Friday Q&A: August 3, 2012

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1) When it comes time for Beamer to retire, how do you think Beamer and the school will handle it? Over the last 5 years, we have seen how different schools have handled coaches hanging it up. WVU, FSU, MD, PSU, etc were all failures in one way or another. What do you suggest a school with a coach like Beamer should do when it comes to that point?  If a coach says he is going to retire, then he hurts the next coach’s chances of recruiting in that year. If a coach keeps when he will retire a secret, he ultimately has to lie to the current recruits. If a coach is named in waiting, it seems to be recipe for disaster.

Chris Coleman: That’s an outstanding question.  I agree completely that several schools have completely botched this process recently, and for different reasons.  Obviously the situation at Penn State was unique.  WVU and Florida State had a head coach in waiting … from outside the program.  Things didn’t end well for Bill Stewart (RIP) or Bobby Bowden, obviously.  There were divisions of authority, and you can’t have that in football.

I don’t have an issue with the basic concept of the head coach in waiting.  It’s something that can definitely work, but all the right pieces have to be in place.  You can’t bring a guy like Jimbo Fisher from another school and another coaching staff and immediately name him the head coach in waiting under Bobby Bowden.  All that does is undermine Bowden.  A head coach in waiting can work only if there is a working history between the outgoing coach and the incoming coach.  Or better yet, if the coach in waiting is already a member of the program.

You probably know where I’m going with that.  You can sort of see this coming from a mile away.  There is going to be a portion of the fan base that will want to promote Bud Foster to head coach when Frank Beamer retires.  Another part of the fan base will be in favor of Shane Beamer.  Both guys are currently part of the program.  I could be wrong, but at this point I just don’t see Virginia Tech going outside the program to hire their next head coach when there are already a couple of guys in the program that most fans would support.

It would make for a smooth transition.  I don’t think Bud and Shane are the undermining types.  Obviously Shane wouldn’t undermine his own dad.  Obviously it would let recruits know very early on exactly who they would be playing for in the future.

There is no perfect timetable to announce