Face it, we suck at picking head coaches

#1

VFL-82-JP

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#1
Thank God for Dan White and Donde Plowman. They're good at this. Meanwhile, we've proven we collectively suck at it.

Honestly, raise your hand if you were looking hard at Josh Heupel as our next head coach before Dan White started his coaching search. I don't think there's a single post in any thread in all of vn.com that says, back at that time period, "hey we oughta go get the Heup!"

And yet, he's proving to be a far, far better coach than the names we were tossing around.

Here's the evidence:

Jon Gruden (fired) -- I loved, absolutely loved, the Gruden threads and that gang of fellow fans. Hanging out with them for that month or so was the most fun volnation.com has ever been. Just really, really enjoyable to be around. Nonetheless, Jon Gruden wasn't and isn't the answer. No matter how much a significant segment of us wanted him. Verdict: not a championship coach, not even a college coach.

Mike Leach (5-4) -- The fella is entertaining, absolutely gotta admit that. He's a hoot. But we don't hire head coaches for their stand-up routine. As a coach, the Pirate will never be competing for championships. He's good. Far from great. Verdict: not a championship coach.

Jim Harbaugh (8-1) -- I'm not sure anyone here ever proposed Harbaugh as Tennessee's head coach, but there was plenty of admiration from afar. And Harbaugh is a good coach. But he's always the bridesmaid, never the bride. He does well enough to get you excited, but not well enough to win big things. Verdict: not a championship coach.

Hugh Freeze (7-3) -- Even putting aside his questionable values (which we shouldn't), that 7-3 record is all beating up on scrub teams like Old Dominion and MTSU, then losing to any team with a pulse and a bit of talent. Verdict: not a championship coach.

Gus Malzahn (6-3) -- Ditto the remarks about all the wins being to scrubs. Lost to Navy, yes Navy. Verdict: not a championship coach.

Lane Kiffin (7-2) -- Along with Harbaugh, Kiffin does find success on the field. But also like Harbaugh, Lane will never get over the last hump to championships. Why not? His character. He can't get out of the way of his mouth, or his flighty nature. Will he stay long at Ole Miss? Doubtful. He'll do well enough there, maybe--maybe--to raise his value to point where it's worth overlooking his childish nature and get hired at a true blue blood program one day. Where he will promptly become Harbaugh 2.0. Always just a game or two away from making the conference championship match. Verdict: not a championship coach.

Dan Mullen (4-5) -- lotta folks on these boards wanted him, at one time or another. But he's weird. He has weird values. He and his wife give off a weird vibe. He's no leader, can't keep a locker room behind him. He can't recruit worth a spit, and doesn't even seem to want to try very hard. At this point, you have to question even his "quarterback whisperer" reputation. Should he really get credit for Alex Smith, Tim Tebow, Dak Prescott, and Chris Leak? Is this, perhaps instead, a case of Butch Jones lucking out with naturally talented Josh Dobbs, times four? Mullen didn't recruit Leak, who was already at Florida. Dan may have had a minor role in recruiting Tebow, but that was 90% the lure of Urban Meyer as head coach. Similarly, Alex Smith was already at Utah when Mullen arrived. In fact, Dak Prescott is the only noteworthy quarterback for whom Mullen gets all (well, a lot) of the credit. So how much did he develop them and harness their skill sets, and how much did he just luck out for them being naturally gifted? One has to wonder. Anyway, overall Verdict: not a championship coach.

Justin Fuente (4-5) -- Remember when Justin was the hot commodity so many on these boards wanted? Yeah. Not a championship coach.

And none of us wanted him (we emphatically did not), but just for old Kirk Herbstreit's edification, I'll add to the tail end of the list...

Greg Schiano (4-5) -- Rutgers isn't in the Big East any more, and this fellow is not a good enough coach to be in the B10 (much less the SEC). Again, not even addressing some potentially significant values issues. Verdict: most certainly not a championship coach.

