Let’s say Mike Riley steps down or is fired at the end of the season. The Beavers would be looking for a new head coach for the first time in 14 years, which is kind of daunting. But here are five things on my wish list for a new coach.
A flashy hire. Since the football program’s resurgence in 1998, fan apathy is at an all-time high. Simply put, there’s no excitement around the Beavers, which is something the athletic department can least afford when they are trying to drum up support for the next phase of the Reser Stadium expansion. That’s why a new coach needs to be someone who rejuvenates the fan base, much like Wayne Tinkle has done with the basketball program.
Not afraid to rock the boat. Loyalty is one of Riley’s greatest traits. There’s a lot to be said for continuity among a coaching staff. At the same time, it’s also led to OSU keeping coaches on staff who aren’t pulling their weight. That’s why I’d like a coach who isn’t afraid to make changes to his staff, not in a knee-jerk manner, but if things aren’t working out, he needs to be able to make difficult calls and address issues.
A+Recruiter. There’s a lot of debate about recruiting to Corvallis, but the rankings don’t lie, recruiting is a struggle for OSU. And with the Pac-12 getting more competitive each week, the Beavers need to be able to land talent that won’t take two or more years to develop. So the new coach needs to be a dynamic recruiter and his approach needs to trickle down to his assistants. Maybe other programs can afford to have weak recruiters, but OSU needs an “all hands on deck” approach to recruiting in order to compensate for its inherent disadvantages.
Runs up-tempo offense. It’s safe to say fast-paced offenses are here to stay. They aren’t just some fad. But the main reason I’d like a coach who runs a no huddle-type offense is because it keeps defenses on their toes and doesn’t allow much time for coaches and players to make adjustments. That makes an offense that much harder to defend. In recent years, opposing coaches have noted that OSU is very predictable on offense. So an new offense is a must for me.
Little fire in the belly. This isn’t to say Riley doesn’t have his players’ backs — I think he’s very supportive of them. But sometimes when calls are going against his team, I wish he would get on the officials a little more. Not Mike Stoops-style, but maybe like Dennis Erickson did. So I’d like a new coach to show a little more emotion because it could help rally and motivate players. More importantly, it can illustrate a sense of urgency. (RW)
What would you like to see from the next OSU head coach (besides a proven track record)?