SEC homecoming: In honor of UT hiring Tee Martin, 1 alum each school should have on staff
With Tee Martin making his long-awaited return to Knoxville, we thought we’d come up with a list of alumni that need to make their returns to campus and serve as coaches at the schools they once excelled at on the field.
Alabama: Dabo Swinney
This is the most obvious selection on the list, as the calls to bring Dabo Swinney home get louder every year. The only problem with Alabama hiring Dabo is the fact it would signal the end of the Nick Saban era, but the way Alabama’s coach has been running off coaches left and right these days, he might be the only coach left on the staff by the time the 2019 season rolls around — well, Butch Jones will still be by his side, but that’s only because no one else will take the intern off Saban’s hands.
Arkansas: Darren McFadden
Chad Morris has brought new life to the Arkansas program with plenty of energy, excitement and enthusiasm, but all that only goes so far before people begin to demand results. There isn’t a Razorback fan in the world who would question Darren McFadden after everything he did on the field. The two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up would bring instant creditability to the Arkansas staff on and off the field.
Auburn: Takeo Spikes
Kevin Greene was almost the pick here, considering he has coaching experience and even won multiple Super Bowls. But no Auburn grad is as intimidating as Takeo Spikes. Even his neck is intimidating and that’s supposed to be a weakness on the human body. Kevin Steele is an outstanding defensive coordinator, but he’s not going to coach forever. Why not bring on one of the most fearsome and productive defenders in school history to groom him to take over when Steele finally decides to leave?
Florida: Tim Tebow
Urban Meyer and Dan Mullen were fairly accomplished by the time Tim Tebow arrived, but the program didn’t take off until the greatest home-schooled quarterback of all time was leading it. We all know Mullen is running the show on offense in Gainesville and coaches up the quarterbacks, so by assigning some offensive duties to Tebow, whether it’s OC or QB coach, it doesn’t really matter. Tebow will be there for one reason and one reason only, motivational speeches delivered after disappointing performances.
Georgia: David Pollack
Before he was calling Georgia a dynasty after winning its first SEC Championship in five seasons, David Pollack was an All-American at Georgia. Of course, Kirby Smart has an opening at defensive coordinator and should he decide to promote from within, that’s going to open a spot on his defensive coaching staff. Who better to coach up outside linebackers or defensive linemen than Pollack? Outside of his outstanding playing career, Pollack could also teach the Bulldogs outstanding weight loss techniques, as he has displayed the ability to shed weight like nobody’s business following the end of his playing career. Added bonus: hiring Pollack would remove him from his duties at SEC Network, which many viewers would appreciate.
Kentucky: Jared Lorenzen
The Wildcats have work to do if they are going to get the passing game up to average SEC standards. That might be a bit difficult based on the 2018 season as Terry Wilson is somewhat unconventional. That can be overcome, however. The man known as The Hefty Lefty was very unconventional and still wildly successful. Who wouldn’t love to see Kentucky bring back Jared Lorenzen to Lexington? Let him coach the quarterbacks and bring back one of the most popular players in school history at the same time. It’s a win-win.
LSU: Matt Flynn
How many times have you heard: “If only LSU had a good quarterback, they’d be able to compete with anyone!”? Well, Matt Flynn proved the Tigers can win big without featuring an All-SEC caliber quarterback. He also went on to prove a backup QB can land a massive contract in the NFL by beating the Lions. He truly has experienced a career unlike any other. A man like that knows how to get the most out of every situation and could prove to be the one that finally gets LSU to the point where the quarterbacks aren’t hurting them against elite defenses.
Mississippi State: Fred Smoot
One of the best defensive backs in Mississippi State history, who better to teach up the defensive backs in Starkville than Fred Smoot? Should this hire be made, it would have to come with an exemption that Smoot would be made available at any and all media availabilities. Instead of Joe Moorhead pressers, bring us Smoot pressers. MSU media availabilities would quickly become must-watch events.
Missouri: Chase Daniel
With the Drew Lock era in Columbia over, Clemson graduate transfer quarterback Kelly Bryant now gets the keys to the offense. Let’s hope Missouri fans didn’t take for granted all the things Lock did, because as good as Bryant might be, it will be very tough for him to outperform a player who had been the face of the offense for several seasons. That’s where Chase Daniel comes in. He’s a master of coming in and replacing a starting quarterback. He’s not flashy, but he’s stuck around the NFL for over a decade and earned millions of dollars being a star backup.
Ole Miss: Patrick Willis
One of the greatest players in Ole Miss program history, Patrick Willis twice was honored as an All-American. He even did so one season despite the fact he only had one good hand — the other was clubbed after he suffered an injury. Without a doubt, the Rebels’ defense has grown soft in recent seasons and of the long list of words you could use to describe Willis, soft would never appear on it. Willis survived a tough upbringing and achieved more success than most with every advantage given to them since birth.
South Carolina: Alshon Jeffery
Someone has to teach South Carolina’s receivers to catch the ball, who better than Alshon Jeffery? Admittedly, this hire would have sounded better prior to Jeffery’s big mistake against the Saints last Sunday in the Division Round of the NFL playoffs, but if nothing else, there would be some unintentional humor to be found with this hire.
Texas A&M: Dat Nguyen
Jimbo Fisher is attempting to raise the Texas A&M program to new heights, and bringing back one of the best linebackers in school history certainly wouldn’t hurt. Considering the Aggies will be breaking in several new linebackers next season, Dat Nguyen is the perfect familiar face to bring back to Kyle Field. Fisher’s main goal is to fix what Kevin Sumlin messed up, and not retaining Nguyen when he had the chance is something else Fisher could fix for the Aggie program.
Vanderbilt: Jay Cutler
Derek Mason’s Vanderbilt program could certainly use a spark to generate some buzz and who better to provide that than the man himself, smokin’ Jay Cutler? It just so happens that the Commodores are also down an offensive coordinator and will be breaking in a new starting quarterback following four seasons of Kyle Shurmur under center. No chance Cutler is named offensive coordinator immediately, let’s be realistic here, but maybe he could pass on some of his knowledge to Vandy’s signal callers as a position coach.