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(All information as of July 1, 2006)
COACH AND PROGRAM
After nearly a quarter-century of being a head football coach, you'd think Dick Tomey might settle for a nice TV job, maybe as a color man, safe from harm's way -- and won-loss records -- in the booth.
Oh yeah. He tried that after 14 seasons in Arizona. It didn't work.
Spending two campaigns describing June Jones' offense to University of Hawaii football fans proved to Tomey just how much he missed being on the sideline. So much so, his option year with the Honolulu television station turned out to be an assistant's position with the San Francisco 49ers in 2003, before heading to Texas to help the Longhorns win the Rose Bowl in 2005.
That successful season resulted in a head coaching position at San Jose State. And while his first run-through with the Spartans wasn't nearly as dramatic as what Mike Price did for UTEP or even Jones at Hawaii, it was predictable.
Granted, San Jose State won only three of 11 games, but at least the Spartans looked more like a football team at the end of 2005 than they did at the beginning. And as is often the case with a program that hasn't had a winning campaign since Bill Clinton was President, single-season about-faces aren't based in reality. With the loss of nine starters on defense, it's likely the Spartans will struggle again this season to find an identity on that side of the football.
While not as numerically challenged as Hawaii's defense, the Spartans were still last in the league and No. 114 nationally against the pass and last in the conference in pass efficiency, giving you an idea that improving the old win-loss ratio is still down the road for the veteran head coach.