New Miami (OH) head coach Chuck Martin sat down with Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports recently, with the main focus to explain why he left one of the most highly regarded coordinator positions in college football (as the offensive coordinator at Notre Dame), to become the head coach at Miami University, who had just wrapped up a winless 0-12 season, going 0-8 in the MAC.
On top of all of that, Miami finished 105th or worse nationally in scoring (124th), rushing offense (116th), passing offense (121st), total offense (124th), scoring defense (107th), rush defense (113th), pass defense (105th) and total defense (115th) by the end of the season. I could go on and on about their dismal stats last year, but more importantly, Martin took at $200,000 pay cut when he accepted the job.
For a program known for its "Cradle of Coaches", the program had certainly seen better times. When asked why he decided to take the job, Martin jokingly noted "I'm just a little bit off."
"I took a significant pay cut. Not small. Significant. That's where you have to be a little bit off."
"That's part of that is the allure in doing this. A reporter came up to me after I took the job and honestly asked me, 'Do you think you can get this turned around?'" Martin responded, "Based on my last job and my last pay, if I can't then I am the dumbest person on the planet."
In all seriousness, Martin has no shortage of confidence in him and his staff's ability to get things turned around at Miami. It's a place with a rich football tradition and with a history of some of the most successful coaches in football, and it should really be primed for success.
Wetzel points out that Martin is so confident that he can see big success in the MAC that he's already pitching recruits on the potential of playing in the NFL. I doubt that many MAC programs are effectively using that as a recruiting pitch, and Martin has successful NFL players from his time at winning national titles at Grand Valley (D-II - MI) as a testament to his word. When one of Maimi's verbal commits flipped to Rutgers, citing the opportunity to play in a major conference like the Big Ten, Martin's response oozed confidence in him and his staff.
"The highest level is the NFL. If you think they can get you to the NFL more than me, then go play there." Martin told the recruit, who then flipped back to Miami.
That's just part of his unique recruiting pitch.
"Here's what's in it for you if you come to Miami: I'm going to kick your ass every day." Martin added. "If you don't want that, then that's fine. I'm good. Not many people are selling you a good ass-kicking these days."