Bellotti, who left coaching in 2009 and now is an ESPN analyst, says there's pressure to win at every level. But the year-round trappings — recruiting, dealing with the media, schmoozing boosters — is a Division I phenomenon.
So Bellotti said that in addition to evaluating a coach's football acumen, he tried to gauge the personality. Their public-speaking and recruiting talents.
Bellotti said he interviewed seven candidates before hiring Kelly. NFL assistants, former Division I head coaches, current Division I coordinators.
The guy from New Hampshire was “by far” the best. “His knowledge and expertise of the system I wanted to run. We would have had to take two steps back (without Kelly). Chip knew it already. We made the commitment, we were going to stay with this offense.”
So Gundy's hiring of Yurcich didn't surprise Bellotti. “Surprises me it doesn't happen more often,” he said, “because there are some great coaches who annually turn out a great product.
“Mike (Gundy) knows what he wants and he knows what's going to be successful. He's had a heck of a run. I am surprised if there's any fallout.
“The football part comes easy. It comes back down to the lifestyle and the scrutiny involved.
“People are going to voice their opinion. Everybody's going to want to talk football … the entire state of Oklahoma. How plays are called, how the quarterback performed, that type of thing.”
Chip Kelly passed the test. Many years ago, so did Mike Bellotti. Now it's Mike Yurcich's turn.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.