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Handling of Andrews Retirement is a Warning

We would be remiss not to mention the retirement announcement of long time FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews. He played defensive back for Alabama under Bear Bryant in the '60s, was an assistant coach at Florida in the early '80s, and many SEC teams had tilts with his defenses over his 25 years in Tallahassee. It's the end of an era at one of college football's prominent programs.

From this conference's standpoint, that's about all that needs to be said about Andrews the coach. However, the way Florida State has chosen to handle the situation is a warning to anyone who decides to go the coach in waiting route.

As we all know, former LSU offensive coordinator and current FSU OC Jimbo Fisher is in line to become the head coach when Bobby Bowden retires. Bowden will be around at least through next year, so as head coach, he is going to have the final say on who replaces Andrews as the defensive coordinator. Fisher will get to offer input, but if Bowden wants to promote his buddy Chuck Amato instead against Fisher's wishes, he gets to do it.

This is the sort of conundrum that should have been clarified when Fisher became the coach in waiting. Instead, FSU has the appearance of making things up as they go along. And, since they are not wanting to offend their legendary yet lame duck head coach, he gets to make the final call. The smart thing for Bowden to do would be to let Fisher make the call anyway, but given his decision making this decade (Jeff Bowden, etc), it's no guarantee. He may saddle Fisher with the wrong guy who the school would have to fire later.

The only SEC school with a head coach in waiting is Kentucky, with Joker Phillips set to take over for Rich Brooks. I don't know if there are any agreements there regarding the hiring and firing of assistants, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to make some. There may not end up being a War of Andrews Succession, but the fact that there could be one is a warning to anyone else planning on doing the coach in waiting thing. Dot every I and cross every T, or else there's potential for ugliness.