Big 12: Bob Simmons

ISU gets good grade, KSU bad in minority hiring study

November, 18, 2009
The Black Coaches and Administrators released a study Wednesday that examined the practices of schools that hired new football coaches last season.

Iowa State, which hired Paul Rhoads, received an A. Kansas State, which hired Bill Snyder after a three-season sabbatical, got an F.

The study considered the time frame of the hiring, communication of the job opening, potential candidates, composition of the search committee and affirmative action before ascertaining a final grade.

The Big 12 does not have an black head coach in place after Ron Prince was fired and replaced by Snyder. It has had three black coaches in its history with Oklahoma's John Blake (1996-98), Oklahoma State's Bob Simmons (1995-2000) and Prince (2006-08).

The lack of a black Big 12 head coach was addressed in the foreword to the study, written by Richard Lapchick, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports at the University of Central Florida.

"Last year I said we needed a new game plan with an arsenal of new weapons we have not had to change the hiring practices for head football coaches in college sport. The failure to achieve dramatic improvements now calls for a civil rights movement in college sport," Lapchick wrote.

"America has its first African-American president. Yet our record for hiring football coaches of color is scandalous. As of the date of this publication, we do not have an African-American head football coach in the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, PAC-10, or Big East."

Conference officials should do what they can to encourage head coaching job searches that are cognizant of minority hirings. Thankfully with the BCA's study, somebody is watching.

Judging Big 12 coaches by conference records

May, 6, 2009

Posted by's Tim Griffin

Who was it that said necessity is the mother of invention?

They must have had a pretty good handle on football statistics, because I wracked my brain twice in the last week looking for a specific set of figures that I thought any upstanding conference would compile as part of a basic statistical package.

Surprise for me, I guess.

I wanted to find out the overall conference records of every coach in the history of the Big 12. These records are a strong tool to comparatively analyze coaches, I think.

All of the games are against Division I teams (unlike overall records). And the games are typically between coaches who typically get a chance to coach against each other on more than one occasion, providing a chance to make adjustments over the years as they learn more about their opponents' tendencies.

That's why I found these statistics -- compiled by me during the second half of a boring Cleveland-Atlanta basketball game last night -- to be so fascinating.

Here are my Big 12 conference won-loss figures. Records are for conference games, conference championship games and overall conference records.

Records of all coaches in Big 12 history
Name/School Conf. game W-L Pct. Conf. title game W-L Pct. Overall conf. W-L Pct.
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma 67-13 .838 6-1 .857 73-14 .839
Mack Brown, Texas 72-16 .818 1-2 .333 73-18 .802
Bill Snyder, Kansas State 53-27 .663 1-2 .333 54-29 .651
Mike Leach, Texas Tech 42-30 .583 0-0 .000 42-30 .583
R.C. Slocum, Texas A&M 34-22 .607 1-1 .500 35-23 .603
Gary Barnett, Colorado 34-22 .607 1-3 .250 35-25 .583
Frank Solich, Nebraska 33-15 .688 1-0 1.000 34-15 .694
Gary Pinkel, Missouri 32-32 .500 0-2 .000 32-34 .485
Dan McCarney, Iowa State 26-62 .295 0-0 .000 26-62 .295
Mark Mangino, Kansas 22-34 .393 0-0 .000 22-34 .393
Spike Dykes, Texas Tech 19-13 .594 0-0 .000 19-13 .594
Dennis Franchione, Texas A&M 19-21 .475 0-0 .000 19-21 .475
Tom Osborne, Nebraska 16-0 1.000 1-1 .500 17-1 .944
Les Miles, Oklahoma State 16-16 .500 0-0 .000 16-16 .500
Larry Smith, Missouri 16-24 .400 0-0 .000 16-24 .400
Bill Callahan, Nebraska 15-17 .469 0-1 .000 15-18 .455
Rick Neuheisel, Colorado 14-10 .583 0-0 .000 14-10 .583
Bob Simmons, Oklahoma State 14-26 .350 0-0 .000 14-26 .350
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State 13-19 .406 0-0 .000 13-19 .406
Terry Allen, Kansas 10-30 .250 0-0 .000 10-30 .250
John Mackovic, Texas 8-8 .500 1-0 1.000 9-8 .529
Ron Prince, Kansas State 9-15 .375 0-0 .000 9-15 .375
Dan Hawkins, Colorado 8-16 .333 0-0 .000 8-16 .333
John Blake, Oklahoma 8-16 .333 0-0 .000 8-16 .333
Guy Morriss, Baylor 7-33 .175 0-0 .000 7-33 .175
Bo Pelini, Nebraska 5-3 .625 0-0 .000 5-3 .625
Art Briles, Baylor 2-6 .250 0-0 .000 2-6 .250
Glen Mason, Kansas 2-6 .250 0-0 .000 2-6 .250
Mike Sherman, Texas A&M 2-6 .250 0-0 .000 2-6 .250
Gene Chizik, Iowa State 2-14 .125 0-0 .000 2-14 .125
Dave Roberts, Baylor 2-14 .125 0-0 .000 2-14 .125
Chuck Reedy, Baylor 1-7 .125 0-0 .000 1-7 .125
Kevin Steele, Baylor 1-31 .031 0-0 .000 1-31 .031

