Waving the White Flag: Washington Should Fire Ty Willingham Now

David SingletonCorrespondent IOctober 7, 2008

I am a big proponent of patience when it comes to college coaching.


This is especially true in football, where you have to have time to recruit and get in enough players to run the system that you prefer to coach.


Granted, I also believe that coaches need to tailor their systems to fit the players they have been handed until they get enough of their guys in and in place.


I also really don’t see mid-year firings as being beneficial, since more often than not you’re going to wait until the end of the season to replace that coach anyway.


With all of that being said, however, right now there is a situation where a firing might be in order.


It may be time for Washington to fire Tyrone Willingham.


Do it now, during the bye week, and name an interim coach from within to finish out the string.


There’s no need to continue the farewell tour of the Pac-10 conference. I mean, it’s not like he’s going to collect rocking chairs or gold watches from these schools.


Actually, he might, since right now the Huskies seem to be a guaranteed victory.


I am the first to admit that I thought Ty got a raw deal from Notre Dame. Heck, I even wrote a column that said as much the day he got the axe.


But the Huskies under his watch have been downright putrid: an 11-30 record over the last three-and-a-half seasons, and no more than three wins in conference in any of the previous three seasons.


At this point, it doesn’t seem like Washington is going to win a game this year.


Now he’s burned the redshirts of a couple of freshmen on offense to try something—anything—to get the team going.


Yes, Jake Locker is out for the next four to six weeks with a broken thumb. But even with Locker, it would take a miracle at this point for the Huskies to salvage this season.


Washington recently hired a new athletic director, Scott Woodward, who is adamant that he will wait until the end of the season before deciding on Willingham’s fate.


But let’s be perfectly honest: Unless you take over an athletic department that’s on top of the world, you want to have your own guy in place as coach of one of your signature programs.


So why drag this out? We know how this story is going to end. Why not just simply can Willingham now, hire the headhunting firm, and get the search under way?


It makes no sense to postpone the inevitable.


And it’s the only decent thing to do in order to try and salvage this program.