Coordinators, too, face job dilemmas this time of year

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Coaching is a fickle profession. In the NCAA, fans, more often than not, at large programs have a lot more say in the hiring and firing of coaches than is probably good for their programs, if the truth be told.

Take Arkansas and Michigan for example. Fans&8217; desires to have a program performing above what both of those teams were able to accomplish this season have chased off their respective head coaches by raising enough Cain that athletic directors and boards of trustees have had to bow to their demands. Where are those schools know, as the hunt for big name recruits begins, in their coaching searches?

The answer is pretty darn close to where they started when they forced resignations. In a season where big names are getting contract concessions from their current schools rather than jumping ship, that isn&8217;t a good thing.

But the coaching situation isn&8217;t limited solely to the rise and fall of head coaches. No those little loved, largely reviled men on whose shoulders the blame falls are also on the move about this time of year &8212; the assistant coaches and coordinators.

This is the time of year when good coordinators become young head coaches or move to new schools, which will serve as a stepping-stone to that end. Bad coordinators, and even good coordinators on teams having a down year, are axed to keep head coaches looking infallible and secure in their roles.

This week the future of two important coordinators in the NCAA were given new definition. Jimbo Fisher was named the future successor Bobby Bowden at Florida State, while Al Borges &8220;resigned&8221; from Auburn. Both moves were good for certain parties involved and detrimental to others.

Since Fisher took the Florida State job, everyone pretty much assumed he was being groomed as Bowden&8217;s successor. This week the Seminole President T.K. Wetherell named Fisher a &8220;head coach in waiting,&8221; while Bowden received a contract extension that pretty much allows him to stay until he is ready to go &8212; which is great for the man that built the program to what it is over 33 years, winning two national championships and a dozen Atlantic Coast Conference titles.

But it seems like a bad move for Fisher. Florida State isn&8217;t what it was 10 years ago. It isn&8217;t even what it was five year ago. Fisher&8217;s succession does bring stability to the program, but it wastes his talent as the Seminoles recruiting pool evaporates on the national and even state level. It seems this year of all years Fisher would look to grab a head coaching position now at a team not on the decline.

In the same way, Borges should be in good shape to grab a nice head coaching position or at least a great coordinator position after his exeunt from Auburn. Borges has built a dominant offense during his stint on the Plains. But, as Tuberville gets a raise after an 8-4 season, Borges gets the blame and a pink slip.

It seems to me that Tuberville might remember the dire straits he was in prior to the arrival of Borges at the offensive coordinator position before he accepts Big Al&8217;s resignation. Before Borges brought in his modified West Coast offense, Tuberville was on the hot seat and was almost replaced mid season before Auburn leaders got egg on their face and had to give him an extension. The stability brought with Borges might leave with him, too &8212; starting the revolving door at the position once more. A revolving door that might end with Tuberville standing on the outside.

I guess we&8217;ll see. Auburn fans have called for Borges&8217; job all year &8212; let&8217;s see if they like what they get.

Brandon Glover is the sports editor of The Times. He can be reached at brandon.glover@demopolistimes.com.