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Does it take a certain personality to be a successful football coach at CU?

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Buffnik, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Back when Hawkins was here, something that used to tick me off was when I'd hear reports of him telling people from outside the program how difficult it is to win at CU and how there are challenges and issues he couldn't have anticipated.

    This also became part of the foundation of the "Hire Embree" campaign. Basically, we needed people in place that understand the special circumstances at CU and are able to navigate that. Otherwise, the chances of a coach having success were small.

    Then last night on the Buff Chips radio show it was reported that Embree has been telling other coaches at the Pac-12 meetings he has attended that CU has special challenges and very few people would be able to be successful here (Embree being one of those few).

    Obviously, we have a theme.

    Can someone enlighten me, please. What is it about CU that is so vastly different than other university football programs that allegedly makes it difficult to be successful here?

    It can't be just relatively easy fixes like low donor support and aging facilities. Other programs have those issues.

    It can't be just the fact that CU doesn't offer "athlete track" majors of study. Programs at other universities with more rigorous undergraduate academic requirements and higher admissions standards for athletes are successful.

    So, what are the "special challenges" at CU? I've always wondered about this and no one ever says.
     
  2. buff4bcs1985

    buff4bcs1985 Hail to the King

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    hire a pro athletics president fire embree and get a good coach in here
     
  3. Burrito Palazzo

    Burrito Palazzo huff my smug Club Member

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    The walk up the hill from the practice field will destroy anyone's spirit.
     
  4. liverflukes

    liverflukes Resident Bear Club Member

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    Ask your basketball team and coach. Wouldn't they have similar challenges and issues?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
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  5. SBG

    SBG Formerly known as EFNMB Club Member Junta Member

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    It takes a good coach to win anywhere. Look at how many Bama coaches have failed. Look at guys like Blake at OU. And it's a lot easier to win there than it ever will be at CU.

    You can't tell me there aren't profs at places like Michigan or UCLA that don't like sports. You can't tell me boulder isn't the only place that's hostile to football.
     
  6. SuperD

    SuperD Club Member Club Member

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    I really would like to know what these additional challenges are. Is it administrative BS that the new Football Director position is supposed to take off the coaches plate? As you say, donations and facilities are fixable items, has to be some sort of cultural / administrative issue.
     
  7. BuffClass90

    BuffClass90 Banned BANNED

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    Unless Hawk-bree want to inform us what these unique, Boulder-based challenges are, I'd say they're just making excuses...that's what losers do.
     
  8. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    I really don't but the professor thing. Sure theirs some that don't care for athletics but I'd bet most are indifferent.
     
  9. SuperD

    SuperD Club Member Club Member

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    That applies everywhere. There is a professor at Cal who is being a pain in the ass in the press for them regarding Cal's buyout. Something about their library ranking dropping from 3rd to 8th, even though its all private money. He is claiming the money could have somehow been donated to academics instead.
     
  10. 4DemBuffs

    4DemBuffs Most admired poster Club Member

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    nm
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  11. btbuff

    btbuff It's an inside joke Club Member

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    The high altitude gives real issues as the ball just flys in the light air.
     
  12. chipwich

    chipwich Administrator Club Member Junta Member

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    Does it take a certain personality to be a Buff fan ?


    I question my sanity sometimes.
     
  13. cruisebuff

    cruisebuff Club Member Club Member

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    I heard the radio show last night and thought "oh no, here we go again"

    When Neuheisal left CU for Washington he said it was difficult to win at Colorado due to special circumstances. Gary Barnett dismissed this idea, "I"m not Rick," he said.

    Years later, when Dan Hawkins got the job Barnett was singing a different tune. "Dan will find out that CU is not a football factory," Barnett said. When CU was accepted into the Pac 12 Barnett was one of the most negative voices, saying something like the Buffs will have a hard time winning in the conference and could eventually be kicked out unless they got their act together.

    Now we hear from Embree how hard it is to coach at CU.

    There are no doubt challenges with the CU administration, but I agree with BuffClass90 - they are losers justifying their own failures. Coach Mac had bigger challenges in the early 80's and he was able to build a winner here.

    This is a different era, but still I think the right coach, with a positive attitude, can still build a winner at CU.
     
