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It has been widely reported that if UT wants to hire Gruden, it will have to give him an unprecedented level of control over the program. As Wes said in today's VIP room, Gruden is a "great coach with a bit of an ego," and he has all kinds of leverage at the negotiating table.
Kevin said yesterday that "If Gruden were to come to Tennessee he would demand a lot of $ and a lot of control over the program. In terms of 'control' it means things like reporting to one person only - anybody else is simply there to facilitate the needs of the coach. They aren’t there to tell him 'no.'"
Here's my question: Can UT afford to give that kind of control to its head coach?
I'm looking at this issue through the prism of UT's recent experience. One of Dooley's biggest issues was his tendency to micromanage every aspect of the program, to the detriment of the team. He assumed a great deal of control over operations that had little to do with on-field success, such as public relations and turf management. Allowing Dooley to have such power over areas beyond his expertise distracted the coach from more important duties and alienated people working under him. The members of UT's support staff are experts in their respective fields and have those jobs for a reason. Allowing the head coach to undermine their work damaged the UT program. Can UT afford to let that happen again?
I'm not suggesting Gruden would mismanage the program. But I am raising the question -- does giving almost total control to a coach who has been out of the college game for 20 years put UT in an unnecessarily vulnerable position? Or is it safer for UT to hire a coach with experience managing a college program and willingness to put up with normal departmental checks and balances?
UT won't hire Gruden unless it promises to give him a larger level of control than most coaches usually have. After being burned by Kiffin and failed by Dooley, I'm wondering if that's a wise move to make.
Great post, Wes. Can't wait to see where this goes.
Your team. All the time.
I think that Gruden is a little more experienced than Dooley was and that he may be able to handle more than dooley. Having said that, I don't know that I necessarily equate "total control" to Gruden doing absolutely everything himself. I'm sure he has guys he could turn to that HE trusts to get things done the way he wants it. If this isn't the case, lets be honest, Gruden is a work-a-holic. Watched him on an ESPN special a few months ago and he was in his FFCA offices at 430am during the summer. The guy was was not working as a coach, MNF hadn't started, but he was in there, plugging away. He's got an unbelievable work ethic and I think he'd put 23.5 hours in a day to accomplish all the side tasks if it meant winning.
Great post. IMO we shouldn't compare Dooley to Gruden too much. While I understand they are both control freaks I don't think that was Dooley's demise. As I see it, it was simply the fact that he was a poor coach. Again though...that's just my opinion.
I think my Dooley comparison may have been a bit overblown. It distracts from the original question -- it is too dangerous to give a head coach so much control, especially after UT's last two coaches have failed it so miserably?
I think it all depends on the coach. I think if it's a guy like Gruden who's got the reputation that he does, you're a little better off doing it than giving it to a less experienced guy like CDD
Great question OP.
I don't think asking for complete control is the same as trying to do everything by himself. I think that is part of the reason why he is asking for so much in his coaching budget, so that he can hire people he trust to handle other aspects of the program.
The only issue on my end is compliance.
Which issue is easily handled contractually, by docking pay for any violations of staff, and substantially for any major violations. I'd give him the keys to the kingdom, but napoleonic ego or not, he has to understand that if we simply CAN'T have anything but a minor secondary violation until we get off probation, or we'll lose 5 schollies a year for 10 years and not be off probation until 2022.
I have an idea he can make it plain that if anyone doesn't follow the rules he'll go all Chucky over their booty.
Will all this guarantee no violations? No, but NO coaching hire guarantees no major violations; it's all about hedging your bets.
"Bravely taking to his feet, he beat a very brave retreat." Sir Robin's Minstrels.
Yes, with the right contract.
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