Or can he? I find it amazing that the doubters have already started popping their heads up and questioning CDA’s (Coach Dave Aranda) ability to coach after a small sampling of 14 games into his tenure. Year 1 should be thrown out as everything was stacked against a first year HC because of COVID. This season we sit at 4-1 and after last weekends game, admittedly a very winnable game, because of an undesirable outcome I’ve been mildly amused at those who have already placed him in the category of “can’t coach”. I get it to some extent as we love our Bears and want to see a dominant win every week. It’s a very emotional thing. Reality is this just doesn’t happen on a weekly basis and the proof is the number of top 10 teams that lost last weekend while others struggled mightily against inferior opponents (looking at you OU). I’m not saying mistakes weren’t made by the coaching staff last weekend, but to be ready to get rid of CDA so soon is down right mind boggling. Up until very recently we heard a similar mantra about another Baylor Head Coach. Does this sound familiar? Scott Drew can’t coach! Of course we know this is ridiculous now and Drew is considered in the elite class of coaches with what he has done for and with our program. I’m not going to get into the x’s and o’s of CDA’s coaching ability, there are plenty of others who do that, but I want to compare CDA to CSD (Coach Scott Drew) and see the similarities that I believe will elevate him to treasured status eventually at Baylor.
- CDA is committed to Baylor. Just like Drew, Aranda is here because he wants to be here. He’s not looking for a stepping stone to a “Blue Blood” program, but firmly believes in and is committed to making Baylor a force to deal with year in and year out. The commitment to longevity cannot be overstated as we have seen it make a huge difference in our basketball program on so many different levels.
- CDA isn’t afraid to change and adjust. Just like Drew, Aranda has already made key adjustments that have made our program better. Drew wasn’t known as a strategic coach early on, but he was/is an avid student of the and not afraid to change. Now he is considered one of the sharpest minds in college basketball. CDA already has a leg up as he is considered a brilliant strategist (defensively), but he is also very teachable. This humility and growth will serve CDA well, just as it has CSD.
- CDA can recruit. We are already seeing some surprising success on the recruiting trail with Aranda and his staff. Even in the early days, CSD was known as a tireless recruiter. Because of this and our consistent success, Drew is producing top classes year in and year out now. Consider this, CDA doesn’t even have his 1st recruiting cycle to coach yet. In other words, he’s coaching players he inherited and doing a dad gum good job if you ask me. Players seem to be buying in and responding positively to CDA and his approach. I’m looking forward to watching his development of “his” recruits and what they will be able to accomplish on the field.
- CDA has embraced the Culture of Joy (Jesus, Others, Yourself). Yes, this is the same Culture of Joy that CSD and his players constantly talk about and are committed to. Just like CSD, CDA is committed to person over player and that includes the parents. The impact and closeness of our Men’s basketball program because of this is palatable. I think we will see the same thing with the Football program over time. Only at Baylor, because of it being a university on mission, can we witness such an open dialogue and be focused on finding players that fit the culture. Do not discount the importance of culture in a program.
If we are patient with CDA I think we can see similar results and growth in our program as we have with CSD. Does that include the opportunity to win a Natty? Why not? It happened on the basketball side, so anything is possible! I’m looking forward to a long and sometimes frustrating, but mostly rewarding relationship with Baylor and CDA. Yep, just like we are experiencing with the great CSD!