Video gamer applies for North Dakota coach’s job
Christopher McComas has no coaching experience. He’s just played a ton of high-scoring college football video games.
That’s the basis for the Marshall University web developer’s tongue-in-cheek bid for the vacant head coaching position at North Dakota.
His mantra? ”Chuck the pigskin.”
McComas said Friday he and his gaming buddies would always joke about how their play-calling skills were better than some actual coaches.
He decided to act on that notion after seeing a random tweet about North Dakota looking for a new coach. McComas recently put together a PowerPoint presentation and attached it in an email to North Dakota athletic director Brian Faison. He also sent it to some friends so they could have a laugh.
North Dakota football spokesman Ryan Powell confirmed Friday that McComas is among the 72 applicants for the job.
”I thought the North Dakota people would see it, kind of chuckle and that would be kind of it,” McComas said. ”I had no idea it would become anything more than that.”
A newspaper in Grand Forks, N.D., first reported McComas’ application and word quickly spread. Posts on social media sites have both embraced his application and condemned it as nonsense.
His four-step blueprint: ”Recruit great players. Win a lot of games. Recruit more great players. Win more games.”
His offensive playbook: A variety of Hail Mary passes. His teams never punt.
”4th down? Chuck the pigskin,” his presentation reads.
His defenses blitz on every down and McComas is a big advocate of onside kicks.
”We will win A LOT of football games, actually, all of them,” the presentation continues. ”We will graduate our players, well not really because they’ll all be leaving early for the NFL.”
The application even refers to schooling Alabama’s Nick Saban and former Oregon coach Chip Kelly, now with the Philadelphia Eagles.
”Bring it on, Nick, we’ll go five wide and do it and see what he can do,” McComas said Friday. ”My philosophy is what’s the worst that can happen? He might beat me. OK, we’ll deal with it. But let’s go. Bring it on.”
The closest experience the 33-year-old McComas has been to the real deal is as a Marshall season ticket holder. He also was a student manager in the equipment department a decade ago.
During road games and on bowl trips, McComas and his buddies spent a lot of down time waiting on the football team, so they’d hook up the PlayStation for an afternoon of video scoreboard overload.
Whether that pastime can get him in the door at North Dakota remains to be seen. Faison didn’t immediately return a telephone message Friday.
McComas is ready if the call comes.
”I’ll go up there and meet with them and we’ll talk about my resume,” he said. ”Let’s go. I’d love to meet with them.”
North Dakota went 3-8 this season is looking to replace the fired Chris Mussman, who won 31 games in six seasons, including the school’s transition from NCAA Division II.