EDITOR NOTE: Vincent Smith was an offensive lineman who transferred to Arizona from Colorado after his freshman season and played with the Wildcats from 1990 to 1992. At 6-foot-6 and 360 pounds, Smith was big and played that way for Dick Tomey when Arizona was building toward the Desert Swarm era. Smith went into coaching soon after his playing career, including head coaching stints with Tucson High and a women’s professional team here. He agreed to have his thoughts be published about Arizona’s controversial hiring of Jedd Fisch as the Wildcats’ new head coach, which has been met by criticism from many former players.
To my Arizona Wildcat Brethren,
I would just like to bend your ear for a second or two.
First off, let me say that I am not gushing over the hiring of the new head football coach. However, I have a little different overall perspective.
As a football coach of over 24 years, I can tell you that I have been hired as a head coach a few times when I wasn’t the popular choice.
Some situations turned out better than others. The difference in the situations was that when I wasn’t the popular choice, I would often find myself on an island and would receive very little support.
People at times would not let go of their feelings and just support the program and the kids they claimed to care so much about. This would always baffle me.
If I said right, they said left. If I said day, they said night, etc.
One job in particular, I was taking the friendly fire constantly.
Having said all this, I will say NO MATTER who I, you, WE wanted, it didn’t happen. Now, it’s time to support the program and not be scratching wheels.
If the new coach isn’t the right fit, it will show and we’ll be back here again.
But remember there are young people who we need to influence to be greater. Young people who will get injured, get homesick, be leaders of our tomorrow, etc. What will be the message we send to them?
People at times would not let go of their feelings and just support the program and the kids they claimed to care so much about. This would always baffle me.— Vincent Smith
Will it be “your experience doesn’t matter because your coach is unpopular to me?” I hope not.
I’ve been in the new coach’s situation and I can tell you it ain’t fun. Let’s ALL be builders and not wreckers, please.
I had several people on my wish list for the job. I took my list and a dollar to Starbucks and still didn’t have enough for a cup of coffee.
I’ll close by quoting Drake as it pertains to OUR new football coach, “I got high hopes for ya homie, WE GON SEE!”
Thanks for your time CATS, BEARDOWN.