The time that North Texas fans have been dreading is closer than ever. Power 5 programs are courting Seth Littrell. Kansas State has placed North Texas’ coach at the top of their list, and Colorado is sniffing around.
Before we go any further, a word on coaches leaving, it’s ok. If someone came to your job and offered to double your salary and give you a nicer office or a better cash register you’d do it. It’s not treasonous or deceptive; it’s business. Be proud. If Littrell chooses to leave, he gave Mean Green fans a lot to cheer about during a historic run.
Houston’s watched coaches like Littrell leave for the better part of fifteen years.
In the seminal coming of age film “Fandango,” Kevin Costner’s character tells a heartbroken buddy, “the only way to get over a woman is you gotta get yourself another one.” That’s what Houston’s done in the coaching realm. Art Briles goes to Baylor they got Kevin Sumlin, Sumlin goes to A&M they promote Tony Levine (no, he wasn’t a bad hire), after Levine they brought in Tom Herman. Once Herman’s plan to get to Austin came to fruition they promoted Major Applewhite. In the meantime, and throughout all that transition, Houston’s the winningest program in the state because they’ve stacked solid hires.
If Littrell leaves, and there’s no guarantee he does, but if he heads north, our money is on North Texas AD Wren Baker to get the next hire right. Whether he promotes from within or surprises us, his track record is extremely positive. He’s fundraising like crazy and performing an AD’s most important task, directing cranes, very well. North Texas boasts some of the best facilities in CUSA and with an indoor practice area coming online in the next couple of years, that lead will widen.
Baker’s spruced up Apogee stadium, and will soon add 4,000 square feet to the Mean Green locker room. He’s also got plans for a 6,000 square foot expansion of the sports medicine facility and an increase to bring the weight room from 7,000 to 23,000 square feet - bigger than any P5 in Texas. The athletic department is trending up.
Plus North Texas is an attractive job. The Mean Green are within a tank of gas of all the players they’ll need to win. Littrell’s made significant inroads into east Texas and Oklahoma. Plus this team will be coming off three straight bowl trips, with at least eighteen wins in two seasons, and a lot of talent coming back. The Mean Green have a lot to sell, and they’ll find the right buyer.
College coaches view Texas as football’s Valhalla, where players grow on trees, high school coaching is the best in the country, and potential is vast. Wonder why Jake Spavital left the friendly confines of West Virginia to take over Texas State’s dumpster fire? It’s about location, location, location, Texas is a desired destination. With Baker in charge, potential candidates can feel comfortable that they’ll get what they need and more to succeed.
We’ll take our chances that, whenever Seth Littrell decides to pack up the UHaul, Wren Baker gets the next hire right. He hasn’t missed much during his time in Denton.