The UND coaching search has been moving along at a slow pace thus far but that may be changing a bit now. NDSU Head Coach Craig Bohl announced that he is leaving the school to go to Wyoming, effective at the end of the season, whenever that may be. Could that change anything for UND?
Actually, we do not feel it will directly affect UND’s search all that much. Some, but not anything earth shattering. AD Faison is probably aware of it but with the amount of money that NDSU is going to pay their next coach, they will get a guy that commands a big salary. UND’s next coach will hopefully be paid a base salary of $180-$200k depending on qualifications and demand of the coach that is hired. We know the starting salary is listed at $150k, but that is just listed as a starting point we hope. As important will be the assistant coach salary pool. A dramatic increase will need to be seen here to get the head coach that Faison wants/needs to be successful with this hire.
UND will get good candidates applying for this job as it is a very attractive job right now. Whoever gets the job has nowhere to go but UP. That sentence right their is very attractive to aspiring college coaches. The foundations, history, tradition, facilities and conference are already in place. Some coaches are builders, they love a good project and love to start from scratch “their way” and turn things around. The UND job applies to that scenario. UND does not need a flashy ‘suit and tie’ big name coach with FBS experience and connections. Although if that’s what they end up with, so be it. They just don’t have to reach for that kind of guy. They need a no-nonsense coach who is going to step in and get this program headed in the right direction – his direction, his way. You throw in the Indoor Practice Facility, which is going to be begin construction this spring and things are pretty attractive right now in Grand Forks.
Prospective coaches could not care less what the team did the year before and how the roster currently sits. They will come in and see a blank canvas. AD Faison will give them the keys to the car and tell them to drive however they like. That kind of power is enticing.
Frankly, the NDSU job is kind of scary to any coach who wants to put his stamp on a program and possibly move on to the next level. Can a coach come in and do well – of course they can. Is 9-10 wins likely for the next X number of years – probably. But, what will everyone say during his first 2-3 years? “He did it with Bohl’s players”. Once again, to be frank, if their next coach doesn’t win a National Championship it will be a mild failure or a ‘ho-hum’ season. The bar was set at the highest level it could possibly be set at – National Championship height. Bohl said it himself – he maxed this thing out and there is nothing more he can do. Things always average out and that equates to ‘nowhere to go but down’.
Today is the final day that applications will be taken for the UND job. It closes at 5pm. We are assuming that the boys from the Herald will be out there this afternoon to snatch the final list from HR. Also, of note, it is NOT 100% certain that the next UND head coach will come from that list.