A two-part check in on where we stand on the direction of the Colorado Buffaloes football program.
Do you think firing Embree now was the right move? Why?
Ash: Firstly, I'm shocked. I'd've sworn they were going to give Embree year 3 to display improvement in the W/L record (because really, that's what Joe Buff is looking at). Was it the right move? Wheeellp, if you take what we know now (virtually nothing), and take the decision out of context, it seems rash and ill-considered, and not the right move. At all.
~BUT~ if Bohn has been working in the background for a month, talking with coaches and has possibly picked who he wants to hire next before they ever announced that they were going to let Embree go, then it has the potential to be the right move...depending on who they hire.
Parker: I do think firing Jon Embree now was the right move. I disagreed with the initial hire and do believe a program needs to give a college football coach more than two years to actually see if he can do anything, however, any bit of progress should have been seen in Embree's second year and that wasn't the case whatsoever. This team wasn't competitive and were the laughingstock of not the entire Pac-12, but the entire nation. The attendance for the football games were just as laughable and another of year of Embree & Co. simply wouldn't have been beneficial for the University of Colorado.
Bob: Yes, I get all the perceived negatives of firing a coach only two years in and not being able to attract good candidates because of it. To me, this is an easy explanation to future candidates of why a move was made (there are plenty of reasons this move was made, too many to list) but overall, I believe this move sends the right message that progress is expected. If coaches are scared away by being expected to make progress, we shouldn't hire them. And because no real progress was made this year, that is why I agree with the move. If the Buffs beat CSU and Sacramento State this year, we probably aren't having this discussion. That isn't asking a lot in my opinion. 3 wins. Forget the fact that they were blown out of virtually every other game. 3 wins. Embree said before the season the goal was a bowl game. If it wasn't for a massive comeback against Washington State, they would be winless. It is hard to overlook that fact. That wasn't a fan expectation, nor a Mike Bohn expectation, that was Jon Embree's.
Jon: I absolutely think that Jon Embree should have gotten a third year. There was and is no way that this program was going to be turned around in two seasons. Yes, this year was an abomination and no we did not see progress on the field. I do think that massive changes to the coaching staff would have been necessary and I think that next season would have been six wins or bust. But selfishly, I wanted to see what he could do with another year with this young talent. What would we have looked like if Shane Dillon had finally turned out to be the decent quarterback this program has lacked for so long? Yes, if we had flopped again fan interest and recruiting would have taken a huge hit, but that was a chance I was willing to take.
However, I must say that Embree's actions these last few days have changed my mind. I know it's unfair to say at this after the fact, but it's true. I'm just ready to move on.
David: Yes, I think it was the only option truly available. I don't think 1 more year of Jon Embree & Co. would've accomplished anything, especially if they were going to be starting over on offense and defense.
Denny: Ok, yes, I think he had to go after this season. We (the Buffs) just completed the worst season in team history. There has to be accountability for that.
Now that being said this (when I say "this" I mean the entire tenure of the Embree coaching regime) was handled terribly. This staff was set up for disaster. You CAN NOT place people (JE, EB, Brown) in a position that far above their experience level, with absolutely no foundation to build on, and with absolutely no resources or support and expect anything short of disaster. This is as true for college football as it is for business. If you DO place people in this position then you have to give them every possible resource and all the support in the world. You also have to give them the time to learn and to build. I would bet that if you asked JE today, he would tell you he is 10x the coach today than he was day one of his tenure. Still a ton to learn and to grow, but better. Now we will never see the fruits of all the growing pains we witnessed.
I think I just changed my own mind. I am so on the fence on this. Problem is, it doesn't matter what side of the fence I fall because on one side is a bunch of razor sharp broken glass and the other piles of rusty nails.
The hire of JE and an over their heads staff set us up disaster.
By Jon Woods