From Sports Illustrated through the Philadelphia Daily News:
“A few folks in Pittsburgh think Bill Cowher is ready to walk away from the Steelers and could resurface at one of those Carolina schools, because his children are older and his wife is from down that way.”
Let’s play the “what if” game for a moment. (And, please don’t bother posting comments that proclaim as fact things that you know nothing about like, “not going to happen”, etc).
Based on the premise that many, many, many people truly believe that this is going to be Bill Cowher’s last year with the Pittsburgh Steelers, then let’s ASSUME for a moment that Cowher feels like he has had his run in NFL Football and is ready for a change.
In our humble opinion, the real question then becomes, “does Cowher want any time-off in between NFL Football and his next gig? or does he want to jump right into something?
So, WHAT IF these aforementioned items line-up to create a situation where the truth is that Bill Cowher is retiring from the NFL and immediately wants a new challenge on the college level?
With this said…what if UNC-CH approaches Cowher with their currently open position to discuss their job. What becomes of NC State’s chances to land its ultimate football coaching prize? Could you imagine?
Is there ANY reason to think that Lee Fowler is doing anything other than preparing for his next media interview or writing his next open letter to publicly criticize NC State’s fans and defend the existing status quo in Raleigh until his last breath?
Our take is very, very, very simply –
IF HE WANTS IT, the NC State Football coaching job should be Bill Cowher’s for the taking. Whenever he wants it. Period. No questions asked.
For the future of NC State Football, we think that ^this message must be appropriately delivered to Coach Cowher and his people in the most careful and strategic manner possible (if it hasn’t already).
Chuck Amato has had more than ample time to establish a better-than-mediocre program at NC State. Although Amato has done an excellent job when judged against many metrics, nobody can make a legitimate case that Amato has been successful enough in separating State from the pack to earn himself a label of ‘untouchable’ under all circumstances. Quite the opposite.
Please note that at this point in time we IN NO WAY support firing Chuck Amato under any circumstance other than the circumstance where Bill Cowher says that he wants the job. We warn you to be VERY CAREFUL about our comments. We are NOT suggesting that NC State fire Chuck Amato and try to replace him with Bill Cowher; we are suggesting that (at this time) you only fire Chuck Amato if you already have it arranged to replace him with Bill Cowher.
Bill Cowher is the primary reason why we think that ALL NC State fans need to be VERY CAREFUL about any calls for Amato’s job now or in the near future. You need to let all of these moving parts play themselves out or you may be very sad that you get what wished for.
Like he has publicly stated in Pittsburgh newspapers at various times in the last fifteen years, what if Bill Cowher truly wants to end his career coaching football at NC State but wants to take one year off before coming back to coaching? If those of you that so desperately want Amato gone got your wish, then you would have missed on landing Bill Cowher all because of your zeal for change and lack of strategic thinking. Heck, it would be ‘inversely identical’ strategic blunder that Lee Fowler made five years ago by not firing Herb Sendek before the likes of Rick Barnes and John Calipari got so rooted and entrenched in their current situations that they became significantly more difficult to land.
It looks like NC State’s long anticipated “Bill Cowher situation” may be evolving into play. It also looks like the potential situation will require nimble movement, proactive management, strategic thinking and big balls. Unfortunately for all of us, our Athletics Director is Lee Fowler and our chancellor hasn’t proven an ability to face one ounce of controversy or resistance with anything remotely resembling a spine.
…with Carolina’s job currently open…this could be a very interesting few months.