Big 12 football coaches offered their take on Sunday’s ouster of former LSU coach Les Miles, who was dismissed despite a 114-34 record at the school following a 2-2 start this season. All acknowledged the move underscores the pressure to win every season in today’s College Football Playoff era but some questioned the timing.
“I think it’s not fair to the university and players in the program,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said during Monday’s conference call with league coaches. “If they were going to do that, they should have done it a year ago.”
Miles, who won one national championship (2007 season) and played for another during his LSU tenure, almost lost his job last November but was retained after administrators waffled on the issue. Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury said all coaches “know what you’re signing up for” when taking over football programs in Power 5 conferences and Sunday’s move at LSU merely reinforced that reality.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, Miles’ replacement in Stillwater when he took over the LSU program for the 2005 season, reflected on a conversation he had years ago with former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach.
“He told me, ‘If you stay at one place long enough, they’ll eventually get tired of you and fire you,’” Gundy said, adding that no coach is immune from such a shift in sentiment. “Les’ winning percentage at LSU was higher than Nick Saban’s (at LSU). I just know in the world we live in today, what Mike Leach says is probably true.”