November 30th, 2010 08:58 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Vanderbilt
Tags: Dudley Field, Eagle Bank Bowl, Jeff Lockridge, SEC
Al Golden is an up-and-comer in the college coaching profession. He’s also on Vanderbilt’s short list to replace Robbie Caldwell. And that’s a good sign for Vandy fans.
Now, before anyone sends me a nasty email — “I knew we could get a good coach, you weasel!” — just remember that I wrote yesterday that VU will have to start spending more cash if it’s to land a “name” coach. If Vandy lures Golden into the coaching quicksand at Dudley Field, you can be certain that the Commodores have done two things:
1. Increased — maybe even doubled — what they pay their head coach
2. Promised to improve the school’s facilities
Vandy makes money on football. It needs to spend some of that money to become more competitive in the SEC.
As for Golden, he has already resurrected one of college football’s most downtrodden programs at Temple. In five seasons, his record is just 27-34, but that includes a 17-8 mark the last two years. The Owls went to their first bowl game in 30 years last season (losing to UCLA in the Eagle Bank Bowl) and at 8-4 they’re on pace to go bowling again this season.
Golden has also been mentioned as a candidate for the open Minnesota job. Last year he was connected to the openings at Tennessee, South Florida and Cincinnati. He is just 41 years old.
For a great background piece on Golden from The Philadelphia Inquirer, click here.
Jeff Lockridge of The Tennessean reports that Vandy also “would consider” Tommy Bowden. Here’s the rub: If Bowden couldn’t win consistently at Clemson, could he lift Vanderbilt to another level? Bowden did have success at Tulane — another tough academic school — before heading to Clemson, but the Green Wave wasn’t trying to compete in the SEC.
There are also reports that Vandy is interested in Greg Roman, the associate head coach and run game coordinator at Stanford. Roman might not be as much of a name hire as Golden, but Vanderbilt’s decision to pursue someone who has had success at an institution with tough entry requirements is quite sound. (I would link to the site reporting that, but they’re a site that grabs info from others and doesn’t provide links. If they link, we’ll link. Til then, “there are also reports…”)
So far, Vanderbilt’s search seems to show that Commodore officials are serious about improving their program. We’ll see if the pay-off is as good as the search.
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