Friday, August 16, 2013
Coaching changes in the ACC
By Andrea Adelson
This time of year, the hot-seat discussion always -- pardon the pun -- heats up.
It is never easy to make a coaching change, but these decisions are made more difficult when successful, even legendary, coaches start slipping down a notch. See: Bowden, Bobby.
So let's take a look at recent examples of successful coaches being shown the door in the ACC and what followed.
ACC precedents: Bobby Bowden, Florida State; Larry Coker, Miami; Ralph Friedgen, Maryland; Paul Pasqualoni, Syracuse.
Bobby Bowden won 10 or more games from 1987-2000 as coach at Florida State.
Bobby Bowden, 304-97-4 at FSU
Prior to his arrival: The Seminoles did not have much coaching stability, nor much of a winning tradition for that matter. Consider that the seven coaches before Bowden combined for 162 wins over 29 seasons.
Why he was forced into retirement: After an astonishing run between 1987 and 2000 that featured 10 or more wins in every season, the Seminoles started to slip. Bowden went 7-6 in three of his final four seasons, and the school decided it was time for a change. Though Bowden was supposed to coach through 2010, he was forced out following a 37-10 loss to Florida to end the 2009 regular season. Bowden ended his career with a win over West Virginia in the Gator Bowl.
The aftermath: Jimbo Fisher, designated the coach-in-waiting under Bowden, has gone 31-10 in three seasons. Florida State finished 12-2 in 2012 with ACC championship game and Orange Bowl victories and a school-record 11 players taken in the NFL draft.
Larry Coker, 60-15 at Miami
Prior to his arrival: Miami won four national championships between 1983 and 1991, but the program was hit by NCAA sanctions in the mid-'90s. Coach Butch Davis brought Miami back to prominence in 2000 before leaving for the NFL. Coker, the offensive coordinator, was elevated to head coach for the 2001 season.
Why he was forced out: Coker became the second coach in college football history to win a national championship in his first season as a coach. He led Miami to another championship game appearance in 2002 as well. But the program began to slip under his watch. In 2006, Miami finished 7-6, with the low point being an embarrassing brawl against FIU that led to 13 game suspensions.
The aftermath: Coker's successor, Randy Shannon, was fired after four seasons and a 28-22 record. Current coach Al Golden has gone 13-11 in two seasons. Miami has won more than seven games just once (2009) since Coker was fired.
Ralph Friedgen, 75-50 at Maryland
Prior to his arrival: In his first year as head coach in 2001, Maryland had a winning record for the first time since 1995 and won 10 games for the first time since 1976. Between 1986 and 2000, the Terps had just one bowl appearance.
Why he was forced out: New athletic director Kevin Anderson called the move to fire Friedgen "a strategic business decision." It clearly had nothing to do with Friedgen's performance in his final season of 2010. Maryland went 9-4, and Friedgen was ACC Coach of the Year. But once coach-in-waiting James Franklin left for Vanderbilt and took several assistants with him, Anderson decided he needed to make a change.
The aftermath: Randy Edsall has posted back-to-back losing seasons and a 6-18 overall record in two seasons since taking over. He goes into 2013 on the hot seat.
Paul Pasqualoni, 107-59-1 at Syracuse
Prior to his arrival: Dick MacPherson guided Syracuse for 10 seasons, producing seven winning seasons -- including the 1987 team that went 11-0-1 and finished fourth in the final Associated Press and coaches' polls.
Why he was forced out: Pasqualoni is the second-winningest coach in school history, won four Big East titles and took Syracuse to two Fiesta Bowls and an Orange Bowl. But he only had one winning record in his final four seasons as head coach, and athletic director Daryl Gross decided to go in a different direction after the 2004 season.
The aftermath: The Greg Robinson error ensued, as Syracuse proceeded to win 10 games over the next four seasons. Doug Marrone was hired in 2009 and got Syracuse back to two bowl games, along with a share of the Big East title in 2012, before leaving for the Buffalo Bills. Scott Shafer enters Year 1 after being promoted from defensive coordinator.