It appears as though Mike Haywood has more ties to Mike Tyson than anyone originally anticipated. Both men fight dirty, have no jobs, and now have domestic violence charges on their records. To be fair, all reports on Haywood indicated that he was a stern disciplinarian–it is not clear whether those reports were gathered from Haywood’s family or Miami (Ohio) officials. What is clear is that Pitt screwed up their coaching search worse than thought.
Haywood’s felony charge may be a knockout punch to Pitt’s football status. Some believe that the University has lost its’ integrity, while other experts think that it will be hard to garner interest at a school who has had so much question surround their head coaching position.
There is a silver lining under the bruise though.
Haywood was not a good hire to begin with. He was unproven, and his track record was far from sparkling. There were far better candidates out there. It was revealed that Dana Holgorsen never was a real candidate for the job, but coaches such as Paul Chryst, Mike Leach, and Mark Stoops all are still on the market.
One thing is certain, Pitt has to pay good money for a good coach. A winning football program-especially in Pittsburgh-is very valuable to a University; both in terms of money and exposure. Neither Chryst or Stoops would require ridiculous money and both would be better candidates than Haywood was.
Chryst’s has manufactured a sparkling offense at both Oregon State and Wisconsin. The Badgers are more than happy with current head coach Bret Bielema and Chryst is probably not high profile enough to secure a head coaching position at a major program. This leaves Pitt as a perfect temporary fit.
Stoops was reportedly not a serious consideration the first time around. However, it appears as though future success was not high on the University’s list either. If Pittsburgh chooses to reverse their stance on either issue, then Stoops would be a nice candidate. A native of nearby Youngstown, its hard to imagine that the Florida State defensive coordinator would be a much different head coach than his two highly successful brothers.
Perhaps a more unrealistic head coach is Tom Bradley. Unless he hires Haywood to take out Joe Paterno, Bradley won’t be getting the head coaching job at Penn State anytime soon.
My favorite candidate is Mike Leach. The question is, would the administration rather have a coach that abuses women, or abuses players who act like women. All fingers point at the former Texas Tech genius heading to Maryland anyway. There is little doubt that Leach will take whatever program he coaches at next to prominence.
The Panthers new head coach should be one of these candidates. Judging by past hires though, expect these potential hires to fade and an underwhelming figure to emerge.