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Karlgaard / AD Thread - elw4796 - 03-09-2021 10:58 AM

The longest of long shots...but is there any chance we could have a dedicated thread to Karlgaard rather than have half of the game threads devolve into the same discussions about his successes and failures?

Would be much easier to have focused discussions rather than having to go into three or four different game threads. Seems like it would make sense considering the sheer number of posts about him that there are on a weekly basis.

If not, feel free to let this thread slide into oblivion.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - waltgreenberg - 03-09-2021 11:07 AM

(03-09-2021 10:58 AM)elw4796 Wrote:  The longest of long shots...but is there any chance we could have a dedicated thread to Karlgaard rather than have half of the game threads devolve into the same discussions about his successes and failures?

Would be much easier to have focused discussions rather than having to go into three or four different game threads. Seems like it would make sense considering the sheer number of posts about him that there are on a weekly basis.

If not, feel free to let this thread slide into oblivion.

And all repeating the same talking points ad nauseum by the same posters.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - OptimisticOwl - 03-09-2021 11:36 AM

(03-09-2021 11:07 AM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  
(03-09-2021 10:58 AM)elw4796 Wrote:  The longest of long shots...but is there any chance we could have a dedicated thread to Karlgaard rather than have half of the game threads devolve into the same discussions about his successes and failures?

Would be much easier to have focused discussions rather than having to go into three or four different game threads. Seems like it would make sense considering the sheer number of posts about him that there are on a weekly basis.

If not, feel free to let this thread slide into oblivion.

And all repeating the same talking points ad nauseum by the same posters.

I don't know whether or not to take this personally, but I agree that a dedicated thread would be good.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - Owl 69/70/75 - 03-09-2021 11:43 AM

(03-09-2021 11:36 AM)OptimisticOwl Wrote:  
(03-09-2021 11:07 AM)waltgreenberg Wrote:  
(03-09-2021 10:58 AM)elw4796 Wrote:  The longest of long shots...but is there any chance we could have a dedicated thread to Karlgaard rather than have half of the game threads devolve into the same discussions about his successes and failures?
Would be much easier to have focused discussions rather than having to go into three or four different game threads. Seems like it would make sense considering the sheer number of posts about him that there are on a weekly basis.
If not, feel free to let this thread slide into oblivion.
And all repeating the same talking points ad nauseum by the same posters.
I don't know whether or not to take this personally, but I agree that a dedicated thread would be good.

Well, this is it. We may have a few new posters joining to contribute to this thread. It will therefore not be, "the same talking points ad nauseum by the same posters."


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - elw4796 - 03-09-2021 12:11 PM

My take, not that anybody asked: I think you probably have to fire Karlgaard if baseball can't quickly turn it around and football doesn't take the expected next step next season. Because realistically I can foresee 3-4 huge hires in the next 2-3 years. Bloomgren if his system doesn't produce the desired results, which is plausible. Pera if there isn't massive improvement next year (I'm assuming he'll get another year). Braga, if the team is as bad as people are making it out to be (I sadly have not been able to muster interest in baseball because my four years coincided with the last of the Graham years and those were not years of enjoyable baseball). And potentially Langley, who will certainly remain in high demand and who could always be swayed by a prestige move.

Even if Karlgaard has done a great job hiring and retaining Langley (a surefire home run hire), and retaining Volpe and hiring Lee (I think), I just don't think you can entrust him to make the next rounds of appointments.

Rhoades was a good hire but a shortsighted one. He was never going to last long at Rice. Pera was an understandable panic hire, because you had a team disintegrating and he was the last shot at keeping some of the core together. I don't think Bloomgren was necessarily a bad hire or is a bad coach. Hiring somebody like him from Stanford was understandable, and he's shown he can still recruit even without Texas connections. But I don't think he was the *right* hire. And the baseball folk on this board can talk more about Braga, another guy who when the hiring was announced I thought sounded like a decent pick but clearly hasn't shown to be.

Just too many misses for me. Sure, you can attribute it to systemic issues at Rice. Maybe another AD wouldn't have had any better luck. But I still think we need new blood, especially if the next year or two are as bad as they could be.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - Frizzy Owl - 03-09-2021 12:56 PM

(Just so we’re clear, I’m not advocating settling for mediocrity.)

Rice is a below-average D1 coaching and AD destination. To expect Rice to consistently land and retain above-average coaching and AD talent is illogical, as is expecting Rice to never hire a dud.

Many of you set a minimum expectation that Rice consistently exceed the hiring successes of schools that have a lot more to offer. I get the sentiment, but it isn’t realistic.

Some of you talk about the need to hire coaches who “get Rice”. That doesn’t always work. Bailiff “got Rice” to an exceptional degree. That might be something that will improve chances of success, but it’s not a magic talisman.

