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Golden Nugz for 2.19.09

Interesting article from the New York Times on a couple different fronts.

First, it deals entirely with former Minnesota quarterback and Super Bowl winning head man Tony Dungy. But it also discusses what will apparently be Dungy's charge now that he's off the sidelines, that is pushing for diversity among coaches at the highest of levels in college football.

From the article.

When the University of Minnesota was looking for a head coach two years ago, Joel Maturi, the director of athletics, called Dungy, who had been a star quarterback at Minnesota in the early 1970s. Although he wasn’t interested, Dungy recommended Mike Tomlin, then a defensive coordinator with the Vikings, and Leslie Frazier, then an assistant with the Colts.

Minnesota hired Tim Brewster, a former tight ends coach with the Denver Broncos, whose teams have since gone 8-17 in his two seasons in college football.

In a phone interview on Tuesday, Maturi said that on Dungy’s recommendation he contacted Tomlin and Frazier. He said they were also contacted by the university’s search firm. “Neither of them wanted a college job,” Maturi said. “They wanted to stay in the pros.”

Maturi said he interviewed two African-American candidates: Mike Haywood, now the head coach at Miami of Ohio, and Charlie Strong, the University of Florida defensive coordinator.

“I hired the best football coach who was available; I hired the best basketball coach that was available,” he said.

It's not surprising that Tomlin and Frazier said "Thanks, but no thanks." Tomlin was a hot prospect in NFL circles even before he was a coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings and Frazier was moving quickly up the ranks as well.

I wish Dungy well in his attempt to bring diversity to the sidelines of major college football. He could lead by example and take just about any opening in the country.

As for Maturi's comment that he hired the "best football coach who was available." I'm not sure I buy that. Maturi hired a man with upside and a track record of recruiting who would take the job.

  • This blog calls into question Big Ten basketball official Ted I mean Ed Hightower for inconsistency during the Michigan State-Purdue game Tuesday night. Didn't see the game, but thought I'd ask what everyone thinks of the Big Ten officials. Not individually, but the way they call the game.
  • I find the headline of this article at NCAA FanHouse by Brian Cook to be tremendously inappropriate. "God Not a Big Fan of Sam Maresh." I know it was an attempt at humor, but it's not funny considering what this kid (yes, he's a kid after all) has gone through.
  • I hadn't realized Michigan quarterback Steven Threet has decided to transfer. ESPN's Rittenberg has all of the reaction here. It looks like Threet might not be too intersted in playing in the spread.
  • Kevin HD at Black Shoe Diaries likes the idea of a Big Ten Conference for hockey. I do too, but I imagine many WCHA fans wouldn't like the idea. Especially in Minnesota there are fun built in rivalaries like UofM vs. UMD and St. Cloud State, not to mention North Dakota. I don't see it happening, though it'd be nice so the Big Ten Network would televise more games. It's pretty annoying they only televise match-ups when they are between two Big Ten teams.
  • Finally, it's gameday for the men's basketball team. GN will be by with a preview if it isn't up already. I'm going to expect the worst and hope for the best! The game thread will be up a couple hours before the game but I have a stupid meeting that I'd really like to skip that I can't. I'll catch the replay on the BTN, assuming there is one, and have your review in the morning. Go Gophers! Time to get on a run for the tourney.