Certainly, it was close last year. You can argue that they were lucky to win a couple at the start of last season. And, they could have easily won a couple more at the end. The thing that bothered me the most was the blow-outs to teams like Auburn and Texas A&M (mainly the fourth quarter) and LSU.

I think this team might be better than the last two. The offense is going to be very good. The defense is a little bit of an unknown, but I think the main difference there is not going to be formation and scheme, but passion. I think the changes in the staff as far as positive encouragement will make the bigger change.

Jury is still out if he has “made it”

The only coach I can remember who went straight from high school to college head coach was Todd Dodge at North Texas, and that did not go well.

The others - Gus Malzahn, Hugh Freeze, Chad Morris, Art Briles, etc. - all worked their way up the ladder.

I don’t know of any high school head coaches in Arkansas who aspire to be head coach in Division I.

Gerry Faust at Notre Dame, went straight from Moeller High in Cincinnati to South Bend. That didn’t work either. Replaced by some runt with a lisp named Holtz who did a little better.’

As for OP, if this is your idea of how to fix our program I think I will steer clear of your posts in the future.

The First one I remember going straight from a high school coach to a college head coach was Gerry Faust from Cincinnati Moehler High to Notre Dame. Didn’t go well and Faust was let go and edned up at Toledo or Akron or some School like that. Perhaps before your time Matt.

Another coach that rose from the high school ranks and worked his way up i.e. being a college assistant al the way to the coach of the Houston Oilers was Bum Phillips. He was a high school coaching legend in Texas who earned the respect of Bear Bryant when Bryant was at Texas A&M.

Didn’t Michigan go that route once or maybe they got one for his 2nd D-1 job after coaching HS. Either way it didn’t turn out to well as I recall.

[quote=“KeithGuthrie”]

Great post. In the thirty years before CBB, we went through 9 coaches or an average tenure of 3.3 years (Yes Joe Kines and John L. Smith skew the distribution). I’m ready to try a longer-term approach and persevere through the ups and downs with a gradual increasing trend line to culminate in that one special year every once in a while. Those are my expectations.

One thing about high school coaches: if I remember right, Gus had a niche offense that made him maybe a little more attractive than most high school coaches. And even then colleges weren’t knocking down the doors to get him. Like CBB or hate him, a high school coach who has won state championships does not have the credentials of winning three Big Ten titles. You can say those titles were tainted (the Big Ten was down, etc., etc.), but they are still three Big Ten titles. Does that translate to SEC West championships? Not yet. But I’ll take my chances with CBB than any high school coach in the state. I agree, a longer-term approach is best.

This is about the time we should see cultural change kick in with benefits to the program. Also the time we should see some benefits from the redshirt pipeline. I am concerned about the defense and have low expectations, but maybe the whole thing can balance out, strong offense taking burdens off the defense. Consistency of talent acquisition and development on defense is not close to SEC standard yet, and that must change.

I don’t view it as rational, though, to pop up at the end of May and declare that we already need to make a head coaching change.

Matt:

There was another one who made the jump direct from HS to college head coach, but it may have been a bit before your time (Gerry Faust at Notre Dame).

Post less.

I strongly concur. Bob you are clearly divorced from reality if you think the AD should let CBB go and then embark on hiring a “winning high school coach”.