Yesterday the University of Washington announced that it would poach another coach who had left a major football program. Unlike its hire of the venal and corrupt Rick Neuheisel (who's ethics were murky even when U-Dub considered him in 1999), the Huskies have made a good choice this time:
So the coach who restored personal responsibility and raised the usually high academic record of Notre Dame football now gets the opportunity to bring some quality football to Seattle -- a city that needs it desperately.
More importantly, Willingham is again being treated like any other coach. His firing after only three years, two successful, in Notre Dame showed that UND treated football like every other school (a business) and Willingham like any other coach. His hiring by U-Dub means Willingham has been treated like any other semi-successful head coach because he has a new job as the head man at a top quality football school. That's better, because Willingham is the first black head coach to get sacked by one school and then hired by another in Division I-A college football.
There may come a time that Willingham is famous as a pioneer football coach and African-American sports hero. And if he runs Washington successfully and with the integrity he showed at Stanford and Notre Dame, he'll deserve his notoriety.