Babcock was encouraged that approximately 1,000 fans showed up at UC's basketball arena for a pep rally welcoming Tuberville on Saturday night, chanting “Tommy T” when he was introduced.
“I hope it energizes the fan base,” Babcock said. “He's a great promoter, one of the most laid-back CEO-type of leaders I've ever seen. But he can be fiery, too. I like it. Time will tell.”
As for how long he'll stick around …
The last three coaches all left after three seasons, moving onto to bigger programs and bigger paychecks. Tuberville left Texas Tech after three seasons, one day after telling athletics director Kirby Hocutt that he was committed to staying with the Red Raiders.
The cycle of having a coach leave as soon as he's had a few successful seasons has stamped Cincinnati as a career launching point, a place to build a reputation before moving on to something better.
Babcock is hoping that with Tuberville, that can change.
When Babcock called Tuberville — an acquaintance from their days at Auburn and his first choice to replace Jones — he got a good feeling about longevity right away.
“I didn't even have to ask about it,” Babcock said. “He said, `You know what? If I come there to be your football coach, I'll stay.' I didn't prompt it and I know it's certainly no guarantee, but I was happy to hear that even before I could ask the question.”
Tuberville knew that Cincinnati was looking for someone who was willing to treat the place more like a home than a hotel.
“You can kind of read people's minds in our business and (know) what's going on and what's happened in the past,” Tuberville said. “I don't know, it just kind of hit me what the feeling was, what his feeling was. You can tell, too, even though I'm over 1,000 miles away — the attitude of what's happened and how disappointed people are in not having consistency.”
The Bearcats have had consistency with those four Big East titles in five years. What they need is a jump in attendance and a coach willing to stick around for more than a few years.