What a weird week. The three and a half days that have passed since Coach Embree was fired have seemed like 3,500, and I'm already suffering from search fatigue.
The buzz of a coaching search would be enough, but some people are starting to lose it. Joel Klatt has allowed a years-old grudge against Mike Bohn to reduce him to a screaming, petulant child. Coach Bill McCartney, a known homophobic bigot, has decided he's the ultimate authority on all things black people, and called the University of Colorado racist to cover up both the failings of his protege, and his failed attempt at further legacy shopping.
It's an ugly situation, but not necessarily surprising. Coach Embree was an
emotional hire, which would necessarily make his termination an
emotional firing. Jon's friends, understandably, want to speak up for
him. Their hearts are in the right place, just not their mouths.
While there have also been some sane voices amongst the lunatics - Chris Fowler and Ivan Meisel, in particular, were able to cut through some of the bullshit - I'm eagerly anticipating for the day that this vitriol dies down.
As for who will be the next coach, I've heard the following names leveled with varying degrees of seriousness:
- Charlie Strong - 52 - Louisville
Coach Strong is one of the hottest coaching names in the country. I doubt the Buffs have the money required to steal him away from Louisville, especially considering the Cards recently announced move to the ACC. Even if he were to leave L'ville, I have a hard time picturing him choosing CU over other suitors.
- Gary Andersen - 48 - Utah St
There have been plenty of rumors surrounding the head Aggie from Logan. Despite protestations to the contrary, he has continued to be discussed for both the CU and Cal openings.
- Dave Doeren - 40 - Illinois St
I have to give him credit, he was at least honest in the press about his willingness to listen to other offers. His 22-4 record at NIU is hard to overlook.
- Tim DeRuyter - 49 - Fresno St
You may remember him from the 69-14 shitstorm he dumped on CU back in September. Of all the potential candidates, he's the only one I've heard as confirmed with mutual interest.
- Mark Mangino - fat - Kansas (fired in '09)
I'm getting the feeling that, despite not being our first choice, Tim DeRuyter will end up being the pick. Strong would obviously be #1, but I can't fake a reason for him to say yes. Andersen and Doeren would probably be next on the list, but they'll be entertaining other offers that I think they'll take over CU (Andersen - Cal, Doeren - Purdue). The job would then fall to the head Bulldog.
Given a little time, I'll be able to talk myself into liking that. Right now, I'm having a hard time fighting through 2012's malaise. This was only DeRuyter's first year as a full-time head coach, and, while it was an impressive 9-3 campaign, he started with a full deck in Fresno. His real value leading a program is a complete unknown at this point. I'm just not sold that he'll be able to step in and immediately make a positive impact. Strong, Andersen, Doeren? Yes. DeRuyter? No.
If CU can't at least land DeRuyter, however, the program needs to be shuttered. I'm dead serious. I don't even want to hear about candidates below his level.
Regardless, the decision should be made by the end of the fall semester.