PowerMizzou - The Rhoades Map
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The Rhoades Map

Those who were hoping to get some genuine insight into Mack Rhoades' list of targets as he begins the search for Missouri's next head football coach were not disappointed.
"We all do have a list," Rhoades said. "Mine's on the third drawer behind prospective head coaches."

Oh, that was a joke. Rhoades was asked directly about two coaches: Houston's Tom Herman and Justin Fuente at Memphis.
"I'm certainly partial to Tom Herman since I hired him at my previous institution. I think he's a terrific coach. And Justin Fuente is another terrific coach that's won a lot of games at a place that's hard to win. But I want to caution everybody, I'm not locked into any certain candidate whatsoever," Rhoades said. "With all due respect to Tom Herman does he have that same success at another school? He was a great fit at the University of Houston. Justin Fuente, great fit at Memphis. So for us here, it's about fit. I'm not into the hottest names out there, and those are certainly two of them. That doesn't mean that they'll automatically come here, be a great fit and win games here."

As far as real insight into who Rhoades might be looking to replace Gary Pinkel, there wasn't a ton of that at Wednesday's media session. This was more about Rhoades' process in finding a head coach.
He may hire someone with head coaching experience, he may hire an assistant. He said age doesn't matter. He said it doesn't matter if it's someone familiar with Mizzou's current program. He has no preference for an offensive or a defensive coach. He may or may not interview a minority candidate.
"I'd be open to hiring the best guy," Rhoades said. "I never go into a search locked in on any one particular candidate."
He may use a search firm, he may not. That will be decided in the next three to five days. Regardless, he will not operate as a one-man show in the search.

"I'd like to think that I'm perfect, but I'm not," Rhoades said. "I do like having two or three people with me that I really trust, that are great strategic thinkers. Most of all, I think they're great at reading people and assessing people, so I'll have two to three that will be with me through the process."

The one thing that is indisputable is that the search to replace Gary Pinkel is more attractive to potential candidates than it was when Pinkel took over 15 years ago.
"Certainly Gary Pinkel and his staff have made this a great, great job," Rhoades said. "We can even take this thing to a higher level, I believe, and compete for a national championship. I really believe you can win a national championship at the University of Missouri and what coach wouldn't want to do that?"
"When coach Pinkel first got here it wasn't all budding roses. It was tough, man. We were struggling for a long time," offensive line coach A.J. Ricker said. "To see it now, it's night and day. Not that I wasn't proud to be a Missouri Tiger, don't get me wrong, but to see where Mizzou's at now, it's night and day."

"I know this year has not been what we've been the last couple years," quarterbacks coach Andy Hill said. "But we've got a pretty good deal going."
But now none of those coaches know if they will be a part of it going forward beyond next Friday.
"A head coach coming in, you're never gonna handcuff them," Rhoades said. "The next staff is absolutely their discretion."
The only question remaining now is who will be making those decisions.
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