Bumped. Posted few days ago but this is a name who may be worth discussing more. GO BRUINS. - BN Eds.
It should surprise no one that top head coaching candidate to fill the UCLA void is Boise's Chris Petersen. We hear talk of
Leach, Cable, Gruden, Sumlin, a good number of assistants, and I even heard Stoops once or twice, but why is no one mentioning the name Troy Calhoun? (UPDATE: Leach to Washington State)
The Case for Calhoun
He can right the ship-
At the start of Calhoun's tenure as head coach of the US Air Force Academy, he took a team that was 13-21 over the three years prior and immediately turned them into a 9-4 team, going 6-2 in the conference.
Well-rounded head coaching and NFL experience-
Calhoun has previously held positions as recruiting coordinator (AF), offensive coordinator (AF), quarterbacks coach (Ohio), offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach (Wake Forest), defensive assistant (Denver Broncos), offense/special teams assistant (Denver), offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach (Houston Texans), and head coach (AF). During his early years with the Air Force team, he worked on the staff of Fisher DeBerry, who posted a record of 169–109–1 in 23 years as the Falcons' head coach and was nothing short of a saint in Colorado Springs. His experience suggests that he is a talented offensive-minded coach, and his record further cements this notion.
Proven successful (with one leg and an arm tied behind his back)-
Calhoun is 41-23 overall with the Falcons over a period of 5 years. He has led the team to this record despite an extremely difficult university to sell to recruits (what real athletes would want to live in a quasi-prison in Colorado Springs, be yelled at every day, and told where to be every minute of their lives?) and stringent academic requirements -- you actually need a congressional appointment, and even that doesn't guarantee you a spot. He's recruiting from a thimble-sized pool. Imagine if we welcomed him to the vast pacific ocean-sized talent pool here. The academic requirements would be incredibly easy to manage in comparison to what he's already dealing with.
Clean-cut, moral guy-
We all know UCLA's Dan Guerrero is known for hiring coaches who portray the university well and Calhoun would continue that tradition of leading with professionalism. Not only that, Calhoun would give a few of our athletes discipline, something I personally believe we lack.
Efficient allocation of resources-
I think Calhoun would love the challenge of turning around another program. Granted he is an alumnus of AF, but maybe, just maybe, he's looking for an opportunity to coach in a larger market. As a head coach, you would think he'd aspire to bigger things than staying in the Mountain West conference his whole career. Moreover, he is making $750k/year at present. If we offer him $1.5m or $2, we can take that extra money and put it into more football resources on campus, or more money for assistants. Let's take Rick Neuheisel's parting words to heart and actually invest heavily into this program to get the results we desire. Saving $1-2m/year over the course of say 5 years nets us $5-10 mil. in solid cash that can be used for construction of new facilities and renovation of old ones.
I'm sure there are some problems with Calhoun as well... but I can't think of too many (hit up the comments if you
have want to air them out). In my mind, Calhoun may be as good as they come. Hopefully the case is a compelling one.