Monday, February 28, 2011

Brad who?

The Charlotte 49ers didn't exactly make national headline news by the hiring of Brad Lambert as their first head football coach -- which is expected to be officially announced Tuesday at a press conference but our David Scott is reporting today.

Lambert is an obscure assistant -- as just about all assistant football coaches are -- who is currently the defensive coordinator for Wake Forest. He's coached some very good players at Wake, but his most recent defense was pretty horrible in the Division I-A statistics.

So the hiring will, of course, be ripped by those who love to jump to conclusions with Internet comments and on talk radio. Lambert is not a "name" and is not currently at a football power. Thus, many will conclude, he must be the wrong guy.

The hiring reminds me of UNCC AD Judy Rose's recent hire of Alan Major -- also in his 40s, also a career assistant and also really wanting to start his own program. Major has struggled mightily in his first season as a 49ers coach. He did have one advantage when hired in that his most recent employer was Ohio State, which currently has a great basketball program. That bought him a little more credibility.

Lambert, though, will have to do this the hard way. He doesn't have the name recognition of a Chuck Amato (who certainly shouldn't have gotten the job) or a Mike Minter (who was also interested)or anyone like that. He will have to recruit for a program that won't start playing football until 2013 and won't play it at the highest level for many years after that.

Still, I say you've got to give the guy a chance. With what UNCC was paying, they weren't going to get Steve Spurrier.

Lambert obviously must have wowed with his interview, because he's not the obvious choice. And so what? The "name value" of a coach has a very short shelf life once you start playing games (ask the Carolina Panthers about their experience with George Seifert). I'll be interested to hear what Lambert has to say Tuesday, because he just signed on for a difficult job that also has some massive potential.

35 comments:

Freedom Huggins said...

Please refrain from "UNCC". If you are going to do that, at least say UNC Charlotte...

Anonymous said...

Scott,

Thanks for not trashing the new hire, we all wish him the best of luck. Time will tell...

Matt - Charlotte '06

hey O said...

How exactly can you state that Amato didn't deserve the job? Thats ludacris.

Tim Collie said...

Judy stuck to her script. Hire someone thankful to be employed, grateful for a another paycheck.

LOL there was no great interview.

Anonymous said...

Good to see the local media still hating on Amato. Any reason to back up why Charlotte shouldn't have gone this direction?

I'll take Amato's resume over this guy.

I'm better said...

Yawn. Who????

Anonymous said...

Actually, he did make national headlines, unless ESPN doesn't count as National when they put stuff in their "HEADLINES" section:

http://espn.go.com/college-football/

Anonymous said...

Another faded Rose screwup.

Amato was THE MAN and the clear choice.

Anonymous said...

Scott.....please continue to ignore Charlotte athletics if this is the best you can do......Athletics have been "Charlotte" for 10+ years, not "UNCC", but of course you knew that already. Also, as you point out we are starting in FCS and the $175,000 is the base. additional perks/incentives will move the salary between to $3-400,000 year (among the highest in FCS).

Anonymous said...

scott = jerk

J said...

"Major has struggled mightily in his first season as a 49ers coach."

I don't understand why you felt the need to take a shot at Alan Major. How good a job could you do at fielding a competitive team in one of the country's 10 best conferences with a roster of 9 players? I suppose you think he should have let Spears walk all over him so the 49ers could get more wins, or should have forced the injured players to come back sooner. That was uncalled for.

As for Lambert, the hire makes sense from this angle: Wake has had success taking lesser-regarded players (at least according to the recruiting rankings), and getting the maximum out of them. Isn't that exactly the trait the 49ers first coach must be a master of? His relatively young age (46) means he will have the energy to put in the 21-hour days he'll have to put in to build the program. And anyone who paid any attention to Amato's last 3 years at State would agree that Amato wasn't the guy for this job.

And to Tim and all the other people who are married to the "If I have never heard of you, by definition you suck" philosophy - Amato, Bear Bryant, and every other coach out there was, at one time, a man who had never been a head coach and no one had ever heard of him. Is Lambert that caliber? We don't have any idea. You have to get the first coaching job somewhere. I just hope he is wildly successful and will be here for many years.

Anonymous said...

Hey Tim,


How's Ninerpride?

Tom N said...

I love the second post - "ludicris". Extrapolate that commenter's background.

Vlad said...

"UNCC," really? That's just being ignorant. Our entire athletic program has been known simply as "Charlotte" for over ten years now. I don't hear anybody refer to Virginia Tech as Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University so please stop.

Michael said...

I'm interested to see how this pans out. As a Charlotte resident, I'd love to have a good college football team to see when my team is on the road. I do hope the fans/alumni have realistic goals though. I've seen several people write on these boards that they expect the program to be FBS in 5 years. For a first-time coach and a new program, just being playoff caliber at the FCS level within 5 years would be a great accomplishment, and you should probably aim for that first.

On a side note, what is the deal with not liking the 'UNCC' acronym? I'm just curious, it doesn't seem any different than NCSU, ASU, etc.

Anonymous said...

Michael,

It's a pride thing. Our athletics dept is known simply as "Charlotte" for all things sports related. Our jerseys say the same thing and not "UNCC." This was changed a while back. It's the same thing as saying "UC-B" instead of California. Or CSUF instead of Fresno State.

Anonymous said...

@ hey O... it's widely known amongst college football insiders that Amato has questionable ethics...especially when it comes to recruiting. Is that someone Charlotte would want starting up their program?

