Tuesday, November 30, 2004

ND fires Willingham.

Read Kevin White's statement and comments to the press and the South Bend Tribune's articles on campus and community reaction. My feelings about the whole business are decidely mixed. I share the concerns many other alumni have expressed about Willingham's coaching, and a change in leadership and strategy might do the team some good. However, part of me feels that the coach was done in by external circumstances and was hamstrung by unrealistic expectations. I'm also leery of establishing the precedent of letting coaches go before their contracts run out, especially when doing so gives the impression that the University is simply looking for victory at any cost on the football field. Hopefully the Domers among my readership will have something to say about this. AMDG.


At December 01, 2004 1:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a long-time ND football fan, I share your sentiments. Ty was left (according to a recent former player) with a program in shambles (courtesy of Mr. Davie). And his defensive backfield was populated by third-string starters, courtesy of a horrible off-field incident. And though it was tough to see any clear progress, there was a sense that the current team was capable of doing more than the 10-3 team of a few years ago. Paradoxically, that might have been what did Ty in.

Ty was paid handsomely to coach--and win. Though others have argued that ND lacked talent, this team had moments--particularly during the recent USC game--of being able to play at the highest levels. That it did not, especially in games against lesser opponents, strongly suggested a major coaching failure. I think that kind of inconsistency is what cost Ty his job.

I think Ty should have canned either or both of his main assistants last year. Unwilling or unable to do that, Ty proved that he did not have what it takes to win at ND, now or later. I hope the next coach is successful and I hope that true fans set realistic goals and allow the next coach to show he can reach them.


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