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Did you want the Gators to hire Mike Leach?

Mike Leach Great column from SI's Stewart Mandel today about the plight of former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach trying to find a new gig. Check it out and meet me at the next paragraph.

Those of you who did the required reading can print and mail this to me as a prize, but since most of you probably didn't, here's the rundown: Leach is down in Key West doing a radio show, occasionally working as an analyst, and of the 21 Division 1-A schools that had recent coaching vacancies, Maryland was the only one to contact him.

Mandel talked to an anonymous administrator whose school recently passed on Leach, and the source said Leach's 84-43 record with 10 bowls in 10 years at Tech isn't enough to make up for the headache that comes with the Adam James fiasco and Leach's pending lawsuit against Tech, not even when you throw in the fact that Leach had the nation's best graduation rate when he left the Red Raiders.

That administrator did say Leach would probably be met with tons of excitement from fans, but media attention and complaints from the higher-ups at a university would be the problem. Would you have been OK with Florida hiring Leach instead of Will Muschamp? For that matter, would our guests from Coral Gables have chosen Leach over Al Golden to run Miami's program?

I want to hear your thoughts on this. I can see it going both ways. Muschamp and Golden were both questionable hires because neither has been the top dog at a bigtime program, but Golden can't be punished for being successful at Temple, and Muschamp is intriguing because of his familiarity with the SEC.

If it's me, I'll take Leach all day. When Skip Holtz left my favorite team for South Florida, I wanted East Carolina to hire Leach right away. He's an offensive genius (and maybe a real-life genius. he also holds a law degree), he's funny, he's really funny, and he's obsessed with pirates, making him a natural fit at ECU.

Instead, they hired his hula-hoop-waisted defensive coordinator, Ruffin McNeill, who brought along Leach understudy Lincoln Riley to run the TTU offense, which made ECU one of the best attacks in college football this season. It's hard for me to imagine the Pirates wouldn't be better with Leach at the helm. Let's not forget, he was the man behind one of the best moments in recent college football history.

I have little doubt Leach would be a good head coach should be find a new job, so the next question is all the attention that athletic directors and school officials feel he'd bring. In a word, I'll refer to those people as "idiots," since it fits them so well. This can be taken care of with a press conference or two. Hire him, come out and support him. This isn't an ongoing scandal. He may or may not have locked a kid widely regarded as a prick in a closet. There's a decent chance one of your coaches did worse to you in pee wee football.

Sports is all about redemption stories. Tear them down, build them back up and call them heroes. It's a cycle of BS, if you ask me, and no portion of the cycle is more absurd than the part Leach is stuck at. He'll land somewhere, and Tom Rinaldi will show up with his piano for a tear-jerker ESPN piece letting everyone know that "Leach is, once again, the captain of his ship."

I can't believe no one in charge feels that way, and it's especially shocking that Leach can't even get interviewed. It's one thing to fear hiring a guy who just sued his last employer (with good reason) and may very well be smarter than you, but no one has cited that as a reason that I know of.

And I don't want to hear anything about how a coach is supposed to be a molder of men. This isn't middle school. It's college, it's crooked, and everyone is pretty much going to do what they want. (See: Hill, Will). For real, click that link and remember that at the very time he was Tweeting those things, UF coaches were telling reporters about how mature Hill was.

Leach is a great coach and a captivating character, and I'd love to see what he could do with a program like Florida or Miami. Would you? If you don't think he'd fit, is it because of on- or off-field issues?



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Mike Leach would have been okay, but I still think Muschamp is the better hire. Granted, he doesn't have head coaching experience, but head-coach-in-waiting at Texas should suffice. I actually was thinking Leach for offensive coordinator, but he probably would have jumped ship after 1-2 years (although Weis is sure to do the same).

What is shocking is how poorly Muschamp and Weis are doing on the recruiting trail. They've really only held on to Meyer's old recruits and its hard to believe that neither of them has swayed anyone highly ranked. Also hard to believe no one from Texas has joined either. Surely, at least 1-2 recruits from Texas wanted to play for Muschamp more than Texas itself. Very few of the remaining highly-rated recruits even have Florida at a low interest level. Yikes!

Weis is a "Lame Duck" OC, and his pedigree has nothing to do with it. If you already know he is leaving, why bother going to UF if you know he won't be there for 3-4 years.

I would have hired Leach as OC. He's not going anywhere until he proves himself again!

