It was a surprise. Well, to me, anyway.
Most people assumed that Lafayette head coach John Garrett was safe as the Leopards' head coach. Though his five year record wasn't great, he had beaten bitter Rival Lehigh in two out of the last three Rivalry games, despite a tough 17-10 loss to Lehigh the final week of the year.
Listening to the post-game press conference, I also didn't pick up on some of the signs that his job security might be in jeopardy. Garrett was a bit prickly, but it was understandable - he had just lost a game to Lafayette's Rivals. "The future is bright for Lafayette football," he said, not letting on that he might not be a part of that future.
But by Monday, the announcement was made - after five years leading the Leopard football team, "Lafayette College will not renew the contract of head football coach John Garrett," a short press release stated. "A national search for his replacement will begin immediately. Defensive coordinator Doug McFadden, who just finished his 12th season with the program, will serve as its interim head coach."
This winter's Lafayette offseason took a decidedly interesting turn as a result.
One name that will not be on this list was Notre Dame coordinator Brian Polian, who somewhat inexplicably showed up in the rumor mill when some "insider tweets" linked him as "being close" to signing as Lafayette's new head coach. May Lafayette fans and I were deeply skeptical, and today that skepticism was justified, as he announced that he's joining his former boss Brian Kelly at LSU.
Polian, a former head coach at Nevada, never made an ounce of sense as Lafayette's head coach - he had no ties to the area, had already been a head coach at a Group of Five school, and it seemed clear to me that he was going to command an astoundingly high salary.
I don't have any super-insider viewpoint as to whom Lafayette will be hiring to lead the Leopards next year. But I do have a list of ten candidates that I think could be in the running, in alphabetical order.Read more »