Monday, November 10, 2008
Kotz / Sports
Please, Vols, Don't Hire Butch Davis
by Pete Kotz
on Mon, Nov 10, 2008 at 5:13 AM
I lived in Cleveland when Butch Davis was coach of the Browns. "Disaster" would be a polite word to describe his reign.
He was out-coached on the field, a horrible judge of talent in the draft, and he had a penchant for scheming against the front office that made you think of Dick Cheney, only with better hair. When he "resigned," the real story leaked out: Butch's players hated him. He was a duplicitous leader who said one thing and did another, a sneaky man who'd lost all trust from his charges. Had he not left at midseason, he likely would have faced a player revolt.
A lot of good college coaches don't do well in the pros -- think Lou Holtz, Steve Spurrier, Bobby Petrino, even Nick Saban. Some are too autocratic to deal with grown men. And some just aren't skilled enough technically. What makes them good is recruiting, fundraising, navigating boosters and administrators, so they have an advantage before they ever take the field.
Davis is doing quite well at North Carolina, but you have to wonder how long it will last. Like all coaches, he has an ego the size of Germany. The difference is he also has a history of not playing well with others.
It's one thing to find quick success in the ACC. It's another doing it the SEC, where he'll face superior coaching and schools with better recruiting grounds. And when things go bad, Davis' history suggests they'll go very bad.