Miles right for asking Crowton to look for another job
By GLENN GUILBEAU
Tiger Rag Featured Columnist
BATON ROUGE - If you believe that Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon, formerly CEO of Domino’s Pizza, did not offer LSU coach Les Miles the Michigan job, then you believe that Domino’s pizza does not taste like cardboard with sauce.
You may also believe that Miles did not ask offensive coordinator Gary Crowton to look for another job before Crowton took the Maryland offensive coordinator position last week.
This just in:
- Brandon offered Miles the Michigan job, and he offered significantly more money than Miles is making at LSU. Miles was offered more than $4 million, said no, got offered more by Brandon and said no again. If athletic directors were believed, no one ever turns a job down.
Brandon said when he hired mid-major San Diego State’s Brady Hoke after Miles said he was not interested that Hoke was his first choice. Brandon said he did not offer the job to Miles or to Jim Harbaugh either. So why didn’t Brandon just interview Hoke first? You think maybe because he wanted to interview the Pacific-10 coach on his way to the NFL and the national champion SEC coach in line for another national title before the Mountain West coach?
Brandon actually tipped his own hand when he returned to Michigan after interviewing Miles in Baton Rouge on the night of Monday, Jan. 10. He was asked how the interview with Miles went and said, according to the Detroit News, “Good, but the deal is not done.”
Uh, Dave, if a “deal” is in the works, then you’ve already made the offer.
This also just in:
- Miles asked Crowton to look for another job either during the 2010 regular season or shortly thereafter.
This is how Miles operates. He is all class. He did the same thing with defensive coordinator and friend Doug Mallory during or after the disastrous season on defense in 2008. Mallory admitted at the bowl that season that he could not return as defensive coordinator. Why else would he leave a program one year removed from winning the national championship in the nation’s premier football conference for the same job and similar salary at New Mexico in the off Broadway Mountain West Conference?
Miles allowed Mallory to save some face and land on his feet. The folks who hired him know he was let go, but he was still a good hire. He was coming from LSU, which had just won the national title. But everybody doesn’t have to know. The “Mallory Fired” headline never happened, because he was not fired.
Miles did the same thing with defensive co-coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto after that season. Peveto could have returned to LSU as an assistant coach, but not as a co-coordinator. Miles did the same thing with defensive line coach Earl Lane after the 2008 season. Lane did not immediately find another job, though, and was reassigned at LSU temporarily.
Crowton, who was coming off three bad seasons on offense, was not fired, but Miles told him he was not going to return as offensive coordinator at LSU. Miles did this knowing full well somebody with the job experience of Crowton, and again coming from LSU and the SEC, was going to get another job.
Why else would Crowton go to a lesser school like Maryland in a lesser conference like the Atlantic Coast Conference for the same $500,000 salary he would have made at LSU had he been able to finish the final season on his contract in 2011? Yes, Crowton has three years at $500,000 at Maryland, and he will be able to run his offense solo without Miles-like interference from new Maryland coach Randy Edsall, whose background is on the defensive side.
But think about it. Do you really think Crowton did not want a chance to coach incoming quarterback Zach Mettenberger on a team that has an excellent chance of reaching the next BCS national championship, which will be in New Orleans? Of course he did.
Crowton first and foremost wants to be a head coach again. One of the best ways to do that is to be a coordinator for a team that wins the national championship. With Mettenberger in 2011, Crowton could have put up the kind of offensive numbers he put up with quarterback Matt Flynn at LSU in 2007 when the Tigers won the national championship. That’s what Crowton wanted. Yeah, he coached with Edsall back in the day at Boston College, but that’s no reason to leave LSU.
Crowton will not be winning a national championship at Maryland next year, and he will not be up for head coaching jobs. Crowton had to leave LSU. But he leaves without the headline, “Crowton fired.”
Crowton had his chances at LSU. In fact, most coaches would have let him go after the 2009 season. Crowton had a bad offense for three straight seasons. It was time to go. His 2008 offense put up good numbers, but the interception issues with Jarrett Lee and the fact that he kept on passing was ridiculous. Then in 2009 and 2010, LSU’s offense was embarrassingly low in the national rankings in total offense and passing offense, respectively.
Miles is loyal, but only to a point. This is why Miles will remain at LSU now for as long as he wants to. He knows when to pull the trigger on staff changes.
He got rid of Mallory immediately. He finally got rid of Crowton. The perfect time for a new coordinator and a new vision is when you’re bringing in a new quarterback like Mettenberger and you have a defense good enough to win the national championship.
But good luck to Crowton. He is a great person and a great offensive mind when all the tools are in the huddle. Had Miles been able to sign a quarterback or two as good as the two he inherited - JaMarcus Russell and Flynn - Crowton might still be at LSU.