~ ~ ~
Honest question: who here would trade Josh Heupel for any of these coaches? Even, say, Harbaugh?

I sure wouldn't. I think Josh has more potential to be a championship caliber head coach than anyone Vol nation was pulling for in 2020 (or 2017-2018). I like where we are right now.

Go Vols!
 
#5
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#5
Heupel has done a great job.

There are still some question marks about him going forward.

Will the defense play well or the way they did against Kentucky?

Will he be able to recruit?

Will he have a good S&C program? Pruitt actually did and next year rather than this year will tell the tale on Heupel.

We will know a lot more in 12 months.
 
#7

BigALWiLson

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#7
Im not sure you can truly evaluate CJH until his guys are on the field. Even though Pruitt and Co. recruited about all of the guys if not all of them playing at least. But what Josh has done with a total cluster of a team just short months ago is nothing short of eye opening. I will say that if this man can recruit with the vig boys once all this NCAA crap is over.... It will be a fun ride. I don't thibk their is. DC that has to face us that sleeps during game week. I haven't ever seen a UT team play the way they have this season and yeah we have lost a couple i wish we had back. Pitt/ UF come to mind. Ole Miss is another. Support these guys they have the potential to be here a long time.
 
#8

BruisedOrange

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#8
I wouldn't trade. Ignoring the emotional high of a great win, the objective truth is that time will tell if Heupel has a ceiling, or can win championships in the toughest conference.

But another huge plus that I don't want us to lose is the culture he's built/restored to the program, and within the team, on and off the field.
 
#9

West Vol

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#9
Heupel was a last ditch effort after the coaching search reached a chaotic level. Hard to be too impressed with that hiring process, even if Heupel works out. And it sure seems like an odd time to say he’s a championship coach after a narrow win over a team that hasn’t won a championship in over sixty years. I think Georgia Tech has more SEC titles than they do.
 
#12

VolsnRavens

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#12
Agree 100%. Also, how many of those coaches took over an absolute dumpster fire? And after watching our last couple of coaches do less with more, it’s refreshing to see CJH do more with less. These kids have no quit in them and that is on the coaching staff. They have bought into these coaches and the vision they are painting for this program. I’m having fun again watching my Vols and their never give up attitude. I think the players are too and that is contagious and will show up in the recruiting stats. This year almost feels like we’ve been watching that movie
“The Replacements”. After all of those players left, we‘ve gotten an even closer team. Go Vols!!!
 
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#13

West Vol

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#13
I’ve always thought Mullen was one of the best coaches in college football, but his collapse this year is hard to explain. Looks like he’s totally lost the team.
Florida is a miserable place. Three coaches in a row have had decent success and then imploded. There’s a reason McElwain just went away quietly. He was eager for it to just be over.
 
#15

rickyyrs

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#15
Thank God for Dan White and Donde Plowman. They're good at this. Meanwhile, we've proven we collectively suck at it.

Honestly, raise your hand if you were looking hard at Josh Heupel as our next head coach before Dan White started his coaching search. I don't think there's a single post in any thread in all of vn.com that says, back at that time period, "hey we oughta go get the Heup!"

And yet, he's proving to be a far, far better coach than the names we were tossing around.

Here's the evidence:

Jon Gruden (fired) -- I loved, absolutely loved, the Gruden threads and that gang of fellow fans. Hanging out with them for that month or so was the most fun volnation.com has ever been. Just really, really enjoyable to be around. Nonetheless, Jon Gruden wasn't and isn't the answer. No matter how much a significant segment of us wanted him. Verdict: not a championship coach, not even a college coach.

Mike Leach (5-4) -- The fella is entertaining, absolutely gotta admit that. He's a hoot. But we don't hire head coaches for their stand-up routine. As a coach, the Pirate will never be competing for championships. He's good. Far from great. Verdict: not a championship coach.

