10-27-2004, 09:36 PM
Check this out. The thread starter is a HS coach in Florida and found something very interesting and a little startling!
10-27-2004, 10:13 PM
can you paste article....link requires signup
10-27-2004, 11:26 PM
"I did not write this. It is copied from the high school football message board at FloridaKids.net. It was written by someone with the Username JC-5. It is somewhat long, but a GREAT read. I am by no means a Gator fan, but obviously, I follow all of these coaching stories very closely. I can tell you this: I wouldn't post it here if it didn't sound to me to have major validity. Here it is:
I've been hinting and nudging for three years now and nobody's bitten. I was hoping someone would pick up on it but no one has. So, I've been sitting on this secret for 3 years and I'm about to bust. So here it is.
Stoops is coming to Florida for the 2005 season He has been since January 2002.
When doing work on the SST cookbook and another project I got a chance to talk to a certain U of F sports administration icon, who happens to be one of Spurrier's closest friends. "Why Zook", I asked. He proceeded to spell out for me the Grand Plan as formulated by Jeremy Foley.
We all heard that when SOS quit, Foley had a short list of Stoops, Mike Shanahan and Zook, and that a decision would be made very quickly. It was reported that Stoops considered the job but decided to stay at OU. Foley flew out to talk to Shanahan but he declined as well. He then flew to New Orleans to offer the job to Zook and he accepted, which immediately created a firestorm of dissent and disbelief. "Why Zook?". Heres why.
It was always Bob Stoops intent to Coach at Florida.
Spurrier and Stoops are best of friends and their families still vacation together. It was agreed that when Stoops went to Norman, he would get Head Coaching experience and whenever SOS left he would take the job. Foley was in complete agreement. Then Stoops wins the National Title and proves to Spurrier that if he went ahead and left the football program would be in good hands.
Now here are the events as they occured from behind the scenes. This is not conjecture or internet rumor. This is the gospel.
Spurrier decided for a number of reasons to leave Florida prior to the 2002 Orange Bowl game. But Steve is a Gator through and through, and he wouldn't turn over his program to just anybody. Stoops was coming to take his place and everything would be alright. If you run tape of the press conference, and its available on the Gainesville Sun website, at the end someone asks Spurrier if he felt things would be OK after he left. His response was "Stoopsie's gonna take over, everything's going to be fine".
Turned out it wasn't. Stoops let Foley know that he was having problems with the OU administration, but he was trying to smooth it out. Foley decided on a contingency plan. He would go through the motions of interviewing Shanahan and Zook so it would look like there had been no prior deal with Stoops. Don't want the Sooners suing the Gators.
Stoops tells Foley that he's got everything worked out - he's on his way.
So he schedules a press conference in Norman to make the announcement and Foley schedules one in Gainesville for the next day to introduce the new coach. Everthing's falling into place.
But then it falls apart. The "official" story was that the Oklahoma president cornered Stoops in his office and made an impassioned plea for him to stay, for hus players and to win more championships. The true story is he came and shoved Stoops contract in his face and told him that they were not going to release him from his contract or let him buy out of it, there was no way they were going back to the mediocrity of the post Switzer era and that if he even tried they would sue him and the University of Florida. So Stoops goes to the press conference and gives a very half hearted reasoning on why he suddenly changed his mind and decided to stay at OU.
Problem is he still wants to coach at Florida and Foley desperately wants him. So they come up with a plan. Foley would hire someone to "keep the seat warm" until his contract expired in January 2005. It would have to be someone who could steer the ship for 3 years but willingly step aside for Stoops when the time came.
Foley flies to Norman under the premise of trying to talk Stoops into coming. he was actually trying to strike a deal with the University president. No dice. So he flies to Denver to talk to Shanahan. Mike had been interested in the job but didn't want to be the short timer pawn in this plan. On to New Orleans.
Ron Zook. The perfect fit.
Zook takes the job and the rest is history.
Now for the clinchers. Once again, this is not conjecture, this is fact. As Casey Stengel always said, you can look it up.
Stoops has always wanted to coach at Florida, and he's stated this to other coaches before. He enjoyed his time in Gainesville and wanted to come back.
He never sold his house in Gainesville and still has a beachhouse beside Spurrier's in Crescent Beach. It has always been his intention to return to Florida as Head Coach. He just has to get past the contractual roadblock.
he has refused to sign a contract extension every year since the end of the
2001 extension and his contract expires in January of 2005, when he becomes a free man.
If you ever wondered "why Zook?" now you know. At a coaches convention Florida was voted the most desirable coaching job in the country. Why would Jeremy Foley, whom most would agree is the best Athletic Director in the country, pick someone with no head coaching experience and was about to be fired as Special teams coach of the New Orleans Saints to head up one of the most prestigious college football programs in the country? Because he's simply holding down the fort, and he's known that all along. I think there might have been an understanding that if he really proved himself and maybe won some championships he might be allowed to stay. But that hasn't happened obviously, so he knows this is his last season. He would land some strong recruiting classes, which was always his strong point when he was at Florida before, and keep the Gator's heads above water. Then he would gracefully step aside with a chunk of change a nice letter of recommendation or an administrative position with the University Athletic *** ociation. Then the Stoops era begins.
I know many of you will have doubts about this, but it will all bear out in early January of next year.
Except there are a couple of flies in the ointment.
Bernie Madchen was just hired as the new University President, leaving the same position at Utah. When he left Bowling Green for Utah he brought along his favorite coach, Urban Meyer. There's been a lot of speculation that he will bring Meyer to Florida, but at UF the president doesn't have the power they do at other schools and probably couldn't pull it off. Besides, the powers that be, given the choice between Stoops and Meyer will obviously take Stoops. now Madchen might not have the power to hire a coach but he can veto a candidate, and he could veto Stoops for spite. He might say he wasn't party to that agreement and not compelled to honor it. I hope he doesn't take that route.
The second predicament is this frat house fiasco. The last thing Foley wants is to fire Zook before the end of the season, and since Zook was his choice, he could get drug down in this himself. He might not have then influence to make the plan work, but I seriously doubt once again that they would turn down Stoops."
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