When I was in college, I remember driving down Broadway towards the University for some class that I needed to be that morning. I pulled up to the Broadway and Russel Street light and I saw in front to me what appeared to be a older model Ferrari. Had all the decals. Looked immaculate from the rear. Then as I passed the car, I began to realize not only by visuals, but by sound this wasn’t your regular run of the mill Ferrari. In fact it was a Fauxrari. Those kits were popular back in the day, where you could convert your four cylinder Yugo with a little time, effort and bondo into a sexy looking car that could get you all the chicks.
What has been telling about the firing and hiring process, to some fans, is that some still are under the illusion that University of Montana football program is a Ferrari or minimally a Cadillac. Maybe it is, but there are some elements maybe to the casual fan are obscured behind the nice body that prevent the program from being truly a high end sports car.
Hiring Bobby Hauck was done as much to restore the local image of the program, to repaint the car, as it was to do anything. That is always a troubling reason to make any staffing decision, but what is more troubling is that secondary hiring decisions have left a section of Griznation unimpressed. Bobby Hauck knows what he is investing to rebuild the car, but fans don’t. Whether it was Kent Baer, rumored DC, or Pease, Rosenbach or whomever else for that matter, it was or has been made apparent than fans are a hard to impress lot. That some don’t see him as much of an upgrade over Semore, or the equal of Gregorak says a ton.
Baer doesn’t become a DC at a FBS power 5 conference and school without having ability. He’s a sound tactician, and has the type of experience that will bring added value to the program. Did those tools and skills always result in success for Baer? No. Certainly not. What Griz fans wanted was a Ferrari factory parts to repair the car, and what we got were refurbished resold parts.
Part of the problem that prevents Bobby from putting together an all-star cast, or having the pick of high end performance parts to replace the current is level. Bobby might have gone to one or two SDSU position guys, younger guys with perceived talent, and offered them a DC position and while Montana is alluring, it doesn’t get you anywhere closer to a power 5 conference or school. The other is money. Please dispense with the cost of living differences argument. Position coaches, Coordinators at power 5 schools and many Group of 5 schools are handsomely rewarded that outpace the cost of living arguments. Money is money. Money that SDSU, BSU and ASU have, and Montana doesn’t have nor will they ever have.
What many successful FCS coaches have found in recent years, is that their own success doesn’t translate into power 5 jobs. Bobby, Bohl and others have found it can get you to the next rung in the ladder, but isn’t an all expense paid ticket to the SEC. If head coaches know this, it seems to reason that younger talented coaches will too. Being a DC at Montana isn’t going to necessarily log you a DC position elsewhere. Rosenbach gives up his head coaching gig at RMAC also-ran Adams State to come here to be an OC. Baldwin goes from HC to power five coordinator. If you want to add an extra five years to your coaching cycle, by all means spend some time in the hinterlands of college football.
If you are basing your evaluation on coaching based upon pedigree or googling, you are going to be more wrong that right. It is very much like saying that Trump is a successful businessman because he graduated from Wharton. That Wharton, not Trump or his millions of dollars of inherited wealth, is some how the great indicator.
Bobby has based his hiring decisions in the past and present based upon known quantities, that he can vouch for their ability. He did that his first time around here, he did it at UNLV and he did it again here. That he would consider coaches, considered to be persona non-grata in Missoula at least from a fans perspective says more than anything else. That we are immediately putting Baer into the place holder, running out the clock, and substandard DC position shows how little fans know.
In the end, coaching ability and talent extends far beyond a dossier of experience. Your personnel, ability to communicate message, resources, and the talent you have on the field play significant roles in determining success.