I’ll try to keep this brief.
I’ve received lots of e-mails since Tulane forced head football coach Bob Toledo to resign. The e-mails come from Tulane fans and are mostly filled with remarks like “you suck” and “get a clue.”
The Wave faithful are upset that I keep bringing up the name Frank Wilson when talking about the next Green Wave coach.
More on Frank in a second but first, here is where I stand on Tulane:
I’m a huge Tulane fan!
My roommates in college both played baseball at Tulane. One is now in the Tulane sports Hall of Fame and the other was a 1st round selection in the 1997 Major League Baseball draft.
Each spring I attend at least half of the baseball games at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
I have done dozens of positive reports on two of the best coaches to ever work uptown….Rick Jones and Lisa Stockton. I was one of the first people to write that new men’s basketball coach Ed Conroy was an amazing hire.
I have said repeatedly that I hope Tulane can defy the odds and get into the Big XII!!!!!
I’d love to cover Big XII sports in New Orleans.
I hope Tulane can land a head football coach like Rich Rodriguez, Mike Leach or Gus Malzahn! I have said over and over and over that Leach would do great things if Tulane took a shot on him.
But these days no one wants to hear about any of the above….all Wave fans keep hammering me on is my Frank Wilson reporting.
I think Frank Wilson is a very legit candidate and should garner consideration for the job.
Look, if Tulane can get into the Big XII the school will have it’s pick of top flight coaches.
But let’s assume that the Wave do not get an invitation to join one of the premiere BCS conferences.
My thought process is that no big name coach (Leach, Rodriguez, Malzahn) will come to Tulane if the school remains in C-USA.
A big name coach might come to a C-USA school like Tulane if the school was paying an annual salary of $2-3 million. SMU pays June Jones $2 million annually. But I don’t think Tulane will pay a coach anywhere close to that sum.
So, while I hold out hope that Tulane will be thrown a life-line from the Big XII and the program can be re-born…I’m also a realist who realizes that if things stay the same than Frank Wilson is a great pick!
Let’s assume for a minute that Tulane will pay it’s next football coach between $750,00-$900,000. Bob Toledo made $600,000.
I want to know Wave fans…who’s your guy?
Anyone who believes one of those guys is coming to a C-USA school where it’s difficult to win for less than 7-figures is delusional.
So, here is my realistic list for you all…destroy it if you will…or take a second and realize that it’s not as bad as you think.
1. Frank Wilson
-LSU assistant coach/recruiting coordinator. Strong Ties to NOLA, great recruiter. A young, go-getter who wants the job and understands what Tulane is and the challenges this job presents. FIU took a shot on a hometown kid named Mario Cristobal and his resume was thinner than Frank’s. The Panthers are now a bowl team and Cristobal is being mentioned for BCS jobs. In my opinion Frank is better than any other assistant coach listed below.
2. Mark Mangino
-Former Kansas head coach. Mangino told the Kansas City Star newspaper he’s ready to get back into coaching and willing to go to a conference that is not a BCS automatic-qualifer. Mangino took Kansas, a basketball school, to 4 bowl games including the Orange Bowl.
3. Ken Niumatalolo
Navy Head Coach. A longshot (but not as much of a longshot as RichRod, Leach or Malzahn). Navy has struggled and lost some close games in 2011…the team is just 2-5…so perhaps Niumatalolo may be interested in getting out while he’s still a pretty hot name. In my opinion, Tulane landing Niumatalolo is the equivalent of SMU landing June Jones. Niumatalolo has taken Navy to 3 consecutive bowl games. The 46 year old makes $750,000 at Navy…so if Tulane could offer $900,000 and a potential berth into the Big XII (or a BCS berth via a merger with the MWC) maybe Niumatalolo comes.
4. Ron Roberts
Head coach Delta State University. Overall in Cleveland, Mississippi he’s 36-13 with 3 conference championships. While big names have surfaced for the Ole Miss job (assuming Houston Nutt is fired)…Roberts is a sleeper candidate that many Ole Miss people tell me would be in the running for the job in Oxford.
5. Beau Baldwin
Head coach Eastern Washington. 27-11 overall in 4 seasons and led the Eagles to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) National title in 2010. The big drawback for me is that he has no ties to New Orleans or even the South.
6. Garrick McGee
Offensive Coordinator Arkansas. Great resume…but is he really the man shaping the Razorbacks offense or is it head coach Bobby Patrino?
7. Chad Morris
Offensive Coordinator Clemson. Has coached in C-USA and Clemson may be the Auburn of 2011…a team that comes of out nowhere, features a high octane offense and plays for/wins a BCS national championship.
8. Brian Polian
Assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Stanford. Great football family and he’s coached at some great academic schools…Notre Dame and Stanford…but is it too early for him to be a head coach?
9. Clay Hendrix
Air Force Offensive Coordinator. Has won everywhere he’s been. He’s been the #2 guy (associate head coach at two different schools since 1988)…now is his time to run his own program.
(FINALLY, MY TOTAL WILD CARD SUGGESTION)
10. Jim Mora Jr.
Former Falcons & Seahawks head coach. When I bring up Mora’s name I am only half-kidding. Jim Mora Sr. works with us at WDSU co-hosting our Saints on 6 specials. I’ve had countless dinners with big Jim…over the weekend he and I were talking and I asked him would his son ever consider a college job…his reply “absolutely, if it were the right job.” We talked about the UCLA and Oregon State jobs since Jim Jr. lives in Seattle…but why not Tulane??? Jim Jr. obviously has ties to New Orleans (Saints assistant 92-96)and he has an amazing resume. Mora has never coached at the college level so he’d need a good recruiter and good coordinators…dare I suggest Jim Mora Jr. with Frank Wilson (getting paid a huge sum for an assistant) as offensive coordinator/recruiting coordinator????
Can you imagine the storylines? Jim Mora Sr. arrived in New Orleans and turned the Saints around…now, 25 years later his son returns to turn Tulane around.