I have almost no memory of John Mackovic. I remember some of the players at Arizona during that time - Bobby Wade and Lance Briggs, in particular - and I remember Dick Tomey. But I've tried to repress any memories of John Mackovic at Arizona.
John Mackovic was the head coach at Arizona from 2001 to 2003. He had previously been the head coach of the Texas Longhorns, but was fired in 1997 and didn't hold a coaching job during that four year gap, instead working as an analyst for ESPN.
Without going over every complaint from the Mackovic era, here are some highlights:
1. Mackovic told a player after a loss to Wisconsin that he was a "disgrace to his family." This eventually led to the players complaining to administration about his behavior. Mackovic had to apologize to the team and to the fans. He managed to keep his job for the time being, but was ultimately fired less than a year later.
2. He made a player stop loving football. He told that player, Tyrone Brown, that he either had to quit going to therapy (which he started going to as a result of Mackovic) or quit the football team. He told Brown, who had been diagnosed with a concussion, that he did not actually have a concussion. This stuff was bad back in 2002, but it reads even worse in 2015 knowing what we know now about head injuries in football.
3. He was awful at coaching. He went 10-18 in two and a half seasons at Arizona and set the program back years. Players did not want to play hard for him, and quarterback Nic Costa even said that the team played harder in their last game under Mackovic because they thought he was going to be fired.
Mackovic was one of the worst hires in college football history. He treated players poorly and it led to poor results on the field. And as much as I would like to totally forget his tenure at Arizona, it's important to remember the mistakes Mackovic made so we don't repeat them in the future.