Butch Davis is currently tied with algroh for most losses to Frank Beamer with eight, one behind the nine racked up by Tom O’Brien. It seems highly-unlikely that either Sgt. Schultz or the Great NFL Legend will have the opportunity to make a run at the record.
While algroh continues to toil at Georgia Tech as the ACC’s highest-paid Defensive Coordinator, Butch finds himself at loose ends following his algrohing last week by North Carolina Chancellor Holden Thorp. I have found much humor over the years in both former head coaches and will miss them.
Butch’s untimely departure seemed unusual, coming a week before the start of August practice. But, it happened at the very first meeting of Carolina’s BOT after BOTBob Winston, the guy who orchestrated the hiring of Butch, rotated off the BOT. This was no coincidence.
Butch was a laugh riot. Whether it was his claim at Miami to have ‘cleaned up’ the Canes from the cesspool that had operated there when he was on the staff [when he perfected his hilarious 'I know nothing' comedy routine]to the annual losses to Frank, immediately followed by Butch’s declaration that the Canes would be Back ‘Next Year,’ by cracky, to his truly humorous sideline bumbling, to most anything that came out of his mouth during the past year, there was plenty for the connoisseur of sports humor to savor. I did.
Butch was not exactly Vince Lombardi. His sideline panic attacks, usually preceded by Butch ripping off his headset and racing aimlessly up and down the bench area, generally on national television, were legendary and always seemed to happen at critical junctures. That Butch had about as much trouble beating algroh, of all people, as he did with Frank and Bobby Bowden speaks volumes about his coaching acumen. His difficulty in determining Carolina’s biggest football rival was also well-chronicled; the one thing at which Big John Bunting excelled, beating State, came to an abrupt end with the hiring of Butch, much like the Canes wins over Florida State immediately ceased upon Butch’s hiring.
Butch’s chief talent was self-promotion. Boy, was he good at it. Rarely has a coach who won big with the rarity as did Butch received such accolades, with the loudest coming from Butch himself. Coaches who carry an 8-win benchmark don’t often receive the praise and high salaries Butch enjoyed. Did BOTBob do any due diligence whatsoever before falling for the hype? If you are going to cheat at SEC levels, at least hire a coach who wins like they do in the SEC.
Butch also displayed a remarkable talent for cheating. Well, he learned from the best. The sheer volume of violations at Carolina, with whispers of more to come, are astounding. Butch’s ‘What the hell, break all the NCAA rules’ approach will carry consequences for Carolina; the NCAA will determine to what extent down the road.
When Butch high-tailed it out of Miami the day after promising all within earshot that he would not [the first inkling provided that what Butch says is perhaps not the truth], the team he had bought recruited got better, at least for a while. Uncle Fester wasn’t able to keep the Backness going, however. While there is certainly enough talent on hand in Blue Heaven to have a very good season, the future doesn’t appear to be particularly bright, no matter the severity of the upcoming sanctions.
Chancellor Thorp seems unwilling to allow Pack Pride to continue functioning as the investigative arm of the Carolina Honor Court. Among other things, that likely means a bit more attention will be paid to academics among Carolina football players. That means that recruits like Austin, Little and McAdoo will no longer be attending. All schools that achieve success in football, including the one in Blacksburg, depend on academic ‘exceptions’ to keep the bowl games coming and the stadiums full, including the Butch Mahal opening in a few weeks at Kenan. For the foreseeable future, large quantities of those players won’t be attending Carolina. It will take a toll. It will take a few years to determine how badly Butch has butched-up Carolina football, but there will be damage.
And Butch joins algroh in no longer patrolling an ACC sideline, at least as the guy in charge. The league’s coaching humor quotient will go down. The ACC’s Mr. Personality, Paul Johnson, is still at Georgia Tech. But, now that he has taken the lead in the Football Championships Vacated category [Butch never contended for that one at Carolina, despite the nine major violations], I suspect he is updating his resume. TOB’s lead in most losses to Frank is unlikely to be challenged anytime soon.
For the second time in a little over a decade, I find myself bidding adios to Butch. You were a laugh a minute, big guy. I’ll miss you.