Chuck Reedy was head coach during Baylor's first Big 12 season. He managed a win against a lowly Iowa State team, but that was the only conference win he got, along with three non-conference wins to go 4-7. Citing that players had seemed to quit on him, he was fired following the final game of the season, following the taping of his weekly TV show where he extolled the positives to look for in 1997. Chuck had one more year remaining on his contract at the time.
Enter Dave Roberts from Notre Dame who had been given a ringing endorsement by his new ex-boss, Lou Holtz. Dave could only manage two wins his first season, winning a scoring fest 37-35 at Fresno State, and then beating a Texas Longhorn team in their final season under John Mackovic. The next season was no better as Roberts' team could only muster wins against one non-conference foe and Kansas. The win over N. Carolina State came only a week after NCS's huge upset win over Florida State. In any event, after allegedly alienating many Texas high school football coaches, and other issues, Roberts was summarily dismissed. Hired under a multi-year contract as well, Roberts was also an "early dismissal."
Enter Kevin Steele who was also hired under a multi-year contract which wound up being for five years. Should he be terminated, which is the general speculation, at or near the end of the current football season, he too will have been dismissed before the culmination of his contract. It completes a precedent that won't go unnoticed by any new coach coming onto the scene.
Therefore, any new coach will be sure to "insulate" himself against early termination. There will surely be penalty clauses to avoid a repeat of past actions. But that's just the surface of what a new coach is going to find out when he comes calling to see about coaching at Baylor. The following are some things he might need to be told so that he will know fully what he might expect to find when he comes to Baylor.
JUCO's – Every new coach coming into a program is going to want to expect to be able to jump-start that team with some juco's. One thing he is going to learn, although it is much better than it was before Kevin Steele did some repairs on it, is that all those juco's attending Kansas State and other schools right now, helping them to be better, could not get into Baylor. No, there are some other criteria in place that would prevent most of those junior college players from ever experiencing more than a visit to Baylor U.
FANS – Ah yes, another wrinkle has been added to the formulation. There is a group of fans who don't necessarily have the same agenda as the university. The new coach may be hired by Baylor, may be employed by Baylor, and therefore will coach the Baylor football team, but now there is an addition to what "once was." Now there is this group of fans made up of some ex-football stars, some "regent wannabes," and some "strings-attached" donors who have their own timetable and watermarks for success. If the new coach doesn't win as many games as they think should be won within a specified time, they're going to begin applying pressure. Oh, and no blowout losses. From now on, there can be no blowout losses – it's a sign you're not improving. To this group, the only improvement they count is Baylor's. As far as they are concerned, Baylor can and will improve at a faster rate than any other team in the conference. If you can't do that, then you're falling farther behind and that is just not acceptable.
RECRUITING - If you're not able to lure recruits away from Texas, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma, then you might be in trouble, because many of these fans feel that you have to have those recruits in order to beat those teams. So, don't worry about your own evaluations and your own recruiting abilities – just wait and see who the commitments are for those other schools and go out and get them – that's all that will make them happy. If you don't, then they're going to say that you are recruiting inferior talent and they cannot compete against these other schools. They'll also get on the internet and say they know more about who you should be recruiting than you do and really making things difficult for you with their internet threats and innuendoes. This may mean that you get met on occasion by a mother of a prospective recruit handing you something she has printed off the internet about your program as you enter the door. You might expect to use up the first portion of your only official visit explaining the printout. The new coach is told not to worry about it however because most of them doing that sort of thing don't think the internet hurts recruiting anyway, so what's the harm?
Oh, and one final thing about this group of fans. Since you're here, well it means that they were successful in removing your predecessor. Having been successful about that, now they may decide they don't like one of your coaches. Oh, did I forget to tell you? It might not be a good idea to bring a staff with you. They don't like for you to include any relatives on your staff. It might be all right for Bob Stoops to hire Mike Stoops, and other coaches at other successful teams to have family members employed, but from the very beginning, here at Baylor? Well, they're not happy with that. They're also not altogether happy if your assistants are close friends you know and trust. They are only interested in pedigree and what successes they have had wherever they've been. So, you may want to reconsider who you're going to bring in after you're hired. I'm sure they will expect to be included in the decision process. Now, if you don't play ball with them, they'll form boycotts, put ads in newspapers, withhold contributions, and make every attempt, moral or otherwise to thwart your successes so that you can more quickly be replaced.
Oh, and welcome to Baylor – Thee's University.