Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Case for Columbia

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Let's say you were the guy or gal in charge of offering the Columbia head coaching job to the best candidate, how would you seal the deal?

And how would you do it if you couldn't go over a base salary offer of $250,000 per year?

If it were me, I'd offer three key perks that are enticing yet realistic:

1) Total "New York City" cost protection: generous allowances to cover all added expenses related to living in this area from parking garage fees to eating out allowances. A big effort needs to be made to get the coach to live full time in Manhattan. Let's get creative here.

2) Personal Staff: I would upgrade and increase the head coach's personal staff for everything from communications to scheduling. We're all dying for more emails and other updates from the coach and this should be made extremely easy for him to do as often as he likes. This is not to say the staff that worked with Norries Wilson did a bad job, but we need to offer our new coach a Cadillac-standard of excellence in this regard so he knows he has a sterling pipeline to the fans and big donors that stays online at all times.

3) Media Blitz: once the Ivy season ends, our head coach is allowed to fulfill any contractual deal he can work out, (and we will help him do so), with any of the many media outlets in New York covering the final weeks of the college football season and the bowl games. That includes working as an in-studio analyst on game days. With the right deal, this could be a VERY lucrative job for our coach and it could also truly boost recruiting interest in Columbia.

I realize not every coach is camera-ready or even willing. But I think the most successful candidate at Columbia will be someone who relishes New York City as the media capital of the world and is just cocky enough to know that he can conquer the media in this town with a few good quips and friendly insight.

The last few head coaches we've had have been relatively camera shy or even downright guarded, and that doesn't work in New York. I agree with what former Head Coach Larry McElreavy told us last week when he said that the new head coach MUST be a real New York lover and wear that love on his sleeve every single day.

I'm not sure we can project the greatness of the city with a football head coach who hightails it to Connecticut or New Jersey every night.

Clawson Staying at BG

It looks like most of the Dave Clawson talk at Columbia, Fordham and U. Richmond is already over.

Several reports suggest Clawson is NOT out at Bowling Green and he has publicly stated he is committed to remaining at the Ohio school for as long as it takes.

Bushnell Follow Up

Earlier today, I posted the news about the four finalists for the 2011 Bushnell Cups.

The actual award will be presented to the winners on Monday December 5th at 11:30am at the Waldorf-Astoria here in Manhattan.

(Yet another case in point for my argument that New York City MUST be used as a PLUS for Columbia football and it must be used OFTEN. Even the hopelessly Princeton-bound Ivy League sports offices know enough to host this event in the city!)

John Audino

The Bagnoli Way?

Penn's Al Bagnoli had a successful career as the had coach of Union for 10 seasons before he took his current job and the rest is impressive history.

Ever wonder who took over the job at Union when Bagnoli left?

That would be none other than former Columbia assistant coach John Audino, who served five seasons on Morningside Heights under head coaches Bill Campbell and Bob Naso.

In fact, Audino has been the only head coach for the Union Dutchmen since Bagnoli left following the 1991 season. In that time, he has an impressive 141-60 won-lost record.

Heck, John even is the same exact age as Bagnoli, 58.

But unlike Bagnoli, Audino had some big time playing experience, toiling as a running back under Ara Parseghian at Notre Dame in the early 1970's.

If Union is some kind of great pipeline of Ivy coaches, perhaps John Audino deserves a look.


At Wed Nov 30, 02:00:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is plenty of flexibility if the administration shows some imagination. Think housing allowance for NYC apartment near campus.

At Wed Nov 30, 02:11:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it confirmed that $250K is the limit? Unless that does not include other compensation worth almost twice that, you can forget about getting anything close to that.

Young position coaches at BCS level schools are paid as much.

Oh, well. The suckery continues. It woudl be nice to see what would happen if the administration would just try to do it right one time.

At Wed Nov 30, 02:22:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do other Ivy football coaches make?

At Wed Nov 30, 02:37:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Columbia needs to hire a young coach(early 40's) with head coaching experience that wants to be here. It is going to take outside the box thinking on this hire. Hire a proven winner no matter what level he comes from.

Who has applied? Is there a list out yet?

