FAU COACHING SEARCH: Potential Candidate Breakdown
BOCA RATON – Florida International’s million-dollar hiring of Butch Davis two weeks ago will not drive up the price for FAU’s next head coach, FAU athletic director Pat Chun said.
“What happens down south does not impact us,” Chun said.
FIU hired Davis to replace Ron Turner, who the Panthers fired mid-season. Davis will reportedly make $1 million per year in Miami.
He was, at one point, interested in becoming the coach of FAU, contacting the Owls in 2013 to gauge their interest. At the time Davis was coming off an academic scandal at North Carolina.
FAU was looking for a coach to replace Carl Pelini, who was removed amid drug allegations. The Owls hired Charlie Partridge instead.
Three years and only nine wins later, FAU is once again looking for a head football coach, but will do so from a much stronger position.
“This isn’t a fixer-upper by any stretch of the imagination,” Chun said. “This isn’t a full gut, in terms of rebuilding a house. This is someone that can come in and take a house where a lot of nice things are presented and turn it into a beautiful home.”
In 2013 Partridge signed a five-year contract at $500,000 per year. If he accepts another football position in the coming weeks, FAU will only have to pay him a $200,000 buyout.
Known as a strong recruiter, Partridge changed the look of the Owls by bringing to Boca Raton what are widely considered the three best recruiting classes in program history.
Chun undertstands that FAU will have to pay more for a coach this time around, but the Owls already factored that into the equation that prior to the Davis hiring.
“I know (FAU President Dr. John) Kelly is willing to invest a little bit more in the assistant coaching staff and in the head coaching salary to try to change our candidate pool as well,” Chun said.
Chun sees FAU as an attractive job. It’s stocked with talented football players, sits in one of the most fertile recruiting grounds in the nation, and offers facilities that FIU can’t.
Those advantages may mitigate the need to match what FIU is paying Davis.
“Our program is in a very different place – academically, Schmidt Center, stadium,” Chun said. “It’s comparing apples and oranges. What we have to offer, if you look at the whole package together in terms of what we have in our locker room right now, the types of student athletes and not understanding what (FIU has), we have a $40 million facility that we’re going to break ground in that will, in my opinion, when you collectively put our facility packaged together for football, we’ll have the best collection of facilities south of Gainesville. It’s a very different package.”