Les Miles, it’s time for you to come home. The dream job you’ve raved about your whole life is open for just the third time in 40 years. And it’s not only open, but it’s calling your name.
But before you come, you need to realize this: Some people aren’t too high on you.
The naysayers will claim you’re overrated. They’ll say you’ve never coached a team whose seniors you recruited, that you simply benefit from others’ good decisions. They’ll say you’ve shown “Loose Morals” on the recruiting trail, that you’ve looked the other way when it comes to disciplinary issues. They’ll say you’re not the Michigan Man you make yourself out to be.
And while you may not be perfect, that doesn’t mean you’re not perfect for this job. Because if the most powerful post within Fort Schembechler was specifically designed for anyone, it’s been molded for you.
Does Athletic Director Bill Martin need someone who attracts the old guard – those who grew up in the heat of Bo and Woody’s 10 Year War? How about someone who played and coached under Schembechler, someone who knows his Yosts from his Crislers and his Oosterbaans from his Kipkes?
Does he also need someone who appeals to the new school – those who consistently whined about Lloyd Carr’s conservative playcalling? How about someone who doesn’t think twice about thinking outside the box, someone who tells sideline reporters his offensive philosophy is to “Let’er rip?”
Does anyone you know fit that mold, Les?
The fact that you’re not already embraced by every member of Wolverine Nation is a travesty. When Carr announced his retirement last week, you were coaching the nation’s No. 1 team, just a couple games short of giving Louisiana State its second National Championship in a half century. But when you were asked about the Michigan job, you refused to deny interest in it. You even teared up toward the end of your press conference.
It’s kind of ironic, someone with a sketch reputation refused to sit there and lie to reporters about a potential job offer. Not only is that rarity within your current program (see Nick Saban), but it’s something not seen throughout most of college football these days (see practically everyone else).
Classy, do-the-right-thing coaches are uncommon these days. People like Schembechler, Carr and hmm . I’m sensing a trend here. Possibly a chronology?
In the era of coaches taking high-profile jobs just to use them as stepping stones for even bigger jobs, Bill Martin needs to evaluate who is interested in the Michigan job for the right reasons.
Will you bolt for so-called greener pastures? That would be kind of hard for you to do, considering there’s no such thing in your mind.
Michigan is and always has been your dream job.
Now it’s just time for that dream to become a reality.
– Bell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.