Coaching Success After a Rough Start

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WaveProf
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Coaching Success After a Rough Start

Post by WaveProf »

I haven't really followed ANYthing about my alma mater (sports or otherwise) for a decade or more, but this came across my inbox and I instantly thought of Outlaw's conversation of coaches who turned things around after rough starts. Case in point, VMI's head coach:

Year 1: 2-9
Year 2: 3-8
Year 3: 0-11
Year 4: 1-10
Year 5: 5-7
Year 6: Currently undefeated, #10 in FCS, and most of their toughest games in the rearview mirror

The article marks the point of change as being after year 3, when the coach not only changed the offense, but his coaching style, leadership style, and recruiting approach. In short, the whole enchilada. I'm not sure how much this translates to AAC level, but I thought of it as interesting given the conversation outlaw has led at length on here. Less because of the specific players involved, and more because of how open the HC is about just how much HE had to change to turn things around (as well as some of the factors that helped it be a successful turn around)

https://roanoke.com/changes-made-after- ... 2f4bc.html

For context, VMI's last winning season was 1981. They haven't started 5-0 since 1960. Had a parade down main street when they went 6-6 in 2002.
“We will expect success in all endeavors and be prepared to assess and hold ourselves accountable when we aren't successful. Tulane is a top 40 academic institution and it should expect nothing less from its athletic department.” --Troy Dannen 11.5.16
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doncecco
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Re: Coaching Success After a Rough Start

Post by doncecco »

Two comments:

- Take a completely unorthodox spring football season with a grain of salt. I mean, we're seeing 75-68 type scores with no OT. If we thought DIv 1 hoops was weird this year, spring football is worse.

- There's not a FBS program in this country that a coach could survive 1-21. Pure facts - too much money and powerful people involved, even at Tulane.

So though an admirable thought and would be happy to see Hunter or Jewett pull this off, not reality at the highest college level.
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Re: Coaching Success After a Rough Start

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Agreed about not being sure how well it translates.

And I certainly wasn’t trying to defend Jewett who I’ve wanted gone since year two, and I don’t know/care about basketball enough to venture an opinion on Hunter.

I do think their record this year translate a bit better than most in this wild spring. They apparently had a huge step forward last year and were also close in a lot of other games. It seems like direct progress each year since he made the changes
“We will expect success in all endeavors and be prepared to assess and hold ourselves accountable when we aren't successful. Tulane is a top 40 academic institution and it should expect nothing less from its athletic department.” --Troy Dannen 11.5.16
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Re: Coaching Success After a Rough Start

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PS: also 5-7 was their third best season in 40 years, so that almost counts as a turnaround in and of itself lol
“We will expect success in all endeavors and be prepared to assess and hold ourselves accountable when we aren't successful. Tulane is a top 40 academic institution and it should expect nothing less from its athletic department.” --Troy Dannen 11.5.16
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Re: Coaching Success After a Rough Start

Post by tulaneoutlaw »

You're selling ETSU short here prof! VMI has to escape the bucs this week :lol:

In all seriousness, it's a great season for VMI and one of the best stories to come out of this weird spring season. If they can sustain it at all they may have found their Beamer. Whether there are parallels or not, we can also hope the same for Fritz and our other coaches too
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Re: Coaching Success After a Rough Start

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doncecco wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:20 pm Two comments:

- Take a completely unorthodox spring football season with a grain of salt. I mean, we're seeing 75-68 type scores with no OT. If we thought DIv 1 hoops was weird this year, spring football is worse.
The Flying Lindsey Scotts (Nichols, lead by Scott) had 54 points in the first half of their game the other day. They were playing the #16 team in FCS.
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"It's my job to prepare the coaches. It's their job is to prepare the players and the players' job is to play lights out." Willie Fritz

"If you want to win you have to have good players." Vince Gibson
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Re: Coaching Success After a Rough Start

Post by PeteRasche »

doncecco wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:20 pm - There's not a FBS program in this country that a coach could survive 1-21. Pure facts - too much money and powerful people involved, even at Tulane.
Forget 1-21, no FBS coach would get to the 1-21 because they'd be out after the initial 5-28.

Except maybe Tulsa. You know... that AD.
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Re: Coaching Success After a Rough Start

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tulaneoutlaw wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 6:32 pm You're selling ETSU short here prof! VMI has to escape the bucs this week :lol:
Not completely selling your hometown boys short, that's why I said the toughest games were "mostly" in their past. Considering VMI won without their star QB, starting RB, and a major WR last week, I like their chances if they get those guys back. If not.....

