Friday, April 04, 2008

Electioneering: Mike Singletary

You’ve seen the best.

And the imitation of the best.

And the kind of similar, but from a different angle.

Now, read the rest. Run got his act together on this faster than I did, but he seems intent to look at some of the more obvious candidates for eventual succession. I, on the other hand, will be going a little more off the beaten path in my efforts. I don’t look forward to the day when Joe does step down, however in preparation expect some serious, some joking and a few fictional options to be offered for the sake of discussion. First up:

Mike Singletary
Born: October 9, 1958
Graduate of Baylor

Playing Career:
Linebacker for the Chicago Bears (1981-1992)
- 10-time Pro-Bowler
- Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Coaching Career:
Linebackers Coach for the Baltimore Ravens (2003-2004)
Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers for the San Francisco 49ers (2005)
Assistant Head Coach/Defense for the San Francisco 49ers (2006-present)
- Coached at the Senior Bowl 2007 and 2008

Outside of an outstanding professional career as a player, he has, in a short time, become a highly regarded coach often rumored for new head coach openings. I believe he has interviewed with the Cowboys, Chargers and Falcons for head coaching positions and was the lead candidate to take over at his alma mater Baylor before withdrawing his name from consideration.

In 2001, he won the Walter Camp “Man of the Year” award, which “honors an individual who has been closely associated with the game of football as a player, coach or close attendant to the game. He must have attained a measure of success and been a leader in his chosen profession. He must have contributed to the public service for the benefit of his community, country and his fellow man. He must have an impeccable reputation for integrity and must be dedicated to our American Heritage and the philosophy of Walter Camp.”

He’s highly charismatic and does motivational speaking on the side. I believe he would be excellent recruiter, Parents (ok, mostly fathers) would remember his playing career and he also has the NFL coaching to tout, so he can competently explain how to get recruits from high school to the pros.

Red Flags:
Ultimately, his goal is to be an NFL head coach, then again Paterno was just coaching to make money for law school and see how that turned out. I would expect him to be with the program for 5 years or less, depending upon his success, but he may love it and stay, who knows? The question remains, would someone that’s short term be the best answer following Paterno? When it’s all said and done, it could benefit both parties involved (the school and the successor if they want to move to the NFL), since it would put a little distance between the legend and those that follow.

Not cheap, but he may come at a discount from what the market demands in order to get that Head Coach title.

Would he take the job?
Possibly, Penn State is a traditional big-name college football program. Success would be highly visible and garner attention.

Would fans revolt?
I doubt it. There may be some misgivings that he’s an “outsider” and doesn’t have head coaching or coordinator experience, but college coaching is by and large teaching-centered (just ask Charlie Weis), putting together a competent staff will take care of the rest. His time at the Senior Bowl may prove invaluable in regards to knowing how to teach and work with college athletes as opposed to the pros.

Everything I see or hear about Mike Singletary makes me like him more and more. It would be a daring move and wholly unrealistic move to expect from Penn State, so I’m kidding myself, but I like to dream.

* Before anyone asks. Yes, we will look at Greg Manusky, also on the Niners staff, eventually. I’ve got a whole list of names to address.


drozz said...

unfortunately, i think singletary is staying with the nfl. if he did come down, it would only be a lunching pad for him.

hypothetically, i wouldn't mind him as a head coach. i believe he has the tools and talent, and would be a monster recruiter.

galen-sorry to hear about the untimely demise of frosty freeze.

every time something like this happens in my life, i go to this site:

gets me my government recommended daily dose of freshness

Nick said...

I think you're right that he'll probably stay in the NFL and like I said he'd be here 5 years or less with the emphasis on the less. Of course who knows? He could fall in love with Penn State. Even if he doesn't, a short term coach might beneficial and have something long term for the guy that follows the guy that followed Joe. Most of the people I'm planning on looking at would never be on Penn State's radar even if they publicly campaigned for the job.

Anonymous said...

He'd be great recruiter, but I think the only coaching job in the collegiate ranks he wanted was the Baylor job. His son Matt is on the Baylor team and Mike is a very strong Christian man. I think it would be very hard for him to express his faith at a state school. However, I'd love to see him at Penn State and show the Baylor faithful how stupid they were in not hiring him.

Nick said...

I believe he withdrew his name, probably because Baylor is where head coaching careers go to die. He may be swayed by a bigger name program though, since it would allow him to establish himself as a head coach, I mean Charlie Weis could have had practically any job in the NFL he wanted after his first year at Notre Dame.

Anonymous said...


Never thought about MS, but what a great candidate. I would consider him a home run if he brought in some new Offensive talent.

I would think he would be a stud recruiter. Young, black, former pro player/coach and a good dude...not bad


Anonymous said...


Never thought about MS, but what a great candidate. I would consider him a home run if he brought in some new Offensive talent.

I would think he would be a stud recruiter. Young, black, former pro player/coach and a good dude...not bad


Nick said...

Thanks, I'm hoping to flex some creative thinking in terms of coaching candidates here. RUTS hit the majority of known candidates already. I would say all the ones I'll explore go firmly in the "there's no way in hell" or " you're joking right?" categories.

Run Up The Score! said...

Honestly, if you're going for long shots, this is one of the best out there. I think he'd be ideal.

Paterno Lives! said...

i'm not totally sold on the idea, but i never thought about the upside of a 3,4,5 and done type of guy...i think you are right on regarding the importance of distancing