Now that UND is officially over two weeks into the coaching search we thought we would brain-dump a bit about what we are thinking and hoping for at this point. We have not heard many rumblings coming out of Hyslop thus far and hoped to know more at this point.
- The timing of this hire is paramount. Given the timetable of everything that has happened, we know that any Athletic Director worth his salt and pay grade had a handful of guys in mind when he made this move in the first place. Since the position is opened until December 10th, we fully expect that UND Athletic Director Brian Faison has been in contact with many coaches up to this point and that he already has a final 3 in his mind for in-person interviews. Since December 10th is a Tuesday, at the very latest we expect in-person interviews to start being conducted on the 11th (Wednesday). This is assuming everything is kosher organizationally in the UND Athletic Department. Brian Faison seems to be a smart guy and understands how all of this works and how the head coach will need time to assemble his staff, get guys on the road recruiting, and start organizing for the official visit weekends. No doubt he is aware of this and understands the football calendar. This hire will be Brian Faison’s signature hire and legacy for his tenure at UND as Athletic Director.
- In a normal season, UND would be having their first big recruiting weekend of the year this coming weekend, December 7th. That is not happening. Their second big recruiting weekend of the year would be on December 14th. That is not happening. I would guess almost half of the best recruits at FCS level have committed by Christmas. That means the new staff will be coming in at a terrible time considering the new “dead period” goes from December 16th all the way to January 15th now. No ‘in-person” contact can be made in that time. The longer this process goes on, the worse it will be for the Class of 2014.
- There have been a few defections from the UND program over the past few weeks. DL Mike Edwards is transferring to a junior college, which is strange and means there may be various reasons why he is leaving. WR Jameer Jackson, a major contributor the past two season with over 100 catches, is transferring to Mankato-State to be “closer to home”. Backup OL Joel Isenberger is transferring to Winona State. We have also heard rumors that backup safety Ryan Cain may be transferring.
- With that being said, when student-athletes sign their letters of intent, they are signing with a school and not a coach or staff. This is obvious given the continuous carousel of college football. It’s just part of the deal. For any student-athlete to not at least see who the next hire will be before making a decision is rash at best. There are so many variables to consider when transferring to another level of football and/or school, both academically and athletically. We recognize there are extentuating circumstances and each situation is unique, but we still stand by this. If a player decides after the hire that they don’t think it will work out, so be it. At least let it play out. Just another reason that this coaching hire needs to be expedited properly so that both sides (new coach and players) can see if the fit will be right moving forward. The student-athlete needs the requisite to time transfer at the break if necessary.
We’ll keep writing as more info comes in on applicants over the next week. Some new names have surfaced and according to Wayne Nelson and Tom Miller from the Grand Forks Herald, the official applicant pool has grown to 50. That number will continue to increase leading up to and after the December 10th deadline.