Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Staying On the CFN Tip.......

CFN's Richard Cirminiello is listing the top 50 coaches "you" would want for the next few years. USC's Pete Carroll tops the list, who else can top two national titles and three Heisman Trophies in just five years. Former Boise State Zhen Master Dan Hawkins was ranked No. 17. So who was the highest ranked coach heading a non-BCS program? Yep, you guessed right, Pat Hill.

18. Pat Hill, Fresno State- In nine years, Hill has become somewhat of a folk hero in the Valley. His us-against-the-world, won't-back-down-from-any-fight persona has been adopted by a program that's earned a reputation under the coach as giant killers. He's ultra intense and demanding, on and away from the field, and is a big proponent of old school, smash-mouth football. Hill is a proven winner on the sidelines, which is the chief reason so many college and pro teams inquire about his availability at the end of every season.
Nine-Year Record: 72-43 (3-4 in bowl games)
Nine-Year Record Before He Arrived: 70-36-2 (3-2 in bowl games)

So "Dick" thinks Hill is the best mind of 53 head coaches not in charge of a BCS school or Notre Dame. Is there another guy out there coaching a "mid-major" that is better than Hill? Many last year would have said Hawkins, but this year it looks like Hill is the Dean of the have-nots.

Ironically, Fresno State's record was better the nine years prior to Hill's arrival and that included losing seasons in each of Jim Sweeney's last three years. Hill has only had one losing season, 1998. It seems no one remembers Fresno State had the West's best winning percentage from 1985-1993, and Hill didn't exactly build something from nothing. Granted, I don't think any other coach in America could have done what Hill has done for Bulldog football in terms academics and national reputation.

Hill has had moderate to good success in his nine years, but has yet to win an outright WAC title. But it doesn't seem to bother the critics too much. His football mind is still considered top notch by most. He finds and recruits talent that other coaches overlook. His teams play hard and are not afraid of a challenge, but lack the mental toughness to finish out a season. In short, I don't think I really agree with "Dick" on this one. Hill is a great fit for the Valley and is the face of Fresno State Bulldog football, but I don't think his style would fit universally as some pundits may think.


pleasewintheWAC! said...

No doubt Hill still needs to prove he can win an outright WAC title and dominate the conference for once, instead of talk about how great the WAC is and how underappreciated it is. Stop towing the company line and start kicking it's ass. It's the WAC not the PAC or the BIGS or the SEC or ACC. If Fresno State thinks they can compete with those conferences they need to prove they can dominate their own.

It cannot be denied that Hill has done a tremendous amount for Fresno State since Sweeney. The national exposure is unbelievable. I still remember the shock of seeing David Carr on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Hill has raised Fresno State into the national conscience when it wasn't there before, even though Fresno State has always been competative, now all he needs to do is Please Win The WAC!

gofsudogs2006 said...

I don't think Hill would be the most successful coach in a BCS level conference. The reason is he is one of those "take on the big guys" coaches. If he were the big guy how would he prepare his team for all of the lower rung schools they play yearly? he cant even get Fresno State up for games agains teams that are part of the upper echelon of the WAC such as Nevada and La Tech. So how would he possibly succeed in a conference such as the ACC? Yes Hill is good for Fresno because we need a coach with dreams and aspirations to become bigger and better. But for a big time BCS school he would not be the successful coach we have witnessed here at state.

Steve Burnes said...

Coach Hill benefits from being the big fish in the small pond: his kids respond to this personna, and relate to it because most have been completely overlooked by the larger shcools. I know Hill has a quality understanding of football, but he is also bull-headed, refusing to adjust to the game; that thinking will get you eaten alive in big-time college football (see "seconf half," 2005 USC-FSU game.

Hopefully, Hill will listen to his new coaches and learn how to make adjustments in the upcoming season. Go 'Dogs!