At Wed Nov 30, 03:14:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

UCLA's Rick Neuheisel was fired yesterday (but will coach final game vs. U of Oregon). His base salary was only $250,000--which is what he'll get for final contracted year 2012. But his annual compensation was $1.25 mil, the extra million for "services provided in promoting the football program," whatever that means. He also got a $1 million housing loan. The concept seems similar to what Jake proposed re perks and
connections to outside, football-related gigs like broadcasting.
The total for CU certainly wouldn't be the same but the concept is there to attract the right person.

At Wed Nov 30, 03:37:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saints crushed my beloved NY Giants. Worst defensive performance in +50 years. Saints OC? None other than Pete Carmichael Jr, who's father was the DC for Columbia in the 70s under Billy C. (both coming from Boston College). Pete Sr. was a riot, one of the funniest people I've ever encountered; could've been a stand-up comedian. Also an excellent coach. Once the CU Admin commits to its athletic programs (Stanford anyone?), we'll see success.

At Wed Nov 30, 03:55:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe as of right now the coaches get "on campus" apartments in some of the upperclassmen/graduate dorms.

Would it be tough to move the assistants into much better housing? I bet some awesome digs in Manhattan would go a long way in offsetting a relatively low salary

At Wed Nov 30, 04:10:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mack Brown's salary from the U of Texas is only about $250K too, but his overall compensation is over $5 million. This money comes from teh booster organization, Nike, TV/Radio money, camps, etc.

I agree we need to be creative and can probably get a total deal worth $500K plus.

At Wed Nov 30, 04:44:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think everyone should calm down about the compensation for the Columbia job. When coach Wilson came to our home for a recruiting trip, he asked my son if he had any questions. My son asked him what his dream job would be? Coach Wilson told us, directly, that he was so well compensated that he would only leave Columbia to coach a Division 1 BCS program due to his compensation package!He also mentioned a school name that I prefer to keep confidential out of my respect for coach Wilson.
Calm down everyone. It may not be BCS level but the Ivy coaches are well compensated financially.

At Wed Nov 30, 04:44:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boosters...god's gift to football coaches. We could use a few of them here. Did anyone know the players actually get rings for winning the title? How cool is that!

At Wed Nov 30, 05:10:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coaches don't like living the life of a nomad any more than the rest of us. I see salary as less of an issue than the ability to win (translated, job security). There is something we're not doing that is holding the program back. If those problems are identified and addressed, I believe we'll get someone desirable.

At Wed Nov 30, 05:42:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What we paid Coach Wilson only got us half a coach. We got the great guy/leader, but we did not get the great teacher/innovator.

We must be competitive financially. The numbers are bigger than when we hired Wilson. The guy that now has the same job NW had at Uconn probably makes as much as NW made as HC at Columbia.

The challenge is huge and you have to pay up to entice someone in a comfortable position to take it.

At Wed Nov 30, 06:55:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To "Calm down." Seems to me Wilson HAS left Columbia with no job at the moment. And he's certsinly not going to get one as "a Division 1 BCS coach." Ivy coaches may be well-compensated but not for very long, even at Columbia, if they don't produce.

It may well take a jump upward in compensation to get the coach we need. The current process isn't about gettinmg another coach who's delighted to make 200-250 thou to lose consiustently. It's about getting a coach who will stop the culture of losing and reverse almost 60 years of misery, with a little mediocrity thrown in.

At Wed Nov 30, 07:43:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder if any of the assistant coaches at Boston College or Rutgers are applying for the head coaching position at Columbia. Obviously, there are some quality assistants at both schools and several of the assistants are from the New York Metropolitan Area. On paper, a couple of them look like good fits for the Columbia position.

At Wed Nov 30, 07:55:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about Jim Hofher, the former Cornell Coach, who is now the offensive coordinator at Delaware? He has tons of experience including seven years aa Cornell's head coach. Does anyone recall what happened with him at Cornell?

At Wed Nov 30, 08:09:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As we all know, part of the search is just plain luck; i.e finding an outstanding head coach who feels unappreciated, or an outstanding assistant coach who is anxious to move up to a head coaching position. And then there are some coaches who feel more comfortable at certain types of schools than others. Generally speaking, I would assume, the number of candidates for head coaching positions exceeds the number of available positions. Maybe some of this obvious, but perhaps not. Let's see if "luck" plays a factor in our selection process.

At Wed Nov 30, 08:59:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Kevin DeMarrais said...

