After the firing of Bobby Petrino as Arkansas head coach the question has become will he ever coach again? Where? Most people in the know believe he will get another coaching job and at a BCS program. There are and have been plenty of coaches in all sports who have been given a second chance after major incidents that landed them in hot water with the university and the community. Most recently Mike Leach accepted the head job at Washington St after being fired by Texas Tech in 2009 due to alleged inappropriate treatment of Adam James.
Conference USA also has some coaches that have been given a second chance to make it right. Mike Price was at Washington St for fourteen seasons before being offered the job at Alabama. Price was named the head coach at Alabama in December of 2002 but was dismissed in May of 2003 due to a sex scandal. Price was said to have been seen intoxicated and in a strip club and allegedly was seen with a stripper in his hotel later that night. A year after he signed with Alabama he signed with UTEP. Price just finished his eighth year with the Miners with a 5-7 record and an overall record at UTEP of 45 – 52. His two best seasons at UTEP were his first two compiling a 16-8 mark with then QB Jordan Palmer at the helm.
In a repeat performance UTEP gave another coach a second chance. On March 30 UTEP announced the hiring of Tim Floyd as the Men’s Head Basketball Coach. This was less than a year after Tim Floyd left USC claiming that he had lost enthusiasm for his job. After Tim Floyd left USC in June of 2009 the university did an internal investigation. USC then imposed several penalties upon themselves which included vacating 21 wins from the 2007-2008 season and withdrew from post season consideration in the 2009-2010 season.
Like Tim Floyd, another former Iowa St Coach found his way into CUSA. Larry Eustachy was named head basketball coach at Southern Miss before the 2004 season. Eustachy compiled a record of 142-113 at Southern Miss which also included four 20+ winning seasons. Without a doubt 2011-2012 was Eustachy’s best season at Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles captured 25 wins and just the third ever berth, for the school, into the NCAA Tournament. The Golden Eagles however lost to Kansa St in the round of 64. The Golden Eagles have never gotten beyond the round of 64. The only other post season appearance by the Golden Eagles under Eustachy was in 2010 were the Golden Eagles were eliminated in the first round of the CIT. Just 3 days ago Eustachy left Southern Miss to be the next head coach at Colorado St.
George O’Leary was named head coach at Central Florida following the 2004 season in which the Knights finished 0 – 11. O’Leary spent eight years as the coach at Georgia Tech. Following the 2001 season O’Leary left Georgia Tech to be the new head coach at Notre Dame. Just days after being named coach at Notre Dame he was dismissed by the University for several inaccuracies in a published biographical sketch. The inaccuracies included attending non-existent schools and lettering in football at a school that said he never played in one game. O’Leary has been very successful in putting UCF football on the map. O’Leary has compiled a record of 50 – 51 in 7 seasons. The knight have also grabbed to CUSA titles under O’Leary. The Knights have only had three losing seasons under O’Leary, the most recent was this past season. Even though the Knights have had three losing seasons, they have never had back to back losing seasons. The knights have also had their fair share of time in the national rankings in every major poll. O’Leary was named CUSA Coach of The Year 3 times. 2010 was the Knights best season under O’Leary where they won there first bowl game (over Georgia), a total of a school best 11 wins, and a school first time ending the season ranked in the Coaches and AP Poll.
These 4 coaches are just some of the examples of why sometimes a second chance is all they need.