Willis Comes Home

By InTheKnow72

“We have an opponent in this state that we work
365 days a year to dominate.”
—Nick Saban at his 2007 press conference.

Today, Coach Saban put another brick in that wall. James Willis was the only legitimate coach on the Auburn staff. The only holdover from Tubberville’s regime, Willis was a solid down-to-earth coach on the plains. And four weeks into the Chizik circus, James Willis has come home to the Capstone. Like a speedboat cruising in to save you as you lose your last grip on the Titanic, Willis avoided the icy waters that encircle Auburn’s future to cruise away in luxury and style.

As the Auburn message boards melted down at the news today, the realization began to set in for Auburn fans everywhere. Head-to-head, Bama not only gets whatever recruit it wants, Coach Saban can lure any of your coaches away that are worth having. And James Willis, from his recruiting prowess to his on-the-field ability to relate to players, is definitely worth the hire. With his knowledge of the coaching in-roads in this state, there could not have been a more perfect hire to replace Thompson. Alabama is blessed to have a coach like Willis on the staff.

My question for Auburn fans though is this: how do you respond when you hear an All-American, Pat Dye recruit make statements like these?

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“I’m excited about the opportunity to come and work with Coach Saban at the University of Alabama.”
And not because Auburn wouldn’t hire him. He was sitting pretty. He LEFT Auburn for Bama.

“He is one of the best defensive coaches in the game and this is a chance to gain some great experience and learn from the best.”
Here’s where I get confused. All we heard from our Aubie friends when Chizik was hired was that he was a defensive guru…the defensive mastermind who led them to dominance in 2004. Did Willis just say Chizik wasn’t the best? Yep, I’ll clear that one up for you. Your All-American just tagged for you who your daddy is.

“You don’t get many chances like that in the coaching business.”
Guess it won’t be hard to sell that idea to recruits. I can hear it now…”Listen, take it from me, I played in the SEC and in the NFL…you don’t get many chances to play for a coach like Coach Saban in your career.”

“When you combine that opportunity with the history and tradition at Alabama…”
Auburn friends, I thought tradition and history didn’t matter? Hmmm.

“…it was a decision that was best for me personally as well as professionally.”
Translation? Auburn 2009 and beyond = trainwreck. Bama 2009 and beyond = career catalyst and contender.

“I know my wife and the kids are as excited as I am to join Coach Saban’s staff.”
Wait, doesn’t he know that Saban hates family and eats children? Once again, one of the weakest ploys in the Auburn bag. Saban invests in his coaches, and while there is serious work to be done, the notion that Saban doesn’t care about people–from his players to his coaches and their families–is a farce.

This is a GREAT hire. James Willis is a quality coach and a class act. And he’s home now. And if Auburn had not self-imposed recruiting sanctions against itself by firing a proven winner for Mr. 5-19, that home would still be in Auburn. But instead of battling South Alabama and Arkansas State for recruits, Willis will be cherry picking the Rival’s Top 100, coaching up the likes of Nico Johnson, Dante Hightower and Rolondo McClain. Yeah, I’d say that’s a good career move.

Welcome to Tuscaloosa, Coach Willis. Welcome home!

25 Comments

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  1. 1
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    ITK…………For the love dude. Get a grip. Just be happy that your A-hole coach found someone that would work for him. You did get a good coach though. Just be happy about that.

  2. 2
    Bamaman

    Ballplay, when has Saban ever had a problem finding a coach to work for him? Aub is the assistant coaching carousel. Undisputed.

  3. 3
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    Wrong. Saban doesnt have a hard time hiring coaches. He has a hard time keeping them. Last year was the first year we had drastic changes in a while. This year is a building year. Willis was the only one left from the old regime. You will praobably see a few more changes after next year. But our old regime had a loyalty among coaches that few other schools could match. Almost to the point where it was a liablility instead of an asset.

  4. 4
    intheknow72

    Maybe if you had had drastic changes earlier, your coach who averaged 8.5 wins per season would still be there. In lieu of Mr. 5-19.

