BYU must stop checking temple recommends at the door to the football coachâ€™s office.
Star-crossed Coach Crowton has just lost his third season in a row. He will be asked to leave. Someone must replace him. This is the hot topic in Cougardom, all the hotter because there are no surefire LDS candidates. Oh, the Eaglesâ€™ Andy Reid could save us. But Andy Reidâ€™s not coming.
Itâ€™s time, I think, for BYU to take a page out of Notre Dameâ€™s book. Notre Dame has made a point of gathering in the top believing Jewish and Protestant scholars, people like Marsden in history and Plantinga in philosophy. That way they get professors of faith from a larger talent pool. We donâ€™t do the same with our professors and I understand why. Catholics have the confidence of a millennia-long intellectual tradition while weâ€™re still feeling our way. I donâ€™t understand why we donâ€™t do the same with our football coach.
Our football program doesnâ€™t exist to make any points about continuing revelation or Godâ€™s Manhood or anything else distinctively Mormon. It exists to brand BYU and us by extension with an image of clean, faithful living and hard effort and success. A coach doesnâ€™t have to be Mormon to do that. Look at Coach Grimes, who took a pay cut to come here from ASU, because he thought the conditions better fit his evangelical beliefs. A coach does have to be good, to do that, and the simple fact is that BYU will have better luck finding a good coach if they expand their pool of candidates. The right non-member coach could even send an ecumenical message that itself could open doors. BYU doesnâ€™t have favor a non-member coach over the Mormon candidates, but they should think about it.
Thatâ€™s my advice. I retail it confidently, knowing that no one will take it.
An announcement is expected next week.