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Harris out, new coach in 2 weeks

Original post made by chris, University South, on Dec 4, 2006

Stanford will use the new leadership as a major selling point in filling the new stadium after disappointing crowds in its 1st year.

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Comments (12)

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Posted by chrisk
a resident of University South
on Dec 5, 2006 at 7:23 pm

The lack of comments on this topic is telling of the lack of interest in Stanford football, also evidenced by the small crowds in the new stadium.

Look for Bowlsby to hire a dynamic, high-profile coach who can light a fire under the community as well as recruit student-athletes.

A coach who can fill the stadium could increase football revenue by more than $10M compared to what keeping Harris would generate.

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Posted by Wrong AD for Stanford
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 6, 2006 at 9:23 am

Walt Harris really got the shaft from Bowlsby--most coaches are allowed to have at least one recruiting class go through the 4 year program. Harris was not allowed this luxury.
Bowlsby still thinks he is at a Big Ten school, where the emphasis is on sports and not academics. Too bad. there is nothing wrong with the Stanford football team.
Dump Bowlsby and keep Harris.

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Posted by chrisk
a resident of University South
on Dec 6, 2006 at 9:32 am

Wrong AD, how many games did you go to this year?

How do you propose to fill the seats in 2007 and 2008?

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Posted by Wrong AD for Stanford
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 6, 2006 at 11:31 am

I went to no games this year and do not plan to go to any in 2007 and 2008. I do not care if the seats are not filled either.
Stanford's mission is as an academic institution. I am glad to say that Stanford has not been willing to lower it's academic standards in order to excel at athletics--a path that has led many schools in the Big 10, ACC, SEC and even the Pac10 down the slippery slope.
Dump Bowlsby and rehire Harris.

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Posted by Wrong AD for Stanford
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 6, 2006 at 11:32 am

BTw, it does not appear that Stanford is interested in having the students fill some of the seats either. They suspended the band and play at least two of their home games before the academic year starts.

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Posted by Randy
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Dec 6, 2006 at 11:32 am

I don't think Bowlsby called the shots on Harris' firing. Since you're talking about money and filling the new stadium, think about whose money built the stadium. That's who called for Harris' head. Bowlsby is generally a patient man who would have been willing to give Harris a chance. John A. is NOT patient. He wanted the stadium built in less than year for example. Harris and Bowlsby are not the problem.

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Posted by Wrong AD for Stanford
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 6, 2006 at 11:53 am

Then why have Bowlsby as the AD if he is just a lackey for John A? The Ad should have the final word--as I said you let someone like John A call the shots, you are starting down that slipperly slope.
It is outrageous what happened to harris--if bowlsby sat still and let it happen then he is spineless.
Dump Bowlsby and rehire harris

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Posted by Stan Ford
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 6, 2006 at 4:06 pm

I think Coach Harris was fired because his coaching style does not fit the Stanford athlete, as much as he was fired for his record. Stanford is Bill Waslh, not Bill Parcells. Usually I would agree that a coach should get a proper chance to see his "plan" through, but when you combine the won-loss record, the low attendance, and the fact that the coach was alienating players, reporters, and other staff, it makes sense to try someone else. I doubt that John A "called the shots", but donations to the athletic program are certainly something the AD has to keep in mind when making such decisions.

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Posted by Dave Voelker
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 6, 2006 at 5:20 pm

Wrong AD for Stanford said:
> There is nothing wrong with the Stanford football team.

This gets my vote for most self-evidently absurd statement of the year. "Bagdad is the most peaceful city on earth" might top it, but just barely.

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Posted by Wrong AD for Stanford
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Dec 7, 2006 at 6:31 am

Right you are Dave, compare college athletics to the carnage in Iraq.
Plenty of universities have athletic programs that do not win--those schools value education over athletics. I do not think that Stanford wants to become like U of Miami, all the SEC teams except vanderbilt or even like Iowa became under Bowlsby.
So what if the Stanford team does not win? Let's not lower our academic standards to become like the schools mentioned above.

the only thing absurd about my statement was the fact that someone would try to make an analogy between some meaningless college sport with what is going on in Iraq. But I guess for some people the priorities are different.

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Posted by The Right Man
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 7, 2006 at 8:33 am

If you think Bowlsby's the wrong guy, who do you think is the right guy? "Ted Leland" is not a valid answer.
Second hypothetical -- Let's say you're the new AD. You have a brand new stadium in which you lose every game. The team goes 1-11, and there are rumors rampant about a mutiny among the players. What do you do?

Now for some non-hypotheticals. Are you saying one of the following:
1. that all football coaches are the same
2. that people study and play football at the same time
3. that Stanford can't do more that one thing well

Tyrone Willingham put together winning seasons (and a trip to the Rose Bowl) while Buddy Teevens managed 8 wins in 3 seasons. (1) is out.
If going winless is a badge of honor, then how do you account for the 2000 Rose Bowl? Maybe you're trying to say that having a football team is too complicated for Stanford. But we have nationally ranked teams in cross-country, volleyball, water polo, swimming, basketball, baseball, gymnastics, soccer, tennis, the list goes on and on. We've got 12 consecutive Directors' Cups for the best program in the NCAA. We've got excellent teams in all these sports -- why not football?

The long and short of it is this -- it wasn't entirely fair to fire Harris after just two years. Bowlsby said so himself at the press conference. However, if you go 1-11 with a couple of ugly shutouts, there aren't a lot of options. Plus, a fair number of players chafed under Harris's regime (do you think David Marrero would transfer to SJSU if he liked playing for Harris?). Impending mutiny among team + discontent among alumni (lots of alumni -- not just Mr. A.) + honeymoon period for the new AD = the best time to turn the football program around. This is the opportunity for Bowlsby to change things.

Like this comment
Posted by The Right Man
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 7, 2006 at 8:49 am

...should have read
2. that people can't study and play football at the same time

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