Terry Donahue continues to fascinate, but more as a personality than a coach. In a profession known for attracting high-pressure, one-dimensional mono-maniacs, Donahue, week after week, year after year, becomes curiouser and curiouser. Indeed, he begins to look as out of place in the coaching fraternity as William Buckley at a Tupperware party.
If ever a coach nursed the seeds of his own misery more lovingly or stubbornly, then I can't recall him. The man has been sitting on a recruiting gold mine for years, up to his armpits in talent, yet he reserves his greatest respect for undertalented, "scrappy" style players.
A colossal talent like Eric Ball sends him into spasms of silence, whereas a "four-yard Freddie" like James Primus elicits clouds of praise. He will inevitably favor a Ramsey over a Schroeder, a Carney over a Dokie Williams, a less talented fifth-year senior who has patiently waited his turn over Superman himself, and he will nearly always have his heart broken because of it.
Whether this taste for the ordinary is a simple reflection of a man who admires players resembling himself at 20 only Terry knows. Probably, like his defensive philosophy, it's just a logical extension of a man who always plays it safe.