A story published today by Tom Dienhart of Rivals speculates that should Greg Robinson be fired at Syracuse, Kevin Gilbride could "emerge as a candidate." Let's get all the disclaimers out of the way before we get into this post.
First, as hard as it may seem to believe, we don't want to the "fire the coach" guys. We don't want to be the ones starting web site a year or two into a coaches tenure calling for his head. We are fans - we support the program - Champ and I are both season ticket holders, I drive over 4 hours round trip for each home game. We've got the merchandise, we tailgate, we love Syracuse football and want what's best for the program.
That being said, it's no secret we've had our fill with the current coach. The performance of the team under Greg Robinson for the last 3 years has been a disaster any way you categorize it. Did he inherit a program with a ton of talent? No - but he did inherit a team that won 6 games the year before he got there. Three years later, he's won a total of 7 seven games. What makes it even worse is that in all but a handful of the 28 losses he's presided over, the games have been one-sided embarrassing ass-kickings. He hasn't come close to putting a consistently competitive team on the field. Needless to say, we feel our loss of faith in the man is justified.
Second, the Dienhart story above is just speculation and we take that for what it's worth. To be fair he doesn't state that Syracuse has expressed an interest in Gilbride, just that he may emerge as a candidate. So we get that - we know it's not like he's on a short list of replacements or anything like that.
Having said all that, you couldn't find a worse choice to take over a program on life support than Kevin Gilbride. He's hasn't coached college football since 1984, when he was the head coach at Southern Connecticut State. In the NFL, his one stint has a head coach resulted in a 6-16 record with the Chargers and a mid-season firing. Other than his time in San Diego, he's bounced around, serving as the quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator with 5 different NFL teams and he may be best known as Buddy Ryan's punching bag.
Syracuse is going to need an aggressive guy that understands recruiting, understands the college game and can devise schemes on both sides of the ball that get the most out of his players. Gilbride simply isn't that guy and the program can not hire a guy that will need an extended learning curve. The difference between the NFL and college is huge, and hiring Gilbride would be way too risky at this point in the program's history.
Honestly, between the white hair, the lifetime career as an NFL assistant and the Connecticut roots, he's like a cross between Greg Robinson and Paul Pasqualoni - and that's the last thing SU fans need.