The coaching search for UCLA football’s next head honcho is both exciting and nerve-wrecking. While we’re stoked about turning over a new leaf (hopefully into football prominence), we’re a little worried about just how flighty Athletic Director Dan Guerrero’s decision-making really is. The dude’s burned through two head coaches (Karl Dorrell and Rick Neuheisel) during his tenure, and not many A.D.’s live to hire a third.
What if that third coach were Mike Martz, currently offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears?
Looking purely at wins and losses, Martz isn’t the worst option we have. He has a winning record in the NFL (53-32) and he’s also one of the architects of the greatest professional football offenses in history, engineering the “Greatest Show on Turf” as the OC with the Rams during the 1999-00 season, which culminated in a Super Bowl victory.
But beyond wins and losses, Martz is a terrible option.
Recently, Martz has had success this season in reviving a perennially-stagnant Bears’ offense. However, not only does this come with some questionable play-calling (as Martz is known for), but it comes after around four years of ups and downs as offensive coordinator for the Niners and Lions. Martz is a pass-happy fiend who likes to run his offenses straight into the ground or skyrocket them towards the moon. He kind of calls plays like we do in Madden: Pass, pass, pass, pass, and pass.
What UCLA has needed for quite some time is well-roundedness, and Martz is the opposite of that. His expertise is extremely limited to pass-centered offenses and though he’s had success as a head coach with the Rams, it isn’t as if head coaching is all about X’s and O’s in college football. You’d have to wonder that Martz would be too stubborn to adjust to the ever-changing talent on a college football roster and would be a terrible recruiter. (Martz doesn’t exactly have a shining, lovable personality with players in their mid-twenties, let alone kids between the ages of 18 and 23.) He lacks versatility and poise as a head coach.
It’s difficult to make the assertion that a proven offensive coordinator in the NFL (and, some would argue, head coach) won’t garner much success as a Pac-12 coach, where tackling is optional and offenses run rampant. That’s the case, though, because Martz is going to be competing with Lane Kiffin for recruits, and in the end, Martz’s demeanor will hinder the Bruins rather than help them. X’s and O’s are critical, don’t get me wrong, but so is bringing in top-level talent, and unless you’re U$C, you can’t entice players with cold, hard cash like you can in the pros.
So the verdict? Mike Martz is a crappy choice. NEXT!