Fulmer wants to win championships

When Indiana fans sit down and make up their dream list of coaches that should replace Bill Lynch after this season, Phillip Fulmer seems to be a name that often comes up.

And that makes sense, because Fulmer has won a national title, was competitive in the Southeastern Conference and is available, having been tossed out by Tennessee after last season.

But do not expect, should the Indiana coaching job become open in the near future, to see Fulmer walking through the doors of Memorial Stadium.

Fulmer told Tony Barnhart, the college football writer in the South, that if he were to come back, it’d be at a place that was ready to win a championship.

“I think the commitment comes from the administration in terms of facilities, hiring the best possible staff and giving them the tools to succeed,” Fulmer said. “It would be silly for me at this point to go start up a program. Building new programs is very important work. But that is not what I want to do at this point.”

Add this the folder entitled, “List of things silly, irrational fans really have no clue about.”


  1. I hope Bill Lynch succeeds this year, but realistically I don’t see him surviving if he doesn’t win a minimum of 4 games. If he goes here is my list of hopefuls: Jim Harbaugh, Jon Gruden, Paul Chryst, Turner Gill, Butch Jones, and maybe Matt Canada. The over/under on wins this year is set at 4 wins, and I’m taking the under. Again, I hope I’m wrong, I’d love to see Lynch get 8 wins and a New Years Day bowl, but with the strength of the league this year, our lack of true Big Ten Depth, I personally don’t believe we can muster more than 3 wins.

  2. He didn’t say that he would only take over a job at a school that was “ready” to win championships, but at a school that is “committed” to winning championships. That’s a pretty big distinction, and if you are going to gratutitously insult your audience, it seems that you might want to do so with more precision.

    And as long as we’re talking about the harsh spotlight of reality, Phil Fulmer might find that 60 year old coaches who were fired by a top tier program typically don’t get another chance at a program like that. I’m not saying that IU should be on top of Fulmer’s list or that Fulmer should be at the top of IU’s list, but IU has upgraded the facilities, and if there is a coaching change, hopefully Fred Glass will try to find the money to pay for a top-notch coach and staff. The idea of Fulmer getting the job at, say, Texas A&M or Notre Dame seems much more far-fetched than the idea that he might end up at Indiana.

  3. As Phillip Fulmer walked onto the field to coach his first game for the Hoosiers in Memorial Stadium he looked up at the half-empty stands and thought:

    “What the hell happened? I was the man at Tennessee! Over 100,000 people per game, floating tailgates on the river next to the stadium, Rocky Top, the Coon dog, a National Title and Peyton Manning. Now this. Hard to get fired up for this.”

    It was never going to happen, was it? We need youth, drive and hunger if we’re going to replace Lynch. Not somebody who wished they were someplace else.

  4. A week before the start of the season, and we’re talking coaching replacements. Awesome. And as if this hasn’t been discussed over and over already…

  5. No amount of money would bring Fulmer to Indiana. It’s a pipe dream for some fans – always has been and always will be. And after he returns to college coaching at another school we’ll hear the so-called IU faithful crow and howl about how Fred Glass and the IU administration couldn’t bring him in. Delusions of grandeur I guess…

    And I’m willing to hazard a guess that Fulmer would much rather go coach at Texas AM than IU. That actually sounds like a great fit.

  6. Any AD with a coach on the warm seat has a list of potential candidates very handy. Throwing out Fullmer’s name and others is going to happen.
    While I am not a follower of the ranking services as a rule, I checked today and found IU ranked 31st in the nation and #5 in The Big Ten. When was the last time that happened?
    Glass and Lynch are probably very nervous about now. The season should be interesting

  7. Jay,

    What ranking service are you looking at that has IU at 31st in the nation and 5th in the Big Ten. I have not seen a preseason ranking that has IU higher than 10th. I would really like to see that, please provide a link.

  8. Mike,

    Sorry for the confusion. My point is/was that Lynch does seem to be recruiting better. What do you think? What does anyone think?

