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There are other coaches you could hire

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It might feel like a good idea to hire a coach connected to bad things, but here’s an idea: what if you hired a different coach?

A coach. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Banner Society illustration.

If you are reading this, maybe you, a college athletic director, are considering a hire of that coach.

You know the coach I’m talking about.

That one? Well, I meant the other coach similar to him, but yes, him and all other coaches who are like him.

People disagree about whether the bad incident at his last job was entirely his fault. Did he have a direct hand in hurting people, or no? Did one of his underlings do it? Did he even have a responsibility to stop it? Does any of this matter, since he was the person in charge, and his most important job was to oversee good behavior on a college campus? Doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance?

We could argue about that all day.

There’s no arguing Coach is considered pretty good at coaching football, though.

He wouldn’t have had that job in the first place if he didn’t know a couple things about ball. His school was accomplishing things it rarely did in its entire history. Do you remember how good recruiting was going, before a bunch of people got mad and Coach had to leave?

Of course you, the AD, are looking to hire a coach like that.

Here is an idea, though:

What if you didn’t?

Sure, you could hire that coach.

Someone might do it eventually, and that could lead to winning games, and winning games is good for athletic directors such as yourself.

But lots of other coaches have won games before and/or will win games in the future, so maybe just hire a different coach and see how it goes.

Then again, if you don’t hire That Coach, will anyone? If no one hires him, he’ll feel like he’s been blackballed, even though we don’t all fully agree on whether the thing at his old school was his fault!

However, you’re not in charge of the entire sport. You’re just in charge of one school. And even if no other school hires him, there are thousands of other jobs he could do, most of which don’t involve overseeing adolescents. He might be an amazing insurance salesman.

So what if you just hire another coach instead? There are many other coaches.

  • You could hire that up-and-comer from the lower level. They’ve won like 20 games the last two years, and that’s a ton over there. Someone’s going to hire him eventually, and he’s got ties to the region.
  • You could hire that coordinator who schemed the hell up and helped win your conference last year. It’s pretty clear he’ll become a head coach eventually, and he knows your region well too.
  • You could hire that NFL assistant. He’d love to get a title bump, and if he can coach against the best in the world, he can coach against the puds in your conference. Did I mention he was a GA at your school a while back?
  • You could hire the retired guy who coached at your school 20 years ago. Sure, he left you before, but he did a lot of impressive stuff afterward. You’ll have his loyalty this time. All those years he’s spent in broadcasting (or whatever) mean he’s not as removed from the sport as it might seem. Did I mention his wife still talks about how much she liked your college town?
  • Maybe just keep your interim coach. Your players like and trust him.
  • Shoot, you could hire that awesome high school coach down the road. Your ticket to contention isn’t much more complicated than recruiting the hell out of your backyard, and who knows your region better than the guy who won state last year? He’d have instant credibility, and you could get him cheap.
  • We might be thinking too deeply. Your AD could walk into the middle of that big coaches convention they have every year and hire whichever of the 7,000 coaches he likes most at the hotel bar.

That last idea would make for an extremely random process, but consider the benefits: a) you don’t have to pay a search firm, and b) your new friend will probably not, statistically speaking, have presided over especially noteworthy bad things.

Of course, you should do a background check before hiring any of these coaches, especially that random bar guy.

If it turns out this coach might’ve led a program that had a harmful culture, or you have fair reason to think he failed to stop something awful on his watch, or a lot of people say he did indefensible things to them, then I have some important news:

There are other coaches you could hire.