Gould Headshot squareThings to be thankful for, besides turkey and stuffing, on one of our most meaningful holidays:

Health. . . Family. . . Friends. . .

. . . and not being a football beat writer in Texas, northwest Indiana or the Bayou.

All three of those regions are beset by the bane of those assigned to cover a particular team—the dreaded coaching search.

Try not to get any gravy on those mobile phones. Keep that cranberry sauce away from those laptops.

One of my most remarkable coaching searches came exactly 20 years ago this weekend, when Illinois was casting about for a successor to Lou Tepper.

It was very unusual because I was in the hospital with an excruciating sciatic-nerve back injury—and because I had never had back trouble before that, and I have never had back trouble since then. And because coaching searches are supposed to be a pain in another part of the anatomy. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.