Column/The search for Alabama’s next coach goes on

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 11, 2006

I racked my brain thinking about who should be the next man to lead the Alabama football team.

Then I got to thinking …

Why go through all this? Why settle this the old fashioned way?

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There’s only one truly effective

way to hire the next Crimson Tide coach – stage a reality TV show.

We could call it “Who Wants to Ride the Tide?”

Not feeling it? Me, neither.

We’ll take a look at the men I think would look good in red when we go down “The List.”

4. Barry Alvarez, Wisconsin – If you know nothing else about Alvarez, know this – he can beat Auburn.

One of my best friends is a Tigers fan, and every time I say the words “Capital One Bowl” around him, he seizures.

Alvarez had a 118-73-4 record at Wisconsin, won three Rose Bowls and he has all the mental toughness to be the coach of the Crimson Tide.

But you may have noticed I keep talking about his accomplishments in the past tense.

You see, the thing about Ol’ Barry is he’s retired.

Plus, he’s an institution in Madison. He’s got his own statue on campus, and he seems to be very happy in his current job in administration.

It’ll take a lot more than waving a big wad of cash in his face to lure him to Tuscaloosa.

3. Paul Johnson, Navy – If you’re looking for a guy that can draw a blueprint for effective turnarounds, he’s it.

Let’s first start with the running game, something that was foreign to the Crimson Tide this season.

The Midshipmen have either led or been near the top of college football in rushing the past three years.

They’re also going to a school-record fourth consecutive bowl.

Not too bad for a team that had won all of one game in the two seasons before Johnson arrived in 2002.

Personally, I’d rather watch grass grow than watch Navy’s grinding running style, but results are results.

This is a coach that’s smart enough to work with what he has, and he’d have a ton to work with at Alabama.

2. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech – As far as style and coaching philosophy, he’s probably the best fit.

Beamer believes in balance – running and passing offense and putting equal importance on defense and special teams.

He has 146 wins, and if not for Florida State, he’d have already had a national title or two.

1. Rush Propst, Hoover High – Yes, I am crazy. If you read my column every week, you know that already.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Coaching credentials aside, this is a phenomenal public relations move for Alabama.

Propst has had nationally ranked teams in recent years, and he’s the star of a popular MTV show.

But this is the best part: His former quarterback, John

Parker Wilson, is the Tide starter. You can’t script this stuff any better.

I’m saying it now for everyone to hear: “Propst for Coach!”

George L. Jones is sports editor of The Selma Times-Journal. He can be reached at .