Dan McCarney, in his State of the Program speech to reporters said that last year felt totally different than this year.
That’s something we’ve all said. How much blame should we assign the coaching staff and when that is done, what do we do? Should Mac be fired? Put on the “hot seat“? What about the atrocious offense? Should Mike Canales be let go?
Well, it seems Danny Mac has decided he wants his staff to remain.
We were disappointing on offense this year. We weren’t nearly as good as we could have been or would like to be and used three quarterbacks. What am I going to do, turn around and fire a bunch of guys? I take my time. I evaluate and am loyal, but my expectation is to win. Everyone has their job to do. If they do their job and every day I see them doing what I expect of them even though we didn’t get the results we wanted, then I want them by my side. If not, we will make adjustments.
That is reasonable. I believe in empowering those who work for you. If you yank a job immediately after a mistake, you make those employees risk-averse. Granted, this was the worst offense we’ve had in a while. In Canales’ defense, he did just helm the most prolific a season before. That highlights the importance of the QB position, despite Danny Mac’s desire to have a bus driver.
MGN will have an entire series wonkishly breaking this all down but my gut reaction is that Dan McCarney is a good coach who had a bad season. He’s rightly identified the problem areas: the poor talent evaluation, poor recruiting, poor coaching. There are more ways to fix these things than just replacing people.
In fact, firing coaches is the most disruptive thing you can do. Recruits and existing players have built relationships with these guys and disruption isn’t the best remedy with Signing Day just three months away.
North Texas needed a proven D-1 /FBS coach when it signed McCarney. He has proven to be just that. He has won more games than his immediate predecessors against better competition. He won a damned bowl game for little old UNT.
Sure, we can’t stand still if we alumni and fans want a successful program. We can’t be impatient, either.
Every job has it’s performance cycles. In Mac’s case that is seasonally, perhaps annually. In this particular annual review I’d rate him as Below Expectations. Last year I’d rate him as Sig Above. The years before that, Consistent With, and Above.
It isn’t just wins and losses, either. It is the way we win or lose. That matters. Sure, this isn’t Texas and we don’t spend a fortune on athletics, marketing, coaches, recruiting, and outreach. But does that mean you allow 44 a game on the road? Does that mean your QBs look like they picked up the game over the summer? Does that mean you have the worst offense in the last six year?
Similarly, you have to put it all in context. And wins and losses aren’t the only thing the guy is judged on. He is great with boosters, and fans, and the media. That goes a long way. He also got to a bowl game and was one game away from playing in the CUSA title game. That’s impressive relative to our history. I say judge him fully in two more years because that would mean four whole years of his coaches, his players, his legacy.1
Mac is great with fans. The Why Not North Texas speech was great. He’s a great motivator. He’s done a lot to get people in the stands. The bowl game and wins last year were great. The losses this year hurt attendance but wins will always bring more to the stadium than losses.
If you want to judge him on Mean Green Club or alumni association memberships, or the advertising, and all that is on the Athletic Director. There are numerous threads on why/how/ this is the case.
As I get further into my alumni-dom I see what the old (fogies) have been complaining about. Here in San Antonio the alumni outreach began great but the momentum died because of some administrative problems in Denton.
I met a guy at my tailgate that graduated in 2002. He said he never gets anything UNT related through email, regular mail, nothing.
I don’t think Danny Mac has email blast responsibilities. So I wont blame him for that. The guy did mention he saw us in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on TV. I do think Danny Mac had a hand in that.
- RV is probably on a different timeline. He gets judged on the bball team too. That would be more damning if that was the revenue-program here. It isn’t. ↩