In an environment like this one, you start to engage the heaviest of donors individually to gauge their confidence and support of the program/legend and also have frank internal discussions with the legend outlining the definite need for some staff changes after the season that will help shake up the chemistry and enhance the program based on the recent changes to the sport, NIL, culture, etc. You do so with the conversation centering around the fact that under no circumstances that you want the legend to go away, and that the need for this change is based on your own reviews, but also echoed by the majority of the heaviest donors. You do it with mutual respect and admiration between yourself and the legend because you have a great relationship with the legend. A friend to friend type deal even though you are the boss. You don’t make it an attack, but rather a reality of the culture and environment of change that we are in. You win the legend over to this fact and these needs and assure him the staff that’s being replaced will be very well taken care of by the university. If this situation doesn’t go as scripted you end up with the legend letting you know that he’s going to go ahead and retire and sit out that transition because he just can’t stomach it all and is tired and needs a break. Agreements are made and the legend rides off in the sunset with no hard feelings and the program replaces the legend without any great candidates worrying about what they might be stepping into given they are replacing a legend who has decided it was time to retire and slow down. That’s pretty much how it’s been done many times over the years around the country.
Or you rip the bandaid off…abruptly push the legend out…and hope like hell you catch lightening in a bottle with the hire you make. Then chew off your fingernails hoping and praying it goes exceptionally well very quickly so you don’t find out in a couple of years you blew off your own toes.
exactly how it went down in columbus with woody, seattle with don james, carbon copy of bobby's exit at fsu, both times at ksu, familar with how things went down with dkr and mack, ....