Archive for December, 2009

For The Love of Myriad

December 15, 2009

The word is simple enough, used by the Greeks (murias) as the name for the number ten thousand.  In modern English it’s used to refer to a large number of anything and can be used as either a noun or adjective (debate here).  But it’s popularity among regional sportswriters is surprising:

-Free Lance-Star’s Steve DeShazo (October 18): “With myriad factors stacked against it yesterday, Virginia turned to a pair of grizzled but relatively anonymous senior leaders.”

-Free Lance-Star’s Steve DeShazo (October 27): “Last night’s nationally televised bludgeoning by the Philadelphia Eagles exposed the Redskins’ myriad problems.”

-Washington Post’s Rick Maese (November 20): “In the Redskins’ myriad defensive formations, Orakpo often stunts and doesn’t always rush the passer from the edge.”

-Daily Progress’ Jay Jenkins (November 23): “That revolving-door policy, among myriad other contributing factors, has made life complicated for Virginia coach Al Groh during the program’s worst slide in two decades.”

-Virginian-Pilot’s Kyle Tucker (November 24): “There are myriad reasons for the Cavaliers crashing as the Hokies have been cruising.”

-Richmond Times Dispatch’s Paul Woody (November 30): “And every university the size of Virginia has programs where academically-challenged athletes can earn a degree, provided they are diligent students and take advantage of the myriad support services available.”

-Daily Progress’ Jerry Ratcliffe (November 30): “A big reader, Groh had an impressive collection of books covering a myriad of life philosophies.”

-Washington Times’ Ryan O’Halloran (December 4): “The state of the Redskins’ offensive line has impacted Campbell’s confidence more than the myriad offensive systems he’s had to learn (three) and play callers he’s had to work (three) with since taking over the starting role in November 2006.” 

-Washington Times’ David Elfin (December 3): “Despite Williams’ myriad blitzes, New Orleans is tied for 10th in the league in sacks with 26. However, no team comes close to the Saints’ 22 interceptions or 32 turnovers. And they’ve taken a league-best seven takeaways to the house.”

-Free Lance-Star’s Steve DeShazo (December 14): “But considering the myriad problems the Redskins have to fix in the off-season–and Snyder’s notorious impatience to win–is it really worth it to start from scratch yet again?”

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Virginia Coaching Search, Quote-Unquote

December 3, 2009

Mike London

On Monday, the Richmond HC certainly didn’t say he wasn’t interested when asked about the Virginia job:

“It’s an unfortunate situation that just happened up there. It’s a reality of coaching and everything… My focus is on the game [against] Appalachian State. My entire focus is on that. So I’m not going to talk speculations or rumors or anything like that. I’ve got a ballgame to try to prepare for and win. I’d appreciate that any questions or hypothetical scenarios and all that stuff be sensitive to the fact that I’m the head coach of the University of Richmond, and I’m getting ready for Appalachian State.”

He also added, in Groh-like fashion: “The players’ focus, the coaches’ focus and our energies and efforts, that’s what we’re thinking about, and I’ll make sure that happens because I’m the one answering the questions.”

Former Virginia players spoke out on London’s behalf.  One-time QC Kevin McCabe (who didn’t exactly leave Groh’s program on good terms) said “I think the biggest thing that you will see if coach London gets back in there is that his selling point is going to be recruiting… He will go into that house in Florida and pull one or two kids like we used to when I first got here. Like any good coach, you want to surround yourself with good assistants. You want to surround yourself with good people. I think he can do that.”  Now-former DL Nate Collins added “He is a great coach… He has done great things at Richmond… If he does become the coach here, I wish him luck here, and I wish him to carry on his legacy and get it back on track the way that it used to be around here.”

Even Groh-homer and current sideline reporter Chris Slade seemed to be describing London without naming him when he said “I think whoever they bring in is going to be somebody that’s really familiar with the program. I think it’s going to be somebody that’s going to really get out and recruit the Tidewater area. I think that’s an area that Virginia, first of all, needs to become popular in again. You’ll need a guy, I think, that can relate to the players, a guy that’s going to be able to implement his system early, establish discipline and get these guys’ confidence back up. I think because of the lack of success these guys had in the last two years they need to get their confidence back. They need to get somebody in there with a lot of energy that can recruit. That’s the biggest thing right now, because we’ve just been so far behind, particularly in that Tidewater area and then across the state of Virginia.”

In addition, Fork Union HC John Shuman tells the Washington Post “I’m pretty sure if Mike London’s in the loop, [stud OL recruit Morgan Moses will] stay committed. If they pull what they did in basketball [and hire an unknown candidate, Moses might consider other options].”

Jim Grobe

No comments form the Wake HC, but The Daily Press’s David Teel “had no idea Grobe made” $2.17 million, more than all ACC coaches in 2009 not named Bobby Bowden ($2.32 million) or Paul Johnson ($2.3 million).  Across the state, Jerry Ratcliffe pines for Grobe (“a UVa grad, a former football player here, a fraternity guy, Grobe has put together a remarkable resume” & “Grobe is a magical coach and perhaps an even better person”), who he says “ain’t coming.”

Al Golden

A Philadelphia Inquirer piece on Wednesday includes no quotes from the newly-minted MAC COY on Virginia, but says that “Golden didn’t sound like a guy who has his eyes on other opportunities during an interview last week.”  Golden does offer quite the plan for success, however: “I don’t care if you’re GM, Home Depot, IBM, the Flyers, the Phillies, or Temple University, you fight the same battle. You need organization clarity. You need everybody in the organization to know their roles. You need to have motivation to execute those roles. And then you have to do it on a daily basis. That’s the hardest thing to do in the business model, and it’s no different here. Our senior leadership has perpetuated our culture.”

Bob Molinaro of the Virginia-Pilot thinks Golden is “the No. 1 candidate for the job” and at 40, represents “an infusion of youthful exuberance [that] is a must if U.Va. is to break free from its doldrums.”  The younger AG is “considered to be one of the best recruiters in the East” and Molinaro wonders if “maybe a brighter future begins by seizing on a Golden opportunity.”

Meanwhile, Ratcliffe (who admits he was wrong last week: “it appears that the mysterious rumor about UVa luring Chris Petersen away from Boise State was either a pipe dream or just misinformation”) says “some of [Golden’s] closest friends say he’s not looking,” so take that for what it’s worth.

Jimmy Laycock

The William & Mary head man – who beat Virginia earlier this season – was quoted by the Daily Press as saying “you never say never,” which Teel translates as “if Virginia called, he’d listen.”  However, the columnist points out that “at 61, he’s older than the prototypical candidate, and he hasn’t recruited at a major-conference program since 1979, the last of his three seasons as Clemson’s offensive coordinator.”

Derek Dooley

The Louisiana Tech AD & HC seemed to be throwing in the towel when he said on Monday “I don’t know if there is much of a market out there for a three-win coach.  All that stuff is just someone throwing a guy’s name in the paper. I would rather not talk about that.”

Skip Holtz

The ECU HC also appears to be out of the running per Terry Holland, via Doug Doughty.