[EDITOR'S NOTE]: Now that news has come out that Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper has withdrawn his name from consideration for the Army coaching job, some will conclude that this opinion piece is irrelevant. Well, maybe it is, but since I took the time to write it before the announcement, I figured I'd still post it. I'd also argue that certain points of this article are still worth thinking about if you are a college football program in need of a head coach today – or tomorrow.
If Army is looking for someone to lead their team who has first-hand knowledge of how to stop their archrival's potent triple-option attack every year, Navy defensive coordinator Buddy Green would definitely be at the top of the list. Green faces the offense every day in practice and he probably has some significant insight on how to stop it. And even though Army does play eleven other teams each season, hiring a head coach who can immediately make an impact in your biggest game each season is not a bad place to start. Furthermore, Green is a great recruiter and his defensive unit is coming off its best season under his command.
However, Army needs an offensive-minded coach to lead its team out of the doldrums of college football and for several reasons Ivin Jasper would be a great choice to do it. Here are just five of them:
1) Jasper would bring an offense with instant credibility. Just imagine if there was zero doubt in the minds of anybody associated with
2) According to athletic director Kevin Anderson, service academy experience is a prerequisite to be the next head football coach at Army. Now before I confirm the obvious (Jasper has that bullet on his resume as well) let me say that this is a silly stipulation. Before I get a million emails from service academy graduates telling me I'm an idiot, let me explain. First and foremost, the number one requirement for the next Army football coach should be that he knows what it will take to turn the Black Knights into winners again. I don't think Urban Meyer has any service academy coaching experience, but I bet he could turn Army into a winning program. I bet Meyer would be a heck of a recruiter too. He'd bring enthusiasm, energy, and a fire to win. Of course that is not going to happen, but if you are Kevin Anderson and Urban Meyer was interested, do you really turn him down because he does not have ‘service academy' experience? You can argue that this is not a realistic scenario, but my only point is if you stop short of looking for the best coach it could come back to bite you. But since it is a necessary requirement, Jasper brings that experience and will understand cadet-life, and blah, blah, blah.
3) Jasper's departure would hurt Navy's football program. (And anytime Army can affect Navy's team in a negative but fair way outside of the field, it is an opportunity that should always be pursued.) A very smart person recently told me that there are only a handful of people in college football who know the Mids' triple-option offense…I mean really know it. Two of those coaches are in
4) Jasper once told me that he is always striving for perfection in every aspect of the game. That would play very nicely at
5) Ok, I will say it – Jasper is an African American and college football could really use more black coaches at the Division I level. I think the latest count is what 5 out of 119? That is pathetic. And while the color of one's skin should never be the only factor considered when hiring a coach, I truly believe Jasper would be a great role model and help turn the tide in a profession that seems to be anything but color blind. Jasper would turn that tide because above all else he would turn
[EDITOR'S NOTE #2] When I heard Jasper had withdrawn his name, I think my sigh of relief could be heard from