Friday, December 02, 2005

Haywood Accolades | by Jay

Mike Haywood won the AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year. Per the description, "The Assistant Coach of the Year award...was created to honor assistant coaches who excel in community service, commitment to the student-athlete, on-field coaching success and AFCA professional organization involvement." In other words, it's not strictly an on-the-field performance award. Here's what the AFCA had to say about Haywood:

Haywood has been an assistant coach for 17 years and is in his first season at Notre Dame ... For the past couple of years, Haywood pays and hosts a Thanksgiving dinner for a different underprivileged family each year that he is personally acquainted with ... He also picks a local family to pay for all Christmas expenses for gifts for the entire family, particularly fulfilling the wishes and needs of the family's children ... Haywood is a long-time volunteer for Big Brothers & Big Sisters of America, acting as a positive male role model to underprivileged or orphaned African-American males ... In addition to earning a reputation as one of college football's brightest young coaches, Haywood also makes an impact on the student-athletes as a mentor, motivator and role model...
That's a nice feather in the cap for coach Haywood.

Haywood's in an interesting spot: along with being the running backs coach, he's listed as the titular "offensive coordinator" -- but we all know Charlie creates the gameplan and calls the plays (per an August presser: "I'm calling the plays...that's the end of that question"). As an up-and-coming coach, where does Haywood's career go from here?

There was another quote I'm failing to find (perhaps it was excised from the official presser transcripts -- they do that sometimes -- or maybe it was a newspaper quote), where Charlie waxes about the future of Irish playcalling, and saying something to the effect of "perhaps someday down the road I'll relinquish playcalling, but not until I feel comfortable handing it over."

We know Haywood would like to be a head coach someday, and upon taking the Irish job said that it was a golden opportunity to "work with Charlie Weis and learn a new offense under him." To become a head coach, you usually have to be an established OC or a DC for a while. In a couple of years, will we see Mike Haywood calling the plays for the Irish, in preparation for a head coaching gig somewhere else? I wouldn't be surprised.