Football News Heating Up

On the heels of yesterday’s entry, lots of information related to Assistant Coaches is leaking into the public domain.

Offensive Coordinator
The most important news of the day comes from Shreveport, Louisiana where Jimbo Fisher has chosen to remain at LSU.

This is the toughest news because I had heard weeks ago that things looked good for Fisher. Jimbo Fisher would have been a phenomenal hire, probably one of the Top Five names/talents out there when you factor in his balance of age and experience with his recruiting ability and energy. His skill set would have been perfect to help cushion the blow from the loss of Doc Holliday.

My primary fear regarding the Fisher-situation is not that we did not get him as much as it is the attitude that Wolfpackers elect to adopt in the wake of the whiff. Fans need to realize that Fisher is one of the top of the top names in the country. We could very well still end up with (let’s say) one of the “Top 25” potential candidates in all of America…but, due to the public whiff of Fisher, I fear that the perspective/attitude of some fans could still be a disappointment or negative.

That would be disappointing in its own right.

Additional Note: A close friend of mine is an ardent Bayou Bengal supporter. He has season tickets in Baton Rouge and lives in Boston, MA. He dropped me a quick note today:

I have mixed feelings about Jimbo staying. It’s certainly the safest route for us, but I would have been interested to see what a new coordinator would have been able to do with our talent. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but we bring back everyone on offense. We only lose two people off the “3” deep. That’s right, 31 of 33 offensive players are back including everyone but our All-American center, who missed the last 3 or 4 games, and Marcus Randall, who played about half the snaps at QB. Our OL and RB’s should be rated tops in the nation (though I’m sure they’ll give that honor to USC), and our WR’s and TE’s should be top 5.

Defensive Coordinator
It was also reported today that Gene Chizik from Auburn has elected to take a raise and remain at Auburn.

Shortly after NC State Coach Chuck Amato offered Chizik a reported $270,000 to be the Wolfpack’s defensive coordinator, Auburn countered with an offer to end all college offers, at least for Chizik. He agreed to a guaranteed three-year contract valued at more than $300,000 a year.

My Take
As I tried to explain yesterday, I do not look at the three openings that currently exists on our staff as three individual openings that each need to be filled by coaches of identical cloth as the coaches that are being replaced (Holliday, Herring, and Mazzone). For example, had we landed Chiznik and Fisher, I would not be surprised to see the third hire be a more unknown coach. Maybe a young guy that had a specialized niche in recruiting or some other special skill set.

Despite missing on Chiznik, I am very optimistic that we have the kind of money available for the hires that is being bantered about. I am also optimistic about the administration’s comments today in the News & Observer regarding the use of longer-term contracts for our assistants.

However, these recent data points bring me immediately back to a lot of points that were being made when Reggie Herring’s departure was discussed. If we have ultimately come around to paying almost $300k a year for a defensive co-ordinator…and we have ultimately come around to offering market-based, longer-term deals to these coaches…then why in the hell couldn’t we have come around to this epiphany 6 weeks ago and offered the same to Herring?

Herring was already here. Herring had just coordinated the #1 defense in the country. Herring seemed to work well on the staff and was liked by alums. Hasn’t anyone ever heard that, “The devil you know is often better than the devil that you don’t?” Why take the gamble of losing that kind of continuity for a few hundred thousand dollars of a raise and guaranty like Herring got at Arkansas? It didn’t take a genius to see that this was where the market exists for top-quality assistant coaches.

I didn’t know the answer to those questions then. And I certainly don’t know the answers to those questions now that it is obvious that we could end up offering the exact same contract to a new defensive coordinator that we wouldn’t offer to Reggie Herring just 6 weeks ago.

I’d love to “hear” your thoughts. Click on the Comment hotlink below and share. Thanks!

General NCS Football

3 Responses to Football News Heating Up

  1. Trout 01/12/2005 at 10:44 AM #


    I find it interesting that the word on the street is that offered Fisher and Chiznick (man, Snoop Dog would love that name), yet in today’s N&O Fowler says Amato hasnt brought any recommendations to him.

    In terms of Herring, according to Fowler, we did match what Arkansas was offering in terms of $ and years. Perhaps the lure of working with an old friend in Houston Nutt was too strong. Or maybe Herring wanted out of Raleigh? I dont know.

    According to Fowler, we did not counter for Mazzone, and Holiday was not interested in a counter offer.

  2. JB34 01/12/2005 at 10:58 AM #


    Because it is Fowler talking, I honestly do not know what to believe.

    If he didn’t say so much…and say so many things publicly that I personally know to be out-right lies, then it would be easier to believe that we made certain offers to Herring, etc.

    I certainly understand and do not discount Herring’s relationship with Houston Nutt. And, perhaps we could have ultimately done nothing to win that battle anyway.

    But, at the time of Herring’s departure, most of the scuttle I heard cited the 3-year guaranty as a deciding factor and something that we wouldn’t do. Add that to today’s N&O that makes our position look as though we are just now considering longer-term contracts and I wonder.

    I think that it is nice of Herring to publicly say that we matched…but, you and I both know how that stuff works. Herring could have easily been acting as friend and making a deposit into his “personal relationship bank account” to help deflect pressure and criticism from Fowler/Amato. What did he have to lose? He was leaving anyway. It would have been a nice thing to do and a shrewd move for all.

    There is a long list of examples where history has conveniently been publicly revised by the folks in Case, and every instance is one where the administration ultimately looks as though they did no wrong. It’s Public Relations at its very cor.

  3. JB34 01/12/2005 at 6:50 PM #

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