Jim Harbaugh (8-1) -- I'm not sure anyone here ever proposed Harbaugh as Tennessee's head coach, but there was plenty of admiration from afar. And Harbaugh is a good coach. But he's always the bridesmaid, never the bride. He does well enough to get you excited, but not well enough to win big things. Verdict: not a championship coach.

Hugh Freeze (7-3) -- Even putting aside his questionable values (which we shouldn't), that 7-3 record is all beating up on scrub teams like Old Dominion and MTSU, then losing to any team with a pulse and a bit of talent. Verdict: not a championship coach.

Gus Malzahn (6-3) -- Ditto the remarks about all the wins being to scrubs. Lost to Navy, yes Navy. Verdict: not a championship coach.

Lane Kiffin (7-2) -- Along with Harbaugh, Kiffin does find success on the field. But also like Harbaugh, Lane will never get over the last hump to championships. Why not? His character. He can't get out of the way of his mouth, or his flighty nature. Will he stay long at Ole Miss? Doubtful. He'll do well enough there, maybe--maybe--to raise his value to point where it's worth overlooking his childish nature and get hired at a true blue blood program one day. Where he will promptly become Harbaugh 2.0. Always just a game or two away from making the conference championship match. Verdict: not a championship coach.

Dan Mullen (4-5) -- lotta folks on these boards wanted him, at one time or another. But he's weird. He has weird values. He and his wife give off a weird vibe. He's no leader, can't keep a locker room behind him. He can't recruit worth a spit, and doesn't even seem to want to try very hard. At this point, you have to question even his "quarterback whisperer" reputation. Should he really get credit for Alex Smith, Tim Tebow, Dak Prescott, and Chris Leak? Is this, perhaps instead, a case of Butch Jones lucking out with naturally talented Josh Dobbs, times four? Mullen didn't recruit Leak, who was already at Florida. Dan may have had a minor role in recruiting Tebow, but that was 90% the lure of Urban Meyer as head coach. Similarly, Alex Smith was already at Utah when Mullen arrived. In fact, Dak Prescott is the only noteworthy quarterback for whom Mullen gets all (well, a lot) of the credit. So how much did he develop them and harness their skill sets, and how much did he just luck out for them being naturally gifted? One has to wonder. Anyway, overall Verdict: not a championship coach.

Justin Fuente (4-5) -- Remember when Justin was the hot commodity so many on these boards wanted? Yeah. Not a championship coach.

And none of us wanted him (we emphatically did not), but just for old Kirk Herbstreit's edification, I'll add to the tail end of the list...

Greg Schiano (4-5) -- Rutgers isn't in the Big East any more, and this fellow is not a good enough coach to be in the B10 (much less the SEC). Again, not even addressing some potentially significant values issues. Verdict: most certainly not a championship coach.

~ ~ ~
Honest question: who here would trade Josh Heupel for any of these coaches? Even, say, Harbaugh?

I sure wouldn't. I think Josh has more potential to be a championship caliber head coach than anyone Vol nation was pulling for in 2020 (or 2017-2018). I like where we are right now.

Go Vols!
Give CJH a couple more years to get more players in here. I really think Tennessee has found their coach now.
 
#17

Fullfillmer

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#17
Thank God for Dan White and Donde Plowman. They're good at this. Meanwhile, we've proven we collectively suck at it.

Honestly, raise your hand if you were looking hard at Josh Heupel as our next head coach before Dan White started his coaching search. I don't think there's a single post in any thread in all of vn.com that says, back at that time period, "hey we oughta go get the Heup!"

And yet, he's proving to be a far, far better coach than the names we were tossing around.

Here's the evidence:

Jon Gruden (fired) -- I loved, absolutely loved, the Gruden threads and that gang of fellow fans. Hanging out with them for that month or so was the most fun volnation.com has ever been. Just really, really enjoyable to be around. Nonetheless, Jon Gruden wasn't and isn't the answer. No matter how much a significant segment of us wanted him. Verdict: not a championship coach, not even a college coach.

