Chasing the Dream – Top Candidates for the Job at South Bend

December 2, 2009 at 4:50 am Leave a comment

The Charlie Weis era at Notre Dame has finally come to an end, and Weis was lucky to make it this far. It’s pretty evident that Big Charlie is a perfect cut for the NFL but you can’t knock the guy for taking a stab at one of the greatest coaching jobs in the country (whether it be pro or college). And with all the recent coverage of Weis’ history with the Irish, why not scrap that and look into the future. Here are my top five candidates for the head coaching job in South Bend… 

1.) Urban Meyer – Very possibly at the top of every spectators’ list, all of the clear signs point to Urban Meyer as the next Notre Dame head coach. Not only does Meyer have one hell of a track record (95-17 all-time), but he has also been quoted as saying that Notre Dame is a “dream job”. Sure he has denounced any speculation of taking the job at Notre Dame in times past; but doesn’t every smart coach? Both Florida and Notre Dame were after coach Meyer in 2005 and Florida eventually won him over. Can we really think that Notre Dame will “leave him alone”? The chances are slim that Urban Meyer leaves Florida, as he has repeatedly promised he would not, but you can’t NOT mention the guy.

2.) Bob Stoops – A stern defensive-minded guy, Stoops can also tote his 115-29 record and impress a lot of people. Although Stoops seems completely comfortable in Oklahoma, I don’t think he’s as attached to Norman as Meyer is to Gainesville. The only reason Notre Dame looks over Stoops, in my opinion, is because of his admiration for Steve Spurrier. A former Spurrier understudy, Stoops has been quoted as saying “Spurrier is the greatest coach of all-time”. Whether that’s true or not, a Spurrier mentality (or anything close to it) doesn’t seem like the right fit for Notre Dame.

3.) Brian Kelly – Hands down, the best candidate for the job. Notre Dame prides itself on employing a coach that cares just as much about students as he does about athletes, thus creating the ideal student-athlete. Out of the top-ten BCS teams this season, Cincinnati had the highest graduation rate (75%). And please believe, if Kelly can get through to the kids in Cincy…he’ll have no problems at South Bend. Kelly is the “hot” coach of the times and his track records is outstanding. Kelly not ending up with the Irish at the start of next season would be a HUGE surprise. 

4.) Will Muschamp – A really impressive defensive coordinator, Muschamp could bring an intensity to Notre Dame that hasn’t been seen in a LONG time. However, with the recent hire and fire of Charlie Weis, I doubt that Notre Dame would go out on a limb and hire a second consecutive coach with no college head coaching experience. Not only that, Muschamp has been named the successor to Mack Brown at Texas once he decides to step down. Although Mack Brown says he has no intentions to retire, the 38-year-old Will Muschamp is in one of the most comfortable positions in all of college football. He makes just shy of $1 million a year as a coordinator, doesn’t possess the true pressure and headaches of a head coach, and he has been promised the head coaching job of a major and prestigious university in the future. What more can you ask for? If the Irish come-a-knockin’…..Muschamp wont budge. 

5.) Greg Schiano – The obvious dark horse in the pool of candidates, the mentioning of Schiano’s name may only be found right here at The Box. I like Schiano for his defensive mind, his proven leadership, his proven relentlessness, and his outstanding recruiting ability. Schiano has turned down the coaching jobs at Miami (FL) and reportedly the Michigan job when it was available, but Notre Dame is a whole different ball game. If Notre Dame rang in on Schiano’s phone, leaving Jersey would no longer sound that bad. This is probably the least likely of scenarios but don’t think it’s crazy, this guy can coach. 

With the bowl season just weeks away, anyone that has the words “Notre” or “Dame” thrown at them will deny any conversation with the university or even a thought about the current coaching vacancy. But we aren’t as stupid as we may seem, we know that EVERY coach in the COUNTRY has put themselves in an Irish cardigan just to see if they can dream it up correctly.

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