FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Without a no-brainer candidate for Hunter Yurachek to consider there’s a great chance his hire will draw praise and criticism intially.
It’s just seven games, hiring a very good staff of assistants and a recruiting haul in Arkansas that includes four blue chip recruits, but it appears the Eric Musselman hire is gonna be just fine. The hire generally drew praise from fans when announced, but it also had its detractors.
Expect the same when Yurachek and Jon Fagg introduce the new football coach. But there’s one thing to keep in mind when deciding if they made a good hire and that is just know there’s very few exacts when it comes to coaching hires.
Some will look at the record of head coach being hired. That isn’t a bad thing, but Bill Belichick was 36-44 as a head coach in NFL before New England hired him. Six Super Bowl titles later it appears that turned out just fine. He’s the exception to the rule? Yes, he is, but that is the point there’s exceptions to every way you judge a coach.
The coach left a school or team after only one year to take another job is another gripe heard when related to Lane Kiffin or Bobby Petrino when he was with the Atlanta Falcons. First, with Kiffin, many coaches would leave Tennessee for USC. Not all, but many would.
As far as leaving after a year, if Kiffin leaving after a year offends you then I hope you didn’t appreciate Frank Broyles at Arkansas, never wanted Gus Malzahn hired, didn’t like what Lou Holtz or Houston Nutt did with the Hogs when they were winning. Because Broyles (Missouri), Nutt (Boise State) and Holtz (New York Jets) left jobs after one year to come to Arkansas. Malzahn left Arkansas State after one year to take the job at Auburn. The point is you may not like it when coaches do that, but it’s hardly just one coach who has done that.
One thing some insist with Kiffin is he hasn’t really ever won big anywhere. Really? He has a record of 60-34 in college. He has been at Florida Atlantic for three years and is East Division champion for the second time. He went 11-3 in 2017 and is 9-3 this season. He was 7-6 at Tennessee and 28-15 at USC with roster reductions due to sanctions handed down from when Pete Carroll was coaching there. He had a losing record with the Oakland Raiders. So did Belichick with Cleveland Browns, Petrino at Atlanta, Holtz with Jets and Nick Saban with the Miami Dolphins.
It appears Kiffin will be the new coach at Arkansas and he deserves the support of the Arkansas fans. There may be reasons to not like him, but plenty of other things to get excited about. Isn’t that true with any coach?