  5. 5
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    Yall Bammers are just too dam arrogant for yourselves. You really just cant help it , can you ? 12-2 is a great year. 12-2 is far better than Auburns performance for sure. Undefeated regular season is excellent. Heck , be proud. But yall seem to forget that Florida won the National Championship and the SEC. Not you . Florida………..Not you…..Again……..Florida………Not you…………….

    Understand ? As great as your season was, when the chips were on the line , yall folded like a freekin lawn chair.

    One good year out of 10 , (save 05 where you imploded much like this year) and for gosh sakes it seems like you dooshers have won the last 10 National Championships in a row. That 6 game string really screwed yalls heads up didnt it ? Let it go. I mean heck boys, yall are ALAFREEEEKIN BAMAAAAA!!!!!!!!!! 125 National Championship, ( really about 4) …………355 SEC Championships………..Act like you dorks have done all the crap you claim ……….

    Ive never seen such a big collective Bammer orgasm over hiring an Auburn assistant coach. James Willis is a great coach and I personally wish the man the best. But you would think he was KNUTE FREEKIN ROCKNE after reading this crap yall keep posting. Ill tell you what , you guys can go find Steve Esminger and maybe…………Never mind…….I would hate to think of the reprecusions.

    Cooper chimes in with an intellegent remark in 5..4..3..2..1…

  6. 6
    julio

    My personal favorite is ITK’s comment that Willis was “the only legitimate coach on the Auburn staff.” Yeah, those bozos like Malzahn, Troper Taylor, Luper, and Roof are all considered to be wholly incompetent by all rational observers and the national media. (Quick ITK, throw in a retort about Roof’s head coaching record at Duke. That’ll mask the fact that he’s greatly respected across the country as a Def. Coordinator). Strange, Willis was at Auburn for 3 years and I never once heard from ITK or any other bammer on this site say that anyone on the Auburn staff were anything more than a joke. Now, suddenly Bama is “blessed” in ITK’s words to have Willis on staff. Hmmmmm…where was all this love for Willis the last 3 years??

  7. 8
    Auburnisajoke formerly the fan known as Ballplay Indian.

    John, while I wont argue that point. This great theologin of our time is otherwise known as InTheKnow.

  8. 11
    intheknow72

    JW, this has been a Barnie site for a long time. I offer the truth, along with Cappy, then Julio and the other haychewers say stupid things in response. That’s basically how it works.

    In review, they are Aubsessed with Alabama, which is why they live on here.

    Look Julio, I don’t necessarily enjoy being right. To be honest, it gets annoying for even me sometimes, so I can only imagine what it’s like for you. But the truth is, I AM, especially when it comes to the flag-football staff your A.D. has assembled down on the farm.

    It humors me how easily one can assign distinctions like “so-and-so is one of the best defensive coaches across the country…in the land…in college football” blah, blah, whatever. You hear that about recruiters too. But it’s easy to come on here and say crap that can’t be backed up.

    What I can back up is this: nobody wanted Chizik, Roof, Malzahn (Tulsa!) and anyone else except a second rate program in the SEC West who once was within reach of greatness. I don’t know who Troper Taylor is. I know who Trooper Taylor is though. But unfortunately, few others do.

    But when one of your own…your own, Julio!…makes the statements that 3-year starter, all SEC linebacker and 7-year NFL veteran James Willis did about Nick Saban and Alabama, it’s hard to sit down at your greasy keyboard and refute it. You can try, and gosh, we all know you will. But again, the fact is, we get whoever we want, recruit or coach. Period. And why?

    Because we are the University of Alabama. And you are forever just Auburn.

  9. 12
    julio

    You always know you hit a nerve with ITK when he posts a dissertation in reponse to the points you made, and then he even goes so far as to point out your typos in his lame attempt to discredit you.

    On second thought, you’re right ITK. There has not been a single objective media report that has complimented the staff that Chizik has compiled. Willis was the only assistant that ever got any good press. No one ever even thought about Malzahn. I mean, it’s not like he led the nation in offense for two years in a row at Tulsa, and was so balanced in the process that he finished in the top ten in both rushing and passing. (Oh wait, he did both of those.)

