Earlier this week, 1st year Tennessee head football coach Lane Kiffin announced his abrupt departure for the University of Southern California. Tennessee administrators, players, recruits, and fans gave Kiffin tons of loyalty and support. Obviously it was a one-way street.
It has become all-too-common for big time college coaches to job hop as frequently as their counterparts in the pros. When a better opportunity comes along, wham, nothin but tail lights.
Tennessee immediately centered their search on two candidates; Will Muschamp, defensive coordinator and “head coach-in-waiting” of the Texas Longhorns and David Cutcliffe, former Tennessee offensive coordinator and head coach of the Duke Blue Devils.
As many expected, Will Muschamp declined Tennessee’s overture and will stay put at Texas. What comes next is nothing short of unbelievable…
“You follow your heart in big decisions,” David Cutcliffe told ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich. “I have a lot of ties and a lot of people that I’m very close to, and a lot of respect for the University of Tennessee, but my heart is here [Duke]. We’ve worked very hard these two years to change the culture, to change the team physically. You feel like the job’s not done, and in this era, it bothers me, what we do as coaches, moving here and there. This is mid-January. Nothing about that felt right to me as a person.”
WOWsers! David Cutcliffe turned down one heck of a promotion, pay-raise, and legitimate shot to regularly compete for conference and national championships…because he didn’t want to leave his players, his administration, and his fans high-and-dry like Lane Kiffin did!
Real leaders put the needs of their people ahead of their own. The captain is always last off the ship.
Hats off to David Cutcliffe for being a real leader and a shinning example of all that is RIGHT in college sports.