Once San Jose State's Savior, It May Be Time for Dick Tomey To Step Down
In the wake of last night's 62-7 drubbing--or shall we say, latest drubbing--at the hands of Nevada, San Jose State football has reached a crisis point.
It's now easily the worst team in the WAC. Quite possibly, it's the worst team in the nation. Unquestionably, their appears to be no turnaround in the near future.
In regards to Head Coach Dick Tomey, current president of the American Football Coaches' Association and one of the winningest active coaches in the game today, San Jose State seems to be right back where they were when he took over in 2004.
Back to square one.
When Tomey took over, the program was in a shambles.
Wins were rare. Crowds were scarce. Classroom attendance and performance was abysmal, leading the NCAA sanctions that cost the team valuable scholarships throughout Tomey's tenure.
There was even a movement on campus by a minority of students and faculty demanding that the football team be put on ice for good, therefore diverting the funds allocated to the suffering and costly program to academic matters.
Tomey, the coach who had once led Hawaii out of the national cellar and moved on to bring the University of Arizona to national prominence, rode into San Jose as the proverbial "knight in shining armor," giving the program its only shred of credibility and within three years it's first bowl appearance in 20.
And five years later, the program is right back where it was when he arrived.
Coming into the 2009 season, he spoke of how the team had its greatest depth and most talent since he took over. More so, he promoted the great academic strides the Spartan players have made in the last five seasons.
He also spoke of the rugged three-game start to the season--a home contest against Utah sandwiched between away games against USC and Stanford--as a positive challenge that would motivate his players.
By now, it's clear that opening stretch has ruined the season for the Spartans, whose lone victory has come against FCS-Cal Poly in a rather competitive game.
Basically, every reason Tomey cited for Spartan fans and alumni--who have suffered through a mostly miserable 20-plus year stretch--to look foward to the season, has been empty promises and naivley wishful thinking.
It would be easy to cite Tomey's 2007 bowl victory and the players that have moved on to the NFL from the SJSU program as examples of his success in San Jose, but those supposed accomplishments are misleading.
The 2007 New Mexico Bowl was won mostly with previous coach Fitz Hill's players. The likes of quarterback Adam Trafalis, linebacker Matt Castelo, and NFL draftees John Brussard and James Jones were all in the program before Tomey arrived.
Now in 2009, he can take credit for the majority of the roster, one that's lucky to be sitting at 1-7 right now and one that appears to have given up on their season--and their coach.
And what do they have to look foward to next year? Road trips to Alabama, Utah and Wisconsin to kick things off.
Whether or not it was Tomey's idea to play the body bag games and bury his team to start two straight seasons, he has signed off on it. And his once seemingly solid recruiting ability is only looking worse and worse with each class.
And on the heels of last night's embarrasment at the hands of the Wolfpack, one thing is clear: While Tomey may have saved the program from extinction, he can't sustain the life he has given it.
An easy question to ask would be "Who better than Tomey is out there and willing to take the job?"
A more appropriate question may be, "How can the performance get any worse?"
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