Patience, patience

UT fans need to be calm and let the coaching search play itself out
Nov. 29, 2012 @ 12:15 AM

There is not a great deal of patience these days. Blame TV or video games or something, but the fact is, people don’t seem willing to wait for things to happen any more. They want instant gratification and quick response.

Unfortunately for those folks, not everything can happen on such a hasty schedule. It takes time for babies to be born, for plants to grow, and for football coaches to be found and hired.

The University of Tennessee is not alone in searching for a new coach. At one time there were four vacancies in the SEC alone, and more are cropping up across the country almost daily. Athletics Director Dave Hart is out there hunting for a successor to Derek Dooley and wanting to hire the best man he can find. So are just about every other AD seeking a new leader.

In the meantime, people cannot help themselves. They are fueled by and fueling rumors, grabbing onto any morsel or tidbit they hear or make up. The media are pressured to keep up as well, because readers and viewers want to know a status report. And since Hart isn’t talking, they have to go with the same rumors and speculation they rest of us have access to.

There is a lot of pressure on Hart to get this selection right, but the fact is, you don’t know if his selection is right until the games are played. The great coaches, the ones who have a record of success and titles, are not easily swayed to change jobs. For every Nick Saban and Les Miles and Mark Richt and Urban Meyer, there are coaches like Joker Phillips, Ray Goff and, yes, Derek Dooley, who didn’t get it done. Yet all were hired with enormous expectations and hope, by people who thought they were making good hires.

The point is, be patient and let the process play out. Trust Hart to find the best man he can for the money he can pay. UT is a good job for a head coach, and the profession knows it. Whomever is hired will please some, disappoint some and concern others. That’s the way it goes. Every fan has his own personal favorite, and anybody else will be less than satisfying.

The test of the new coach will be on the field in the coming seasons. Until then, it’s fun to read and even spread rumors, however unsubstantiated they may be. It’s not especially helpful, but then, those outside the inner circle of the search process aren’t helpful anyway.