We Want Walker

DeWayne Walker for UCLA head coach.

Kragthorpe, Neuheisel, More Neuheisel, Golden, and Interim Head Coaches

Posted by wewantwalker on December 20, 2007

Just a couple of news blots I thought y’all would enjoy.

First, here is a pretty substantial interview with Neuheisel from thenewstribune.com:

I am not free to comment on my candidacy with UCLA. I will just say, as an alum, I want what’s best for UCLA. And all of us who went to school there and played football there want to see us back in the national picture.

Brian Billick said earlier today he hoped that you got the job and that you were maybe better suited for the college game. Why after your last experience would you even want to go back to all that?

I am hoping that Brian is not trying to give me a hint. (Laughs) I miss college football. I enjoyed it immensely the eight years that I was a head coach. I hate like heck how it ended. I take my share of the responsibility for the mistakes that I made in the past. I am hopeful that someday somebody will give me a second chance to be the leader of a program. College seems like the more natural place for that to happen. But as I learn and grow in the NFL, I don’t rule that out either.

It seems a little like you are stepping back into the lion’s den. If you did get that job, would there be any concern about how you might be received by the NCAA?

No. I actually know that not to be true. I have worked hard in the last five or six years, knowing that I would one day want to have the opportunity, should it come, to rebuild those relationships. I am in good stead with the NCAA in terms of there are no pending issues or penalties. I have good relationships with people who are on the other side of the fence when the litigation was taking place. Time heals a lot of wounds. And certainly I have taken ownership in the thing that I did wrong. I want to hopefully put that in the past.

Whom did you have to repair relationships with?

The NCAA is not just an entity. It is … a lot of people. Guys like David Price and Dave Dideon, who were on the enforcement arm of the NCAA, have run across my name in the past. It is important we had some sort of ability to appreciate what the other was trying to do. And hopefully understand that people can change, and if given a second chance can make the most of it.

What did you learn from the UW experience?

First of all, the UW experience, minus the end, was an outstanding experience. I had a great four years at the University of Washington. I loved coaching at Husky Stadium. I loved being part of the program. It was easy to see why it was so successful for so many years. For the most part we entertained them pretty well. We won our fair share of games and had good kids for the most part. There were some hiccups, but for the most part there were good kids. At the end of my career there, we were second only to Stanford in graduation rate. There are things I am proud of. Now the end, which unfortunately is what most people tend to focus on, was no fun at all. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. There were mistakes made and lines drawn in the sand. When that happens, it usually has an unsavory ending. I wish with all my might that it hadn’t happened. I could never, ever give all the details that would make people understand. So we just try to move on.

I think that book would sell well here.

We’ll have to wait and see. I’m hopeful that the Huskies can get back to their winning ways. I have a great deal of admiration for Ty Willingham and his ability. I was at a summer camp last year, in Louisiana, the Manning Passing Academy. And the Washington quarterback was there. And my son was on his team. So it was kind of neat to watch Jake (Locker) work with my son Jerry. What a great young man and a bona fide talent. They have bright days ahead, and I will be thrilled to see it all happen.

Rick, when you look back, you seemingly had everything. Do you ever sit back and think, ‘Man, what happened?’

Again, I need to take ownership of my role in my going away. But none of my mistakes were intentional. They were mistakes and something I am not proud of. But I did not mean to hurt anybody or cheat or anything like that. It is just a lesson that life deals you. And my hope is that I can rebuild it and create a new legacy.

Did you ever find out who turned you in?

No. No I didn’t. But that isn’t so important. What was important, whatever the motivation was for somebody, it happened and we moved on and we deal with it.

I understand what you are saying. But Brian Billick was saying earlier, given what you did, the outcome seems over the top. It would be interesting to know who turned you in.

It was always an alias. We never, ever learned the identity. But I am no longer searching. It is not something that keeps me awake at night. You have to move on. And I like to focus on the positive. Like I said, there were some tremendous things that happened when we were there. I know this, if Washington would focus on the positives, they can get to where they need to be a heck of a lot faster than focusing on what happened to the program.

You know it’s you have an intriguing coaching candidate when one of the questions is “Did you ever find out who turned you in?” Haha. Neuheisel seems conciliatory but I really have to question his candidacy because of UCLA’s focus on integrity. Tracy Pierson wrote a great piece over at BRO (it’s premium content) where he said he’d rather have Karl Dorrell than Pete Carroll. At least Dorrell’s got integrity you know? It’s not win at all costs with him. To me, hiring Neuheisel would be a step back. But if Guererro truly believes that he can do the job cleanly, I won’t question Guerrero. The man brought us Howland. I have faith in Guerrero at this point.

Next, here is the LA times article that talks about Al Golden:

Golden, though, has risen quickly as a candidate since the search officially began after Karl Dorrell was fired on Dec. 3. A source said that Golden impressed Guerrero during the initial interview. He and Block were both at the University of Virginia. Golden was the Cavaliers’ defensive coordinator from 2001 to 2005 and Block was a long-time professor at Virginia and the university’s vice president and provost from 2001 to 2006.

Golden, a former tight end at Penn State, was an assistant at Boston College and Penn State before becoming the youngest defensive coordinator in NCAA Division I-A when Virginia hired him at the age of 32. The Cavaliers’ defense went from being ranked 108th among Division I schools in 2001 to 18th in 2004.

At Temple, he took over a program that had not had a winning season since 1990 and had averaged two victories a season in that time. The Owls were dropped from the Big East Conference in 2004 and university officials were considering dropping football.

Golden rebuilt the program’s infrastructure and produced a 4-8 record in 2007.

Interesting. I personally don’t feel it with this guy, though I could be wrong. I’d rather take someone with more experience or solid recruiting ties out here.

There’s also an interesting ESPN article on interim head coaches in general. It mentions Walker. It doesn’t really say much about his particular situation, but it gives a good feel about the unique situation that being an interim head coach is.

Also, Kragthorpe is apparently not interested in the job. Steve Kragthorpe is the Head Coach at Louisville and formerly the Head Coach at Tulsa. He had a crappy season at Louisville, but apparently wants to stay.


4 Responses to “Kragthorpe, Neuheisel, More Neuheisel, Golden, and Interim Head Coaches”

  1. Peter said

    WeWantWalker.com wants someone with more experience than Al Golden? Like who? Walker? You guys really are funny!

  2. wewantwalker said

    I never said thats why we didn’t like him. I didn’t bring up the experience. He’s uh…from temple. and he’s 5-19. That just doesn’t sit well with me right now…

  3. Peter said

    Interesting. I personally don’t feel it with this guy, though I could be wrong. I’d rather take someone with more experience or solid recruiting ties out here.

  4. wewantwalker said

    How dare you use my own words against me?

    just kidding. he is from temple. he is 5-19. but it IS temple. he doesn’t have recruiting ties out here.

    Well, he’s gone from uninteresting to interesting for me.

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