  9. Jay, I will agree that I have been impressed with recruiting and it is somewhat better but I care about wins and losses much more! Let’s see how this year gets going.

  10. Of course Fulmer would rather coach at Texas A&M than at Indiana. But A&M would have to want him. I agree with others that he isn’t the best fit, but if Fulmer wants to wait for a job where he can compete for a national championship immediately, he’s never going to work again.

  11. I don’t think Fulmer is the solution even if he would come to IU. The frustrating aspect of this whole thing is that Coach Lynch brings a lot of good stuff to the table. He is an effective recruiter as others have said. He is a man of good character whose conduct is above reproach. He probably is a good teacher. What he isn’t is a gameday coach (and I also think his assistants need to step up which hopefully they will this year)and that is what hurts.

  12. If you put Fulmer’s comments into a subtext translator, this is what comes out:

    “I’m an old man (in college football coaching terms) and I’ve made plenty of money in my life. I don’t NEED to return to coaching. I might have one more good coaching job left in me, but I don’t have the energy to rebuild a program. So if I take another job, I want it to be one where I have a chance to succeed from day one.”

    That is not someone who wants to build Indiana into a contender. The next coach either needs to be someone with a deep passion for the university and the state (ala Hoeppner) or a young coach who wants to use Indiana as a springboard for a better job. Fulmer fits into neither category.

  13. I believe we’ve tried the washed-out SEC coach route before – a fellow named DiNardo it seems. We don’t need someone with no interest in IU football other than a paycheck and a stepping stone to a “real” job. We need someone like Hep or (yes) Lynch – an Indana guy who is nuts enough to think that this is a “destination” job.

  14. old coaches tend not to do well when then end up at coaching graveyards at the ends of their careers. bud wilkinson went back to oklahoma when it was down and it was a disaster. chuck fairbanks the same thing. gerry dinardo was a disaster at iu.

    phil fulmer is old and doesn’t have the energy he had 20 years ago. iu needs a charismatic young dynamic guy, an urban meyer type.

    the only older coach i can think of who made it work after he had been sitting out for a while — and he made it work at iu — was bill mallory.

    iu would be better, if they end up having to replace bill lynch, to go with butch jones up at central michigan or someone like that.

  15. maybe IU wants to win championships! I took my wife to look at the new endzone after work and it was a tour day. Just fantastic! I was speechless in the weight room. You can stand at one end and not see the far wall, it is huge! Plasma screens all over the walls and from the weight room you look through nothing but glass right to the field. They were practicing as we were touring standing there. We then went to the 3rd floor museum banquet center, amazing! It is high dollar, like Lucas Oil IU did not skimp on anything. I have nothing bad to say about it. I actually commented to my wife as we entered the tunnel to walk and sit down on the bleachers that I felt like I was playing again. I also would not ever mind sitting there, the view is awesome. I never did find out who gets the red comfy seats! I encourage you all to get there! The kids zone was just put down, really nice. The stadium has a new feel to it!!! Love it!

  16. Hugh – you posting about replacing our coach before the season even starts adds to the public distrust of the media. shame on you.


  17. Who the hell wants Fat Phil?

    We don’t want a “has been” as a coach.

    The man lost to WYOMING at home. That’s like losing to a FCS team at home (oh wait).

    He’s just someone else’s trash – like Lynch.

    Fulmer is dreaming if he thinks a championship level team is going to offer him a job.

  18. Aruss,

    Let’s not attack Hugh here. There have been numerous comments toward if Lynch were gone (which a fan-consensus is that he will be) who would IU hire. And Fullmer’s name has been mentioned by commenters on this blog. He is just responding the conversation that takes place here every few weeks or so.

  19. Fulmer recruits the kind of guys that fill police blotters. Do we really want to see that kind of player in Bloomington? NCAA investigators spent a lot of time in Knoxville as well. He did seems to be able to bend the rules without getting caught.

  20. Sorry, but I have no interest in Fulmer. He is not half the man Hep was, and that is the type of leader IU needs. I like some of the other younger names that people are floating, like Bowden and Harbaugh.

