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.
The Championship Match-up! After a couple upsets in the semis we are down to Troy Calhoun and Mike Bellotti. Go ahead, Gopher fans...You Decide!
Current Position: Air Force Academy (HC)
TDG Candidate Profile
Why? -There probably isn't a coach in the country who does more with less. The Falcons are a well disciplined team who executes their schemes to near perfection. Part of that is the nature of a service academy cadet but part of that is the coaching of Troy Calhoun. Calhoun has great experience as a BCS level coordinator, an NFL coordinator and now a head coach in the best non-BCS conference. Calhoun has consistently won and finished right behind the big boys of the MWC. He is a winner, he is experienced and he would be a great fit in Minnesota.
Why Not? - Mostly because he probably won't come here. Calhoun is an Air Force graduate and there is a very strong tie there, he may be one of the rare coaches who isn't as concerned about moving up the ladder as he is with leaving a legacy. Some might be scared off by his wishbone offense but don't be. Most believe that he is not married to that offense and he has experience at Wake Forest, Denver and Houston running other offenses.
Current Position: ESPN Analyst, former Oregon HC
TDG Candidate Profile
Why? - The Oregon Ducks hadn't had a head coach who finished his career with a winning record since Len Casanova (1951-66), until Mike Bellotti came along. He won at Oregon piggy-backing on Rich Brook's 1994 Rose Bowl season and took off to have a .678 win % in his 14 years on the job. Eight seasons of finishing in the Pac10's top three and in 2001 the Ducks finished the season ranked #2 in the final BCS standings. The guy has won and we'd love to have a winner. His offenses are high scoring, he's run a BCS caliber team and he has spent plenty of time as an athletic director (maybe he could take Maturi's job too). Mostly he was part of rebuilding a broken program into an elite program. Rich Brooks got the ball rolling and Bellotti took it to another level.
Bellotti is also known as a coach who develops other coaches. He was incredibly successful as the head coach where he groomed Chip Kelly to eventually take over the program. Kelly now has the Ducks in prime position to be in the BCS Title game this year. So he may not be your Gopher coach for the next couple decades but even if he doesn't stick around for years to come, maybe he develops his successor and we start to develop some continuity here.
Why Not? -First off, he may not be interested in the job. If he doesn't want to move to Minnesota and deal with recruiting and put his job security in the hands of 18-22 year old kids, then obviously he'll come off the board. Secondly he isn't young and hungry anymore. He stepped away from coaching to move into an administrative role as Oregon's AD. There is no guarantee that he wants to put the headset back on and coach again. The job is grueling and demanding, not an ideal position for someone who is going to be 60 in a couple months. And even if he wants the job how long would he really stick around. This is not a one or two year rebuilding job. This may take several years and who knows how much patience he would have.