Unfortunately, this blog continues to get bogged down in speculation, followed by comments based on that speculation -- which is often wrong. Recently, we've had extensive discussion on a $250,000 salary for the head coach, yet no one knows what the budget is and, unlike state universities, we probably never will.

Before the Brown game, we had weeks of discussion about what Dianne Murphy, Bill Campbell and Lee Bollinger would or wouldn't do, and comments based on that speculation (much of it in anger). that they didn't care Now we have speculation on various "candidates," including several who would be unlikely to be interested in Columbia for a variety of reasons.

Quite likely, some of the top candidates have never been mentioned, perhaps an Ivy assistant or the head coach at alower level program.As we have seen in coaching selections at every level, the "perfect" coach often is not -- could you ask for stronger credentials than Norries Wilson or Buddy Teevens at Dartmouth -- and a dark horse turns out a winner.

Like everyone on this blog, I want more than anything for Columbia to be an Ivy League football power -- or at least a steady contender -- and I think we have an excellent committee to represent our interests.

At Wed Nov 30, 09:23:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 4:43, Really think it is time to hire a guy with Head Coaching experience. No Assistant coaches, no high school coaches. Someone with a good resume, a proven winner who has held the head coach position.

At Wed Nov 30, 10:10:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kevin, I doubt that any Ivy League assistant coach will be one of the top candidates for our head coaching job. It's more likely that we would seek an assistant coach from a prominent national football school. However, given the Wilson experience, I believe it is reasonable to assume that the selection committee's top choices will be persons with successful head coaching experience, at a Division I-AA level or higher. Of course, you might find a successful head coach at a lower level and the names of a few possibilities have been already mentioned on this Blog. However, if you look at the rankings of the Division III schools, you will find that very few of the top programs are located in the northeastern part of the country. I doubt that the selection committe would consider hiring a head coach from a little-known Division III school outside the northeast. Also, the head coaches of the few top-ranked Division III schools in the northeast tend to be locked in to their respective schools in some fashion. Many have been coaching at the same school for twenty or thirty years or have lived in the same small geographic area their whole life.

At Wed Nov 30, 10:15:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Similar to recruiting, we need someone who can be described as an "impact coach."

At Wed Nov 30, 10:20:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, you honestly think -- with everyone that is available in NYC, from former players to pro coaches, etc., -- that any media outlet cares about Columbia's head football coach? Unless they bring in a guy who has a name elsewhere in a bit-time way -- and they aren't going to do that, you and I both know that -- there's ZERO chance this next coach is going to do the things you say he should. Unless he goes 10-0, nobody in the media cares. And even if they do go 10-0, NYC is a pro sports town. And Columbia football is a niche product.

At Wed Nov 30, 10:45:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kevin, what is your point? You seem to be criticizing anxious Columbia fans for speculating here.
What do you expect us to do? And why shouldn't we speculate? We don't have your inside connections, so we have to speculate. Maybe you don't have connections any more, so welcome to the mob which continues to wait, hope, donate, despair and...
You really set the ball up on a tee for us long-suffering fans when you chide us: "We have an excellent committee to represent us."
And my response iiis: "Just like all those excellent committees that gave us Bob Naso, Larry, McElreavy, Bob Shoop, Norries Wilson et al.???

At Wed Nov 30, 10:56:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To "Seems to me:" I wouldn't count Wilson out. My guess is the coaching profession blames the administration here for the long line of unsuccessful coaches. As we have read over the past couple weeks, a lot of coaches have left here and had success elsewhere.

At Wed Nov 30, 06:38:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk to some players. We had and continue to have decent talent. There is not a big talent gap in this league. But we need a coach who can run good, efficient practices and make our players better. We need somebody who can work on fundamentals like tackling and blocking. I imagine everybody will say that is what they were supposed to learn in high school. Not so fast. We were a poor blocking and tackling team. Our guys were not coached on fundamental skills. with the cap of 25 recruited players we will get our share of young men who can win; the issue is getting the right guy who can make them better.

At Wed Nov 30, 06:44:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES! That is why we can't rule out someone like Greg Toal. He is all about the fundamentals! Let's stop worrying about what people will "think" when it comes to getting a great HS coach and start thinking about how many more games we will win when our players block, tackle and catch the ball better!

At Wed Nov 30, 07:32:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 3:34, Nobody cares about what people will think! We care about what the team wants and NEEDS. They don't need a high school coach. Take a poll with the team, given the choice...how many would want a high school guy over an experienced college guy or even NFL for that matter. Get off the Toal bandwagon!!!! You're the only one who wants him.

