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How would Leavitt fare in a coaches 40-yard competition?
Posted Apr 9, 2009 by Brett McMurphy
Updated Apr 9, 2009 at 01:06 AM
Thursday at 3 p.m., USF coach Jim Leavitt will run a timed 40-yard dash as part of the promotions for Saturday’s USF spring game. (Leavitt’s “dash” will be shown on the Raymond James Stadium videoboards during the spring game). Any USF student who beats Leavitt’s time will receive a T-shirt that says: “I’m Faster Than Leavitt.”
“My goal is to break a six-flat,” Leavitt said after Wednesday’s practice. “I’ll probably hit a 5.99. If anyone can’t beat me, that will be really sad. If there’s a student that can’t beat me … it ain’t like 5.9 is fast.”
Leavitt, 52, joked that there probably wasn’t any other Big East coach that he could beat in the 40. Not even West Virginia’s 56-year old Bill Stewart. “It would probably be neck to neck,” he said.
Leavitt also joked that he would beat Florida’s Urban Meyer, FSU’s Bobby Bowden and Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, an old jogging buddy of his.
Which got me thinking (which is always dangerous), what if there was an actual annual 40-yard dash competition between coaches? Before I head out on vacation, here’s a different look at what might happen if the coaches participated in an annual 40-yard competition.
Jim Leavitt, USF: Gets off to a great start midway through the race running mostly against weak non-conference coaches. In the second half of the race Leavitt notices he’s running against Big East Conference coaches and stumbles down the stretch. To top it off, Leavitt jumped offside and was penalized five seconds. Afterward in the postgame news conference, Leavitt storms out after four questions, but shakes a reporter’s hand for asking a “positive” question.
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma: Stoops looks unbeatable for most of the race. He’s in position to win, but notices a “BCS Bowl” sign at the 35-yard mark, trips over his own feet and falls flat on his face, just short of the finish line. Again. For the third consecutive year.
Mark Mangino, Kansas: Back in 2007, the coaches’ 40-yard dash competition was unknowingly held on a downhill plane. Mangino tripped at the start and literally rolled to the victory in 4.2 seconds. Since then organizers have made sure the race was held on an even surface and Mangino hasn’t been able to match that success.
George O’Leary, UCF: In the pregame news conference, O’Leary talks about how great it is to have an opportunity to run against USF’s Jim Leavitt and how this race should continue to be an annual event. After the race when Leavitt – even with his offside penalty infraction added on – smokes O’Leary by several seconds for a fourth consecutive year, O’Leary still says he can’t understand why he can’t run against Leavitt every year and questions why the competition between the schools “60 miles apart” has to be stopped. On a side note: dozens of UCF fans got hold of Leavitt’s cell phone and left hundreds of messages on it before the race.
Rich Rodriquez, Michigan: Two years ago while at West Virginia, Rodriquez was on pace to set a world record and win his first coaches national championship 40-yard dash. Just before crossing the finish line, Rodriguez was passed by Dave Wannstedt, despite some serious wind drag from his Wann-stache.
Mack Brown, Texas: Brown defeats Stoops and Missouri’s Gary Pinkel in head-to-head races, but loses out in some convoluted tiebreaker. Nonetheless, Brown’s assistants, who trained him for the race, receive bonuses from the school for winning a race they didn’t win.
Rick Neiheusel, UCLA: Neiheusel hasn’t fared well in the 40-yard dash lately, but he has correctly predicted the winner and won the 40-yard office pool in each of the past three years.