Got a Chance to Meet and Visit with Franchione

What an evening it was. I saw and spoke to several former Baylor coaches. I also met and spoke at length with new Aggie boss, Dennis Franchione. Art Briles was there, as was Patterson from TCU, Les Miles from Oklahoma State, and coaches from not only around the state of Texas, but Northwestern, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, California, and others. The occassion was the Houston Touchdown Club's annual awards banquet, but with all the goings on with coaches, I don't remember who won.

First of all, it was "old home week." I ran into and spoke with several former Baylor Coaches: Lee Fobbs (A&M), Brick Haley (Georgia Tech), Eddie Williamson (TCU), and Darryl Drake (Texas) this evening. I had extended conversations with the first three, and only exchanged greetings and salutations with the last two.

Let me tell you something else brand new. Now, you may or may not hear this at the press conference in Waco later today. It may come out later, but as far as I know, you are reading it first, right here.

The deal with Guy and Jackie Morriss was done yesterday afternoon at just about 3:00 pm. Robert Sloan and Tom Stanton had just finished showing Guy and Jackie all around the campus, etc. They were sitting in President Sloan's driveway. Inside the Sloan home, Sue was in the kitchen. She was praying. Every once in a bit, she'd look out the window and see them in the car, and frankly, the longer they were there, the harder she prayed. Suddenly, the door flew open, and Jackie Morriss came in, grabbed Sue Sloan by the arms (just above the elbows, the way women do that) and said, "How 'bout dem bears!" The deal was done, and it was barely after three o'clock.

You can read all about the Touchdown Club's banquet and awards ceremony on-line, on the newspaper sites so I won't report on those events, except to let you know that one of our own Aubrey Schulze was one of 8 finalists for Coach of the Year. He didn't win it.

Afterwards, Nick (Nichols) and I retired to the hotel for some refreshment. We had a table just on the perimeter, there in the hotel. Brick Haley came walking back. He was really interested in visiting with that Dayton OL (Kharylake Martin) who had de-committed from Arkansas. I didn't give out any addresses. Anyway, I asked him how long it had been since he talked to Kevin (Steele). He said he had talked to him recently, but not in the last month. I asked him if he'd like to, and he said, "sure." I pulled the cell phone out of my pocket, found the number, and dialed it. Kevin answered the phone and I asked him if he was busy, to which he replied he was always busy and what did I want. I said there is someone here who wants to talk with you. He asked me who it was, and I just told him someone he'd want to talk to, too, and gave the phone to Brick. Well, that conversation went for a bit, then Lee Fobbs found out who he was on the phone with and took it away from him, then Tim Cassidy (A&M) found out and he took the phone from Lee, and he talked awhile.

About the time Brick was handing off to Lee, Dennis Franchione walked up. He saw all the phone passing and was curious. He came up to the "little fence" that separated the small round table Nick and I were at from the hall way. He looked right at me (I was wearing my green Baylor jacket with shirt and tie, and I said, "Coach Franchione - welcome to the Big 12." He said, "Thank your very much." To which I replied, "we'll see you sometime in October." He said "Yes, I guess you will."

It was at this time he went into our new coaching hire. He told me that he felt like we got a great coach in Guy Morriss and that he felt like he would do a good job for us. I told him that, to me, the best part might be that we were getting John Goodner back. To that, he said that John Goodner was a great coach and a great defensive mind. He said we were very lucky to have him. I then took the opportunity to introduce myself and Nick, and said, "well, like I said, we'll see you in October." He said he'd be looking forward to it.

It was about this time that I spotted Brick Haley and he no longer had my phone. I asked him what he did with my phone, and he said Lee stole it. Well, I didn't see Lee anywhere, so I left the table and went around and out of the bar. I walked to the end of the passageway, and saw Lee talking on my phone down the corridor to the right. I turned to tell Brick I had found the phone, and then saw this person I had never met before take the phone way from Lee. It turned out to be Tim Cassidy, who does football operations at Texas A&M, among other things. Then Brick got the phone back, and I spent some time talking with Tim. He told me how far back he and Kevin's relationship had gone when Kevin tried to get him to be in charge of football operations when Steele was at Nebraska. It didn't work out, but Cassidy and Steele have been great friends ever since. He told me some other stuff, but it would most like bore you, so I will omit it.

About this time, Brick gave me my phone back. I asked Kevin if he had enjoyed being passed around to almost everybody in the house, and he said, yeah, it was a great time and thanks for thinking about him like that. I told him I thought he'd get a kick out of it. Then Kevin Steele asked me what I thought about our new coach. I told him that the more I learned about him the better I liked him and that I really liked the idea of getting John Goodner back. He said that this group would do a good job for us, but he said, "Mike, they have to give him time." I said, "Well, he signed up for six years." And he sort of got me, here, because then it replied, "Hey! That don't mean a thing." "Mike, they have to give the guy enough time to do his thing - but hey look, I gotta go, and thanks again for thinking about me. I, too, said goodbye and hung up. To me, I suppose it was finally saying goodbye to the former coach, and ushering in a new era. I don't mean as a friend, for that will continue, but it was saying goodbye.

About this time, I heard Coach Fran talking to a couple of people. He was saying how "they even got hold of my cell phone number" . . . I interjected that "yeah, and your message box is full." He said, "No doubt." That was pretty much the evening. Hope you enjoyed it reading about it as much as I did being there.

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