This Column Is Ironic: Farm-Grown Head Coaches (And Technically, They’re Organic, Too!)

Opinion by Shane Savitsky
Jan. 13, 2011, 12:09 a.m.

This Column Is Ironic: Farm-Grown Head Coaches (And Technically, They’re Organic, Too!)Jim Harbaugh, the man who brought us to the college football promised land, has left the green pastures of the Farm for the even greener pastures of the National Football League. It’s a sad time for the football program, but an exciting one as well. There were some big names being thrown around for our head-coaching vacancy—Boise State’s Chris Petersen chief among them—but recent indications are that our next head coach is already here at Stanford. David Shaw? Vic Fangio? I’m all for promoting someone from within the existing Stanford coaching structure, but that’s thinking too small. There are plenty of other people on campus who have the potential to be the next head coach of the Stanford Cardinal. Here are my impressions regarding just a few of them. Bob Bowlsby, are you reading this?

Andrew Luck

He obviously loves this place—more than Harbaugh, anyway. After all, he turned down roughly $60 million from the Carolina Panthers to come back to the Farm. Plus, did you watch the coverage of the Orange Bowl? Announcers haven’t managed a lovefest for a single player like that since Tebow. (And Luck didn’t even have to save the souls of Filipino orphans using Bibles he wrote in his own blood!) Over the course of the game, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden basically convinced themselves that Luck is the second coming of Touchdown Jesus. If that’s the case and he’s coming back for another year, why shouldn’t he coach the team, too?

Dean Julie

Initially, Dean Julie would make a beast of a recruiter. Just imagine: she would hold a big, inspirational event in MemAud telling the incoming recruiting class that they would be the “next great Stanford football recruiting class of 2011.” Morale would be sky high! However, the football program would soon fall apart because no one in the recruiting class would ever see her again after that event.

The Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band

Their patented scatter formations might be a distinct change from the pro-style offense installed under Harbaugh, but this is a choice with close ties to the football program. However, it is unclear whether Luck would be able to run the offense effectively when he’s forced to take a shot of tequila after every incomplete pass. In addition, the LSJUMB probably has a very different definition for “shotgun” than what the football team is currently used to.

A Stanford sorority

Bowlsby showed that he could think outside the box when he hired Harbaugh, a relative unknown from the University of San Diego. Thus, he might appreciate the unorthodox idea of having an entire sorority chapter coach our football team. Sorry, Bob, but this choice would be a terrible decision for the program. Theta? The football team embodies “character and cruelty,” not complete and utter pretentiousness. Kappa? Did you think the LSJUMB was a bad idea? We need the team to be sober. Chi O? Let’s be honest: no one really knows they exist. There’s really no good option here, no matter which way you look at it.

Condoleezza Rice

Condi loves Stanford sports. We all saw her on TV at both the Stanford women’s basketball game against UConn and the Orange Bowl. She knows her stuff, so that’s good. Yet soon after her introductory press conference, it’s not inconceivable that she would recommend that we declare preemptive war against Cal, claiming that they stole the Axe. This would lead to a lengthy Stanford occupation of Berkeley, during which it is determined that she and President Hennessy utilized faulty intelligence to initiate the conflict. Come to think of it, this storyline sounds kind of familiar, doesn’t it?

Leland Stanford, Junior

This choice is contingent on Stanford scientists coming up with technology to reanimate the dead within the next week, but I’m confident they’re up to the task. Even with that in mind, this would be a surprising hire. Though he’s technically only 15 years old, Leland has spent the last 127 years in the Stanford Mausoleum. Bowlsby tends to look for younger talent, so this might not be his ideal choice—especially when Leland (born in 1868) would become the second-oldest coach in college football after Joe Paterno.

If Bob Bowlsby would like any other advice, he can always e-mail Shane at [email protected] (and so can you!).

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