clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Potential USF Football Coaching Candidates: Joe Riggins from “Bull Durham”

We are no longer constrained by reality.

Kevin Costner And Modern West In Concert
Good ol’ Crash Davis.
Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

In every coaching search, there’s always somebody suggesting ridiculous candidates for the job. Instead of waiting for those wack ideas to come to us, we’re being proactive and bringing our wack ideas to you.

Joe Riggins (last known job: manager, Durham Bulls)

I know we've already suggested a couple non-football coaches for the job, such as Joe Maddon and Skip Holtz. But if I had to pick a fictional coach to lead USF football, I'd give good ol' Joe Riggins a try.

We’ve all seen his tantrum in the shower. It’s a sports movie classic.

As transparent as that act was, it motivated his young charges to play better. Class A baseball players are about the same age as college football players, so this approach could work in that sport's locker room. Even big, tough football players don't want to be lollygaggers.

People tend to forget the scene before that, where Riggins admits to Crash Davis that he didn't know how to motivate his squad. "They're kids. Scare 'em," came the terse answer. So he did. And it worked!

Most head coaches, in any sport, are too egotistical and controlling to seek out help. Many want only yes-men as assistants. Jim Leavitt was an exception to that. He had no aversion to putting former BCS head coaches, NFL players, and other highly accomplished people on staff. As a result, USF had better assistants and position coaches than they should have. I’ve always felt this was an ingredient of the team's early success.

Finally, I like how he handles breaking bad news to players. “The organization wants to make a change,” he says grimly. Bad news is delivered directly and honestly, in a low tone that shows empathy for the player. In an era that’s seen many coaches fired for mistreating players, this is a welcome trait.

So give Joe Riggins a try. We've already seen him successfully lead a team called the Bulls.