Sunday, December 05, 2010

Meet the new Boss(es)

He'll never wear red again.
All hail the newest Buff boss, Jon Embree.

He's one of our own, a native Coloradan, member of McCartney's very first recruiting class, a CU alum and a long time CU assistant coach.  You can't get more Buffalo DNA than that.

Further, Coach Embree has been an assistant coach in the Pac-10, our new conference.  He spent 5 years at UCLA in the Carl Dorrel administration.  One of the many top recruits Jon brought to UCLA was Taylor Embree, his son, who is currently a senior and the team's leading receiver.

Coach then moved on to work with Mike Shanahan on the staff of the Washington Redskins.  Shanny will release Jon as of Monday to take on his new duties.

Scooter Bieniemy - now in "more to love" size.
Embree it seems was a package deal with Eric Bieniemy as offensive coordinator.  EB, the all-time leading rusher for CU, coached with Embree at CU and UCLA prior to moving on to become the running backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings.  Last year, USC offered EB the offensive coordinator role - he decline.  One year later, he's accepting that role at his alma mater.

My compliments to Mike Bohn for landing this pair.  

The CU situation is a difficult one and needs a very specific combination of attributes in its coach(es):

First, the coaches needs to be affordable.  We all know the CU Athletic Department's wallet is now fat.  If it was, Hawkins would have been fired last year.  Given that Embree and Bieniemy have never been head coaches nor coordinators, their price tag is on the lower end.  

Second, they need to know how to recruit.  Recruiting is the specialty of both Eric and Jon - especially in California.  

Third, they need to understand the unique nature of CU.  Frankly, the fan base is fickle (present company excluded) and the University these days makes very little accommodation for athletes that have borderline academics.  This makes for a difficult situation, one that Dan Hawkins I think struggled to really get.  Jon & Eric understand it. 

Fourth, the new coaches need to understand the past - meaning the special combination of ingredients that caused the University of Colorado to rise up in the late 80's and become a true national force and eventual National Champion.  

Fifth, they need to understand the future - meaning the Pac-12.  The opponents, the landscape, the culture and the politics will all be new for CU - but not for Jon and Eric who have lived the Pac-10 life as coaches.

So the new staff may not be an obvious slam dunk.  They don't come to town with head coaching experience and successful track records therein.  But keep in mind that the last guy DID have those things and we all know how that turned out.

So given our unique situation, I call the Embree/Bieniemy hirings as a job very well done, Mr Bohn.

And since all famous couples are now called cutsie names like "Brangelina", allow me to be the first to dub our coaching couple as "Bienembree"!


No comments: