San Jose State in transition entering Military Bowl game

Maybe they should call it the Transition Bowl.

For the third consecutive year — which accounts for 60 percent of the lifespan of this particular event — the Military Bowl had coaching news between the selection date and the game.

Ralph Friedgen was fired by Maryland in 2010, but he was allowed to coach the game and ended his Terrapins career with a big win over East Carolina.

Last year, Tim Beckman left Toledo for Illinois, leaving replacement Matt Campbell to lead a one-point victory over Air Force.

This year, it’s even more complicated.

Having rebuilt San Jose State ?(10-2), Mike MacIntyre left for Colorado after the Spartans accepted the bid that will have them facing Bowling Green (8-4) today at RFK Stadium. Defensive coordinator Kent Baer was selected as the interim coach for the game and wanted the job full-time, but he wasn’t even granted an interview.

Instead, San Diego’s Ron Caragher was hired, and Baer is going to follow MacIntyre to Colorado.

So, talk about awkward: Caragher has already started to set up shop with the Spartans during Baer’s final days at the school. Caragher watched practices in San Jose last week and traveled with the team to the nation’s capital as an ?observer.

“In some ways, it can be very confusing,” said Baer, who also had an interim bowl gig with Notre Dame in 2004.

“Sometimes it’s confusing to me, to be honest with you. But once we get out to practice and we’re handling our business in meetings, it’s this group of coaches and this group of players that’s been here all year.”

The shake-up has jarred the players just as they were hoping to put an exclamation point on perhaps the best season in school history. The No. 24 Spartans are playing in a bowl for the first time since 2006, are in the AP rankings for the first time since 1975, and will be trying to win 11 games in a season for the first time since 1940.

“I’ve been here with a group of young men, a couple of coaches, that have seen some really tough times and seen this thing turn around,” Baer said. “Really the goal is — I don’t know if it’s a parting gift to the university or the kids, or just saying, ‘Look, we’ve been in this together. Let’s finish this together.’”

collegeCollege SportsSan Jose Statesports

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

School board backs continued distance learning for fall

After a lengthy discussion Tuesday, the Board of Education is backing plans… Continue reading

Crowded neighborhoods left out of Slow Streets

Tenderloin, SoMa seen as bad fit for car-free program

City attorney seeks to block contractor in Nuru scandal from obtaining government contracts

City Attorney Dennis Herrera has moved to prohibit AzulWorks, Inc. and its… Continue reading

Supes approve $2.1M settlement over sewage spills at SF’s Hall of Justice jail

San Francisco has tentatively agreed to pay out a total of $2.1… Continue reading

US backs down in fight with Harvard, MIT over student visas

The U.S. backed down from a high-profile confrontation with two elite universities… Continue reading

Most Read