Everybody loves brackets and we all have opinions on the search for the next great coach to lead our Golden Gophers. Well it is time that you all have a say in the matter (and by having a say I mean pushing a button on the internet as an anonymous lurker and the results of said button pushing will have absolutely no bearing on the actual outcome of the coaching search). It is time for the voting to start and Gopher Nation to be allowed to speak.
We'll start with the first play-in game.
Current Position: University of Miami Head Coach
TDG Candidate Profile
Why? - Shannon was a very good defensive coordinator for several seasons at Miami before taking over as head coach. In six seasons as the DC he coached five units that ranked in the top 10 nationally in total defense. That is hard to do at any program with any recruiting base in your backyard. His recruiting has also been very good. Sure, he has 5-star recruits within blocks of his office but he's done a very good job getting ranked classes with kids from all over. For his 2007 class he was forced to work with a limited time frame after the Larry Coker firing. He managed to steal a local commit previously committed to Alabama, nabbed a Nebraska native and a premier DT out of Georgia. 2008 was the #1 class in the country according to ESPN and 2009 was #7. Having spent nearly 20 years playing, coaching and recruiting in the Miami area he clearly has contracts and relationships that would pay off in recruiting. Lastly, the U is making a concerted effort towards diversity in this hiring process. Randy Shannon would be the Big Ten's first black head coach since 2002.
Why Not? - He hasn't turned those recruiting classes into dominating teams. With top 15 classes four years in a row he's managed a 26-20 record. He's participated in and won just as many bowl games as Tim Brewster. Ultimately I just don't know how or why this makes much sense. Shannon has spent every minuted of his coaching career in the 305 area code. He not only hasn't spent any time above the Mason-Dixon line, he hasn't spent any time above the Florida panhandle! The pressure might be coming to a boil for him in Miami but I don't know if Minnesota is the right place for him to land.
Current Position: Montreal Alouettes Head Coach (CFL)
TDG Candidate Profile
Why? - He clearly meets the Joel Maturi edict that he understand Minnesota. Trestman played for three years here and grew up here. So if anyone understands the area and the fan base, Trestman is the guy (at least compared to any of the other qualified candidates). Besides just being from here Trestman has had some success at various professional levels. As an offensive coordinator he has had some success at various NFL stops. And once he finally received that head coaching opportunity in the CFL he has been very successful winning a Grey Cup in his second season.
Why Not? - Well, if he wasn't from Minnesota he wouldn't be on the long list of potential candidates. That should really be enough. If we believe that no other BCS program would hire him (and I doubt even interview him) they what makes him good enough for Minnesota? Beyond that he really does nothing to excite the fan base. Hiring Marc Trestman will be greeted with a collective yawn. Season ticket sales will continue to decline as Gopher Nation takes a wait and see approach. Lastly, you really cannot hire somebody who has almost zero experience at the college level. I realize that he coached for two years at NC State. But that is not nearly enough time to prove that he's capable of recruiting nor does it give me any indication that he's capable of developing players at the collegiate level.