BB offers up a rapid response to the UCLA/Chow rumors. We are in total agreement wrt to his concerns about a Chow/Walker scenario. That will not work for BN. GO BRUINS. -N
Well, I had written what I had thought was my essay for the week, and thank you for the always thoughtful responses I have seen thus far. But I am compelled to write another one right on its heels. because I think we are at crisis point.
As I had already indicated, no one knows for sure what is going on. But there are now enough credible sources to be able to say with reasonable certainty that we face a really serious danger of what I see is a nightmare scenario occurring. That is the hiring of Norm Chow as head coach, with the explicit approval of DeWayne Walker, and then the guarantee to Walker that after a few years, he will be the successor. I would not have believed that Guerrero and UCLA could have been so foolish, but I now think that it is definitely possible. And though some may of course differ, I do see this as an absolute disaster-in-waiting.
First, we well know that Norm Chow has never held a head coaching position. He has been a very well respected offensive coordinator for around 30 years. He is known as a technician, whose favorite spot is the press box, where he can look down and scheme against the opponents's defense. He is well known as not being a "people person," not being that comfortable with those kind of interactions. That is surely the reason why in all these years, Chow has never been offered one single head coaching position. Not at BYU, where he had coached for years, not at woebegone Stanford, which was desperate to find a coach. Not in the NFL, where there might be a spot for a tactician only. Nowhere. And now UCLA strongly considers hiring him as its head coach? Why? Because they know about him, since he was OC at USC? Because in some kind of misplaced idea taken from a fantasy movie, the fact that it is well known that he and Pete Carroll had a falling out means that he will be "out for revenge!" against Carroll and the Trojans? (If only it were as easy as that). Because--and don't take this lightly--he is one of the few coaches whom the omnipresent DeWayne Walker has "vetted" for the head coach job?
It has been bruited about that Walker is taking an active hand in these proceedings, at least to the extent of telling Dan Guerrero which coaches he would be willing to work with. How absolutely inappropriate is that? Why in heaven's name would UCLA be so amazingly obtuse as to listen to an obviously self-interested Walker as to whom they should hire? How in two years did Walker get to a position where his retention is seen to be a sine qua non of the whole process? What kind of road is UCLA committed to traveling for the next twenty years? Because after Chow, we will certainly be forced to hire Walker. That is four or five years of Chow and ten or so of Walker. That will make six straight football coaches we have hired without one iota of head coaching experience. I absolutely shudder to think of it. Could it all work out? Sure, there is always a chance of anything working out. But the odds are very greatly against it, as I'm sure most of you will agree. How and why does UCLA always take this wishful thinking road, even to the extent of committing itself for over a decade to seeing what happens? We are always told to be patient and see what happens. We have had twenty years or more of seeing what happens. What happens is damn near nothing; but we are taken down the same road again and again.
As I write this, I am now hearing rumors that Norm Chow has already been offered the job. If that is true, I am through with all of this. I am sure that UCLA and UCLA football will go on well without me. I will still watch the basketball of course, at least until Howland leaves. But I cannot support a program which has not the slightest clue as to how to conduct a coaching search and how to hire a football coach. All those names we had heard and speculated over: Petersen, Mariucci, Leach, Johnson, Mendenhall, Jones, Grobe, Kelly, Mora. And this is what we are going to get? Please, tell me that the rumor is wrong; that Dan Guerrero is smarter and more patient than that; that we are going to end up with a highly respected proven coach; that we are not going to be committed to five years of the Norm Chow experiment followed by ten years of the DeWayne Walker experiment, followed no doubt by ten more years of some other awful experiment, all in the name of "Bruin continuity," and "keeping the guys we know around," and, "he's a great guy." Please tell me. Because I feel sick.
- Bruin Blue