And then there’s those of you who say that if we can’t be champions we should just drop the program. That’s what quitters and losers say. That’s the attitude of someone who throws his golf bag into a water hazard and walks away from the game because he’s never broken par for the course.

And that’s all I have to say on the subject.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - 75src - 03-09-2021 01:12 PM

In the rest of the University, bad programs either have to be improve or be dropped.
Why should we put up with bad athletics? There are other university programs that could use the money to achieve excellence. My fear is that we have reached a point in athletics where we are unlikely to return to being important.

I will not be renewing my season tickets and Owl Club membership. After 60 years of being a Rice fan, it has got to where it is no fun to go to the various sports. I will buy some individual tickets in the future but I am cutting back my involvement. Most of the people I know have long since stopped going and the quality of the competition and Rice teams have gone downhill. Also I can cut back on the 80 mile round trips.

(03-09-2021 12:56 PM)Frizzy Owl Wrote:  (Just so we’re clear, I’m not advocating settling for mediocrity.)

Rice is a below-average D1 coaching and AD destination. To expect Rice to consistently land and retain above-average coaching and AD talent is illogical, as is expecting Rice to never hire a dud.

Many of you set a minimum expectation that Rice consistently exceed the hiring successes of schools that have a lot more to offer. I get the sentiment, but it isn’t realistic.

Some of you talk about the need to hire coaches who “get Rice”. That doesn’t always work. Bailiff “got Rice” to an exceptional degree. That might be something that will improve chances of success, but it’s not a magic talisman.

And then there’s those of you who say that if we can’t be champions we should just drop the program. That’s what quitters and losers say. That’s the attitude of someone who throws his golf bag into a water hazard and walks away from the game because he’s never broken par for the course.

And that’s all I have to say on the subject.



RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - mrbig - 03-09-2021 01:40 PM

Baseball (B-): my main problem with the Braga hire is that Berkman wanted the job. Like he really, really wanted it. Getting someone of that cache in baseball circles with his name for recruiting, not to mention his great personality for recruiting and likely being popular with HS coaches, that's tough to beat. An alum who would likely stay at Rice if he is successful, even if he is making less money. Seemed like a no-brainer to me. Braga was actually a risky hire with Berkman as the other option. So I'll give JK some kudos on having the guts to make a hire that he probably new a decent chunk of the fan base would not like ... but it was probably not the right move unless things turn around super quick. I'd increase the grade on this hire to a B if Berkman had not wanted the job. I don't know the inside details on WG's departure, but it certainly left a sour taste in my mouth. My sense from afar is that WG and JK could have handled things better.

Football (C+): extending Bailiff was a mistake. Bloomgren is better IMHO, but his inflexibility on offense and apparent inability to recruit/develop a QB have really held the team back. Bloomgren seems like the kind of guy who can be successful (but not elite) at a P5 program where he can win some recruiting battles, but not the kind of transformative coach that Rice really needed then and needs now. Bloomgren is a football coach, Rice needs a chess player who will take some risks.

Men's Basketball (B): I liked the Rhoades hire and always thought he would move to greener pastures in 3-5 years. He was a potential shot in the arm to the program. I never expected that so many players would transfer when he left. I still like the Pera hire. Not sure what to do about the defense, but he has been able to identify, recruit, and develop some seriously talented offensive players. That isn't easy at Rice! Unfortunately, most of them transfer when the develop. In the current men's basketball landscape, I'm not sure what kind of coach can avoid the transfer epidemic, if I was convinced someone could, then I would probably drop this grade to a B-, because Rice really needs someone who can keep reasonable talent on campus for 4 years.

Women's Basketball (A): Enough said.

I don't follow the other sports enough to give grades.

Does JK get bonus points for not saying racially insensitive things to student athletes, threatening to fight a football player, or any of the other weird things that I dare not delve into that came with his predecessor?

I'd probably give JK a B overall, even though the weight of his hires might be lower.

Rice needs something transformative at this point. JK has been here long enough that we know he isn't going to be a transformative leader. I'm OK with Rice taking a chance on a new leader at this point. I don't regret the hiring of JK by any stretch, I just feel like we are at the point where there is no rational reason to expect a significant improvement from him moving forward and we need someone who at least has a chance of significant improvement. He's done some good things, but Rice has mostly tread water. That's better than drowning, but not as good as swimming or building a boat.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - mrbig - 03-09-2021 01:47 PM

(03-09-2021 12:56 PM)Frizzy Owl Wrote:  (Just so we’re clear, I’m not advocating settling for mediocrity.)

Rice is a below-average D1 coaching and AD destination. To expect Rice to consistently land and retain above-average coaching and AD talent is illogical, as is expecting Rice to never hire a dud.

Many of you set a minimum expectation that Rice consistently exceed the hiring successes of schools that have a lot more to offer. I get the sentiment, but it isn’t realistic.

