Thoughts on Life & Leadership

A Junto Strategy Project

University of Texas Football: Red Sox Meltdown (Part 2)

redsoxA month ago I wrote about the pending resignation of Mac Brown as the head coach of the Texas Longhorns. In that post, I noted that research shows that the odds lean heavily toward a further decline under “new management.”

Charlie Strong LonghornsAs I read an article about the new head coach, Charlie Strong, I was struck by the situation similarities of the Texas football program and the Boston Red Sox. If you remember, Terry Francona was the manager of the Red Sox. His teams won two world series, but after trailing off and then a colossal choke job at the end of the 2011 season, Francona was fired. Franconas personable style and being too much of a players coach were a few of the reasons listed as why his teams at the end underperformed.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue JaysEnter Bobby Valentine. Valentine was the complete opposite of Terry Francona. He was known for being tough and no one’s friend. Valentine was going to demand performance and get the Red Sox back to the playoffs. Well, one year later and the Red Sox were in a tailspin and Valentine found himself out of work. The Red Sox went back to the drawing board to find a new leader and so far the results have been pretty darn good.

Texas seems to be following the exact same leadership succession path that the Red Sox took. Strong is the exact opposite of Mac Brown. He has instituted a slew of strict rules to bring order and discipline back to Texas football. It is an approach that may only add speed to the decline as players revolt or leave. Time will tell, but count me as a doubter of the Charlie Strong experiment in Texas.

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