What NOT to Do
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ONLY 8 COACH SHOPPING DAYS BEFORE THE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT'S SELF-STATED DECEMBER 15TH DEADLINE
And now it's time to impart a little friendly advice...
I still expect Columbia to hire its new head football coach sometime this week.
And I'm sure everyone here wants to get out there and support the new skipper as soon as possible and with as much enthusiasm as possible.
That's why it's up to AD Dianne Murphy and the search committee to bring us a coach who doesn't disqualify himself right off the bat.
Forget the "leadership" platitudes, I will again list the three most important things our new coach needs to have coming in to the job:
Remember, the three biggest things the new head coach at Columbia needs are:
1) Successful track record as a head coach
2) Experience coaching and recruiting in the Ivy League
3) Willingness and ability to promote New York City for recruiting and to increase fan interest
Giving us a coach who clearly fails to have any one or more of the above criteria is going to be a hard sell for a lot of the fans.
Candidates Pete Mangurian and Jim Hofher probably meet all the above qualifiers. They certainly do for #1, can be okay on #2 with a little refresher course, and can succeed at #3 if willing to get help.
By contrast, former K-State head coach Ron Prince looks like a strikeout. He has a bad record as a head coach, has little Ivy experience that's very dated anyway, and has no known affinity for or abilities to promote NYC either.
The fact that Prince is still being paid a massive severance from Kansas State leads me to believe Columbia can get him cheap and I can only hope that isn't what makes him an attractive candidate to the committee.
The Gilmore Factor
The other potential mistake that could really unfairly hamstring a new coach is if his name is NOT Tom Gilmore and it turns out Gilmore is never even offered the Columbia job.
Gilmore is THE fan and football alum favorite, and most of them will understand if he were offered the job and for some reason turned it down.
But if it turns out the committee never seriously took a run at him, there will be a lot of anger coming from people who really support Columbia and cannot be called fair weather friends by any stretch.
Cornell, circa 1995, (I cannot confirm if the clock tower is also a finalist for the Columbia job)
And the third thing that could trip up a new coach is if we learn that 3/4 of the finalists were all simply people Murphy remembers from her time at Cornell about 15 years ago.
It won't go down well if the results of a "nationwide search" yield three guys from Ithaca who haven't coached in the Ivies for a collective 35 years. Because not only would that preclude so many very qualified candidates, but it would wrongfully promote the falsehood that Columbia can't attract a lot of great applicants for this coaching job.
So again, here's the advice: avoid fumbling the issues above and the road for the new coach will be lot easier to navigate.