When the real interviewing process begins our search committee needs to make sure the head coaching candidates are prepared to handle three very key things:
1) Coaching in the very different and tough recruiting environment of the Ivy League.
2) Coaching in the very different and tough environment that is Columbia.
3) Be ready to promote New York City and the unique opportunities and advantages the city has to offer.
We've had head coaches who have come to us with Ivy experience.
But I'm not sure we've ever had a modern era head coach who came to us very aware of the unique issues at Columbia and one who was also ready to pump the New York City mantra out there every chance he got.
Let's do that this time.Greg ToalToal Out of the Running
My dreams of renaming Wien Stadium "The Toal House," and writing tons of bad "pay the Toal" puns appear to be over.
Numerous sources tell me that under no circumstances will Bill Campbell or Dianne Murphy
consider hiring a high school coach. That includes Don Bosco's Greg Toal.
Campbell et al are apparently very worried about Columbia "looking desperate" if we hire someone from outside the pro or college ranks.
Here's an update: WE ARE DESPERTATE.
We're desperate for a winning team, and while I admit that quite a few of our opponents would laugh at us for hiring someone like Toal... I wouldn't mind if we're the ones laughing when the games are over and the Lions have won.
Of course I haven't endorsed Toal or any other coaching candidate, (I think if I did so publicly, that would probably HURT that candidate's chances), but I think there were some very good arguments for him at Columbia.
And I can confirm that Toal was interested in this position at Columbia.
Don Bosco is hardly a "high school" team in any way that almost anyone thinks of a high school team.
Toal's troops regularly play games all over the country, going on roadtrips that are far longer than Columbia does every year.
I also know that Toal's practices are conducted more efficiently and productively than just about any college team at any NCAA division level.
I suppose the only way to PROVE that Columbia has or hasn't made the right decision on Toal will be for him to get hired by another college sometime soon and we can judge his record then.
He is indeed a candidate at Fordham, and unless Bob Surace turns it around next year Toal could get the Princeton job too.
I'd just hate to end up losing to this guy year after year.Official Quotes
Murphy gave some quotes to the Spectator
in today's article
updating the coaching search.
Here are a few of them:“We have been working on this since the morning that I informed Coach Wilson that he would not be returning.”
Geez, I hope the work began long before that. “We have actively recruited names. I’ve been on the phone with tons of ADs, conference commissioners, and other football coaches that I know to get names of potential candidates."
This probably means there's a focus on current ASSISTANT coaches. You don't go calling AD's to ask for ideas and expect them to mention their existing head coaches. I'd rather Murphy be calling AD's for permission to talk to their head coaches, especially Holy Cross' Tom Gilmore.“As we get more involved in the decision I will be asking others in the industry, such as Robert Kraft and Bill Campbell, for their advice and counsel.”
Um... no. Campbell is not just "offering counsel." Once again, he's very much setting the tone on this search and has already personally nixed Toal. And while I wish Kraft would take an active role, I don't think he'll be "consulted" until an hour or two before a final offer is made to the leading candidate. “There are a lot of coaching opportunities out there,” Murphy said. “There have been a lot of coaches that have been let go at the D-I level. There are going to be lots of people looking for jobs. You don’t want to lose potential candidates because you are sitting around not doing your job.”
This is the second best quote of the piece. It shows that Murphy knows this is a manic period for football coaching moves at all levels of football... even the NFL. The good news at this point is that Fordham is really the only competition we have that is even remotely close to our level. The field could get a lot more crowded in the coming weeks.“We expect to improve. We expect to win. We expect to get better in a very short period of time."
And that's the best quote of the piece. Because in this case, those words are not just platitudes. Everyone knows Columbia football is in a MUCH better place than it was after Bob Shoop
was fired in 2005 and Ray Tellier
was forced out in 2002.
In 2005, the roster was down to about 65 non-graduating seniors when Shoop was ousted. And the Lions were badly blown out in most of their games that season.
In 2002, Columbia had better talent returning and a more competitive team than the 2005 squad. BUT the talent level for the returning Lions for 2012 is considerably higher and the practice and training facilities are a lot better than they were nine years ago as well.
On other words, based on the schedule and some other factors it's a good bet Columbia will win a lot more games next year almost by default. It's a good launching pad season ahead for the new coach, and many of the candidates jamming Murphy's inbox know that.
Also interesting in the article was the fact that Murphy is saying that she has conducted about 20 phone interviews and I can confirm that as of now, only phone interviews have been conducted.
With two weeks to go until the self-imposed hiring deadline, you'd expect Murphy and Tellier to have met at least one candidate in person by now.Dave PatenaudeNew Name of the Day: Dave Patenaude
Georgetown's impressive 8-3 season was mostly fueled by a potent offense and the offensive coordinator was none other than former Columbia assistant coach Dave Patenaude.
Patenaude was an assistant for four years under Ray Tellier. His last year at CU was 2001 when he was the offensive coordinator for a Lion offense that was still pretty potent despite nagging injuries to Johnathan Reese
and other key players.
He then went on to serve as head coach at the University of New Haven.
Going back to the three special criteria I set up at the top of today's post, it would appear Patenaude can fit the bill.
He had Ivy and Columbia experience, and he's a New York area native who could easily be a true promoter of this city if given the chance. Jim TresselTressel's Choicereports that former Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel
has turned down an offer to coach the University of Akron, but will help them with their search.
So there is still hope... :)