Thursday, 14 December 2017 15:41

The Coaching Life

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Coaches Quick HitsDecember is supposed to be the season to be jolly. Not if you’re in the coaching profession and on a staff that is about to be replaced. It doesn’t matter what your resume says, there is a good chance you won’t stay on with the new regime.

It reminds me of the scene in Godfather 1 when the Dons of the leading families are in a meeting to stop the fighting between the families. One of the Don says to his colleagues “this is the life that we chose," meaning families can’t complain about what comes with the territory.

Same is true in the coaching profession. It is rare indeed in modern football for you stay in the same place for more than a few seasons, but this is the life that they chose.

The coaching life is hard on the family. Much like the military life, a coach’s family has to be ready to move to a new location at a moment’s notice. That coaching is the life that they chose, doesn’t make it any easier on the people involved when the staff is released.

Some assistant coaches see the writing on the wall and they start getting their resumes out within the coaching community ASAP. Others keep working like they are going to be retained and recruit that way.

Back before Pete Carroll took the job at USC, Troy was in ashes. It was like they accepted gifts from the Greeks all over again, but three coaches on that staff recruited like nothing had changed. These three men helped bring in a solid class that was the foundation of what was to become the Pete Carroll Era of Trojan football.

Out of these three men, two were hired by Carroll. They were Kennedy Polamalu and Ed Orgeron. The third, Dennis Thurman, was hired by an NFL team.

When Rick Neuheisel was released by UCLA, Angus McClure continued to recruit like he had the job with the Bruins. When Jim Mora was hired, McClure was retained.

Chip Kelly has hired most of his staff retaining three holdovers. All on the offensive side of the ball. Deshaun Foster, who was a star for the Bruins will coach running backs. Hank Fraley, who did an outstanding job with offensive line will continue in that role and Jimmie Daughtery was retained as receivers coach.

So the search for work goes on for the rest of Jim Mora’s staff. McClure is in the running for a job and perhaps Jedd Fisch, but as December roles on nothing is certain for those still on the staff and after the Cactus Bowl, the resumes go out and the search begins, but this is the life they chose.

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