Mike Leach (5-4) -- The fella is entertaining, absolutely gotta admit that. He's a hoot. But we don't hire head coaches for their stand-up routine. As a coach, the Pirate will never be competing for championships. He's good. Far from great. Verdict: not a championship coach.

Jim Harbaugh (8-1) -- I'm not sure anyone here ever proposed Harbaugh as Tennessee's head coach, but there was plenty of admiration from afar. And Harbaugh is a good coach. But he's always the bridesmaid, never the bride. He does well enough to get you excited, but not well enough to win big things. Verdict: not a championship coach.

Hugh Freeze (7-3) -- Even putting aside his questionable values (which we shouldn't), that 7-3 record is all beating up on scrub teams like Old Dominion and MTSU, then losing to any team with a pulse and a bit of talent. Verdict: not a championship coach.

Gus Malzahn (6-3) -- Ditto the remarks about all the wins being to scrubs. Lost to Navy, yes Navy. Verdict: not a championship coach.

Lane Kiffin (7-2) -- Along with Harbaugh, Kiffin does find success on the field. But also like Harbaugh, Lane will never get over the last hump to championships. Why not? His character. He can't get out of the way of his mouth, or his flighty nature. Will he stay long at Ole Miss? Doubtful. He'll do well enough there, maybe--maybe--to raise his value to point where it's worth overlooking his childish nature and get hired at a true blue blood program one day. Where he will promptly become Harbaugh 2.0. Always just a game or two away from making the conference championship match. Verdict: not a championship coach.

Dan Mullen (4-5) -- lotta folks on these boards wanted him, at one time or another. But he's weird. He has weird values. He and his wife give off a weird vibe. He's no leader, can't keep a locker room behind him. He can't recruit worth a spit, and doesn't even seem to want to try very hard. At this point, you have to question even his "quarterback whisperer" reputation. Should he really get credit for Alex Smith, Tim Tebow, Dak Prescott, and Chris Leak? Is this, perhaps instead, a case of Butch Jones lucking out with naturally talented Josh Dobbs, times four? Mullen didn't recruit Leak, who was already at Florida. Dan may have had a minor role in recruiting Tebow, but that was 90% the lure of Urban Meyer as head coach. Similarly, Alex Smith was already at Utah when Mullen arrived. In fact, Dak Prescott is the only noteworthy quarterback for whom Mullen gets all (well, a lot) of the credit. So how much did he develop them and harness their skill sets, and how much did he just luck out for them being naturally gifted? One has to wonder. Anyway, overall Verdict: not a championship coach.

Justin Fuente (4-5) -- Remember when Justin was the hot commodity so many on these boards wanted? Yeah. Not a championship coach.

And none of us wanted him (we emphatically did not), but just for old Kirk Herbstreit's edification, I'll add to the tail end of the list...

Greg Schiano (4-5) -- Rutgers isn't in the Big East any more, and this fellow is not a good enough coach to be in the B10 (much less the SEC). Again, not even addressing some potentially significant values issues. Verdict: most certainly not a championship coach.

~ ~ ~
Honest question: who here would trade Josh Heupel for any of these coaches? Even, say, Harbaugh?

I sure wouldn't. I think Josh has more potential to be a championship caliber head coach than anyone Vol nation was pulling for in 2020 (or 2017-2018). I like where we are right now.

Go Vols!
We are going to need to recruit a lot better - a lot better.
 
#18

VFL-82-JP

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#18
Heupel was a last ditch effort after the coaching search reached a chaotic level. Hard to be too impressed with that hiring process, even if Heupel works out. And it sure seems like an odd time to say he’s a championship coach after a narrow win over a team that hasn’t won a championship in over sixty years. I think Georgia Tech has more SEC titles than they do.
You're mis-remembering two different coaching searches, mixing them together in your mind.

