January 15th, 2014 11:45 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Chad Morris, Herb Hand, recruiting, Robbie Caldwell
Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams is apparently leaving no stone unturned in his search for a replacement for James Franklin. Just three weeks from signing day, Vandy’s AD is up against the clock and an ex-coach who’s attempting to flip the kids he’d recruited to Nashville to his new home at Penn State.
So can Williams really afford to take his time on this hire and interview numerous candidates? With National Signing Day fast approaching?
You bet he can. And he should. For all the worrying about a recruiting class, finding the right head coach is a hundred times more important. The right head coach can win with the talent his predecessor left behind (as Franklin did with the redshirt juniors and seniors Bobby Johnson and Robbie Caldwell left him). The right coach can recruit well and eventually make up for one disappointing class.
Reportedly, at least three candidates appear on Williams’ interview list: Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason, St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, and Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton. Many view Mason as the favorite to land the job as he’s already a college recruiter and he’s already worked at a school with somewhat strict admission policies.
Others on Williams’ list appear to be Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris and Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi. Offensive line coach Herb Hand is the leading internal candidate for the job.
Meanwhile, reports claim that Vanderbilt secondary coach George Barlow is expected be named cornerbacks coach at NC State. In other words, the man Williams eventually hires will have to basically piece together an entire staff. One more reason Williams should worry more about finding the right head coach than salvaging a single recruiting class.
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