Note: Active coaches are in yellow. Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads will be in his first season as a head coach in the conference.

The numbers provide some interesting factoids.

  • I think these figures indicate that the two most underrated coaches in Big 12 coaching history are R.C. Slocum and Frank Solich.

Texas A&M has never had a Big 12 coach with a career winning percentage above .500 other than Slocum, who remains the only A&M coach to take his team to a Big 12 title game and win a conference football championship.

Solich ranks fourth in career conference winning percentage, trailing only Hall of Famer Tom Osborne and future Hall of Famers Bob Stoops and Mack Brown.

  • Here's a strike against the Bill Callahan era at Nebraska. Callahan is the only Nebraska coach since the start of the Big 12 era to have a below .500 career conference record.
  • Another underrated figure from the early days of the conference was Texas Tech's Spike Dykes, who compiled an impressive 19-13 conference record in the first four seasons in the conference. The Red Raiders have had one below .500 record during the 13-season history of the conference.
  • Want an indication of the Baylor program over the years? The three coaches who directed Baylor before Art Briles piloted the Bears to a combined 11-85 conference record, for a winning percentage of .115. That's an average of less than a victory per season.

Briles was 2-6 in his first season with Baylor last season -- more than doubling the school's average in conference victories during its previous history.

  • Bo Pelini's fast 5-3 start last season makes him one of only seven Big 12 coaches with a career winning percentage in conference games of more than .600.
  • Mack Brown leads the Big 12 with 91 conference games -- 88 regular-season games and three titles. Dan McCarney of Iowa State is second with 88 regular-season Big 12 games.   

OSU-Colorado game set for Nov. 19

February, 4, 2009

Posted by's Tim Griffin

Oklahoma State announced Wednesday that the Cowboys will host a Thursday night game for the first time since 1995 when Colorado visits on Nov. 19 in a game nationally televised by ESPN.

It will be played on the week before Thanksgiving and will be the Cowboys' final home game of the season.

Oklahoma State last hosted a Thursday night game in the 1995 season opener when Nebraska visited in the first game for the Cowboys under then-head coach Bob Simmons.

The announcement marks the first time that a Big 12 conference game will be played as part of the Thursday night ESPN package other than the Thanksgiving night game involving Texas and Texas A&M.

The selection by ESPN means that OSU and Colorado will be part of a prime-time telecast for the second straight year. The Cowboys were 30-17 winners in Boulder in 2008 on a Saturday night game televised by ABC. 

Barr heading back to OSU for third time

January, 15, 2009

Posted by's Tim Griffin

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy apparently has hired Johnny Barr, who will be joining the Cowboys' program for a third time, the Oklahoman has reported.

