Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wouldn't that be something?

A day ago, a friend predicted that former Alabama coach Mike Shula's name would emerge in Miami's head coaching search. I scoffed and said dinner would be on me if he got the job.

Imagine my reaction, then, when this story surfaced from The Associated Press today, citing Shula as a possibility to replace Larry Coker. On a certain level, of course, I shouldn't have been surprised. Shula's surname has huge cachet in Miami due to his legendary father's Hall of Fame tenure with the Dolphins. He's also a nice enough guy to deserve a good bounceback job, though I expected it would come as a head coach at a mid-level college or an assistant with an NFL team or big-name school rather than as an immediate head gig at another BCS program.

Then again, Shula is a pretty good recruiter and still would be one of the youngest head coaches in Division I-A even after four years at the Capstone. If he begins to do a better job of adjusting his in-
game strategies to reflect changed circumstances, his future teams could become very dangerous indeed.

I don't think Shula ultimately will be the choice for the Hurricanes' top job. If he ends up there, though, it'd be perhaps the most impressive example ever of a fired coach landing on his feet. The surreality of seeing Shula lead a sea of orange and green out of the Orange Bowl tunnel next year would make that dinner worth it.

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