Time for a Little Respect

Something is missing in this coaching search when you look around, particularly at much of the media in our backyard. That missing element is respect.

The names seriously tossed out for the vacant Arkansas State coaching position, especially in Central Arkansas are to put it mildly, laughable.

Since December of 2010 Arkansas State has hired Hugh Freeze a former Ole Miss assistant. He had left San Jose State to be offensive coordinator at AState. We've hired the highest paid assistant in college football. AState has hired the offensive coordinator of the University of Texas.

We start construction on a full-size indoor football field in February. A public pledge has been made to donate $5 million to upgrade the press box at Liberty Bank (soon Centennial Bank) Stadium. Fund-raising is underway for the new football complex that will include new offices, meeting rooms, locker rooms, weight facility and sports medicine facility as well as upgraded premium seating.

AState is the fourth winningest program among the so-called G5 conferences over the past three years, 22nd in FBS overall and the average power rating over the past three years is safely within the top 50 of FBS.

Bryan Harsin was the 18th highest paid coach among the 62 G5 schools and John Thompson was not only the highest paid assistant in the Sun Belt, he was paid more than any MAC or C-USA assistant.

Terry Mohajir stated that some current FBS coaches have inquired about the AState job. While many people may snort in derision over that comment, look at the numbers. This year 18 head coaches in FBS who posted winning records were paid less than Bryan Harsin. Seven made at least $300,000 less than Harsin.

With all that going on what do we get in the way of respect?

People throwing out names like Tim Horton, Clint Conque, Scott Maxfield, Kevin Kelly, Willie Fritz and Houston Nutt.

Conque and Fritz have been very successful at the FCS level but they lack much in the way of experience coaching at the FBS level. Maxfield has done great things in Division II but lacks FBS experience. Kelly is a nationally known high school coach but he has so far refused to follow the path of Freeze, Malzahn, or Clemson OC Morris and pursue an assistant position at the FBS level to gain the experience needed to be seen as a candidate for such a job. Horton's background is run game and that flies in the face of AState's successful hiring model. Nutt? He has collected $9 million in buyouts being sent packing from FBS jobs.

Let all that sink in. People toss those names in a serious manner at a school that has the resources to easily double the salary of seven bowl eligible FBS coaches.

Arkansas State has made fantastic strides and is owed far more respect than is being paid.

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