CINCINNATI — If you are a Cincinnati Bearcats football fan, you walk around waiting for the anvil to fall on your head.
You’re conditioned to it. The many coaches who couldn’t get it done there? They tended to stay for years. But on those sporadic occasions when the program has enjoyed success, someone always comes to poach your coach.
Only three of the previous 12 Bearcats bosses produced winning records at the school. None of those three stayed more than four seasons before jilting Cincy for bigger and ostensibly better. Tony Mason fled for Arizona in the ’70s; Mike Gottfried left for Pittsburgh in the ’80s; and Mark Dantonio split in 2006 for Michigan State.
Even some of the non-winners jumped Cincinnati’s historically leaky ship. Watson Brown turned in a 4-6-1 debut season in 1983 and immediately made a lateral evacuation to Rice. And then there was Tim Murphy, the guy whose hard work to pull the program out of obsolescence peaked with an 8-3 record in 1993. After that, he up and left for … Harvard.