The 2017-2018 search that ended up with Jeremy Pruitt was the chaotic one. The whole John Carrie scramble, the Schiano thing, the Leach no Tomlinson no this guy no that guy chaos.

The 2020 search was quiet, methodical, focused, and effective. Dan White went after James Franklin, pushed on that locked door for 2-3 days. He also quietly floated a few trial balloons judging the interest of a couple other fellows. But by the time Franklin definitively said no, Dan already knew where he was going next: Josh Heupel.
 
#19

66volfan

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#19
I wouldn't trade CJH, but who is a championship coach besides Saban?

Kiffin is a good coach. Unorthodox, but good
And I believe Freeze is very good. Didn't he beat Bama back to back Years when the Tide was #1 AND #2?
Kiffin is a good coordinator not a good head coach. He fails repeatedly without adult supervision. Freeze is a good coach and will prove it again
 
#20

Clad in Big Orange

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#20
Lots of encouraging signs from what we see on the field. I'm not getting too carried away with such a small sample size. He did pick Milton over Hooker initially. As has been mentioned, Heupel is going to have to be a genius at roster management in order to take a bigger step forward. And I'm still not convinced the "fast tempo offense/defense on the field a ton" can win at a high level in the SEC. However, I do feel better in year 1 than any of the previous coaches.
 
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#21

Ohio Vol

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#21
I think the only time one of us on here got a coaching hire right was back in 2006, when the great Hatvol96 said that if Nick Saban became available, he should be pursued at any cost. That was probably in October or November of 2006, when the Vols were 6-1 or 7-1 and only had a one-point loss to Florida as the blemish.

The thought was unthinkable, what with Saban struggling in Miami, UT under Fulmer still contending and winning 9-10 games a year, and there not being any pressing need to make a switch. But he was adamant.
 
#22

West Vol

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#22
You're mis-remembering two different coaching searches, mixing them together in your mind.

The 2017-2018 search that ended up with Jeremy Pruitt was the chaotic one. The whole John Carrie scramble, the Schiano thing, the Leach no Tomlinson no this guy no that guy chaos.

The 2020 search was quiet, methodical, focused, and effective. Dan White went after James Franklin, pushed on that locked door for 2-3 days. He also quietly floated a few trial balloons judging the interest of a couple other fellows. But by the time Franklin definitively said no, Dan already knew where he was going next: Josh Heupel.
Nothing about the Tony Elliott stuff was quiet.

Heupel was 100% the safety hire he always had in his back pocket after he struck out on everyone he wanted.

And giving Donde credit… what is wrong with you?
 
#23

BigALWiLson

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#23
Nothing about the Tony Elliott stuff was quiet.

Heupel was 100% the safety hire he always had in his back pocket after he struck out on everyone he wanted.

And giving Donde credit… what is wrong with you?
You pukes are miserable. There is not a single Coach in the Country who could have done what Heupel has done so far. WTF is wrong with you people ? Are you the type that just thinks they know more than people actually getting paid to make the decisions ? Just be honest.
 
#24

West Vol

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#24
You pukes are miserable. There is not a single Coach in the Country who could have done what Heupel has done so far. WTF is wrong with you people ? Are you the type that just thinks they know more than people actually getting paid to make the decisions ? Just be honest.
Yeah I think I could have told you Derek Dooley wasn’t going to work out.
 
#25

BigALWiLson

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#25
Yeah I think I could have told you Derek Dooley wasn’t going to work out.
So you go back to hindsight ? I understand that was a head scratcher hire but.... None of what has happened before has any effect NOW. Support your team and stop with the miserable crap and taking shots. They have earned a CHANCE. Slow down stop complaining. If we get rolling with recruiting.... Good lord this team can be a fun viewing. Have you not picked up the positive vibes NATIONAL media is giving Heupel and the job he's done ? Needs time my VOL Brother
 

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