Coaches who can#039;t, shouldn#039;t broadcast

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Those who can, do; Those who can't, teach.

In the sports realm, it was the common joke that those who couldn't play, became sports writers.

In this day and age of sports and broadcast media that saying needs some tweaking.

Email newsletter signup

Those who can't play, coach; Those who can't coach, become television personalities.

Former South Carolina head football coach Lou Holtz will join the ESPN college football crew this fall after bowing out so that Steve Spurrier could return to the Southeastern Conference.

Over the years, this has become a growing trend where washed up coaches or retired players join the television crews to give their insight.

Holtz is a natural when it comes to being quick on his feet and in front of the cameras. He was with the CBS college football crew in 1997 and '98 after he left Notre Dame before becoming the Gamecocks coach.

There have been some coaches who have added to a television broadcast and then there have been others who would make you flip over to an infomercial or the Pro Bowlers Tour from Sheboygan, Wis.

Not everyone is destined to be in front of a camera.

Former University of Georgia football coach Jim Donnan comes to mind. Having attended some of Donnan's press conferences in Athens, Ga., I can tell you he wasn't Mr. Congeniality to the press.

So when it was announced that he was joining ESPN, I almost threw a shoe.

Donnan joining a medium he despises? That's like having Paul "Bear" Bryant retire at Alabama and then take the head job at Auburn.

Donnan and the media were like oil and vinegar. You make up your own mind who was vinegar.

Donnan joined at first and then the boys decided to pull him away from the computer screen and put him in front of a camera.

Big mistake. He has about as much life as a sucked orange when it comes to broadcasting.

Most people would argue that Lee Corso doesn't deserve to have a microphone in his hand either.

For some of his insane remarks at times, he does add some level of entertainment to broadcasting.

Another favorite that comes to mind would have to be former Auburn coach Terry Bowden.

Bowden was meant to be a major college coach and he certainly wasn't made to be a college football commentator. Hence the reason why they gave him the boot and reassigned him to call games. Thank goodness he doesn't call SEC games.

While the SEC has been lucky not to have Bowden call a game from the broadcast booth, ESPN decided to marry up former University of Alabama coach Bill Curry with a broadcast crew.

You thought Curry was vanilla as a coach. Just check out his broadcasts. I've known people to take no-doze to make it through one of his games.

Thank goodness for great radio personalities like Larry Munson of Georgia, Mick Hubert of Florida and Eli Gold of Alabama.

It's former coaches like Curry and Donnan who make you turn the volume down and watch in silence.

I've always heard silence is golden. In the case of Curry's and Donnan's broadcasts, that statement is oh so true.

Kevin Taylor is sports editor of The Greenville Advocate. He can be reached by e-mailing or call (334) 383-9302 ext. 122.