At Wed Nov 30, 08:31:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guess is that a new coach will be announced very soon. I also think you won't hear rumors on the person beforehand. To her credit Dianne Murphy seems to be very good at controlling leaks. All the stuff on the advisory board and player advisors is interesting, but, when it comes down to it Dianne Murphy will be making the choice. I doubt if anything on this blog will have any effect on the process.

At Wed Nov 30, 08:57:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ray Tellier led the search committee for Head Baseball Coach, Brett Boretti. Brett has been successful in a short time. I think based on the post Columbia career success of previous Ray Tellier assistants, he has a good eye for selecting good potential.

Here is some of Brett's qualifications coming in from the CU Athletics website. He possesses many of the qualities that many on this board have stated. Proven record of success as a head coach and young.

Brett Borretti
Prior to coming to Morningside Heights in July 2005 as just the third Lion head coach in 25 years, Boretti was the head coach at Franklin & Marshall College, posting a 116-82 record over five seasons.

The Diplomats made history in 2005 when Boretti coached the team to a 25-16 record, including a school record-setting 15-3 mark in Centennial Conference play. Franklin & Marshall won the conference title for only the second time in school history and ranked seventh in the final American Baseball Coaches Association Mid-Atlantic Region poll.

Franklin & Marshall posted 24 or more wins in three of Boretti’s five seasons as head coach.

“Brett is a top-quality individual and a proven winner,” Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education Dr. M. Dianne Murphy noted. “He has demonstrated integrity and excellence as a player, assistant coach and head coach. He has experience with the Ivy League and Major League Baseball, and we are very pleased to have him lead our baseball program.”

Boretti served two years, 1998-2000, as an assistant coach at Brown. During his tenure with the Bears, he coordinated recruiting efforts, coached hitting and the outfield, and was responsible for all daily operations of the program.

Boretti coached at his alma mater, Davidson, from 1996-98, following a one-year stint at Endicott College in his hometown of Beverly, Massachusetts.

At Wed Nov 30, 08:57:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the contrary, there are always leaks in the foundation. Diane is solid steel, but even the White House cannot contain every shred of information. And sometimes it's not a bad idea to "leak" the names of possibile coaches to see what the reaction is from the fan base. Indeed, when Columbia was looking for a new head coach to replace Joe Jones, the names of the several candidates mysteriously appeared on the Internet. Sure enough, one candidate, Karl Smith, was very favorably received, and indeed was named head coach shortly thereafter. Incidentally, I'm not suggesting that any college athletic department should or would leak names of any head coaching candidates. However, the reality is today that there are numerous sports analysts, recruiting services, bloggers, journalists, etc., who are in the business of publicizing every possible sports-related piece of information. One or more of those information channels are likely to publish the names of the leading candidates next week, if not sooner. Let's see if I'm right.

At Wed Nov 30, 10:17:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumor Mill has it that former Defensive Cooridanator Lou Ferrari has an interest in the Head Coaching vacancy at Columbia University... Ferrari had the top rated defense in 2006 and recurited Lou Miller,Alex Gross and Ross Morand among others...not a bad list....if there is any truth to this it will be interesting to see if the powers that be would consider him as a canidate.

At Wed Nov 30, 10:26:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IF and I mean IF Ferrari left in 2008 because he knew what a trainwreck Marino was, (and not because of family reasons as we were told), then maybe he would be a great choice. Because he was so close to Norries, I always assumed he just burned out and felt bad about letting him down. Now if it turns out that he saw how badly Norries was handling things after two years and just wanted to politely get out, he could be the guy.

At Wed Nov 30, 10:43:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Jim Alloy said...

The 5:57 post regarding the selection of Brett Boretti is right on target. The background profile of experience and success are the two most important qualites that should be considered in the selection of the head football coach. Boretti is a gem; his skill as a field coach coupled with his strength in maintaining a high quality program with his recruiting and development of players is what we need in the football program. If we can get a "Brett Boretti" clone as a head football coach, we will see a winner as early as this fall.

At Wed Nov 30, 10:44:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Inwood Tiger said...

Here is how Columbia competes to recruit for academic posts -- offer housing and education, the two variables that are tough to solve in New York, even if you have money. They are literally priceless amenities in this town.

