If you are a subscriber to Dawgman you may have read this article that Dick Baird wrote on USC head man Pete Carroll.
I happen to be a Pete Carroll fan, and admire what he has done at USC. When he arrived that program was down, way down, and he turned it around in just a couple of years, and has kept it on top ever since.
I like Dick Baird, he is a very nice guy, but sometimes I wonder exactly what type of Kool-Aid he has been drinking when he sits down in front of the keyboard.
I know there are many frustrated Husky fans who just want to point out the win-loss record at Washington over the past four years to justify another coaching change. That is their right, but for me I have watched the development of the Huskies closely under Willingham. The challenge of rebuilding a belief system - not to mention getting better players - has been a daunting process, to say the least. Hearing Pete Carroll convinced me that the Washington Huskies have the right man in Willingham to turn their program around. He holds the same values and emphasizes the same approach as does his counterpart at USC. It has just taken him longer to restock the cupboard simply because his were empty compared to Carroll's. A lot of it goes back to recruiting, and each time you fire a staff it takes at least three years to establish your recruiting system. At the same time you need to have your kids buy in to the program. It has taken Willingham longer than Carroll to taste success because he has had to rebuild a complete belief system destroyed by constant turnover in both coaching and administration. The Huskies are closing the gap, and when they finally beat USC they will be back.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but Ty Willingham is no Pete Carroll in my opinion. He may be a proponent of positive thinking, but he simply doesn't work as hard, drive his staff as hard, or his players as hard as Pete Carroll.
Pete Carroll is a tireless recruiter who works in one of the most talent rich area's in the country. Despite that advantage he, and his assistants act like they are recruiting in Anchorage, Alaska. they have a sense of urgency in everything they do.
You can be as positive as you want, but if you aren't working harder than the competition you are not going to beat the competition. Washington under Willingham isn't working harder than the competition, and that is the simple reason why the program is still lagging behind every other program in the Pac Ten, and that includes WSU, and Stanford.
Jeff Tedford at California is an example of a guy who gets it, he is a tireless worker, and recruiter, and despite the fact that Cal is faced with about every disadvantage there is as far as facilities goes he has but the Golden Bears back on the map and into the BCS chase almost every year.
Nobody ever outworked Don James while he was at UW, and nobody worked smarter either. Plainly put DJ won because he worked hard, worked smart, and instilled those values in his staff and players.
Washington isn't going to start winning again till the head man starts working harder, and outsmarting the rest of his peers in the conference. It doesn't matter what line of work you are in, the secret of success is busting your butt, and out thinking your opponent.
The one thing I would look for in the next head man above all others would be the work ethic. I want a guy who is willing to sleep on a cot in his office till the ship is back on course. Tedford, Carroll, and DJ are those type of guys.
Tom O'Brien who was head coach at Boston College, and is now head coach at North Carolina State just happens to be that type of guy. He is generally known as one of the hardest working guys in college football, plus he has the reputation for running a clean program.
Tom was a finalist with Willingham for the Husky head coaching job after Gilbertson was fired. He really wanted the job, and only pulled out when it became apparent that UW prefered Willingham even though O'Brien regularly kicked Notre Dame's ass as head coach at Boston College.
They don't call football a game of inches for nothing. Todd Turner came that close to picking the ideal leader of the UW football program, but for some reason was smitten with Willingham. All he had to do was examine these two guys head to head from competiton to determine who was the best man for the job.
Have a great weekend!