I was scrolling back through our football archives looking for some stat on something from the 2010 season. Of course, back in October, November, and early December there was a LOT of talk about head coaching candidates, and who we liked and didn't like and wanted and didn't want. I wanted Mike Leach. Bad. I hated that he wasn't even being considered with all of the other names (and man there were a lot!), and thought we might regret that the University would never even talk to, let along consider or interview, the most qualified candidate available to turn around a struggling BCS program.
I still love Mike Leach, still think it's ridiculous no other school is giving him a chance, and think when someone finally does roll the dice and let The Pirate sail into town, he's going to make a lot of schools rue the day they past him over or ignored him for head coaching jobs he was so obviously qualified for. Had you told me in October or November that Joel Maturi would be hiring Northern Illinois head coach Jerry Kill instead of Leach, I would not have had kind words to say to you. Or probably about Jerry. Which is interesting because in all of our many, many posts about potential candidates, Kill's name never came up. Not until the very end, until Maturi had been turned down by so many, did Kill's name even pop up as a possibility.
And yet, sitting here more than a week into spring practice, I couldn't be happier that Jerry Kill is the head football coach for Minnesota. So much so, that I realized he's made me forget about Mike Leach entirely, or any of the other candidates we were pining after late last fall. I've been so impressed with how Kill and his staff have handled themselves, and how positive the reviews are out of spring ball, I've forgotten that we ever wanted or considered anyone else for this job.
Just had to mention it, because I thought it funny how worked up we got about candidates and who we liked and didn't like, and yet in the end, the guy no one really even considered ended up being a guy I love. And he's come in and done such a good job changing the culture that I wouldn't want anyone else. Now, talk to me again in three years and we'll see if I'm singing the same tune, but for now, I like Jerry Kill so much, I've forgotten all about Mike Leach. Sorry Mike!