Coach­ing changes com­pli­cate Mil­i­tary Bowl,

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - ByJoseph White

WASHINGTON — 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 one­point 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) on Thurs­day 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 back in Cal­i­for­nia 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. That’s how we’re han­dling it. It’s go­ing to be his foot­ball team af­ter this, but not til.”

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