Florida H.S., you're incorrect. Weis is no "lame duck". There was an article on the Orlando Sentinel recently explaining all the reasons why many NFL coaches are prefering to return to college football. Plus, Weis wants to be with his son, who will be a freshman at UF and wants to be on the field learning so that he can coach some day.

Back to Leach, I think he'd be a great hire anywhere. I don't know all the details involving the scandal, but even if he were guilty, I'm sure he learned his lesson. I'm glad UM didn't hire him because he would have really launched that program. Golden seems like a sharp guy, but he lacks experience BIG TIME, and once the season starts, I think the guy will be exposed. Sure, Muschamp has no "head coaching" experience, but he is as experienced an assistant coach as it gets, so I don't buy all the criticism from the haters out there. Muschamp so far seems like the right hire, and I would definitely prefer him over Leach, b/c he's so young and hungry. Leach's off-field issues could dissuade some parents from sending their kids to play for him, so I understand why he's taboo. I also agree with So Cal Gator that it's disappointing that Muschamp hasn't brought over any Texas recruits. We'll see how it all pans out. At the end of the day, the wins and losses will decide everything about Muschamp, Weis, Golden, Leach (when he's hired), etc. We're just speculating here.

Mike Leach is a fine hire for "Subway Alumni" type FANaticS who root for certain teams but only matriculated at JUCOS or tech schools.If a person actually has a degree from an institution of higher learning, he/she probably has a degree of pride in the school and does not want a moron employed in a highly visible area. The first time the Delusionl Pirate called your daughter "Fat" you would probably be a little pissed off---or maybe not--and as much as I'm not a fan of James' kid, all the idiot had to do was kick him off the team. BUT the Corpulent Corsair does not do things the easy way, he will eventually screw over who ever hires him with some form of idiocy. Have you noticed that pro teams also have demonstrated NO interest in a guy who probably flies the Jolly Roger on the shower curtain.

If 999 people are on one side of the room and I'm standing by myself, there is a good chance that I'm wrong--unless my name is Galileo or Copernicus.

Leach would have been a fine OC but would have been easy to negative-recruit against. Weis will be effective as a coach, formidible as a recruiter and good for the local fast food economy.

We are happy with coach Al Golden in Miami...and I am the MAESTRO

Will Hill is an embarassment to humanity. What a piece of dirt this guy is. That's why, aside from Tebow, I don't care for any individual athlete.

Posted by: EVEN MIAMI IS GATOR COUNTRY!!! | January 20, 2011 at 08:46 PM

Golden seems like a sharp guy, but he lacks experience BIG TIME, and once the season starts, I think the guy will be exposed. Sure, Muschamp has no "head coaching" experience, but he is as experienced an assistant coach as it gets, so I don't buy all the criticism from the haters out there.

He made the WORST team in division 1 football respectable but he lacks experience? Listen, UM and UF did the right thing by not hiring this guy as head coach. You do not want Leach as the face of your program period! O coordinator is a different story. I would take him all day long. The problem is would he be content not being the head guy? No way, especially working under someone that has never been a head coach.

Why do the Hurricanes hate the Gators and the Gators hate the Hurricanes? Two programs that compete in two different hemishperes.

You posters are either totally bored in Mom's basement or blatant corporate time stealing weasels.

Mike, I agree that Leach is an incredibly talented coach and a funny/ smart guy… that is, when he’s not doing/ saying something ill-advised or stupid. I don’t claim to know any more than the next guy, and when it comes to Leach specifically, probably a whole lot less than, say, his local dry cleaner. Clearly I’m biased by all the press I’ve read on him, but he just seems a bit unstable to me… he looks like a guy who simply must satisfy that itch, whether by opening his mouth when good sense tells the rest of us to keep quiet, or by picking a fight with an administrator instead of falling on his sword and taking responsibility for his actions. He just doesn’t seem to be the kind of guy who can be counted on to consistently make good decisions. That’s too big a risk to take with my university. That may be unfair of me, but I’m calling it like I see it. Sometimes folks aren’t all that complicated… sometimes they’re exactly what they appear to be.

"For that matter, would our guests from Coral Gables have chosen Leach over Al Golden to run Miami's program?"

No, Mike-Mike, most of us did not want him, since he had a cloud and a reputation that we are trying to avoid in Miami. I would guess that many reasonable Gator fans would wnat to avoid that same bad reputation.

The CAT 5 Hurricane is coming, Golden is taking whomever he wants. Get used to it boys, the U is taking over the State of Miami

Fine but will never be better than urban

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