I remember when I was in high school (mid 90s) driving down the Valley to Johnson City to see VMI play at ETSU in the minidome. Back in those days the ETSU and UTC teams were SO bad VMI didn't assume a loss, the Tennessee schools were in the conference for basketball. My how times have changed.

Speaking (above) about that star QB, methinks he has more to do with the turnaround than the HC. His last year of eligibility will be at U of Maryland.....
“We will expect success in all endeavors and be prepared to assess and hold ourselves accountable when we aren't successful. Tulane is a top 40 academic institution and it should expect nothing less from its athletic department.” --Troy Dannen 11.5.16
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Re: Coaching Success After a Rough Start

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I thought of one other angle to this story that I think DOES translate well. VMI's last winning season, 40 years ago, was their last year in FBS. They chose (after a lot of debate) FCS, not because of the size of their school, but because they felt they couldn't compete against their traditional rivals, but thought they could compete against FCS. After dropping to FCS, things got worse, not better. In the early 2000s the talk was dropping out of the Southern Conference, of which they were a founding member dating back to 1920 (along with Bama, Auburn, Georgia, UNC, Clemson et al). The reason was that SoCon was (then) the strongest conference in FCS, and THAT was the reason VMI couldn't compete. The decision was made to drop to the Big South, then brand new and absolutely schools no one had ever heard of. There, the logic went, they'd finally be able to compete. VMI inexplicably went 6-6 in their last year in SoCon. But the next year, against the easier schedule? Still only 6-6. By the following year they were just as bad in the Big South as they were the SoCon. Because they could only recruit to the level of where they played, and all of the institutional problems for winning remained.

Eventually they rejoined the SoCon, and now they have a winning season.

And it shows the idiocy of "dropping down to compete". Until you fix the institutional problems (if you can) you can't compete (for long) at any level.
“We will expect success in all endeavors and be prepared to assess and hold ourselves accountable when we aren't successful. Tulane is a top 40 academic institution and it should expect nothing less from its athletic department.” --Troy Dannen 11.5.16
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Re: Coaching Success After a Rough Start

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WaveProf wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:22 pm

Not completely selling your hometown boys short, that's why I said the toughest games were "mostly" in their past. Considering VMI won without their star QB, starting RB, and a major WR last week, I like their chances if they get those guys back. If not.....
1) VMI QB was NOT back (Torn ACL, out for year, and transfer next Fall to Maryland now in Question?)

2) ETSU pulls it out 24-20! (AO Sig will be responding in 3....2.....1......)
“We will expect success in all endeavors and be prepared to assess and hold ourselves accountable when we aren't successful. Tulane is a top 40 academic institution and it should expect nothing less from its athletic department.” --Troy Dannen 11.5.16
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Re: Coaching Success After a Rough Start

Post by tulaneoutlaw »

WaveProf wrote: Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:03 pm
WaveProf wrote: Tue Mar 30, 2021 9:22 pm

Not completely selling your hometown boys short, that's why I said the toughest games were "mostly" in their past. Considering VMI won without their star QB, starting RB, and a major WR last week, I like their chances if they get those guys back. If not.....
1) VMI QB was NOT back (Torn ACL, out for year, and transfer next Fall to Maryland now in Question?)

2) ETSU pulls it out 24-20! (AO Sig will be responding in 3....2.....1......)
The whole play the spring the season then transfer to Maryland was odd. Hate it for the kid.

Big win for etsu. I think they more or less win the socon now. I wouldn't have minded vmi pulling that off for the first time in forever
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Re: Coaching Success After a Rough Start

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WaveProf wrote: Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:20 am I thought of one other angle to this story that I think DOES translate well. VMI's last winning season, 40 years ago, was their last year in FBS. They chose (after a lot of debate) FCS, not because of the size of their school, but because they felt they couldn't compete against their traditional rivals, but thought they could compete against FCS. After dropping to FCS, things got worse, not better. In the early 2000s the talk was dropping out of the Southern Conference, of which they were a founding member dating back to 1920 (along with Bama, Auburn, Georgia, UNC, Clemson et al). The reason was that SoCon was (then) the strongest conference in FCS, and THAT was the reason VMI couldn't compete. The decision was made to drop to the Big South, then brand new and absolutely schools no one had ever heard of. There, the logic went, they'd finally be able to compete. VMI inexplicably went 6-6 in their last year in SoCon. But the next year, against the easier schedule? Still only 6-6. By the following year they were just as bad in the Big South as they were the SoCon. Because they could only recruit to the level of where they played, and all of the institutional problems for winning remained.

