A Big Name Coach Doesn’t Guarantee Success
Letdown. That’s the word trending across message boards and Twitter accounts in relation to the Auburn coaching search. With Jimbo Fisher, Bob Stoops, Jim Mora Jr. and other big name coaches seemingly bowing out of the Auburn search, fans are flooding social media sites expressing their disappointment in what they perceive as a lack of marquee coaching candidates.
In reality, only a handful of people have a clue what’s actually taking place behind closed doors. What we know continues to be limited. It’s believed that Arkansas St. coach Gus Malzahn, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris have interviewed.
It’s also widely assumed that Auburn is taking aim at TCU coach Gary Patterson and will at some point, interview former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino. If there’s anyone else in the mix, they’ve escaped the spotlight.
Will Auburn people welcome a proven coordinator or a successful coach from a smaller program?
A big name may buy you headlines for a day, but it doesn’t guarantee you victories in the fall. History says lesser known candidates often succeed at the same rate as older, proven coaches.
Who was Bob Stoops when he left Florida for Oklahoma? See Kirby Smart. Who would have promoted Chip Kelly up at Oregon? What about Charlie Strong at Louisville? He couldn’t buy a head coaching job for years.
How about Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M? Houston was a nice story last season, but conventional wisdom said the SEC was a different ball game. Let’s not forget about the guy in Athens who came from FSU as an assistant. He came up four yards short of a national title appearance on Saturday.
Pat Dye came from Wyoming. Shug Jordan was an assistant coach before landing the Auburn gig.
The list is as long as you want it to be…
Will I be disappointed if it’s not a big name? No way. I’ll be upset if it’s not the right fit. That’s what matter most to Auburn. Fans can’t get caught up in competing with Saban, Richt and Miles. Auburn has its own issues to deal with first.
It needs a leader who can bring the family together, get control of a talented group of kids and focus on putting the program back together. Everything else is just noise.
Chances are good that we’ll know by sundown who’ll be walking the Auburn sidelines next fall. Let’s not get caught up in the headlines and what our rivals say; instead ask yourself if it’s the right choice for Auburn.
That’s all that matters.