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Nearly 72 hours after the resignation of legendary Coach Mack Brown people are already starting to speculate on “who’s next” to captain the ship on the “40 acres”. You have already begun to hear names from the college ranks like Fischer, Shaw, and Gundy. There have also been claims by the four letter network that Harbaugh and Tomlin would be targeted as potential candidates to coach the Longhorn football team. Any of these coaches would be a big splash in the college football spectrum and definitely grab the spotlight away from the fact that a hall of fame coach has just walked away from what was once a national championship program.
In my opinion, it would do the program a lot of good if they steered away from the big name coach and instead bring in somebody that has proven to do more with less. I feel the problem that currently resides up on the “40 acres” is that everyone has gotten too comfortable in their positions across the board. From the coordinators and recruiters to even the training/equipment staff, this program needs a psychological shift and change in the way they do things. Long gone are the days of big ol’ bellys and white hairs coaching. Mack put it best, “We need new blood and new energy” and you don’t do that by hiring the traditional good ol’ boy coach.
That is why I feel the next coach at UT should either be James Franklin from Vanderbilt or Charlie Strong from Louisville. Both of these coaches are not the CEO type coach the Longhorn Network wants but I believe that the CEO attitude will come with winning, something that the program needs to get back to. Steve Patterson should be more concerned with fixing problems on the field first and then worry about TV ratings and coach’s shows. Both Franklin and Strong are guys that come from doing more with less, Franklin turned a Vanderbilt program around that was virtually non-existent, and Strong could be playing for a national championship title with a Heisman trophy type guy if it wasn’t for one loss to UCF this year. These guys are not the big name, they are not the big money, they are not the big splash but, they are passionate coaches that young recruits are clearly gravitating too. These guys run their programs with high integrity, intensity, and no nonsense from what I can find on the internet.
If you were just going to look at the X’s and O’s of who is attainable to be the Longhorns new coach I feel these would be the guys at the top of my list. I believe they are football first which is where the program needs it’s full attention. Not making breaking news on the bottom line of the four letter network. UT needs to do itself a favor and play a little “Moneyball” with this next hire. Franklin and Strong are your diamonds in the rough that can take the program back to being the “it” program in Texas.