  14. CVilleBuff

    CVilleBuff Club Member Club Member

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    It takes a coach who has a resume of more than being an irrelevant TE coach hiring his best buddies with their equally unimpressive (or complete lack of) resumes

    It takes a coach who can not violate NCAA rules and gets players graduating at a good clip

    It takes a coach who knows x's and o's and has a staff that can successfully recruit CA and TX

    In short, no. I don't believe so. It's hard to buy how "special" we are preventing any hope of success, given the success of schools with stronger academics and communities equally hostile to football succeeding at such a high rate with a wide variety of coaching types.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  15. kalbuff

    kalbuff New Member

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    That's an interesting question. I don't follow football nearly as much as you guys, or the Buffs for that matter, although I really care about them winning. But my personal experience is this. My father-in-law was an NFL scout. He coached on the college level at Iowa State, NAU and Simpson College, among others. And he knew many coaches and would occasionally tell me about them. He knew and respected Bill Mallory who coached here. Now Mallory was a Big Ten coach back in the day of real Big Ten football. He was successful at Indiana that has NEVER been known as a good football school. And I met Mallory and he was a man's man, a tough guy without any pretenses. He was canned at CU after a run that was not that bad, and fairly short. I took away from his tenure that the school and its decision makers neither understood success in football, nor cared that much. Either that or the influential alums were just impatient and stupid. We saw that with the Fairbanks tenure. As an attorney I can tell you his name is still on a seminal case in contract law and the holding was against the University. In summary, our University and its most influential alums have not behaved well in the effort to forge a winning college football team over the years. Most successful programs like Alabama, Michigan and USC have decades of well organized and patient input to forge a winning football team.
     
  16. rialto

    rialto Member

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    Is this a serious question?

    1) lack of multi-year contracts for assistant coaches which greatly limits the pool of applicants. I believe CU is the only team among BCS programs with this serious limitation. Good asst coaches are easily plucked away by other program which don't have this limitation
    2) very little local talent - 90% of the players have to be recruited from a distance of over 1000 miles away
    3) a very narrow academic curriculum and getting narrower all the time, with limited majors which turns-off certain recruits. In a recent interview, Barnett made mention of how big a problem that is at CU.
    4) No juco admissions which makes rebuilding a much more difficult and very lengthy process
    5) Admissions requirements for freshman which imply that CU is a much better school academically than it is. Vandy, Northwestern, UCLA and Stanford can easily out recruit CU for a great athlete who also is a great student because they are actually great schools academically, unlike CU! Notice that, although we have the worst team in the conference on-the-field, we are #1 in the # of players (16) who received PAC 12 Academic honors. We have many good students who are simply poor football players. That is not a coincidence.
    6) A donor base simply unwilling to finance desperately needed facility upgrades, though every other school in the PAC 12 has easily solved this riddle. One of the major problems at CU is that major donors are encouraged by leadership at CU to give to academics not athletics
    7) a judicial affairs office which comes down harshly on off-the-field incidents by football players - see Austin Vincent and Jeffrey Thomas. Thomas was sent home before classes started because the coaching staff was fearful he would get the boot due to his off-the-field incident in August while he was in Boulder
    8) As has been well-chronicled, a university administration and Board of Regents which has not truly supported the program since Gordon Gee in the late 1980's. For example, compare the comments of CSU's President, Tony Frank, about the importance of athletics to CSU compared to Bruce Benson's silence on the matter. Do you think Benson would publicly advocate building a new stadium like Frank has at CSU?
    9) a new structural problem - treating even the mildest of head dings like this is a little league team of 8 year olds. I counted 20 players who have missed at least one game this year due to concussion symptoms! Do you think this is the norm? This has become another huge competitive disadvantage for CU, as if they needed any more

    I wonder who will be first to say that none of these structural impediments should make any difference to having a winning program at CU? That's the way of CU fans and allows them to fully blame every coaching staff for our problems - whether it be Hawkins, Embree or even Barnett. It's nice and tidy to fully blame the coaching staff at CU, but simply untrue.

    My opinion is that a good college football coach is not sufficient at CU to win - we need a miracle worker to overcome these deficiencies
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
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  17. SuperD

    SuperD Club Member Club Member

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    The university just missed the perfect opportunity to get the stupid long term contracts issue corrected with the recent changes to the State hiring practices. Would have been very easy to have had the necessary language slipped into the legislation if they cared enough to get it corrected.
     
  18. rialto

    rialto Member

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    correct - the university simply does not care enough to fix the structural problems which have undermined every coach since McCartney. That's why we keep losing regardless of the coach
     
  19. dio

    dio Admin Club Member Junta Member

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    This is true. There are very few professors in the faculty who are militantly anti-football. That is myth. There are a few, but there are just as many or more who really enjoy football. My father-in-law has taught Philosophy of Religion for nearly 40 years at CU. I'm always asking him what other professors think. He is always telling me that it isn't something that they're ever really thinking or talking about.

