Tom Dienhart of the Sporting News, suggests that IU will change coaches in the offseason.
Despite being bowl eligible, I still hear from several sources that Indiana will change coaches. The job has become more attractive with the work deceased Terry Hoeppner did. I expect the likes of Auburn offensive coordinator Al Borges and Purdue assistant head coach Mark Hagen to be among the top candidates. Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst also would be a nice fit. He's ready for a shot, just like Borges and Hagen.
A few thoughts (yes, I'm going crazy with the bullet points today):
- New headshot! Dienhart, regrettably, said goodbye to the 1980s and ditched the fu manchu. Now we have only his writing to deride.
- Dienhart is a West Lafayette native and a Purdue grad. Justifiably or not, he has a reputation as Joe Tiller's toady. Every year, in its football preview, TSN publishes unattributed quotes from opposing coaches. The comments about other Big Ten staffs and Notre Dame are often unfavorable, and it is widely speculated that those comments usually are from Tiller through Dienhart. Unprovable, of course, but widely believed.
- It's worthwhile to view Dienhart's writing through that prism. Regardless of the truth of the point above, he is a lifelong Boilermaker. Coaching uncertainty at IU is good for Purdue. On of the proposed candidates, former Hoosier linebacker, is a longtime Tiller assistant and
currently leads one of the nation's worst defenses at Purdue. (Actually, Hagen is the special teams coordinator and a defensive position coach at Purdue. Brock Spack still is the defensive coordinator there). Being mentioned as a Big Ten head coaching candidate certainly helps Hagen and surely pleases Tiller.
- I notice that Dienhart cites "several sources," but doesn't say who those sources are or how they know. Any chance they are Purdue folks as well?
- I've said this before, and imagine I will repeat it many times in the next few weeks: Rick Greenspan has conducted two major coaching searches: the 2004 football search that led to Terry Hoeppner and the 2006 basketball search that yielded Kelvin Sampson. Both searches were airtight. In both searches, the news leaked only after the new coach had accepted IU's offer. News of Hoeppner's hiring leaked only after he told his Miami team that he was leaving. Based on this track record, I doubt that anyone who will talk to Tom Dienhart knows anything.
- As I've also said before, I'm not going to speculate about coaching candidates while the season is ongoing, and perhaps not even after, given Greenspan's closed-mouthed history. It's unfair to the team and unfair to Lynch. Let me say, however, that next year's team is set up to win. While any hire will have my initial support, I would be less than enthused if IU replaces Lynch with a young assistant who has to learn on the job how to be a head coach.