Long coaching searches can be successful ones
Posted by: Chris Vannini on December 6, 2012
With news that Charlie Strong has turned town Tennessee to stay at Louisville, Volunteer fans are starting to panic that they won't get a good coach.
Tennessee fired Derek Dooley on Nov. 18, and it has been 18 days without a permanent head coach.
But there is no need to get angry or worried yet. Plenty of recent coaching searches have taken weeks and resulted in good hires. You can miss on some guys, but you can't miss the right guy. Here are some recent coaching searches that took a long time, but resulted in success.
Texas A&M (9 days): Mike Sherman fired on Dec. 1, 2011 - Kevin Sumlin hired on Dec. 10.
Most expected the Aggies to struggle in their first season in the SEC. But with one of the top offenses in the nation, Texas A&M went 10-2, including a win at Alabama, and earned a Cotton Bowl berth.
Arizona State (17 days): Dennis Erickson fired on Nov. 28, 2011 - Todd Graham hired on Dec. 14
The Sun Devils went 7-5 in Graham's first season this year, finishing the regular season on a two-game winning streak.
Tulane (48 days): Bob Toledo resigned on Oct. 18, 2011 - Curtis Johnson hired on Dec. 5
The school was getting hammered by fans and media for the length of this search, but 99 percent of Tulane fans will tell you they have the right guy. The Green Wave went 2-10 this season, but some great recruiting classes and a new stadium are on the way.
Vanderbilt (20 days): Robbie Caldwell resigned on Nov. 27, 2010 - James Franklin hired on Dec. 17
Vandy has had one of the greatest two-year stretches in school history, including an 8-4 record in 2012 with a 5-3 record in the SEC.
UCLA (12 days): Rick Neuheisel fired on Nov. 28, 2011 - Jim Mora Jr. hired on Dec. 10
The Bruins went 9-4, winning the Pac-12 South and ending a long losing streak against USC in their first season with Mora, who had never been a college head coach.
Michigan (7 days): Rich Rodriguez fired on Jan. 4, 2011 - Brady Hoke hired on Jan. 11
Although the search lasted a week, the school reportedly missed on some other candidates before hiring Hoke. The Wolverines won 11 games, including the Sugar Bowl, in 2011.
Fresno State (10 days): Pat Hill fired on Dec. 4, 2011 - Tim DeRuyter hired on Dec. 14
In his first season replacing one of the best coaches in school history, DeRuyter led the Bulldogs to a 9-3 record, including 7-1 in the Mountain West.
San Jose State (31 days): Dick Tomey announced retirement on Nov. 16 - Mike MacIntyre hired on Dec. 17, 2009
MacIntyre took over one of the worst programs in FBS, going 1-12 in his first season, but has turned things around, going 10-2 in 2012.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org