Grass isn't always greener for departures

January, 4, 2011
I wrote earlier Tuesday about how many Big East coaches have sought other jobs recently. The news that Rich Rodriguez is meeting with his boss at Michigan with his job on the line points out that success is not guaranteed at the next stop.

Let's take a look at how those coaches who have jumped ship in recent years have fared:

[+] EnlargeRich Rodriguez
Charles LeClaire/Getty ImagesRich Rodriguez compiled a 60-26 record in seven seasons at West Virginia.
Rodriguez: RichRod went 60-26 at West Virginia and made a pair of BCS games before fleeing his home state and alma mater. He is 15-22 in three years at Michigan and has been under fire constantly, with the end possibly near. If he had it to do all over again, do you think Rodriguez would have stayed home?

Bobby Petrino: Petrino went 41-9 in four years as coach at Louisville and led the Cardinals to the 2007 Orange Bowl title, but he always had a wandering eye. He bolted for NFL's Atlanta Falcons, where he thought he'd coach Michael Vick. Instead, Vick got arrested for dogfighting before the season started, and Petrino went 3-10 before bailing out on the team to Arkansas. He is 23-14 with the Razorbacks and has them in Tuesday night's Allstate Sugar Bowl against Ohio State.

Speaking of former Louisville coaches, John L. Smith left for Michigan State after the 2002 season and claimed that Louisville couldn't get to a BCS game. He got canned, while the Cardinals made a BCS game four years later. Now he's an assistant for Petrino.

Brian Kelly: The jury is still out on Kelly at Notre Dame, but the end of this season looked promising. The former Cincinnati coach, who led the Bearcats to back-to-back BCS games and a 34-6 record in three years, was just 4-5 at the end of October in South Bend while also dealing with the death of a student videographer. The Irish won their final four games, including the Hyundai Sun Bowl over Miami, to boost optimism for 2011.

Mark Dantonio: Kelly's predecessor succeeded Smith at Michigan State, where he has gone 33-19 and had a breakthrough 11-1 regular season in 2010. His Spartans were blown out by Alabama in the Capitol One Bowl.

Walt Harris: Harris went 52-44 at Pitt and led the Panthers to the 2004 Fiesta Bowl but was pushed out following that season. He then went to Stanford, where he lasted just two seasons, going 6-17 and 1-11 in his final year, before being fired.

As you can see, it's a mixed bag for coaches who depart to supposedly greener pastures. Which path will Randy Edsall take at Maryland?



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