September 17

Temp rises on coaching hot seat

first_imgPhillip Fulmer, TennesseeStatus: Released this weekFulmer kept the Tennessee program at a consistently good, but rarely great, level throughout his career. Fulmer — who was named head coach in 1992 — won 150 games in 17 seasons and captured the national championship in 1998. The Volunteers have toyed with the idea of firing Fulmer for several years now, but a 10-4 mark and conference division title last season delayed the move for Tennessee’s Athletic Director Mike Hamilton. This season, however, the Vols have stumbled to a 3-6 record with only one win in the SEC, prompting Hamilton to pull the plug.To what end, though? Fulmer may not have been the top coach in the game, but his consistent winning kept Tennessee in the upper half of a football-crazy conference. Unless Tennessee has the next Nick Saban lined up, improvement from their current position remains unlikely.Hamilton’s knee-jerk reaction came too soon. Fulmer should have been given at least one more season to prove he still has what it takes.Bret Bielema, WisconsinStatus: Currently employedOn the surface, the reasons to fire Bielema appear sound. He has posted consecutively worse records each season since taking over for the legendary Barry Alvarez three years ago. He acts annoyingly chevalier after each loss and beats the “1-0” mantra to death.Most recently, Bielema cost UW a win with extremely boneheaded decisions during last Saturday’s loss to Michigan State. Clearly, Bielema is far from a perfect coach.Badger fans have grown greedy, however, and seem to think that UW should compete for the Big Ten title every year. Unfortunately, 10-win seasons have never been a consistent theme in Badger football history. In fact, now-Athletic Director Alvarez — who hand-picked Bielema as his successor –only won 10 games four times in his 16-year career.Badger fans need to cool down a bit. Bielema did win 12 games in his first season, and even though that was with Alvarez’s recruits, it was more games than Alvarez himself ever won in a single year. Bielema also has recruited playmakers David Gilreath and John Clay, so the cupboard is not bare.Wisconsin does not have the name recognition among recruits to change coaches so quickly. Bielema deserves another season and a little more patience from the fans.Tommy Bowden, ClemsonStatus: Released in mid-OctoberThis cord should have been cut three years ago. Not only was firing him the correct move, it was long overdue.Tommy Tuberville, AuburnStatus: Tenuously employedAuburn fans are crazy. Seriously. They are actually out of their minds.Tuberville delivered a perfect 13-0 season as recently as 2004, and holds a career .708 winning percentage at Auburn. Over the five previous seasons, the Tigers have averaged exactly 10 wins per year.Yet, because of a 4-5 record this season, it is a near certainty that Tuberville will lose his job. Tuberville, without a doubt, has made some mistakes this season. Trying to install the spread offense and then abandoning the attempt midway through the year made no sense. But what does a coach have to do to earn a little leeway?Furthermore, where is this fantastic coach who will magically restore the Auburn program? The SEC is an incredibly tough conference, and every program suffers through down years. Auburn can risk turning a down year into a down decade, or make the rational move and keep the proven Tuberville.Rich Rodriguez, MichiganStatus: Currently employedThe fact that Rodriguez even makes this list speaks to the desperateness of Michigan fans. The Wolverines knew exactly what they were getting when they hired Rodriguez, but the Michigan faithful disillusioned themselves into thinking an immediate turnaround was in sight.It is actually really simple. Rodriguez runs an offensive system that requires a certain type of athlete. Michigan had very few, if any of those athletes. Therefore, until Rodriguez can begin recruiting for his system, the system will not work.Every Michigan fan knew this coming into the season, yet they acted shocked when the team struggled. Michigan made a radical move when they hired the unconventional Rodriguez, and this move required time to pay dividends. Rodriguez can only help the program if he is given a few years, and firing him will only dig Michigan deeper into a hole. Two controversies dominate college football this time of year: the BCS rankings and coaches on the proverbial hot seat.With apologies to Texas Tech, Alabama and Penn State, the BCS can wait another week.The coaching carousel has been spinning steadily this year with Tommy Bowden, Tyrone Willingham and Phillip Fulmer already losing their jobs. Other coaches, such as Tommy Tuberville and Bret Bielema, have gone from hero to zero in less than two years.To be clear, this column is not condemning the quick hook that modern coaches receive. With the amount of money invested in football programs today, immediate results are required to appease the fan base, and more importantly, to keep the monetary boosters happy.The problem, though, is determining which coaches are simply suffering from an off year, and which coaches don’t have what it takes to succeed consistently at a high level. Furthermore, change doesn’t always mean improvement. Coaching college football is an extremely demanding position and truly successful head coaches are a rare breed. Despite what many fans seem to think, a coach ready to take a program to the next level is rarely waiting in the wings.With that in mind, here is a look at some coaches who have already lost their jobs or find their positions in immediate jeopardy.Important note: This is what should happen, not a prediction of what will happen.last_img read more

January 12

Police search for convenience store robber in Grande Prairie

first_imgGrande Prairie RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance to identify the person responsible for a convenience store robbery.The robbery occurred at 3:30 a.m. Friday when police say a single male entered the store on 96 St. and 100 Ave. waving around a weapon. They say he demanded money from the female employee, which he received and then left the store heading north on 96 St.- Advertisement -The male is described as being 6’4” tall. He was wearing a balaclava, glasses, a black, thin jacket with small white stripes and an emblem on the front left side, along with jeans, white running shoes and leather gloves at the time of the incident.Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to contact the Grande Prairie RCMP detachment at 250-830-5700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.last_img read more