By Jay Coulter
There’s little arguing that today’s crop of SEC coaches are perhaps the best in the history of the conference. Nine of the 12 coaches have won a conference championship at least once in their careers. Five have won national championships and Tommy Tuberville was screwed out of one in 2004.
But with all the success, there’s still something missing from today’s SEC coaches. I haven’t been able to pinpoint it until now. MaconDawg over at Dawgsports.com picked up on it this week and wrote about it. That’s when it hit me.
Head coaches don’t dress like real coaches anymore.
One of the things I liked most about Pat Dye when I was growing up in the 80′s was the way he carried himself (when his pants were on and not at the bottom of Lake Martin). Every Saturday in the fall he wore a blue blazer, orange and blue tie, khaki pants and an Auburn hat. He looked like a head coach. He looked like the boss. His demeanor demanded respect from the players and other coaches.
Going the way of corporate America, college coaches have moved to a more casual look. Most head coaches wear the same thing as their assistants. At best they wear a nice school-branded shirt and slacks; and at worst they look like Charlie Weiss of Notre Dame. Note to Charlie: fat guys should never wear oversized sweatshirts. We still know you are fat.
You only need to go back 20 years to see an entirely different era in coaching. I can still picture Vince Dooley in that sweater with a tie underneath. I can see Johnny Majors of Tennessee on the sidelines with a coat and tie. And yes, even Bear Bryant wore a tie, although most of the time it only fell half way down his shirt.
Now before you start thinking I’m one of those fruity designers on the E! Channel, I’m not suggesting that putting on a coat and tie makes you a better coach. But it sure does make you look smarter. Watching Steve Spurrier throw his girly visor down on the ground after a bad call hardly invokes memories of Neyland or Dodd.
I guess what I’m ranting about today is that coaches should dress like coaches. Leaders wear coats and ties. They don’t wear knit shirts and visors. I know it’s hot as hell in September. But these guys should be used to it. Practice in a coat and tie if it helps the body adjust and eliminate flop sweat on game day. Show some pride in the outfit. Show you care like a Marine.
The SEC coaches today may make more money, stay in better shape and look more tan, but give me old school. Just once I’d like to see Tommy throw on a blue blazer and a tie for a game. Sadly, I can’t picture it. I guess those days are gone forever and I’m just getting old.