Some of you talk about the need to hire coaches who “get Rice”. That doesn’t always work. Bailiff “got Rice” to an exceptional degree. That might be something that will improve chances of success, but it’s not a magic talisman.

And then there’s those of you who say that if we can’t be champions we should just drop the program. That’s what quitters and losers say. That’s the attitude of someone who throws his golf bag into a water hazard and walks away from the game because he’s never broken par for the course.

And that’s all I have to say on the subject.

I'd just like to see Rice's leadership thinking outside the box a little more. We keep trying the same formulas that have worked at other places, but we try them without the resources or history of success (the things that keep Rice a below-average destination). Mix in a little more initiative, creativity, and risk.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - illiniowl - 03-09-2021 03:40 PM

(03-09-2021 01:47 PM)mrbig Wrote:  
(03-09-2021 12:56 PM)Frizzy Owl Wrote:  (Just so we’re clear, I’m not advocating settling for mediocrity.)

Rice is a below-average D1 coaching and AD destination. To expect Rice to consistently land and retain above-average coaching and AD talent is illogical, as is expecting Rice to never hire a dud.

Many of you set a minimum expectation that Rice consistently exceed the hiring successes of schools that have a lot more to offer. I get the sentiment, but it isn’t realistic.

Some of you talk about the need to hire coaches who “get Rice”. That doesn’t always work. Bailiff “got Rice” to an exceptional degree. That might be something that will improve chances of success, but it’s not a magic talisman.

And then there’s those of you who say that if we can’t be champions we should just drop the program. That’s what quitters and losers say. That’s the attitude of someone who throws his golf bag into a water hazard and walks away from the game because he’s never broken par for the course.

And that’s all I have to say on the subject.

I'd just like to see Rice's leadership thinking outside the box a little more. We keep trying the same formulas that have worked at other places, but we try them without the resources or history of success (the things that keep Rice a below-average destination). Mix in a little more initiative, creativity, and risk.

Two good posts on the right track IMO. The problem really isn't Karlgaard. It's Rice. I think JK came here thinking we were a Stanford-in-the-making, that there was a will here to throw the full weight of the university into achieving real athletic prominence (which IMO can only be done one of two ways: (a) with football in a P5 conference, or (b) without football).

There is no such will here. There is among Parliament posters and maybe even a few BOT members, but we/they are and always have been vastly outweighed by an apathetic-to-hostile rest of the Rice community. And it is nearly hopeless now that we are in the neighborhood we are. Essentially nobody associated with Rice can muster up any enthusiasm for playing the teams we do (those of you that can, my hat is off to you). Winning does help, and we do see short-term success here in various sports -- as most schools do -- but it quickly proves unsustainable (unless the sport literally has a HOF-level coach like WG, Victor Lopez/Jim Bevan, etc.) because the support isn't there. This place doesn't and isn't going to care about schools we have nothing in common with.

JK probably has modernized the athletic department into a generally functional state. That would have been enough to produce significant improvement at basically any other school in the country, i.e., those that are in conferences with peers, rivalries, a critical mass of engaged students/alumni, etc. -- the ingredients for life, as it were. But that's not the case here. He also has to hire -- and then retain -- miracle workers as coaches. In the big 3 sports, he hasn't. But could anyone?

In the short term, and especially in the big 3, I think if a coach isn't making any significant sparks within 3 years max, cut ties and spin the wheel again. You can't find what you need if you're not out there looking. JK is probably not going to be someone who does that, though. But I'm not sure anybody that comes from a conventional athletic administration background is going to be, either. And Rice seems an unlikely candidate to approve buyout after buyout as the P5 schools do.

In the longer (but not too long!) term, we need MAJOR outside-the-box thinking. I've proposed a ten-year "Manhattan Project/bet the company" level investment that would involve taking football independent, playing at least half our games against P5 schools, and either getting back to the P5 in 10 years or shutting down football. Or, we can shut football down now and put those resources toward our other sports and some new ones, with the goal of being top caliber in all.

However, without truly visionary change agents in the president's and AD's chairs -- and we have neither -- by default we are just going to stay the course.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - Hambone10 - 03-09-2021 05:35 PM

(03-09-2021 01:47 PM)mrbig Wrote:  I'd just like to see Rice's leadership thinking outside the box a little more. We keep trying the same formulas that have worked at other places, but we try them without the resources or history of success (the things that keep Rice a below-average destination). Mix in a little more initiative, creativity, and risk.

