Hiring Talent

After hearing all the bellyaching and beyotching from both Coog Fans and Miami Fans. I got to thinking about the hiring process. I am not sure how many of you do that but I can tell you it is not easy especially if you do not know someone that you can gauge them by. T’s a crap shoot at best. You can hire someone and they interview well so you think it will be a homerun. Once they get inside the office they are a total bust. Sometimes the exact opposite happens. You interview them and they are not to impressive. Once they get in the office the wreck shop. Now I have heard some grumbling from people I respect that this hire was a reach. Which really causes me concern. However, I want to say we have to let the guy do his thing next year to see what we got.

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Agree 100%. Also agree that we should give CMA a chance.

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I just hope Applewhite or someone on the staff he already hired has some kind of connection with the new DC. That there’s something there that we don’t see, because all we can go on are stats. Otherwise this just reeks of another Levine type of hiring where it’s 50/50 at best.

CoogFansAdmin posted, “Now I have heard some grumbling from people I respect that this hire was a reach.”

There was no one in sports that I have ever respected more than Guy Lewis. Guy told me that he thought we should hire Clyde Drexler and that Clyde would be a great coach. Then, sure enough we hired Clyde; but he was a bust as a HC. Sometimes even guys we respect can be wrong.

As for the grumbling folks you respect, what is the reason for their grumbling? Some folks just may have someone else they prefer, some don’t want anyone connected to UT, and some just wanted some big splash name. The previous UT coach was a splash hire at the time; how did that turn out? As a matter of fat, there are lots of splash hires that have failed at schools over the years and others that were successful which were not.


I have no real opinion on the new DC; I believe that everyone needs to drive the car to see if they actually know how to drive it. That includes CMA as well as the DC. I suspect that he fits in with the plan that CMA has for the defense. I really don’t think he’s stupid.


I As a retired principal who hired 100+ teachers over the years and now is evaluating 20-30 potential teachers every semester, I concur that there is no guaranteed process. The best you can do is review the applicant’s resume, thoroughly check references, and conduct a personal interview. Then you go with your gut feelings. My first hire became a master teacher of 30+ years but then I really blew a couple of hires especially in my early years. Sometimes you even have a good candidate you’d like to hire but they won’t fit personality, or age, or philosophically with a department or team so you have a dilemma. It will be interesting to see how this group of coaches gel, because not only are they new to each other, CMA is new to the head coach position and has to learn it at the same time he is juggling a new coaching staff.

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I do believe most of the griping about the DC originates primarily from a very staunch group of CoogFans that were against Major Applewhite getting the HC position, because they correlated dislike of him as a coordinator with dislike for him as a HC. Out of all the previous staff, I thought CMA was the most HC ready between Kiffin/Orlando/Riley/Applewhite, and the best option due to his Texas recruiting ties, his pedigree (working under Saban, Brown, Herman, amongst others), and his willingness to stick around for a little while.

The people that are still pissed about CMA being hired need to get the hell over it! It’s done. Applewhite is a smart dude. We are not getting another Herman incarnate with this hire, i.e. charismatic off the charts, wears emotions on his sleeve, ball of energy. We are getting Major Applewhite, one of the finest college QBs (that got screwed hard by outsiders influencing decisions) and a pretty damn good coordinator. He did good things at Rice, Bama, and Texas before running Urban Meyer’s offensive strategy here at Houston.

If CMA thinks D’Onofrio is the best option at DC, okay then. I wasn’t in the interview to discuss what his defensive philosophy is now that he is separated from Al Golden. I don’t know what they are planning to run here other than it is probably a 3-4. One thing is for sure, CMA, Wyatt, Blum, and Pope all have excellent TX recruiting experience. D’Onofrio and Hiller have Florida experience. We play in Florida semi-regularly. If we can pull a few good recruits from the Sunshine State, why not?


Very insightful post, Cary…agree 100%


I remember when people grumbled about Levine. Others shouted “give him a chance.” Whether people agonize over a hire or everyone supports it with rose colored glasses, it won’t change the recruiting or outcome of a single game.

Everyone gets an opinion. That’s what sports conversations are all about.


I support the student athletes, they deserve it. Coaches come and go as do the athletes, but for me it is all about the student. Support them and know peace, worry about the coach, know no peace.

List item

Do NOT compare THIS situation to Levine…He was a special teams coach with zero experience or cred at anything who was handed the job for no other reason than to save money…THIS is our coach bringing in a DC who had big success at one school(Temple) and lack of success at another school(Miami) that had a myriad of issues and problems when he was there.
You can argue the merits all day long, but Major has plenty of justification to make the hire.



Why grumble? Because the head guy made comments that led us to high expectations. We were led to believe that we are a destination job with a high salary potential so we’d have a deep pool of high quality talent to choose from. But either because we aren’t a destination job or all of the talent wouldn’t take our buyout requirements, we hired the guy down the hall that no one else wanted as their head coach. I’m not sure anyone else wanted him at OC any longer.

But we’ll give him a shot. After all one of his supposed positives over Levine was his coaching ties. So surely he’ll hire great coordinators. OC might be ok. Hit and miss history with more success recently as a position coach than his history as OC. Mostly unknown, might be ok, but again doesn’t meet the high expectations we were sold

Then we have DC. It took a long time. Must be because we’re waiting for a quality coach from a team still in bowls, playoffs, or NFL. Nope we get a guy sitting at home because he was fired and he’s hated by fans of his last team

So why wasn’t he hired early in the process? The most likely reason is we WERE hoping for a coach still in bowls, playoffs or NFL, but they all fell through. So 2nd, 3rd , lower option. Other possible reason, although unlikely, is the DC was holding out for a better job. Rumors from one Miami poster that he had other offers, probably sunbelt or similar if true. But if he wanted a better job and didn’t get one, odds are he’ll be gone if he’s successful here

That’s a big reason for the grumbling. Our leadership sold big expectations, but the result didn’t match what we thought we’d get.

I think coaching ties is for recruiting. Levine recruited exceptionally well. He could not develop and coach the talent.

Our hope is Applewhite can do both. Use his coaching network to get good players AND develop them into productive players.

One of the Levine complaints was that he didn’t have a network of coaches so he wound up hiring via google. Major coached at UT and Bama and others so he was supposed to have personal and professional contacts in a network of quality coaches to hire from. The DC hire seems to dispute the quality or depth of that network

I spent the better part of almost 30 years contracting with small businesses hiring personnel. I then spent an equal amount of time working with the owners and managers of these same businesses to effectively manage their employees. I have at my disposal a vast array of tests, assessments, and sundry training tools. The one thing I take away from all this is that hiring is at best a kind of carp shoot.

The good news is that even when a candidate does not initially work out, in many cases with the right kind of management the situation can be salvaged. It works with athletes and with coaches.

At this point all the griping can only make things worse. That’s a fact. I’m sure that’s the goal of some who post here.

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BINGO! Very disappointing.

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We have grown folks putting a bad taste in 17, 18 and 19 year olds mouth without even knowing it. I wish they will just stop! It does have negative effect on recruiting.

Out of curiosity, is there any point that griping becomes justified? It could be argued that after 3 years of mediocrity or worse, griping can still make things worse for the active coach. So is complaining never allowed?

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