  21. Ganking Lynch one week before the season starts is bush league, but if he does leave at the end of the season either by request or on his own, we need a dynamic young coach, not a washed up has-been. I haven’t always been impressed with game-day decisions by BL but for once I would really like for real Hoosiers to get behind their team, TRY to fill the stadium and have a good year.

  22. Don’t get too jazzed up by IU’s current ranking for their recruiting class. If you look at it, the rankings are based on a point system, and IU has accumulated a lot of points based on the number of commits they have garnered thus far. Look at a lot of schools both above IU and below them in the rankings, and you will see that in most cases, they have gotten far fewer commits than IU has to date. Once those schools start piling up the commits, you will see IU’s ranking go down. Not to disparage what Coach Lynch and Co. have done so far on the recruiting trail, because I think they’ve done a fine job. But just want to be sure it’s viewed in the proper perspective.

  23. John Galt? Wow, I think that’s the first Ayn Rand reference I’ve ever seen on this message board. Impressive, most impressive.

  24. Thanks Eric. Ayn Rand was a genius, and was way ahead of her time. “Atlas Shrugged” should be required reading in high school.

  25. The writer of the blog, Hugh Kellenberger really needs to look into Derivitive Investment Banking or as a Political PR campaign spinner as a profession. Neither requires much in the way of ethics. John M. is completely right, Kellenberger knowingly changed a word in Fullmer’s statement (‘committed’ to ‘ready’) and used it to support an intentionally misleading spin. His intention: to start a pointless (at this point and invented controversy.

    Please leave the journalism to professionals.

  26. In fairness to Hugh, the word committed was not attributed to Fulmer in a direct quote. And Hugh does report the Fulmer quote about commitment accurately. But I agree that there is a bit of extrapolation on Hugh’s part, but it doesn’t change my mind about the chances of Fulmer ever coming to IU. He’s not.

  27. On this one I have to agree with Aruss. This was a terrible piece of journalism. Why would we bring this topic up at this point other than to just stir the wasp nest up once again?

    The opening sentence implies that Lynch is as good as gone after the season and the closing sentence calls those of us that do speculate “irrational fans” that have no clue. I do not understand what this guy is trying to prove?

  28. When I first read the topic, I was pretty mad that the subject was brought up. Why talk about a coaching change just before the season starts?

    Then, after coming back to read the comments, I see the sly angle. “Add this the folder entitled, ‘List of things silly, irrational fans really have no clue about.’”

    I think his point is pretty clear now… the people who think “big name coaches” are going to come knock down the door at IU are delusional. Fire Lynch now, and you’re going to have problems finding a Big Name Coach to replace him. Who’s going to want a job at a place like IU where the administration doesn’t even give even two (Lynch) or three (DiNardo) years to get established?

  29. John Galt, I agree. Of course last night I went home and pulled out an old copy of ‘Atlas Shrugged’ to make sure it was John Galt and I hadn’t made a fool of myself while trying to be literary.

    I really don’t think Hugh was trying to do anything but pass a bit of time until real games start being played. And Fulmer’s name has come up before, so it’s not like he invented something out of thin air.

  30. The answer is Lou Holtz! He’s a big name, he’s available, and has a passion and charisma for Indiana football(Notre Dame counts right?)

    But seriously, I have to agree with some things said here, especially the part about stirring up the wasp nest. I mean, I really don’t know much about Journalism, and I am not going to try and pretend I do like some people have here, but this is simply rehashing an argument(Understatement) about finding a new coach. Do you really think that Indiana fans thought Fulmer would come here?

    However, I really hope Lynch is the guy, I want him to be, and if he isn’t, oh well, unfortunate. I would hope we would stay on the staff due to his recruiting prowess, but the hard feelings may be too much.

    Someone like Butch Jones would be very nice. He’s in the region, runs a solid offense, and has consistently competed. Other than that, there are no other great fits I can think of off the top of my head, except…well…Lynch.

  31. TuShay … please never say you want to see matt canada as the head coach of the hoosiers … the man cant control one aspect of the game let alone the whole team …

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