With all due respect to Miami University of Ohio as the cradle of football coaches, I have to say UC is a great place to cut your teeth in coaching if you plan to become a major head coach in college or the NFL. We may not be the only ones who can say that but I started looking not only at the recent coaches like Mark Dantonio and Brian Kelly, but Urban Meyer and Mike Tomlin who have been a branch on UC's coaching tree. ESPN broadcaster Mike Gottfried, Illinois head man Ron Zook have also passed this way as well adding validity to my claim.
(for a inside look go to this link:) http://www.gobearcats.com/sports/m-footbl/archive/coaching.html
As one of my good friends always says your blessing can also be your curse. You needn't go back any further than Brian Kelly who galvanized the campus, alumni and community faster than free chicken at KFC. We loved him for who he was but hated him for what he dreamed; being head coach of Notre Dame. I can never understand why people hate someone for taking their dream job other than not being able to realize their own. After much scrutiny and near exile he appears to have the fighting Irish on track. Good for him and good for us because it allows us to breed yet another top notch head coach in Butch Jones.
Time will tell whether Coach Jones ascends to the upper echelon of college coaches in UC and/or the NFL but if he does, that means we succeeded again in picking solid leaders. I know coach speak always says this is the place I want to be but there is always another overlooked voice called the coaches wife/family. If a coach has a chance to be close to home or the family's home the decision becomes harder to stay. If a coach has an opportunity to lead a top flight program after they have done well here it's hard to say no as well. The bottom line is athletic directors should always have a short list in their pocket next to the breath mints.
UC has produced some great players and coaches over the years and that has put the university in good company. But in football it's not the company you keep, its keeping them part of the company that's the challenge. Easy come easy go is the rule rather than the exception and don't bother mentioning contracts because they are only worth the paper they're printed on.
Lets celebrate the coaching lineage that is UC football dating back to Sid Gillman and more recently Brian Kelly. It gives UC sports another feather in its cap as to why its a top flight university for sports. Now with a bubble practice field and a solid conference affiliations, sans the fallout of 2011, we may be moving to a place considered elite thereby ensuring a coach really does want to come here to stay, not just stay on the path to something better.
That's they way I see it sitting in The Box Seat.