By Craig Fields
In the last game of the season, the North Texas Mean Green lost a heartbreaker 20-17 to the UTEP Miners. In a game where the Mean Green had a +3 turnover margin, they just could not get it done offensively.
Quarterback Andrew McNulty started the game but was knocked out of it when he took a hard hit from linebacker Jimmy Musgrave. This loss was very indicative of the entire season. Discipline, scoring or lack thereof, and not being able to have the offense, defense, and special teams units work together in the same game to get a victory have plagued this team all season long.
When head coach Dan McCarney was fired in the middle of the season, the writing was pretty much written on the wall that this team would most likely have one of the worst seasons in UNT history. The historical whooping that they took at the hands of Portland State, an FCS program, really showed the lack of talent, skill, discipline, and overall disarray that this team was in.
Somewhere along the way there was a disconnect of trust between player and coach. The team and play calling became very predictable and stale because the coaching staff did not trust their players enough to include a scheme too “hard” to understand or too “difficult” to get week after week. If that does not point to trust issues then I don’t know what does.
For this program to improve next year, the Athletic Director Rick Villarreal, should be fired. He has been the one in charge of hiring Todd Dodge and Dan McCarney. During both of their tenures here, over a span of 9 years, UNT has only had one winning season. That is pitiful for a program where winning was the norm just 10 or 11 years ago.
While Villarreal has done his part of the job is in improving facilities for the Mean Green Athletics department. He has failed to find the right coach for the UNT football or basketball teams for that matter. That is one of his most important jobs and he has failed to deliver.
UNT needs a coach that comes in with a great reputation so that they can recruit better players. Recruiting one or two star talent will not get the job done. But one of the main ways to get better talent is to hire a coach that is known for getting players in the NFL.
Top recruits want to go where they will receive playing time, good coaching, and most importantly an opportunity to take that next step and possibly play at the next level in the pros. And the most important thing for UNT is to find a coach who can promise that.