I came back home one day after I had moved away from college and my mom had thrown away half of my toys and belongings from when I was a child. It wasn’t a big deal. They were doing nothing more than taking up space. I hadn’t looked at any of them in years. She had recently moved, and there was really no reason to keep them.
But suddenly I had a deep feeling of needing to have those things back in my life. I never really had any sort of deep connection to these objects. But now that they weren’t a part of my life anymore, all I wanted was to get them back.
It’s not an apples to apples comparison, but there was some of that happening with Mizzou fans Wednesday as it was announced that Colorado was interested in Tigers defensive coordinator Ryan Walters as a head coaching candidate after Mel Tucker left the Buffaloes high and dry to take the Michigan State job.
#Colorado focused its last coaching search on candidates with defensive backgrounds, and hearing that's likely again. Some interesting D-coordinator candidates include #Mizzou's Ryan Walters (former CU captain), #OU's Alex Grinch, #Utah's Morgan Scalley and #Oregon's Andy Avalos.— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) February 13, 2020
The timing is obviously less than ideal. Spring football starts in a few weeks. Staffs across the country are mostly set. Mark Dantonio’s late retirement (is that what we’re calling it?) put everyone - Mel Tucker, Colorado, and now these candidates - in a bad spot.
But there are certain coaches who benefit. And Ryan Walters is at or near the top of that list.
Walters has really never received the credit he probably deserves for the job he’s done in his time at Missouri. At just 34 years old, Walters could easily be seen as a rising star. He’s young, he’s charismatic, he played at a high level at Colorado, and oh by the way, in his two years as Missouri’s primary DC, he improved the Tigers defense from 93rd to 50th to 15th.
Most of the credit for that defensive improvement has been placed in the hands of Barry Odom, and for good reason. Odom is a proven defensive mind who has improved the defense everywhere he’s been. But Ryan Walters is no slouch. He’s a quality coach who Eli Drinkwitz was smart to retain on his staff.
Colorado’s reported interest should be no surprise to Mizzou fans. He’s a CU alum who has proven that even in the best conference in the country he can recruit and coordinate a defense at a high level.
Far too often we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone. Whether he stays or goes, it’s past time to appreciate what Missouri has in Walters.