Thursday, January 18, 2007

We'll Know Soon....................

........... certainly by Saturday, and NOW the front-runner looks like Cam Cameron. He's staying a 2nd night in Miami, even though team officials claim he just doesn't want to fly all the way to Cali if he gets the job................. You know, as I follow this saga, I am absolutely struck by how few public supporters Chan Gailey has in the media or from his former NFL fanbases. Blogs are trashing him, the AJC is dumping on him, many GT fans are licking their chops at someone new, Dolphin fans are generally wanting someone OTHER than CG, Steeler fans seemed to breathe a sigh of relief at his getting cut from their final list.

Honestly, I'm just not sure I completely understand it all. The guy is incredibly well respected by his peers, and the players he has coached at all levels. The recruits coming in consistently site Gailey and the family atmosphere he helped create as a major reason they were interested in GT. Guys like Bill Cowher, Don Shula, Dan Reeves, Dan Marino and a host of others have given very positive public endorsements of his ability as a coach. His coaching record is one of consistent (though not spectacular) winning records everywhere he has gone. Everywhere. Did you know that he has taken teams to the "post-season" 13 straight years? The last 5 with Tech, 2 with the Dolphins as OC, 2 with the Cowboys as head coach, and 4 in a row with the Steelers before that. Folks, he's not lucky, and it's not that he's good at going to winning clubs. The guy wins. The Cowboys deteriorated after he left. Miami hasn't been to the playoffs since he left............... On top of that, virtually nobody questions his character and integrity.

So what is it. Oh, he doesn't have the young "Rick Springfield" look of Urban Meyer but does that really matter? Does that bias people's opinions?.................... I guess I really do get it. Chan Gailey just doesn't have enough "sizzle" for some people. In today's culture, people only want sizzle. Coach Gailey has a legacy of "above average". I didn't say "average", but I didn't say "excellence" either. Just a consistent record of solid winning and fundamental soundness. He's looked at as a guy that is absolutely NOT going to bottom out your program, but has a visible ceiling to where he's going to take you. A steward. A caretaker. A maintenance man. A watchdog. Kind of like the head of the UN.

Now, that's all about perceptions, and I still don't ascribe to those perceptions - even though many do.. He wasn't average when he won a DI-AA national championship. Coach Gailey is slow to make decisions to change the direction of a program, but he does make those changes - and they generally work. Coaching changes, offensive changes, recruiting changes, etc. He doesn't fire from the hip, and he gets criticized for that. I still believe Chan Gailey's ceiling is way higher than people want to believe, but what do I know.

Any way you cut it, we'll probably know something at the latest by Saturday............. but this IS the Dolphins we are talking about. They have certainly dragged this thing out already and could keep it going until mid-week next week if they wanted.

While I still peg the odds of Coach Gailey staying at about 70%, one conclusion I have drawn is that Georgia Tech will be ok no matter what happens. Leave or stay, we will perservere. I feel confident in our new AD to find the right guy for GT if Coach Gailey leaves. I do think we'll see a drop-off, but in the long-run, I have confidence in the leadership in place. My only worry is the nutty "boosters" who influence things behind the scenes. Wayne Clough ignored them when he hired D-Rad - and virtually everyone agrees it was the right decision. I have confidence that D-Rad will give Taz Anderson a pat on the head and tell him to go play in the backyard when it's time to make a decision - if it comes to that.