Coaching a college football team is no easy feat. And with so many programs in the CFB realm, there are always going to be a handful of teams that stand out as being bad. But that doesn’t mean these programs don’t have talented players — sometimes the coaching just isn’t up to snuff. A bad coach can no doubt wreck a college football team, whether it’s due to inexperience or off-the-field drama.
Hawkins went to Boulder in 2005 with a nice resume from coaching at Boise State, and he talked a mean game to back it up. (When a parent complained about the players not getting enough downtime, Hawkins notoriously said: “This ain’t intramurals!”) But all his tough talk didn’t translate into a winning team. The Buffs went 2-10 in Hawkins’ first season as coach, and they went 19-39 before he was fired in November 2010.
To Embree’s credit, he did inherit a trying task of coaching Colorado after Hawkins’ departure. That being said, he was a Buffs alum with NFL experience under his belt who had been back with the Colorado program for a few years. So he did have some tools needed to turn the team around. Instead, the Buffaloes went 4-21 in the Embree era, and he was fired after just two seasons.
It was bad enough that New Mexico only won two games during Locksley’s tenure as play-caller there. But the coach also created a fair share of problems when it wasn’t game day. He was first accused of sexual harassment and age discrimination by a former administrative assistant before he had coached a single game in 2009.
A few months later, Locksley was accused of punching one of his assistant coaches during a staff meeting. It’s amazing New Mexico kept him until 2011 after all of that.
Heck, some coaches and programs just don’t mesh well. Exhibit A: Rich Rodriguez at Ann Arbor. His spread offense didn’t mesh at all with the style Michigan players — and fans — were accustomed to, and the previously successful Wolverines suffered for it.
Additionally, in 2009, Michigan had to pay Rich Rod’s legal fees when former employer West Virginia University sued him for breaking his contract with them. The poorly-made match between coach and team ended with Rodriguez’s firing in January 2011.
Callahan was another coach who brought NFL experience to the table. (He piloted the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl berth during his first season as head coach.) But like Rodriguez at Michigan, Callahan wasn’t a good fit in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers had their first losing season in nearly four decades under Callahan, and after two losing seasons in his four-year tenure — and a so-so 27-22 record overall — Nebraska gave him the boot.
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