Mike Bohn survived a rough press conference and emerged victor after successfully firing his third head coach as Athletic Director. The University of Colorado let Jon Embree go after two seasons as the coach of the Colorado Buffaloes football program. Bohn’s termination of the Jon Embree era occurred with three years remaining on a five-year contract. The Athletic Director cited that the program’s trajectory is not where they hoped it would be. Now Bohn has to find a new Head Coach.
Despite Colorado having a 1-11 record in 2012 and only four wins through two years, firing Embree was the wrong decision. From all accounts, he had nothing to work with when taking the program over from Dan Hawkins. He had to transform a team built for the Big-12 into a Pac-12 team as he was the coach for Colorado’s inaugural season. Embree only got one and a half recruiting classes in his tenure, but had to start most of his recruits because of the lack of talent among guys left over from the prior regime.
Mike Bohn admitted that Embree did not have the help he needed from the department in performing the job. CU does not have the facilities of its Pac-12 brethren and the Athletic Department did not provide all the aid it could have to student athletes. Bohn also signed off on an inexperienced coaching staff and a rebuilding period to mold Colorado in the right way. Embree said he was promised as much and was shocked by the decision since he was promised to come back as late as Friday.
Colorado’s credibility is completely shot. It appears that Mike Bohn and the administration have no backbone for public criticism or discontent among its donors. If that is the case, Bohn never should have signed off on the Jon Embree experiment because it was going to take time. Everyone said that it would take a few years to turn things around at CU with the lack of organization and inexperienced coaching staff.
Additionally, finding a new coach is going to be very hard with the swift dismissal of Embree. It is going to take a lot of guaranteed money and organizational control for any top coach to commit to Colorado. CU is wary of hiring up and coming coaches because Dan Hawkins was such a failure coming from Boise State. Now it appears that CU will also have a hard time pulling from its alumni pool after the end of Embree’s short tenure.
Colorado will not find a man more passionate about the Buffaloes than Jon Embree. It is now impossible to say if he could have turned things around in one or two more years, but he deserved the chance for his off-field work with the players. To build a football program the right way, it takes time, patience, and collective vision. Embree deserved a chance to actually turn the program around, not just two years to suffer through a slump that was inevitable.