West Virginia is PISSED today. Their coach, a guy they considered a lifer and a guy who was building something really special in Morgantown, has bolted for greener pastures in Ann Arbor. Once again, the coaching carousel has left two sides to the story – half the fans in this are rejoicing over a savior on the way, while the other sides burn the coach in effigy.
But I can’t do it justice. AOL’s Ryan Ferguson covers it well today, but no, I don’t post this here because of a West Virginia/Michigan/WSU football connection. I post this because of the point of the article is the false sense of security all programs happen to feel about “their guy”. Because you just never know, it can happen to you (US) too. Now I don’t think Wulff will up and bolt at the first moment of success……of course you never know…….but I’m more thinking about you-know-who:
I know, I know. It’s far too early in the year to be paranoid all over again about the hot young coach looking elsewhere. We’re not even into Pac-10 play yet, and there’s so many twists and turns that will happen as the year grinds on. But that AOL article today got me thinking about how many schools around the country have felt like “nah, not OUR guy, he’ll never bolt” to suddenly waking up to rumors and press conferences and stories about private planes with our coach on it. The whole Rodriguez thing reminded me a lot about Mike Price and how he left on the cusp of a BCS bowl. I don’t want to rehash the whole fiasco, the burnt bridges, etc, we’ve beaten that thing to death. And although the whole Price-to-Alabama thing drug out for about a week of rumors and such, and this Rodriguez thing started on a Friday and was over by Sunday night, but still, it goes to show that no matter what program you are, no matter who your coach might be, no matter what bowl you are about to play in, you just never, ever know.
All I do know? As this hoops season gets into the meat of the schedule, I’m going to constantly remind myself that things are absolutely great RIGHT NOW, and I’m not going to wring my hands over Tony bolting. Sure, he says all the right things, but let’s be serious, every big-time job that comes open this spring/summer and Tony’s name will be thrown into the rumor mill. Even if he’s not a true candidate, the media will at least throw his name against the wall and see if it sticks. What if Coach K is sick and tired of the back problems and decides to call it a career at Duke? What if Roy Williams gets another One Shining Moment at Carolina, and decides at his age, it can’t get any better, so enough is enough? When you are that young and that good, it’s only natural that you will be on every AD’s radar if you are looking to implement a great program. So brace yourselves, because we all know it’s coming.
As a true fan, I’m going to embrace the “precious present” and not fret over what the future may bring. I’m going to enjoy this as much as I can, because we may never get back to this spot again (seriously, we’re #6 in the nation and undefeated right now!?!?!). I look at highlights from our 2002 football season or the 2003 Holiday Bowl, and think of how long ago that feels already, and man, why didn’t I enjoy it more? I refuse to make that mistake again. I will enjoy this ride, for as long as it can last.