I was thinking of all the successful and unsuccessful hires our program has made in its various sports. There have been some that have been really good and some that have been really bad. The good hires seemed like they needed no justification-Herman was coming off a Broyles award season where he was recognized as the best coordinator in football and oh by the way just won a NC with a third string QB while he was OC. One thing did stand out to me about the bad hires, when talking about them after they were initially hired people almost always used some sort of qualification to describe their past. This usually started with a “ya, but…”. For example, James Dickey was met with huge skepticism because he hadn’t been a head coach in about 10 years and his last seasons at tech were bad. When his few supporters would talk about him it was usually something along the lines of “Ya, but his teams were hit with probation and thats why you saw a fall off”. Similarly with Levine who was an unorthodox hire because he didn’t have your standard OC/DC/HC background it was “Ya but the players love him”. Or “ya but Sumlin recommended him/he’s a great recruiter/nice guy, etc”. With Applewhite it was “Ya but highschool coaches recommeded him”.
Now, I know Applewhite will be here for at least another year but I do expect some staff changes. I think when evaluating his new hires the above rule will apply and it did during his first round of hires. With Brian Johnson who was fired from his first job as OC at Utah it was “ya but he was too young and has probably learned now” DiOnofrio “Ya he sucked at Miami and was out of work for a year but his defenses at Temple were good and he would have been Orlando’s choice as DC”. When guys like Orlando, Holgersen, Kingsbury Jason Philips, etc. were hired no one needed to justify those hires or begin the conversation with “Ya, but…"