With Frank Beamer retiring at VT and Norm Chow out the open jobs count is up to 10. You could see as many as 15 or more opening up by the end of the season.
Major Applewhite is a name we have seen make the circles around here and I am starting to question as to whether or not he is going to be strongly considered by UNT. On the positive side, he is a Texas hometown hero of sorts and carries many of the same attributes that made Todd Dodge seem like a great hire way back when. His current team Houston is on fire and remains undefeated and may well get the coveted G5 playoff spot. On a second glance, it appears that despite being offensive coordinator at Houston he is not calling the plays, rather it is Tom Hermann. He was offensive coordinator for one season at Alabama under Nick Saban before taking a lessor position as a running backs coach at Texas. Was he fired at Alabama or did he voluntarily leave? Is he ready to be given the reigns at a program like North Texas, or for that matter any program or would he be better off spending another year or two at Houston or perhaps taking a higher level OC position, and one where he is completely in charge? I still like Applewhite and think he brings enough to at least warrant further interviews and detail. Then again, sometimes a guy who seems to make all the sense in the world may not necessarily be the guy.
On another note, all signs point toward recruiting and wide open offensive philosophy being two key components of this next hire at UNT. What is interesting is, you will find that at most successful programs, there is a key assistant who essentially "kills it" on the recruiting trail and is the lead dog in identifying and closing on many of the top recruits. So it is not necessarily the head coach who is the main player in many of these recruiting battles as much as it is the assistant who is out on the road, meeting with high school coaches and families. A couple of examples of this would be Van Malone at SMU or perhaps Curtis Luper at TCU. These are guys whose names come up if you asked coaches around the country in regards to the key players in DFW area or even Texas area recruiting. These are guys that win a LOT more than they lose on the recruiting trail. Both of these guys can just flat out recruit. UNT might want to lure a "recruiting specialist" coach here if the compensation package was better than what they currently have and you gave them a pathway to move up to a bigger job, perhaps as a coordinator etc. I think this is something UNT is going to need to consider as they look at the various candidates and consider the new structure of the coaching staff. Head coaching hires will all tell you they understand the importance of recruiting and have a strategy to make that happen. Being able to bring in a key recruiting coach who can implement that strategy seems to be the trend.
Another thought -- some have mentioned Chad Morris as a possibility for some of the bigger open jobs at places like South Carolina, USC and others. After they lost on Saturday to Tulsa (with newly hired HC Phillip Montgomery) you have to wonder if any coach with a team that is 1-7 is going to be able to be sold to a traditional power program fan base. SMU had a long way to go but if they win one game this season I do not see Morris jumping ship to any bigger job just yet. This theory could also apply to potential UNT HC targets. College programs want guys who coach winning teams. A candidate who may look great at one point in the season may see their interest fade after consecutive losses begin piling up.
Is it just me or do you get the feeling that the rest of C-USA would have loved for us to keep Mac in place for many years to come? I honestly think the other C-USA schools know that the right hire here could make things a lot more difficult for them in years to come.
UNT finds itself with the question of do you make a "Splash hire", ie a name that is young and garners a lot of interest and media attention versus a more traditional hire like a Dan McCarney or more seasoned assistant who is not as well known. It is sort of a risk reward type of situation. The Splash hire may be a lot younger but show a lot of promise as a coordinator. For instance, Kendall Briles or some of the other candidates in their early 30's may give you a lot of interest and media/fan attention but you worry about how well can they lead/run a program versus being an important piece. An older more experienced hire (Willie Fritz at 55) may not have a lot of national name recognition or pizzaz but may provide less downside or learning curve. It is truly a risk versus reward proposition. UNT post McCarney really seems to need a guy who will give them a boost in interest and coverage. They also can't afford to make another mistake so a safer hire may be appealing. I would think UNT decision makers will be pondering this issue heavily in the coming weeks.
I am against the banner. I think it is petty and mean spirited. I contributed to the banner we flew in support of the team at SMU. I will not contribute to this. I said as much last night on the podcast but I feel compelled to put it down in words.
I understand and respect the right of people to voice their opinions and believe in free speech. But this thing has gone too far. If the major press picks up on this, I believe it it will ultimately embarrass and humiliate the university. So I implore the fans who are participating in this misguided project to please step down. Lay down your sword. You've made your position known -- you don't have to turn the knife again. Stop it now before more damage is done.
I do think many of the participants are good fans and truly believe that this Flag is the right thing to do but I believe they are misguided. I think this Banner spells out one message very clearly and that message is ANARCHY. This is not the type of message we need to be communicating when we are trying to hire a new coach who hopefully will take us to the next level. This is not the message we need to portray to our students and the rest of the world.
My advisement is you put your faith in the leadership at UNT and in this case that is our President Dr. Smatresk. He may not be responding to every letter and email (God forbid he has a pretty busy job), but I believe he is listening and taking it into his account. He is not ignoring you. This is the honorable way to deal with this situation. If you did not like the way he responded to your first letter write another one. Call his office, Call the BOR Call Lee Jackson whoever, but please do not air our dirty laundry publicly for all to see (including future coaches).
I would like us to land the very best football coach that we can, and I think we can do that. The president obviously believes that we are best positioned to do that with RV at the helm or he would have already made a change. This whole Flag thing takes away from that very important coaching discussion -- which I believe is a whole lot more important in the grand scheme of things. As CBL wisely pointed out there could be other things going on behind the scenes that require the leadership to handle this particular situation as they are. As hard as it may be we need to trust them to do the right thing.
Many of you state you tried to contact Smatresk and since he did not respond directly to you this Flag is your only option. I don't think that is true, rather it is just an excuse to try to humiliate RV publicly. And if it is truly the reason, should this not be a fire Smatresk flag? I mean, isn't he the one who is not responding to your concerns? Is not he the one who made the decision to keep RV in his position? Why does Smatresk get a pass here? I think the answer is it does not fit your agenda.
The banner will hurt RV personally more than anything else. There is a feeding frenzy that is getting ugly here. Believe me -- I understand people are frustrated - but I honestly believe this is not the way to handle it. In fact, I will say it now, not one good thing will come of this.. not one good thing. I also think it will bring more negativity to our University in this very short window we have to hire a good coach. And let me be clear -- I don't think it will change a thing. The money could be spent in better ways in my opinion.
If you will not take my word on this, then how about the courageous former athlete who came on here and spoke from her heart? I think she eloquently stated the situation far better than I ever could. It feels wrong...dirty. I believe deep down, many of the participants don't feel right about this and my hope is they will come to their senses and call this thing off.
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