CU owns thousands of apartments, including some ultra-fancy ones on CPW (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Cancer_Hospital) which are definitely not going to be used for athletics... But they also have places like the Arbor in Riverdale (http://cuf.columbia.edu/arbor/arbor/overview.html) -- which would be super convenient to Baker.

The university also set up their terrific elementary school in 2001 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_School_at_Columbia_University). Including this in a package to a new coach (who is likely to have children) would be a big, big deal.

At Wed Nov 30, 10:55:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will Dianne stand for a strong HC? What about a HC who demands a higher salary than she is getting? I still remember with distaste how she undecut wilson after the Penn game at FF his rookie sweason, when Wilson blasted Penn's assistants for trashing our kids and Dianne made him apologize. He should have supported him, because he was right to be outraged by what happened that day.

At Wed Nov 30, 10:58:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have another take on that Franklin Field blowup. While I'm sure the Penn people were scumbags, remember that Wilson blew up at a UNDERGRAD female reporter for the SPEC who had only asked him a polite question about our offense. the crowd in that press room was stunned by his behavior. We should have known right then that Norries was wrong for this job.

At Wed Nov 30, 11:12:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lou Ferrari has to be pushing 60. Go young and energetic!

If you are going to go older coach it has to be a huge name.

At Wed Nov 30, 11:17:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lou Ferrari recruited my son and he was one of the most interesting people we met during the process. He is one of those rare people that has an eye for talent (Gross, Miller, my son, etc.). Chris never played under him so I really have no feel for his coaching capabilities, but, on personal level I think he might be a good choice. Realistically I would be surprised if he were candidate.

Karl Groth

At Thu Dec 01, 12:18:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Horray for Kevin DeMarrais' comment .... finally a voice of reason ....

At Thu Dec 01, 12:19:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 5:57, Let's maked Brett Boretti the football coach.

To the second 5:57, if Kyle Smith was such a popular candidate for basketball coach, why in his second season at CU are you calling him "Karl"?

At Thu Dec 01, 12:58:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the last time CU had a coach who had a winning percentage over 500 was in 1925 when players got paid to play. there have been many administrations and selection committee's since then as well as many coaches. so to blame the administration or "A" head coach seems like you are ignoring history.
The mob is fickle and will turn on a dime. Perhaps it would be better to be supportive in a less demeaning manner. try actually supporting the cause positively rather than supporting the cause by ripping everything down.

At Thu Dec 01, 01:33:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yessir, you got me, "Karl" should have been "Kyle," but the substance of my post remains the same. A leak is likely and it will probably be reported first on the ESPN or another blog (hopefully not Penn or Cornell).

At Thu Dec 01, 01:46:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon, we've been through this "turn on a dime" baloney before.

I hardly think that "turning" on a coach after SIX years is "on a dime."

Wilson had great support for a long time, and he had it longer than he deserved.

I bet the clods in the administration feel like the fans didn't support him or them enough, but no rational person would agree with them.

I don't know about you, but I think most of us would be happy to get six years on a job without ever winning more than we lost in a single season.

At Thu Dec 01, 01:57:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Leon L. said...

7:26, Marino wasn't a train wreck and Ferrari left because he had a house in Florida he couldn't sell. Enough of the gratuitous - and false - attacks on the outgoing staff. Let's let them do their recruiting and then leave in peace, and let's look to the future.

I don't how this year's search is structured, but in past years, the AD was an ex officio - that means nonvoting - member of the search committee.

At Thu Dec 01, 01:59:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, you think the rumblings dont start after winning in year 1?
every time a new coach comes in and doesnt win in year 1 or 2 the slow beating of the drum starts and you want somebody else.
the fact is that whenever somebody comes in and tells you like it is you dont like to hear it...see Garrett and likely Gillmore if he were to come in. you want Ohio state wrapped in Columbia clothing, but only want to speak to it rather than DO IT.
everybody else is to blame, but the people who have been ripping it down. that is called turning on a dime.

At Thu Dec 01, 02:00:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Marino was worse than a train wreck and everyone knows it.

You can say what you want about anyone else, but don't go there with Marino.

Let's just say he's received A LOT more respect and leeway on this blog than he deserves.

I'll be happy to drop saying anything more about the outgoing coaches, but the last word on Marino can't be positive.


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