    P.S. I guess those rock solid anonymous sources of yours also know Taylor, Luper, Roof and Malzahn intimately as well. I mean, you have actual confirmed knowledge that no other schools besides Auburn ever made any overtures to those coaches. Wow, you really are “in the know”, aren’t you!! I’ve got to start hitting you up for stock tips, ITK. I’ve never seen a guy with more inside knowledge than you. Now quick, scan my post for typos so that you can prove that Malzahn is incompetent.

  10. 13
    intheknow72

    To find incompentence I need look no further than you. Can you please create another post today with a “now look” instruction at the end of it? Original? No. But it’s kind of like finding the prize at the bottom of Cracker Jacks. You have to work your way through a lot of empty calories and fat to find the worthless little nugget at the end.

    I really do like you though, Julio. You remind me of how sad I used to be when my program sucked.

  11. 14
    intheknow72

    By the way, little J, which opponents do you think Tulsa’s power offense looked the most impressive against this season?

    UAB?
    North Texas?
    Central Arkansas?
    Or was it in their loss to 5-7 Arkansas?
    Maybe New Mexico?

    So many to pick from. I don’t know what we’re going to do.

  12. 15
    OMNIPRESENT

    STFU ITK!!!! This is AUbessed and WHy we still see 36-0. And when you find the truth ITK act different and DONT LIE TO IT!!

    We have an opponent in this state that we work
    365 days a year to dominate.”
    —Nick Saban at his 2007 press conference.

    Enough Said!!!

    WAR POLYTECH BITCHES!!!

  13. 17
    julio

    Yeah, you’re right ITK. There’s no way that Malzahn’s results in a non-BCS conference could ever translate into success in the SEC. I mean, that would be like thinking a coach that had good results in the WAC could come into the SEC and be successful. By the way, where was McElwain before he came to Bama? Fresno State?? Oh, well he must have played a killer schedule there. Which of McElwain’s Fresno games from 2007 impressed you the most, ITK?? Sacramento State? La Tech? Nevada? Idaho? San Jose State? Utah State? New Mexico State? or was it that loss to Tex A&M coached by your beloved Fran who was shown the door at the end of that season?? Boy, you really put me in my place with that whole “Tulsa doesn’t play anybody” thingy, didn’t you? BTW – Did McElwain ever lead the nation in offense two years in a row in that weak a$$ conference he was coaching in? No?? That’s ok. Those WAC teams are known for their stellar defenses, so there’s no way he could be expected to put up big numbers in that league.

  14. 19
    intheknow72

    Ouch, hit a nerve didn’t I? I love it when your anger thrusts you into intense research in search of that “golden grenade.” Keep looking. Your program is in complete and utter disarray, no matter how mad you are right now, and really, there’s nothing you can do about it. Have a great day man. And see a counselor, will ya?

  15. 20
    intheknow72

    Okay, wait, I take my last post back, Julio. I feel guilty for even responding, seriously.

    Your All-American, All-SEC linebacker from the glory days did my talking for me.

  16. 21
    julio

    I guess that means “No, McElwain never led the nation in offense two years in a row despite coaching in a conference where the average final score of each game is about 72-64.”

    BTW, you’re obviously a pretty smart guy ITK. You should really quit stealing my material about hitting nerves and needing to seek professional help. You can come up with your own stuff. (You really should lay off pointing out typo’s, though. That’s as lame as it gets). I believe in you, ITK!!!

  17. 22
    intheknow72

    So YOU’RE the one who invented the terms “hitting a nerve” and “seeking help”? That’s great to know! I don’t want to plagiarize, but I’m sure you invented “have a great day” too. So forgive me for using that also.

    Weak, man. Stay on the subject and don’t make this stuff personal. Your attacks on me won’t change the kangaroo circus that is Auburn football right now. It makes me giggle. You just make me sad.

  18. 23
    julio

    Oh for god sakes ITK, none of this is ever personal. (well, it is for some people on here, but I haven’t seen much of tmc or brando in here for a while.) I’m just coming in here to talk some smack about football and have a little fun. We take our little jabs at each other outside of football from time to time as well, but it’s all in fun. You’re certainly the most challenging Bama fan on this site to spar with, that’s for sure.

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