Fanblogs.com had a nice comprehensive piece that will interest you.
The entry includes links to Pittsburgh newspapers that highlight Bill Cowher’s contractual status with the Steelers has him committed through next season. The newspapers also suggest that the Rooney family is probably not inclined to allow Cowher out of his contract to coach anywhere next season – including a college job.
Obviously this is just speculation and nobody knows what goes on behind the scenes. But, as much as the last seven years have seen the stars move closer to alignment for the dream of Bill Cowher coaching at NC State, it kind of feels like the stars could still be just one year a away from reaching optimal positioning.
With ^this said, allow me propose a potential solution and throw something out for fun. I realize that this is a stretch, but SFN is a fan site and this is what we do; we talk like fans and come up with fan-like scenarios.
First, we must assume for a moment that the following information and speculation is correct (some of which we KNOW is correct…but just run with it) :
* Consistent with many past public and private statements, Bill Cowher truly would like to end his coaching career as the head football coach of his alma mater, NC State University.
* Bill Cowher really would be willing to trade an NFL salary and job that will pay him north of $6 million per annum in the future for a different challenge on the college level that would pay him approximately $2 million a year.
* The Rooney’s will refuse to release Cowher to coach anywhere other than Pittsburgh in 2007.
* Kay Cowher and Bill Cowher would like to take a year off from coaching (2007) on any level before getting back into the game.
IF these three variable are all true AND Bill Cowher would commit to be NC State’s Head Football coach starting in 2008, then why wouldn’t NC State consider an INTERIM HEAD COACH for 2007?
If Cowher truly wants the job and the problem is truly nothing more than logistics, then why wouldn’t NC State consider an INTERIM HEAD COACH for 2007?
Stick with me here and think about this as I propose it.
This solution could achieve almost everything that both sides want. State gets its man AND Coach Cowher gets the job that he has previously indicated he wants while having the year of family time without the Rooney’s having any power over the situation? Aren’t ‘win-win’ scenarios the goal of all great solutions?
* Let’s be clear about one thing — this solution is predicated on public disclosure and knowledge that Coach Cowher would be leading the program in 2008. This public component of the recipe is vital to its potential success. This is not a suggestion that we tell the world that “Coach X” is taking over and then Cowher arrives in 2008. The world must know of the situation so that the assistants can be immediately staffed ‘permanently’ and so that the program can be recruiting to Coach Cowher’s presence and reputation immediately.
Try to think innovatively about this and realize that there may be very plausible solutions staring us in the face. I am going to talk about one coach (Jim Donnan) in this scenario but ask you to recognize that Donnan is simply an example of one of many potential coaches that may fit the proposed solution.
As SFN reported yesterday, Jim Donnan has been making a play at the NC State job. (Also, please don’t read anything into that other than the fact that Donnan has expressed an interest. As far as SFN has heard there is little to no reciprocation of interest from the NC State side)
Additionally, allow me to share a little something more that I find interesting – BEFORE Chuck Amato was fired, I was told by someone connected to a big Georgia booster that Donnan had made reference to this booster of his interest in the NC State job. But, what was most interesting is that Donnan had added a statement that he (paraphrased) “would even do the job on an interim basis if that is what State wanted”.
At the time I heard this I found this unprompted reference to being an interim coach interesting. Considering where we stand today, I find this fascinating.
We all know that IF Bill Cowher was ever going to be named head coach in Raleigh that he would have to bring with him an experienced and highly-qualified COLLEGE staff. The two pieces of the puzzle that are going to be most vital for Cowher will be: (1) an assistant who can help him maneuver the college system and (2) a keen COLLEGE offensive coordinator.
Well…who does that describe? If Jim Donnan would be willing to be the Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator when Cowher arrives would you NOT want to take this package deal?
NC State fans who love what Paul Johnson did at the Division 1-AA level certainly can’t complain with this idea. Like Johnson, Jim Donnan also won a 1-AA National Championships and 2 Coach of the Year honors while successfully scaring the hell out of Division One teams at Marshall. He also succeeded on a much higher level at Georgia than Johnson has at just Navy. (Donnan was 40-19 overall and 25-15 in the SEC)
In addition to coaching at Florida State, Donnan was the Offensive Coordinator of Oklahoma’s high powered offenses from 1985-1989 when the Sooners won 49 games, including 27 straight Big Eight contests and the 1985 National Championship.
Donnan is currently a part-time ESPN announcer who is not going to get another Head Coaching gig unless he does something else first. Even if he only wants to use the interim job as a stage to get another head job then what harm is there? State would get one of the best head coaches of the 1980s and 1990s on our sideline who is obviously driven to succeed as much as he can with his opportunity. I’ve got no problem with that. If he stays then you get Donnan’s offensive success and knowledge of the college game packaged with Bill Cowher’s Super Bowl trophy and NFL success That ain’t too bad.
Again, remember that these suggestions are designed to be ‘win-win’ for all involved and:
* are obviously based on a situation where Cowher is committed to NC State but the logistics can’t immediately come together
* use Jim Donnan as a specific example that fits the proposed solution. There obviously could be many other coaches that also fit the solution.
Talk to me. Why wouldn’t we do this? Tell me what you think!