@ Tim Collie... Lambert is leaving a stable job that undoubtedly paid him the same, or very near to, what Charlotte is paying him. So I'm unclear as to how he could be considered as "someone thankful to be employed, grateful for another paycheck." How about he's just a motivated coach that wants to contribute to the future success of a new program?

Anonymous said...

UNCC! Acronyms are the rage...

and did UNCC earn any other status?

well then, UNCC it is.

Is it pronounced Lam-bear...I mean he was an assistant hockey coach in Moose Jaw before WF..C'est la Vie.

To quote a line in The Waterboy.."Oh No, we suck again!"

UNCC! Would someone please fire Judy Rose. She's taken women's lib and title ix too far. The first mistake was The 19th ammendment. Now the broad is gonna's wreck a good thing in bringing college football to UNCC.

UNCC! UNCC! UNCC! UNCC! UNCC!

Anonymous said...

The very first headline today on ESPN College Football...

"Source: Lambert leaves Wake to lead Charlotte"

Anonymous said...

Ooooh exciting!

I guess college football news is a bit slow at the end of February. ESPN places the newest news at the top. No, UNCC is not special. Apparently, neither is UNCC's new coach.

WF was ranked 101st in Defense for the 2010 FCS season (out of 120 teams). Impressive.

Way to go UNCC! I hope you paid the new coach the minimum wage.

Anonymous said...

OOOPS...I meant FBS

UNCC is in the inferior FCS...oh, so is ASU.

Well, isn't that special.

UNCC, the tailgating will be wild and the drinking will be heavy!

Anonymous said...

Loving all the negative comments! Shows me and the Forty Niner faithful that y'all care. Thanks. Go Niners!!!

UNC Charlotte Grad - '02 and '11

Anonymous said...

Excellent hire for Charlotte. Lambert gained a ton of experience under one of the best college football coaches in the country and will represent the school well.

I would expect someone in Fowler's position to do a little more homework before commenting.

mike said...

My suggestion to Rose, give him a bicycle so he can't leave the area and stick to recruiting in the Charlotte/NC area.Give the team a good Charlotte Area identity and the kids will come running to play there.State U.,lots of good walk-ons in hot talent area.

mike said...

University of Charlotte 49ers THATS IT.Sounds good, easy to market name.

Anonymous said...

Amato was perfect for the job.

UNCC has become a laughing stock embarrassment and needs to immediately apply for the SoCon that spun off the ACC SEC and Big East as the 2nd oldest in America since 1921.

UNCC getting into the SoCon would reduce millions in travel costs and fill the stands with fans from schools like App, UNCG, Western, Wofford, etc. Economics and a no brainer.

UNCC could also begin its D1AA football in the SoCon and ditch the beginner rookie potty training schedule joke.

UNCC must vacate the Rose tyrant. This female version of Khadafi has to go along with her sorry excuse for a basketball coach.

Be proud of the oldest public university in America since 1789. UNC made a something out of a nothing in 1965. To show heartfelt deep appreciation and gratitude change UNCC colors to Blue and Green to honor the 46 year association with the worlds most famous prestigious UNC system and its 222 year glorious illustrious historical tradition of advanced education.

Anonymous said...

I for one really don't like the Charlotte -the school- deal, only adds to confusion with Charlotte -the city-. UNCC is where I went to school. It's in (or near) Charlotte. I guess at one time it was Charlotte College then became UNCC so how in the world can you revert back to "Charlotte" or as some wish: "Charlotte University"? Charlotte University sounds like a completely different place than UNCC or UNC-Charlotte or whatever. The whole inferiority complex with UNCC v UNC is ridiculous. UNCC is a great school, it's a large school and if the students, alumni, staff play their cards right UNCC will someday be the largest in NC. What is it now, 4th largest? I say, be proud of where you came from, quit trying to rewrite history and move forward as UNCC. Drop the Charlotte crap. Finally, Go UNCC, Go Niners, Go Coach Lambert.

Anonymous said...

Renaming University of Charlotte with UNC Tarholes is out of the question. We like JudyJudyJudy. She deserves a big raise. Give her a million a yr.

Anonymous said...

WHY WHY WHY He was getting ready to be fired at Wake for poor performance. UNCC should of went after David Bennett. Has done it already and won

Anonymous said...

What about Tom Knotts?

Anonymous said...

"should of went". LOL

Anonymous said...

If Charlotte wanted a football coach from WF they should have just waited until next year to hire Grobe. I love him but I think he's going to be in the hot seat at the conclusion of the 2011 football season.

The greatest thing to happen to Grobe was for the University at Charlotte to hire his Defensive Coach. Offenses have been running through WF defense for the last 3 years like diarrhea in a bad pair of jeans.

Scott well thought out article.

Anonymous said...

There he goes again. Somebody bitchslap that craterface Soreheadsen. As usual he spouts off his meaningless drivel and calls UNCC the wrong name like other dumbazz bloggers.

One thing for sure Lambert will be a hell of a lot better than the Major chump loser Rose hired but that aint saying much. She obv assumed WF was some big national gridiron powerhouse much higher ranked than Amatos FSU Noles.

Anonymous said...

Hey lay off poor Judy. Shes just a lone female AD pc hire herself breaking glass ceilings doing the best she can. What else can you expect? The bar is not set too high at uncc anyway, ok?

Anonymous said...

Please go easy on Judy. Her's is not an easy life. Every day when she goes out to face the world she is reminded that she has failed. Women like Linda Bruno and Debbie Yow have passed her by. So she has to take her frustrations out on someone or something. So like an abusive parent leaving the assembly line she returns home to take her frustrations out on the kids.