1,000 times this. Why we think we can do what others do without the things that made them succeed is constantly puzzling. It needs to be an integrated approach IMO... Instead there seems to be little coordination between what the University is doing and what athletics is doing. Athletics is trying to build a budget monster truck and Academics is moving to a downtown loft. Even if we were able to build the monster truck, we now don't have anywhere to park it.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - jowls13 - 03-09-2021 07:56 PM

Karlgaard has been at the school for about 8 years. Quite a good amount of time. Bill Parcells once said, “you are what your record says you are.” Pretty much sums up all of my thoughts on him and his hires.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - OptimisticOwl - 03-09-2021 08:11 PM

(03-09-2021 01:47 PM)mrbig Wrote:  I'd just like to see Rice's leadership thinking outside the box a little more. We keep trying the same formulas that have worked at other places, but we try them without the resources or history of success (the things that keep Rice a below-average destination). Mix in a little more initiative, creativity, and risk.

Maybe waaaay outside the box. Time to gamble.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - Texasowl - 03-09-2021 08:40 PM

You also need a President who also has interest in pushing for excellence in sports.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - Ourland - 03-10-2021 01:10 AM

(03-09-2021 12:56 PM)Frizzy Owl Wrote:  (Just so we’re clear, I’m not advocating settling for mediocrity.)

Rice is a below-average D1 coaching and AD destination. To expect Rice to consistently land and retain above-average coaching and AD talent is illogical, as is expecting Rice to never hire a dud.

Many of you set a minimum expectation that Rice consistently exceed the hiring successes of schools that have a lot more to offer. I get the sentiment, but it isn’t realistic.

Some of you talk about the need to hire coaches who “get Rice”. That doesn’t always work. Bailiff “got Rice” to an exceptional degree. That might be something that will improve chances of success, but it’s not a magic talisman.

And then there’s those of you who say that if we can’t be champions we should just drop the program. That’s what quitters and losers say. That’s the attitude of someone who throws his golf bag into a water hazard and walks away from the game because he’s never broken par for the course.

And that’s all I have to say on the subject.

Very good post. You said it.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - Ourland - 03-10-2021 01:17 AM

Karlgaard's contract is up in about five months. I actually expect to hear soon that it has been extended.. He does things the Rice way. He's a "yes" man who doesn't make waves. He doesn't test the boundaries. I don't think they really care that we're terrible in the big three sports right now. They'll give him another chance to figure it all out.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - Buho00 - 03-10-2021 08:30 AM

Baseball F - a monkey as an AD would've fared better. The monkey would do nothing, WG would win a few more games and retire on his terms, having a say in picking a worthy successor.

Football C- - not impressed so far, I think we'll see Bloomgren lose a bunch of close games next year since we have improved but he still can't adjust in-game and is our weakest HC on offense in the last 30+ years. Despite playing the worst competition we've ever played. Being generous with the grade because recruiting is going ok, the team looks prepared, and the defense has improved, some hope for a turnaround in year 4!

Men's Basketball C - Not where we want to be but could do worse with than the two hires.

Other sports B - Women's volleyball, basketball, soccer, tennis and others have been decent to good.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - waltgreenberg - 03-10-2021 08:33 AM

(03-10-2021 08:30 AM)Buho00 Wrote:  Baseball F - a monkey as an AD would've fared better. The monkey would do nothing, WG would win a few more games and retire on his terms, having a say in picking a worthy successor.

Football C- - not impressed so far, I think we'll see Bloomgren lose a bunch of close games next year since we have improved but he still can't adjust in-game and is our weakest HC on offense in the last 30+ years. Despite playing the worst competition we've ever played. Being generous with the grade because recruiting is going ok, the team looks prepared, and the defense has improved, some hope for a turnaround in year 4!

Men's Basketball C - Not where we want to be but could do worse with than the two hires.

Other sports B - Women's volleyball, basketball, soccer, tennis and others have been decent to good.

Do tell how women's volleyball and basketball receive anything but an A grade? "Decent to good"? Seriously? And women's tennis deserves at least an A- grade if not a solid A.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - RiceLad15 - 03-10-2021 08:43 AM

I feel like we're being too hard on Karlgaard in regards to men's basketball, in a comparative sense. He deserves at least an A for not causing a mass basketball transfer because of racist remarks.

Ah, Ranger Rick. Now that was a nightmare.

Karlgaard seems to have excelled at supporting non-rev sports (see Walt's post), but has not cracked the nut of revenue sports in the ever changing college athletics landscape. If after 8 yrs we haven't seen marked improvement over Ranger Rick in those sports (and a precipitous drop off in baseball), the time is nigh to move on and try something new.


RE: Karlgaard / AD Thread - texowl2 - 03-10-2021 11:38 AM

(03-10-2021 01:17 AM)Ourland Wrote:  Karlgaard's contract is up in about five months. I actually expect to hear soon that it has been extended.. He does things the Rice way. He's a "yes" man who doesn't make waves. He doesn't test the boundaries. I don't think they really care that we're terrible in the big three sports right now. They'll give him another chance to figure it all out.

sad and true