Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Embree's firing hasn't escaped attention of the media. What are people saying about Colorado's football melodrama?
And if you think Colorado gave Embree a quick hook, Southern Miss sacked Ellis Johnson after one winless season. It's hard out there as a coach.
Colorado (9). Former power program is in shambles, riding a seven-year streak of losing records. Bottom fell out this year in a 1-11 disaster that forced the ouster of second-year coach Jon Embree. Worst thing is, nobody in the administration seems to know how to fix it. Colorado has one of the most beautiful campuses and stadiums to sell to recruits, but fundraising is difficult and resources are way behind. With UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State all freshly respectable, upward mobility in the Pac-12 South won't be easy.
Shocking Score of the Year: Fresno State 48, Colorado 0 (16). After just 22 minutes and 14 seconds of play. A Pac-12 team should never be 48 points behind a Mountain West team in a quarter and a half. Ever. Now you know why Embree only got two years in Boulder.
"You've got to roll the dice on a lot of different things," Embree said of turning CU football around with an impatient boss. "You expose the university, you put the university at risk. If you hire the next guy and say, 'You've got two years' ... keep your fingers crossed." Embree deserves respect for trying to build CU football the right way. He also deserved at least another year to show that progress was being made and his young team was on the rise. But don't feel too sorry for Embree.
He knew CU was a difficult job before he accepted the challenge. He hired coordinators without experience at those positions, compounding his lack of experience as a head coach. His team finished 1-11 this season and was humiliated on the scoreboard and in the national statistics. "I'm going to be OK," said Embree, who is owed $1.625 million. "But it's hard leaving these kids." The vibe in the Dal Ward Center on a gloomy Monday was that players are shocked by this turn of events and are having a hard time buying the message the leadership at CU is selling.
F- ….for the direction that the Colorado football program was going because as much as we like Jon Embree the Colorado football program was going…. NOWHERE. PERIOD. In our opinion at least. As for the state of Colorado football and the quality of the job on the Coaches Hot Seat Head Coaching Job Quality Scale we would rate the CU job as a…. 7 …..meaning it is a… Head Coaching Job Worth Pursuing …and is in our opinion Colorado is a Head Coaching Job that could easily be a… 9 ….on our Quality Scale IF the RIGHT Head Coach took over at Colorado.
“I come from a personal standpoint, but I don’t think he got a fair shake,” Bannan said. “Coach Embree is a friend. And he found me in high school (Bella Vista HS in Fair Oaks, Calif.). He recruited me. “He was my first (position) coach at CU. I have a lot of history with him. I go way back with the guy. I know who he is and what he’s about. “Personally, two years is not enough time for any coach. That’s my personal thought. I think his firing was wrong.”
"I think men of color have a more difficult road to tread," he said. "I think that many people don't realize it. "I heard the chancellor say it doesn't matter what color Jon Embree is. To me, that offends every person of color out there. It's as if to suggest that everything is done on a fair scale. It's not done on a fair scale. Men of color don't have the same priveleges or same opportunities and they are under greater pressure when they step in. For some reason our culture has dialed up something that causes us to have less confidence in people of color. I'm telling you, this guy can match wits with any white guy out there. This Embree guy is the real deal. He was doing it the right way." CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard said McCartney was misrepresenting the chancellor. Hilliard said DiStefano never said it doesn't matter what color Embree is. "The chancellor said we didn't hire Jon Embree because he's African-American and we didn't fire him because he's African-American," Hilliard said.
One of those punches Embree did not pull was about his future. The coach said, "We don't get second chances" in speaking about black coaches and the odds that he gets another shot at a head coaching job. At the big-time college football level, outside of Ty Willingham, Embree's not exactly wrong. Sylvester Croom, Karl Dorrell, Turner Gill and Randy Shannon aren't showing up on any BCS school's short list after their first gigs. So, yes, odds are Embree will not be coaching in the collegiate ranks anytime soon if history holds true. Before you scream about how they weren't any good, pump your brakes. This is less about rehiring bad coaches and more about just how much farther the minority coach has to go to level the playing field.
Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn was on his way to the microphone Monday when he stopped. He stood for more than three minutes, looking across the room as the man he just fired as CU's head football coach, Jon Embree, received hugs from teary-eyed players. It had to be one of the more awkward moments of Bohn's 71/2-year tenure as CU athletic director, with dozens of football players making it very clear who they supported.
Less than two years after proudly introducing Embree as head coach, Bohn sat in front of media, current players and alumni and admitted he was wrong again. "Obviously the athletic director has culpability in that and I recognize that," he said. "You can look at many programs around the country and sometimes it takes just the exact perfect situation to pull that together. "In the end, I'm accountable for it, but I don't make every single decision on my own."
The feeling among Colorado boosters and administrators, however, was the Buffs couldn't continue in their present direction after they moved in up in the college football pecking order by joining the Pac-12 before the 2011 season. There was little to suggest things were going to get better anytime soon.
Yes, Colorado was young this fall. Yes, Embree inherited a struggling Big 12 team lacking the talent to compete in the Pac-12. But there were few signs of improvement this fall, at least too few for Embree to be retained for a third season. Fair? No. The ugly reality of a sport that has become the primary revenue stream for many universities? Absolutely.
Colorado offers plenty of challenges -- including restrictive rules on giving assistant coaches multi-year contracts, which is now the standard at A-list programs -- but the program has won before, including a split national title in 1990.