Two years is simply not enough time to rebuild a program from the ground up. This is especially true when you consider that the cupboard was bare regarding talent and the program was coming off five consecutive losing seasons including the Nation’s longest road losing streat (which Embree’s team finally put an end to).
Given the hand that Coach Embree was dealt, did you really expect him – or any other coach – to compete this year in the talent-loaded PAC-12? Did you think another coach – with these players – would have somehow figured out how to cover USC receivers or OR running backs? Did you think Embree’s team should have at least kept it close when they played programs that were light-years ahead of CU in program development?
I don’t know about you, but I expected that, even if Coach Embree did his job properly, the Buffs would get crushed most Saturdays this season because they were simply outmatched talent-wise and most of them were underclassmen (this was the Nation’s youngest team, remember?). Losing’s not acceptable, but I realized it would take more than two years for that to change.
To truly be given an opportunity to succeed in college football, any coach must be given adequate time to recruit players, lay a proper foundation, sort through the system-wide, deeply-ingrained problems we have here and, in this case, change the culture from the bottom up. Two years is far from enough time to begin to translate these changes into PAC-12 wins.
With Embree, we had a class act who did things the right way: he loved these kids, was passionate about the program, didn’t cut corners, fostered student-athlete success (a school record for athlete GPA), and had just begun the process of bottom up culture-changing that this program desparately needs but that takes more than two years. If given the opportunity, I believe all of this would have eventually translated into wins on the football field.
Sometimes due to circumstances beyond one’s control, you are forced to take a step back before you can really move forward. That is what we witnessed with Jon Embree this season.
Yes, you were put in a really tough spot. Yes, the losses were ugly and lopsided. Yes, one could easily perceive that after this season we were on the precipice of a freefall that might take years to recover from. But guess what: we were already in freefall when you hired Embree. We were a few feet away from splattering on the pavement (some would say we already splattered, but that wouldn’t help my analogy). As it turns out, you wanted Embree to pull the parachute inches from impact and somehow save our program.
By firing Coach Embree you panicked and made a hasty, wrong decision. You ripped this program apart. You denied Coach Embree any fair chance to demonstrate that he could turn the program around, and then told the Nation during your press conference that our program was "high risk." What kind of message does that send? We all make mistakes. This is your greatest mistake as AD at CU.
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