2016 Purdue Football Coaching Search: Frank Solich
Candidate Tier: MAC-urmudgeon
Who Is He?
The oldest of the old men, Frank Solich has been coaching football since the dawn of the age of fire. Ancient spirits convene to talk about Solich’s ability to coach above average football teams. He is currently in his dozen-th year at Ohio and serves at the Bobcats’ version of Joe Tiller.
Solich is an interesting generational line. To me, he’s always been Ohio’s coach and he’ll always be Ohio’s coach. But for people sliiiightly older than me (read: J Money and Boilerdowd, but not zlionsfan because he’s older than Solich), his name draws an instant connection with Nebraska.
Solich was a Husker fullback, which is super impressive because how many fullbacks can you name that went on to be a head coach? He was head coach of Lincoln Southeast High School for a decade (1968-1978), which you might know better as the fierce rivals of Lincoln Southwest High School, which is where current Purdue DC Ross Els was DC in 2015, which is where Darrell Hazell found him to be his DC, which is super perplexing.
Back to Solich. He was hired on as an assistant at Nebraska, where he spent 19 years as Tom Osborne’s running backs coach and won three national championships. Seems pretty good.
Solich took over for Osborne after his last championship, and proceeded to consistently win 9 games and make pretty awesome bowl games for six years. Nebraska, in true Nebraska fashion, decided they didn’t like that level of success and promptly fired him in favor of Bill Callahan, who was bad. Solich’s defensive coordinator was some dude by the name of Bo Pelini, who was the interim HC after Solich and probably would have been a better hire right away. Forever shoutouts to Steve Pederson, who made that wonderful decision.
Again, back to Solich, who is older than the dirt under the roots of the tallest sequoia. In 2005, Solich took the Ohio Bobcats job, and has been there ever since, and has proceeded to win 57% of his games there, and has got Ohio to a bowl game for 7 of his 12 years there, and will probably continue to do so until we all decompose beneath the earth.
Frank Solich will be coaching in mid-level bowl game in 2325, is what I’m trying to say.
Why would he be successful at Purdue?
I assume Frank Solich would wander into West Lafayette, with that exact scowl he’s been wearing since Christopher Columbus found him coaching in the Arawak Football Association in the 15th century, and continue to do exactly what Frank Solich does: win anywhere from 6 to 9 games and make a mid-December bowl game. Is that success? It might be the magical formula for eternal life, because Frank Solich has been doing it for centuries.
Why could he flop at Purdue?
Does flopping mean winning anywhere from 6 to 9 games and make a mid-December bowl game? Because, if so, then Solich will most certainly flop. But he won’t do any worse than that, because he won’t do any better than that, because that is exactly what Frank Solich has done since the Rig Veda was written.
Would he come to Purdue?
I mean, “come to Purdue” means Solich would have any say in the matter, because I’m pretty sure he has no idea where he’s coaching anymore. His assistants just point him in a direction and he proceeds to coach football at a perfectly above-adequate level, which is exactly what he’ll do wherever he is. So, sure, he’ll come to Purdue.