Mack Rhoades is excited about the opportunity to bring in a new coach. Rhoades comes into a good situation with legacy that Gary Pinkel and his staff have built. Rhoades feels that the program can be elevated to the next level.
“Coach Pinkel proved that,” said Rhoades, with the four conference division titles. “We can even take this thing to a higher level and compete for a national championship. I believe you can win a national championship at the University of Missouri…and what head coach wouldn’t like that opportunity.”
Rhoades obviously can’t comment on his list of names, which all Athletic Directors keep under lock and key, but he did admit he has two or three on his short list, but he is not limiting himself.
“I’m not locked into any certain candidate,” Rhoades said when asked about the potential of bringing along a coach like Tom Herman, who Rhoades hired at Houston. “It’s more about the fit.”
Listen to Mack Rhoades presser
Rhoades is looking for candidate who has the qualities of a CEO. He’s looking for a head coach who can oversee the totality of a program, almost more so than an X’s and O’s guy. Rhoades candidate will have to ability to hire staff as he sees fit, whether or not that includes long time assistants under Pinkel. It could also be a candidate with former head coaching experience or a coordinator.
That could certainly leave the door open for a guy like Barry Odom, the defensive coordinator for Mizzou.
Ultimately, Rhoades is looking for someone who has the CEO qualities who can recruit and compete in the SEC.
While Rhoades may have two of three names on his list, in addition to his wish list, he also has to keep an eye on the situation at Georgia. What will Mark Richt’s status be after this season. Wednesday, there are reports that Les Miles of LSU may be playing for his job in the final two weeks of the season.
Not saying that Rhoades would interview one or both of those coaches if there were available, but it also opens up the competition to fill four SEC openings (South Carolina included).
“If it’s market driven and it’s the right guy, we’ll play what we need to.” The search is on for Rhoades.