Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanks, Coach Caldwell — now let's go get an offensive innovator

Robbie Caldwell has stepped down as Vanderbilt's head coach, effective after tonight's Wake Forest game.

A press release posted on the official Vandy athletics site
announced that it was a mutual decision between Caldwell and Vice Chancellor "I'm not an athletic director but I get to play one" David Williams.

We all know that means Williams — probably under pressure from alumni — has decided to go in a new direction but allowed Caldwell to first come to that realization himself. Caldwell said "after a lot reflection" he realized "it is time for me to step aside and let someone else pick up the hard work and efforts of our staff."

That sounds like he's saying that another head coach needs to lead this staff, but that's not going to happen.

Williams clarified: "The bulk of our coaching staff came here in 2002 and during that time our program has improved," Williams says. "Under their leadership, we won a bowl game, scored some memorable victories over formidable opponents and helped put us in a position to add new facilities. I appreciate what Robbie has done here, and we all wish this staff the very best."

It's sad to see these guys go, but I agree that it's time to start over. Under the direction of Bobby Johnson, they proved you can win big games and even bowl games at Vanderbilt. And because of the Music City Bowl victory, the new coach will start with more talent than Johnson did.

Bobby Johnson proved we need an offensive-minded coach at Vanderbilt. As we proved this season, a good sneaky defense can keep a game close — unless the offense is so bad that the defense never leaves the field.

Unfortunately, we'll probably never see another season when Florida, Georgia and Tennessee had so many problems. If we could have moved the ball, we'd have at least avoided losing to those three in such embarrassing fashion.

I'd like to see us hire either a successful D1 coach from a non-BCS conference or a top BCS offensive coordinator.

That would include the head coaches at Nevada, Hawaii, Northern Illinois and SMU, as well as Gus Malzahn at Auburn.

Beware a quick fix. A lot of fans will start throwing around big names. We've got to do this the right way, by getting somebody under the radar — a guy with Bobby Johnson's character but also with the kind of offensive mind that can implement an elite offensive system using solid players instead of a solid system using elite players.

Because, you know, we're not going to get many of those.

In closing, I'd like to thank Coach Caldwell. He was given an impossible situation. He wanted to win, not to lose games by a narrow margin. If UT wins today and he beats Wake tonight, every one of his losses would have been to a bowl team. We were not and never were going to be a bowl team.

Would Bobby Johnson have lost nine games by such great margins? Probably not.

But would he have won more games than Caldwell did? I don't think so.

Four months ago, Bobby Johnson knew that (1) this team was going to fall hard and (2) his staff didn't deserve to lose their jobs. In leaving when he did, he just prolonged the inevitable. Yes, Caldwell should and probably would have gotten the job full-time if he'd won five or six games. But that wasn't going to happen.

So thanks, Coach Caldwell. You had an impossible job, but you kept your sense of humor. Furman would do well to hire you now as its head coach and to bring along the rest of your staff.

Well, Coach Hand can stay in Nashville and assist Coach Malzahn. At least, that's what I'd like to see.


even more anonymous said...

I'm just glad it's over.

Will said...

Well, lets get ready for the Spring Game, where hope springs eternal!!

Anonymous said...

I like and respect coach Caldwell but it was really time for the admistration to move on. Caldwell will land on his feet because he is a good coach and cares about his players. As a dad of a Vandy player, I really wanted to see the team win under Caldwell. However , this is SEC football and a business. Coaches are fired after every season across the country so lets not make it an emotional issue as to when and why he got fired. Most schools do not allow approximately 7-9 years for a coaching staff to stay in place with the record that they generated (pre and post BJ). Good luck to coach Caldwell; now lets move on to someone who can move the program forward. The new coach will have a good nucleus of players to build on for next season but will need a few strong recruiting classes to show significant improvement.

Anothe Loud-Mouth Vanderbilt Alumnus said...

It amazes me that during the past 40+ years the University gives the appearance of having to "redefine" it commitment to the football program....and as a charter member of the Southeastern Conference no less(!). Why does the "Athletic Chancellor" have to hire a headhunting firm to find a head football coach???? Why does Vanderbilt not have a CARD-CARRYING ATHLETIC DIRECTOR?????

Anonymous said...

Malzahn although not bathing in that cess pool at Auburn. Sure as dipped his toe in. He is the OC and QB coach for Cam Newton. Good hire however no one is going to believe him when at the interview he says; I knew nothing about the PFP activities at Auburn. Turning your head to it and coaching will not get him ...The JFK portrait in courage award. He is damaged goods. And the integrity of the coach according to AD Williams is still important. He is going somewhere very quickly and the school he is hired to will not care to ask the above question. My guess he changes schools but still as a OC Mack Brown in looking for OC.

Karl said...

Malzahn would be a huge hire and it is more plausible than people believe. He would be a head coach at an SEC school and if he is successful here, he would be deemed the best coach in college football. Charlie Weis was a proven offensive guru, so Notre Dame took a chance and made him head coach. Well he kinda sucked, was fired, but landed on his feet as the OC of the red hot KC Chiefs. The same thing could happen to Malzahn. If he fails, oh well, he will land on his feet somewhere again, however, I think there are more logical hires than Gus. A Malzahn hire would be flashy, but what happens after the commodity wears off? We have a guy who has proves nothing as a head coach.

One person we aren’t talking about is Rick Stockstill from MTSU. He has taken MTSU to 2 bowl games in 4 years, and is on the verge of being bowl eligible this year as well. He is a solid guy who has the respect of many in the coaching world. Rick also is an offensive minded guy having served as WR coach at South Carolina, OC at East Carolina, and WR/ QB coach at Clemson for 13 years. This year has been a disappointment for Stockstill, but that can attribute to off the field issues. He’s still a solid coach. He took MTSU to a 10-3 record last year including bowl win. He also turned down jobs at East Carolina and Memphis, but after this season I have a feeling he might wanna get out of Murfreesboro. Is it a flashy hire? Not really, but it will create some chatter. Is it a smart hire? Absolutely. He is everything Vanderbilt would want in a coach. My vote is for Stockstill to the next head coach at Vanderbilt.

Anonymous said...

I haven't heard anyone mention any pro coaches or coordinators.

Look at what Texas A&M, Pitt, USC and Alabama did with looking to pro level. I am referring to Carroll with USC and Spurrier with USC. I know a few of those names were college coaches prior but there are many other examples as well.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who doesn't really want an offensive minded guy. I just want the right guy. If he is defensive minded, then that's fine. I think that we can be better faster with that type of thinking because we have more talent on defense.

Greg M said...

I've was wondering today with TCU going thr Big East, can we join too? What a great Bball conference.

Anonymous said...

come on its wednesday and we are looking for a head coach! lets update and put some rumors up! alot of names have been thrown around since saturday morning MV!

Anonymous said...

I echo above comments...what's the word MV?

Dimon said...

Glad you miss us. Been busy with work and family and stuff. Hang tight and I'll have something soon, hopefully before we hire a new head coach.

Anonymous said...

Sry Dimon... its just we can eat up and Vandy coaching rumor right now! Williams said he wouldnt talk to anyone until the regular season was over. So next week I expect you on your A game! ha