Waiting for Addazio

09:14 Cholis Back 0 Comments

Wayne Hardin was 32 when he took the Navy head coaching gig and appeared on What's My Line here.

Steve Addazio's head coaching record:
1988 6-4
1989 10-1, State Runner up
1990 5-4-1
1991 7-3-1
1992 11-0, State Champions
1993 11-0, State Champions
1994 11-0, State Champions
The two best head coaches I've ever known are Wayne Hardin and Mike Pettine, in that order.
There is no close second group, although I've known Bruce Arians, Dick Vermeil and Al Golden as well on varying levels.
I won't call him Mike Pettine Sr. and I won't call the current New York Jets' defensive coordinator Mike Pettine Jr. because there was a Mike Pettine who wasn't as famous in football before those two, a father and a grandfather of the football ones.
Pettine was the head coach at Central Bucks West who went 326 wins, 42 defeats and four ties. Yes, that's 326-42-4 with three state titles, all in a row, and two more mythical state titles before that. Oh yeah. In that total, were 13 unbeaten seasons.
Pettine could do more with (largely) 5-foot-10, 150-pound white kids than should be humanly possible.
I was excited when Wayne Hardin got the Temple job many, many years ago because I knew he came with a head coaching pedigree. Hardin, before coming to Temple, had Navy ranked No. 2 in the country and playing Texas in the Cotton Bowl.
Hardin, before coming to Temple, coached two Heisman Trophy winners: Roger Staubach and Joe Bellino.
Hardin, before coming to Temple, won a professional football league championship as a head coach.
Imagine Urban Meyer or Nick Saban leaving Florida or Alabama and taking the Temple job now?
That's what it was like to Temple fans back in the day when Hardin took the Temple job.
If you say that can't happen today, I agree. But it was just as remarkable back then to us, believe me.
In the middle of Pettine's great run, many of his wins I covered, I mentioned to Mike that I always thought he would have been the perfect guy to succeed Bruce Arians at Temple.
He laughed.
"I had a chance to meet some of coach Hardin's guys today," Addazio said. "I know you are proud of your coach. I can see it in your faces. I appreciate some of you guys."

"Mike, I think Gerry Faust ruined it for all of us high school coaches."
Pettine had a point.
Faust went from a legend at Cincinnati Moeller to head coach at Notre Dame and he never panned out.
No high school coach, no matter how great, ever made the same jump again.
Yet I always believed that if you can HEAD coach, you can HEAD coach ... if ...IF you are the right person.
Bobby Wallace, who proved he could head coach elsewhere, was never that right person for here.
I always thought Temple should hire a guy who was a proven HEAD coach somewhere else, especially if the talent was already in place.
The talent is in place.
Steve Addazio is in another place, Florida, coaching the Gators in the Outback Bowl this Saturday, yet a week ago Addazio mentioned the Hardin connection.
"I had a chance to meet some of coach Hardin's guys today," Addazio said. "I know you are proud of your coach. I can see it in your faces. I appreciate some of you guys."
(It was funny the way he said that, though I don't think he meant anything negative by it. Some of you guys. I wonder who he didn't appreciate?)
I'm warming to Steve Addazio being cut out of the same mold as Pettine and Hardin because of an email I got this week from Cheshire, Conn.

Mark Ecke, who runs the site Cheshirefootball.com, which covers the Cheshire football team sent me Addazio's year-by-year breakdown at the only job where he ever was a HEAD coach.
"He's the best, you're going to love him," Ecke concluded.
Ecke was as close to Addazio as I was to Hardin and Pettine.
For my money, Steve could not get any better endorsement.
If Addazio is half as good as Hardin and Pettine, he will do a great job at Temple.
The Outback Bowl can't be over soon enough.