On paper, this guy sounds intriguing

IF JIM STERK AND BILL MOOS found a coaching candidate with four national championship rings in his dresser drawer, BCS conference head coaching experience, first-hand knowledge of Pullman, and a reputation as one of the finest recruiters in the land – one with deep connections in California – what would you say?

Or maybe the question should be this: Is there anything other than "HIRE HIM!" that you can say?

Such a creature does exist, fellow Coug fans. And he's available.

Whether he's interested in WSU or whether WSU is interested in him, I know not. But on paper, at least, you have to admit he's damn intriguing.

His name is Ed Orgeron.

He's a high-energy personality who made a national name for himself in seven years at USC, where he variously served as assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach. He won two national titles with the Trojans in 2003 and 2004. He grabbed two other national championship rings at Miami with Dennis Erickson.

One of his proudest achievements, though, seems to be conquering the alcoholism that plagued his life a decade or more ago.

For the last three years he's been the head coach at Ole Miss. The Runnin' Rebs fired him last week following the indignation of another loss to arch-rival Mississippi State.

Ole Miss was 10-25 in Orgeron's three years at the helm. He inherited a program that was nothing less than a mess and proceeded to assemble nationally acclaimed recruiting classes. But he never had a quarterback with major-conference talent -- and the one he hoped to build around, highly touted Brent Schaffer, never panned out -- so the losses mounted despite a vastly improved defense.

In the Southeast Conference, three years is the old five – as in the time a coach is given to turn around a failing program.

At the start of the season, many observers down south would have been surprised if you'd told them Orgeron would be dumped at year's end. The talent he was attracting looked promising and his passionate, upbeat personality fit well with the school.


INTRIGUING THOUGHT: ED ORGERON

But zero wins in SEC games this season proved too much. It didn't help that he had to discipline 20 players for stealing from hotels. Nor did it help that hated rival Mississippi State managed four SEC wins. Or that a whopping six teams in the league are in the top 25.

From what I know of his personality, he seems like a nice fit for Pullman. From what I know of his recruiting prowess (his photo is next to the phrase "Could sell air conditioning to Eskimos") and his connections in California, he could do for WSU what Jeff Tedford did so quickly at Cal.

At the very least, he offers up some food for thought that goes beyond the standard discussion about Mike Price, John L. Smith, Paul Wulff and Bob Gregory.


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