Whoever Auburn hires as its new head football coach will have several areas of need to deal with during his first season on the job, but overall the Tigers have got a pretty good nucleus of young talent coming back next year. If the new coach can fill a couple of gaps, I think he will have a chance to improve the team a good bit during his first year on the job.
I know the Tigers just finished a disastrous season. When things are going bad like that it is hard to get the kind of intensity from your team that it takes to win in this conference. That was evident to me in a number of games I saw the Tigers play this year where the kids are trying hard, and playing hard, but there is still another level that you have got to get to in this league.
The Tigers didn’t get to that level this year with one exception, and that was the play of the defense vs. LSU. That is the speed I am talking about for style of play in the Southeastern Conference.
With a coaching change there is going to be a transition period for the players and their new coaches to deal with, which is always the case in these situations. However, that is an obstacle that can be overcome with the right people looking to make that happen.
When I took over as head coach for the first time at East Carolina, then at Wyoming and finally at Auburn, I was able to find great kids with great attitudes who were hungry to win. Those are the kind of young men you can build your team around. There are enough of those kids at Auburn now for the new coach to build around for the 2013 season.
One thing that I believe can help Auburn with the transition is making a quick decision on who to bring in and take over the program--as long as that person is the right guy for the job. Hopefully, the Tigers can get that done in the next few weeks, giving the new coaching staff time to rescue the recruiting season.
The Tigers are probably going to lose some of the recruits they were after because of the coaching change, but the number one priority has to be to recruit and sign the right guy to take over as the team’s head coach.
The right guy will find that the Auburn job is not an easy job, but it is a great job. The Tigers play in the elite conference of college football and it has been that way for some time. There are some great coaches in this conference that make it tougher to win, but without a doubt Auburn is a great place to live, coach football and recruit football players to because many young people who come to visit the campus get a feeling for what a special it Auburn is.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat’s Picks.
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