Listen, as comedian Mike Birbiglia likes to say: I'm in the future, also. In retrospect, Derek Mason, though an intriguing defensive coordinator at a similar school academically and athletically--and one that has had football success in the latter since the Jim Harbaugh era--was in over his
head het as a head coach. It happens. He's a very nice guy, and on paper was an excellent hire to continue the success of the Old Bald Poach, but... well... what Mike Birbiglia said.
After the horrid showing against an eminently beatable South Cackalacky Game Penis squad--coached by fellow continual Peter Principle prover Will Muschamp, no less--the pitchforks got sharpened, the torches were lit, and DoreOnThePlains' Sunshine Pump got so gunked up, he had to send it to the shop for a tune-up.
Then, we out-muscled and out-depth'd a CUSA squad from 30 minutes down the road, and our hope came back. It's a strange thing, this hope, as for some, it is "a thing with feathers," singing loudly in the storm, and yet, for others, it is like finding a damned pony in your kitchen. The kids want to name the thing, pet the thing, and keep the thing, but you just know it's going to bite the ever-loving shit out of them, and they'll still end up cry-yelling that you pay its exorbitant stable fees.
I've been drinking.
Whatever, as I said in the comments, it's time to start our unofficial search for the next head coach of our beloved football Commodores. May he (or she) be our next BoJo or OBP, and avoid the ignominy of inseminating turkeys in a Florida toll booth.
1) Nadia Harvin: Administrative Specialist, Head Football Coach - Temple University
Though Head Football Coaches who adopt dual roles, such as Derek Mason, can often prove to have bitten off more than they can chew, Administrative Specialist, Head Football Coach Nadia Harvin has weathered the storm of multiple Athletic Directors, and has been with Temple University for 30 years. One thing Vanderbilt football has lacked of late is consistency--both on the football field (in how it deals with quarterbacks, in hiring offensive coordinators, in sustaining improvements seen from week to week) and in communication (of message to the press, of uniforms, of not having epic marketing fails regarding social media and uniforms)--and this is something Coach Harvin has no problem with.
As an Administrative Specialist, Coach Harvin has, for the past 30 years at Temple, put together recruiting materials, organized mail outs, dealt with boosters and agents who want access to her players, dealt with the media in all facets, and did this all while assuming the plethora of responsibilities of a head football coach at a Division I college in a major metropolitan city that is known for being tough on their coaches. Further, she has done this with a smile.
While some would point to Coach Harvin's #WetHet campaign as evidence of a failure to effectively deal with social media, do I need to remind you just how wet our hets became when Coach Harvin's team came to town for Derek Mason's first game in his tenure as Head Coach of Vanderbilt University? Clearly, Coach Harvin heard tell of Mason's "Deep Water" marketing campaign, and replied in tongue-in-cheek kind. You want to drag us to deep water? Well we'll wet your hets! Checkmate Harvin.
Further, the positive publicity Vanderbilt would gain from breaking the gender barrier in a conference as rabid about football as the SEC is unprecedented, and could only help when selling the Vanderbilt football program and a Vanderbilt education to the most important person in the recruiting process--the moms.
Need I also mention that Derek Mason does not serve as his own Administrative Assistant, and, as such, is effectively costing the university that additional salary? Thought not.
Chances She Accepts the Job: Slim to none. Though Temple has experienced an uptick in their football program of late, it wasn't always this way. For many of her 30 years with the team, Temple Football was an afterthought, or a joke. If she stuck with them during the hard times, why would she leave during the good times? To pry her loose, we'd have to back up more than a few Brinks trucks in her driveway. Something to consider.
2) Bob Stitt, Head Football Coach (though not Administrative Assistant) of the University of Montana Memphis Grizzlies
Stitt, though yet another man (and fully incapable of filling the role of his own Administrative Assistant), is not without a sense of positive novelty that could revive a moribund football program. For 15 years at the Colorado School of Mimes, and 2 seasons at the University of Montana Memphis Grizzlies, Robert Allen Stitt has been running the most unique offense in all of football. Want to see how it works? Click this link.
Using DII school Colorado School of Mimes as a testing ground, Stitt was able to not just produce 13 winning seasons, but set offensive records, all by innovating how the football is handed off, and using the particular talents of his various mimes-in-training to outsmart the bigger, stronger, faster, able-to-talk players of opposing teams.
Upon taking the job at the Colorado School of Mimes, he not only had to think outside the box, he needed to convey through non-verbal gestures that he was trapped in said box initially.
In his last two years as head football coach of Montana, Stitt had to overcome the fact that 35% of his team were actually bison (as Montana only has 65 residents who are male, able-bodied, between the ages of 18-23, and capable of reading this sentence).
The Vanderbilt football team has none of these problems.
Further, before becoming a head football coach, Bob Stitt was the offensive coordinator at a school even more similar to the Harvard of the South--The Harvard of the Northeast: Harvard.
Chances He Accepts the Job: Good, but we would have to fire Andy Ludwig, and there's no reason to do that. We'd also have to hire an Administrative Assistant who does not want to also be the head football coach, and those are becoming increasingly rare.
3) Jamey Chadwell, Head Football Coach at Charleston Southern (The Harvard of the Southern Charleston Area)
Chadwell is a hot name in coaches who lost 1/3 of their team due to suspension. He's also quite dreamy, according to the teenaged girls in our commentariat--and they are legion.
He has been at Charleston Southern since 2004 (head coach since 2013), though with a few pit stops at North Greenville and Delta State. Like Lyle Landley before him, his innovative offense helped put his respective North Haverbrooks, Brockways, and Ogdenvilles on the map--provided you never visit those towns to corroborate their relative successes.
He took the North Greenville Crusaders from 2-8 to 7-3 and then 11-3 (through the magic of somehow extending their schedule by four games, so as to make their 3 losses seem less damaging), then took the Delta State Statesmen to one 3-7 season, and then went 10-3, 8-4, and 10-3 for the Charleston Southern Charles Town Chiefs.
Primarily, Chadwell got on our radar by out-coaching Derek Mason in a game he barely lost 20-21.
Chances He Accepts the Job: Not if South Greenville comes calling. Have I mentioned how lovely Greenville is in whatever season is lovely in whatever state that college is in?
I don't know, man. Tell us in the comments who you want. I, for one, will be camping out in Administrative Assistant, Head Football Coach Nadia Harvin's front yard, making my case.