The post-season of coaching turnover in the NFL began with the terminations of Jim Mora and Denny Green, followed shortly thereafter by Nick Saban’s unsavory departure from Miami. It was reported earlier today that Bill Cowher is “retiring” as Steelers coach (which might not get him out of the final year he owes the Rooneys, if anyone else wants to cough up crazy money for Cowher next season), and tonight, Art Shell is said to be on his way out of Oakland.
None of those stories, however, come close to the sheer absurdity to Mike Tice lobbying for a head coaching job in Minnesota. From the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Bob Sansevere.
Former Vikings coach Mike Tice said Wednesday he “would have great interest” in returning to Minnesota as the Gophers’ next football coach, but his lack of a college degree could prevent him from even being considered.
Speaking by telephone from his office in Jacksonville, Fla., where he is the assistant head coach/offense for the NFL’s Jaguars, Tice said he “got really interested” in the job after receiving phone calls and e-mails from friends and Minnesota alumni who encouraged him to seek the job that opened Sunday when Glen Mason was fired.
“They said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if you came home?’ ” Tice said. “The more I thought about it, I thought why the hell not? Pete Carroll went from the pros to college. Dave Wannstedt went from the pros to college. Butch Davis took the Carolina job. Bill Callahan took the Nebraska job. Why not Mike Tice?”
The answer to that could be: Because he didn’t graduate from college.
“For all professional administrative positions at the University of Minnesota, a bachelor’s degree is required,” athletics department spokesman Kyle Coughlin said, speaking in generalities and not about Tice specifically. “That includes any head coach in any sport.”
Asked if the requirement can be waived, Coughlin said, “I’m unaware of it being waived. I have no idea (if it can be).”
Tice said he was “17 to 20” credits shy of a degree when he left the University of Maryland to play in the NFL and admitted he was concerned it “might cost me a chance at the (Gophers) job.”
“That’s a shame if it does,” Tice added.
Asked if he would finish his degree if it were a condition for getting the Gophers job, Tice said, “Sure. I’d take night classes. I hope there is a way to work around that. I hope it’s not a sticking point.”
Back to the Miami mess for a minute, you’ve got to love Wednesday’s comments from Don Shula, who couldn’t have sounded more pissed off if Saban’s Fins had just run the table. That said, it probably didn’t help matters much that ‘Bama are throwing $32 million at Saban after firing Shula’s son, one year after Mike won 10 games.