Current job: Head coach, Charlotte (since 2019)
Previous jobs: Head coach, Austin Peay (2016-18); assistant coach, Chattanooga (2009-15)
Career record: 22-30
Okay, let’s get this out of the way. Warning in advance: if you’re a fan of Will Healy, you’re probably not going to like a lot of the opinions expressed herein.
A favorite of the Vanderbilt internet presence — outside Anchor of Gold, anyway — for a while has been Will Healy, the 35-year-old head coach at Charlotte who was previously at Austin Peay. Why a coach with a 22-30 career record as a head coach at an FCS school and a C-USA school would be under consideration for an SEC head coaching job, even Vanderbilt, I’ll never know. You’ll hear something about how awful the Austin Peay and Charlotte programs were when he took over, and while that’s definitely true of Austin Peay (the program he inherited was bad enough that he went 0-11 in his first year), I don’t know how true that is of Charlotte: the 49ers went 5-7 the year before he arrived and 7-6 in his first season. And let’s take a closer look at that first season at Charlotte: the 49ers’ SRS rating improved only from -7.33 to -6.88, which actually took them from 103rd to 105th nationally. And six of their seven wins came over teams with a record of 4-8 or worse, with three wins over 1-11 teams plus a win over UMass.
This is your pick for the job? Really?
Okay, fine, I’ll try to talk myself into him for a minute.
Why he’d be a good fit: Well, his uncle was Chip Healy, the former Commodore great. He’s a Chattanooga native who’s spent most of his adult life coaching football in the state of Tennessee, albeit at the FCS level.
Also, you’ll hear a lot about “energy” and “marketing” and “recruiting” in reference to this guy.
(I will say that his turnaround job at Austin Peay was legit. Then again, we should probably be asking questions about why, after improving from 0-11 in Year 1 to 8-4 in Year 2, his team slid back to 5-6 in his third year — his last there before taking the Charlotte job. We might also want to ask a few questions about why his current Charlotte team hasn’t played a game since October 31, because the answer to that question is probably concerning.)
Why it wouldn’t work: I’m immediately suspicious of anybody for whom the main arguments are “energy” and “recruiting,” not because recruiting isn’t important, but because that’s usually code for “this guy can’t actually coach.” Big Bryce Drew energy there. I don’t really know if that’s true or not, mind you, but the fact that nobody pushing him for the job really says anything about X’s and O’s is the basketball player highlight tape where all the shots he takes are inside of five feet of coaching searches: they’re not telling you about it because you don’t want to know.
But also, “bringing energy to the job” seems to refer to douchebro shit like this:
Shirt: off— (@CharlotteFTBL) November 24, 2019
Norm head: on
Celebration: lit#ClubLIT pic.twitter.com/MyuiedCG8D
Is the fact that I’m the guy who views this as douchebro shit coloring my opinion of Will Healy? You bet your ass it does.
Oh, yeah, and there’s also the part that when he was under consideration for the Missouri job last offseason, Healy reportedly insisted on bringing his Charlotte staff with him to Missouri, which is a big honking red flag. I have a lot of reasons to wonder whether this guy is ready for an SEC head coaching job and everything that comes with it.
Overall thoughts: Blah.
Okay, now that I’ve set the internet on fire, comment away.