Yesterday, Colorado University athletic director Mike Bohn held a press conference to fire the university’s football head coach Jon Embree. The press conference included many of Embree’s players. As they looked on, some looking stunned and confused, Embree went to the podium, fighting back tears.
Embree didn’t tow the company line, instead he spoke honesty and openly on what he was trying to build and his prospects for the future. Embree was adamant that although the program was only 4-21 in two years, he was working towards long-term goals.
“Yes, I thought I would be here to be able to build it, at least try to have an opportunity to see it through,” he said. Even if he was aware of his two-year deadline, Embree states he wouldn’t have done anything different.
“That would have meant shortcuts,” he said. ” If you hire the next guy and say you have two years, keep your fingers crossed. When you’re doing that, that’s when you’re talking about paying for athletes, about grade things, about not worrying about your kids going to class, about getting a guy in here you got for two or three years and he’s out. There are a lot of things you can do that can circumvent doing it the right way.”
I don’t know about you but when I heard that, I immediately thought of a couple of college coaches, in and out of football that could apply to. I applaud Embree for talking about that elephant in the room of college sports. It something the NCAA and sports media ignore until it’s blatantly obvious and can no longer be ignored.
While I hope that Embree, obviously a man with character and integrity would have another chance at being a head coach, he knows his prospects are slim. Embree spoke about black coaches very rarely get a second chance.
“You know that going into it,” he said. “Tyrone (Willingham) did. I don’t know if there’s ever been another (black coach) fired who has gotten another opportunity at the college level. But every minority coach knows that going into it. Eventually, that will change.”
It should be noted that Embree was hired at a head coach with no head coach experience, yet was only given two years to build a program that has a pretty troubled history off the field.