Eventually they rejoined the SoCon, and now they have a winning season.

And it shows the idiocy of "dropping down to compete". Until you fix the institutional problems (if you can) you can't compete (for long) at any level.
My "Best Man" back in 1981 was a VMI grad who played first-string football for them. When they dropped, he lost all allegiance for them.
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Re: Coaching Success After a Rough Start

Post by WaveProf »

tulaneoutlaw wrote: Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:08 pm
Big win for etsu. I think they more or less win the socon now. I wouldn't have minded vmi pulling that off for the first time in forever
Nope. If VMI beats The Citadel they'll still win the conference and get the auto bid. They'll be even in the loss column with ETSU but ahead in the win column (because ETSU's game against UTC at season's end was canceled when UTC quit the season). Which only speaks (further) to the oddness of spring football.
“We will expect success in all endeavors and be prepared to assess and hold ourselves accountable when we aren't successful. Tulane is a top 40 academic institution and it should expect nothing less from its athletic department.” --Troy Dannen 11.5.16
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Re: Coaching Success After a Rough Start

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WaveProf wrote: Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:21 pm
tulaneoutlaw wrote: Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:08 pm
Big win for etsu. I think they more or less win the socon now. I wouldn't have minded vmi pulling that off for the first time in forever
Nope. If VMI beats The Citadel they'll still win the conference and get the auto bid. They'll be even in the loss column with ETSU but ahead in the win column (because ETSU's game against UTC at season's end was canceled when UTC quit the season). Which only speaks (further) to the oddness of spring football.
Wow really? I was thinking head to head factored in. I was reading some about the game earlier in the week but I may very well have misunderstood the implications of etsu winning. Wonder if they both can get a playoff spot, one aq and one at large in this weird year
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Re: Coaching Success After a Rough Start

Post by WaveProf »

Teams that tie (in any conference) share the conference championship, but usually the head to head determines who gets the auto bid.

But in this case the teams won't end tied, VMI will end a half game up in the standings (if they beat The Citadel OR if ETSU loses to Mercer).

At least that is how Roanoke is reporting it.

https://roanoke.com/sports/college/etsu ... 7f7f4.html



Meanwhile, as for SoCon being a 2 bid league. The years of that being automatic are long gone (left with Marshall, App State, Ga Southern). With 16 teams instead of 24, it is even less of a certainty. With UTC quitting even less yet again. I do think ETSU has a shot at an at large now if they beat Mercer, whereas their goose would have been cooked if they lost to VMI. Watch the polls Monday and see how high they appear in it (prior to today they weren't even in top 25, but they just beat a top-ten team.....). That will be a big tell. If either VMI or ETSU lose their last game, it won't be a two bid-league. If both win, VMI will have the auto and it'll be wait and see for ETSU.
“We will expect success in all endeavors and be prepared to assess and hold ourselves accountable when we aren't successful. Tulane is a top 40 academic institution and it should expect nothing less from its athletic department.” --Troy Dannen 11.5.16
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Re: Coaching Success After a Rough Start

Post by tulaneoutlaw »

Yeah etsu made it in as an at large in 2018 thanks to a string of very fluky one score wins. It's not dissimilar to what they are doing this year so far. Would have to beat Mercer to have a shot. I think they'll get ranked but might only be in the 20s. 2 bids is definitely uncommon for the socon these days
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Re: Coaching Success After a Rough Start

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tulaneoutlaw wrote: Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:26 pm Yeah etsu made it in as an at large in 2018 thanks to a string of very fluky one score wins. It's not dissimilar to what they are doing this year so far. Would have to beat Mercer to have a shot. I think they'll get ranked but might only be in the 20s. 2 bids is definitely uncommon for the socon these days
VMI drops to #14, ETSU jumps from 35th to #21. Two more weeks to go, but each team only has one more game each.
“We will expect success in all endeavors and be prepared to assess and hold ourselves accountable when we aren't successful. Tulane is a top 40 academic institution and it should expect nothing less from its athletic department.” --Troy Dannen 11.5.16
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