Well, that didn't take long.
If all the reports are true, then Texas A&M will have its new football coach by lunch time. Mike Sherman, currently offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans, is expected to be The Man in College Station.
Is that good news for the Gig 'Em Group? We'll see. Sherman fits the profile _ he has A&M experience and he proved he could win in the NFL when he was Green Bay's head coach. But a word of caution: Moving from NFL to college coaching doesn't automatically ensure success.
Bill Callahan, Chan Gailey, Dave Wannstedt, Al Groh, John Bunting are some of the former NFL coaches who have struggled in college. Even former college coaches who tried the NFL _ Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban _ and returned to the college game have not been instant winners. USC's Pete Carroll is the only exception to the rule.
College coaching involves a lot of public relations work. NFL coaches can bunker in and game plan six days a week. College coaches have to recruit, schmooze boosters, connect with fans and alums, embrace the traditions, sell the program (see: Mack Brown). We'll see how Sherman handles that.
If Sherman does move up the road from Houston to College Station, he'll need to to do two things on the field: diversify and modernize the Aggies' offense to join the spread generation and find a defensive coordinator who will restore a Wrecking Crew mentality.
The fact that A&M is hiring its new coach so quickly makes it clear that athletic director Bill Byrne has been conducting clandestine interviews for the past couple of weeks.
_ Wendell Barnhouse