By this time next week, Colorado’s new head coach will likely have been in place for a couple of, or even a few, days.
And, based on the reports, the new coach will be very, very familiar with the area once he does get in place.
Both the Boulder Daily Camera and Denver Post are reporting that the Buffaloes’ search for a new head coach is winding down and the school is now focused on three candidates — Jim McElwain, Eric Bieniemy and Jon Embree. In reality, however, the race to become Dan Hawkins‘ successor is down to the latter two.
As the Daily Camera writes, sources said the appetite among fans and former players is to have someone with ties to the program hired as head coach. That would seem to eliminate McElwain, the Alabama offensive coordinator with no ties to CU, and make former CU players Bieniemy and Embree the school’s “final two”, although no one connected to the program will refer to either of the three as finalists. There are no plans, however, to interview additional candidates, and it appears that a new head coach will be in place by Friday but no later than Monday.
Based on one former player’s view of the search — and of those in the weeks since Hawkins has been fired — it’s a wonder McElwain was even interviewed in the first place.
“Those two have been my choices, either way, for two years,” said former Buffaloes quarterback Bobby Pesavento. “I played for both of them at CU. They both have NFL experience as players and coaches. They would do tons of good stuff on the recruiting side.
“And they understand what Colorado and its tradition are all about. To me, that’s very important. If you’re a Buff (player) and you look those guys in the eyes, you know they get it. You want to play harder for them, because they did it here in the past.”
It’s patently obvious that athletic director Mike Bohn and the seven-member search committee will have no choice but to hire a coach with ties to the program, or else face the wrath of former players and fans. Somebody hired from the outside would have almost no chance to succeed as he would have two strikes against him — and a third on the way — before ever coaching a game, and the only rope the outsider would be given from those connected to the program is enough to hang himself.
The ex-players and fans had just better hope that the best man for the job is a “Colorado Man”. Even as neither “Colorado Man” currently under consideration has ever been a head coach — or a coordinator, for that matter — at any level.