Barr is expected to fill the Cowboys' recruiting coordinator position that was vacated when Robert Matthews was hired to an assistant's position.

Barr first served as an assistant coach with Pat Jones when Gundy was a quarterback in the late 1980s. He later coached on Bob Simmons' staff with the Cowboys in 1995-96. Most recently, Barr worked as director of on-campus recruiting for Dennis Franchione when he coached at Texas A&M through the 2007 season.

Gundy still is considering options for his defensive coordinator position, but is not ready to name a replacement for Tim Beckman.

Lunchtime links: How did Missouri fall so quickly?

December, 10, 2008

Posted by's Tim Griffin

Today is the deadline for Heisman Trophy voting. I just cast my ballot a few hours ago.

Until Saturday's presentation in New York City, here are some lunchtime links for your enjoyment.

  • Missouri's decline from a 12-2 team last season to this season's 9-4 disappointment is analyzed by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Vahe Gregorian.
  • Steve Weiberg of USA Today gauges the importance of Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford among his Cherokee descendants in Western Oklahoma.
  • So much for the "Big Game Bob" moniker for Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. The Tulsa World's Dave Sittler writes that a more apt name might soon be "Bob the Heisman Builder."
  • Interesting column by Jon Garten of the Kansas State Collegian, who blames Ron Prince's coaching staff as one of the reasons for his ultimate failing with the Wildcats.
  • Cotton Bowl organizers are expecting a record crowd at the bowl's newly expanded facility. Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News reports that organizers already are reporting more than 80,000 tickets sold for the Jan. 2 game between Texas Tech and Mississippi.
  • Former Oklahoma State coach Bob Simmons has surfaced as a potential candidate for the vacant head coaching job at New Mexico State, according to Felix Chavez of the Las Cruces Sun-News.

Way Back Machine for a rare Sunday game

August, 31, 2008

Posted by's Tim Griffin

Colorado and Colorado State meet in a rare Sunday night battle in Denver. To celebrate, here are some Way Backs from previous Big 12 history for today.

Aug. 31, 1995 -- No. 2 Nebraska 64, Oklahoma State 21 (Stillwater, Okla.): The Cornhuskers ruined the debut of Bob Simmons as Oklahoma State's coach by erupting for 671 yards of total offense and a 50-7 lead early in the third quarter before coach Tom Osborne cleared his bench. Lawrence Phillips rushed for 153 yards and three TDs and Tommie Frazier passed for two TDs and rushed for another to key Nebraska's attack.

Aug. 31, 1996 -- No. 21 Kansas State 21, Texas Tech 14 (Manhattan, Kan.): Mario Smith turned in two huge plays to lead the Wildcats to the victory in the inaugural Big 12 game. Smith recovered a fumbled snap for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter and delivered a withering hit on WR Donnie Hart on a fourth-down pass that sealed the triumph.

Aug. 31, 1996 -- No. 8 Texas 40, Missouri 10 (Austin, Texas): In a game delayed by lightning for 45 minutes in the third quarter, the Longhorns put the game away with Bryant Westbrook's 35-yard blocked punt return for a TD and Ricky Williams' second TD run. Williams rushed for 112 yards and QB James Brown passed for two TDs.

Aug 31, 1998 -- No. 2 Florida State 23, No. 14 Texas A&M 14 (East Rutherford, N.J.): After the Aggies had claimed a 14-10 halftime lead on Jay Brooks' 21-yard TD fumble return, Chris Weinke led the Seminoles' comeback in his first collegiate start. His 9-yard TD pass to Peter Warrick late in the third quarter gave FSU the lead for good.

Aug. 31, 2002 -- Louisiana Tech 39, Oklahoma State 36 (Shreveport, La.): Luke McCown rifled a 23-yard TD pass to Erick Franklin with a minute remaining, leading the Bulldogs to a wild comeback. Oklahoma State lead 36-18 with 2:18 left in the third quarter before McCown's late charge that included two TD passes and another TD run. McCown finished the game with 448 passing yards and three TD strikes.



Saturday, 12/20
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