    This isn't unique to CU
     
  20. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    DiStefano is on record saying he does not believe it's an impediment and that it actually is a positive. If firing Barnett and Hawkins had included multi-year deals for all the staff members, the CU AD would probably be another $20 million in debt right now.
     
  21. Quattro

    Quattro Banned BANNED Club Member

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    I mean every professor I've had has always been supportive of athletics and constantly used football or basketball as a example. I've never bought that excuse.
     
  22. Crash Davis

    Crash Davis MA....THE MEATLOAF!!! Club Member

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    Agree with rialto's post and I think about 90% of it does have to do with the problems you touched on, nik. Yes, having lagging facilities is a "fixable" problem, but the will to fix it still needs to exist, and that is what seems to be lacking in Boulder.

    To us schlubs, $200 million sounds like a lot of money but keep in mind that the universities annual operating budget is something like $1 Billion, of which only 5% comes from the state. The rest has to come from private donations and endowments. If our leaders really cared about upgrading the football program they would find a way to come up with the money. It is simply not a priority to them.
     
  23. krom

    krom Club Member Club Member

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    IMO the university doesn't care about the product it puts on the field. They don't care to improve it nor provide the necessary support to keep it competitive. They care more about keeping the players out of trouble and out of the press than winning games. FB is a necessary evil. A means to fund the bare minimum number of sports to remain D1 eligible and part of a BCS conference. They are happy to suck on the teet of the real programs who compete nationally and win bowl games so they can collect a check. I would qualify an unsupportive university as a special circumstance that makes it very diffucult to win at CU. Its this circumstance that makes me think that Barnett was a miracle worker for what he was able to achieve while at CU regardless of how down the B12 North was at the time. We are ****ed.
     
  24. SBG

    SBG Formerly known as EFNMB Club Member Junta Member

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    Wasn't Mallory ****canned because his hand was caught in the cookie jar?
     
  25. CVilleBuff

    CVilleBuff Club Member Club Member

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    The issue we've learned these past two years is not only does the the staff need to be 90% ex-Buffs, it actually needs to be 100% ex-Buffs comprised of a certain political faction of B4L. That takes us to the promised land.

    Remember when Mac had a rash on his left buttock the night before the final game of 1984? We went out and lost to KSU 38-6 that next day, but then the first game of 1985 arrived, we went out and beat CSU. Well, Brain Howell is reporting that Embree currently has a rash in the exact same spot tonight.

    Stay the course.
     
  26. rialto

    rialto Member

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    I believe that DiStefano thinks it's a positive because it allows CU to field a team without the financial risk of making a mistaken commitment to an assistant coach who turns out to be a failure. Never mind the fact that it precludes the program from hiring certain outstanding coaches who will not come into this mess without a long-term commitment from CU, which they won't get. As a result, these potential candidates simply cross CU off-the -list.
     
  27. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    I agree with you. In general, he's wrong. 90% of the time, those long-term contracts help you. But he and other politicians are more afraid of failure than they are motivated by the potential for greatness will always look at those cased like Tennessee had... Kiffin screws them over and they end up in a tough spot because Lane didn't take the assistants with him. They either had to find a HC willing to coach someone else's staff or absorb the cost of terminating all those long-term deals.

    But, again, I agree with you. If you want to play, you've got to pay. And this is a risk you have to be willing to take if you want to play in the big tent.
     
  28. rialto

    rialto Member

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    I think CU wants to cash the check from playing in the big tent, with the least financial commitment possible on its part. I don't think this will change - IMO, the structural problems at CU are growing not getting smaller.
     
  29. BuffClass90

    BuffClass90 Banned BANNED

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    All this sounds legit, but outside of Barnett's comment, I've never heard details from ex-coaches corroborating the items in the post. How do way better schools like Northwestern, Cal and UCLA have better programs?

    Assuming the structural changes above are correct, and I believe they mostly are, there is no discussion of changes at the admin level to address them. We will probably never be relevant again.

    Am I wrong here?
     
  30. Lt.Col.FrankSlade

    Lt.Col.FrankSlade Well-Known Member

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    Lateral moves rarely happen in college football. I can't remember more than a couple Colorado coaches who have ever left CU to go to another school in a lateral move.

    I think Helfrich left, and I think Chris Wilson left before he even started. Maybe someone can enlighten me on some of these other coaches who have dumped CU because of the lack of multi-year contracts.
     

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