Chuck Stobart can definitely relate to the players at this college football all-star game. Like them, he's networking with the NFL, trying to make a favorable impression, hoping to enhance his prospects of future employment.

Stobart had a job when he agreed to coach in the Blue-Gray game. But by the time he arrived in Montgomery, he no longer was in charge of the Memphis program, despite leading the Tigers to three straight winning seasons.Now, with scouts and other officials from NFL teams looking on, Stobart is hoping to make some inroads on another job while helping his players do the same in the Christmas Day game at Cramton Bowl.

"I look at it as opportunity for me, just like it is for these players," said Stobart, who was dismissed by Memphis two weeks ago after posting a 29-36-1 record in six seasons. "The great thing now is it's out on the table. ... It's not like I have a job but might be trying to test the waters. I have no job. This is definitely a case where I'm testing the water."

Stobart isn't the only Blue-Gray coach who's looking for a job. But George Perles, who already had been fired at Michigan State when he agreed to handle the Blue defense, doesn't seem to have a sense of urgency about his future.

"My whole attitude is to showcase these kids, help them get drafted as high as they can and get as much out of it as they can," said Perles, who can afford to wait after Michigan State was obligated for $1.3 million to buy out his contract. "That's our only function: to help these kids. This (game) doesn't have anything to do with me."

Perles, 59, recently did a syndicated bowl preview show and wouldn't mind doing more television work. "What I'd probably like to do is be a color analyst, work with the telestrator, get involved with things like that," he said.

But he's leaving his options open.

When he was fired 10 years ago by Utah, Stobart knew he wanted to remain in college coaching and eventually be in charge at another school. But now, at age 60, he has a different outlook, no longer desiring a head coaching job. The life of an assistant is more appealing now.

"I want to get back to the players and coaching," he said. "I enjoy that part very much. I'll let the headaches be handled by someone else."

View Comments

The NFL also intrigues him, especially when he meets with scouts who were college coaches when he got into the business 35 years ago.

"That's a part of coaching I've never experienced," he said. "Everybody I know who's gone into pro coaching tells me it's great. You don't have the recruiting. There's no academics to worry about. You don't have to go through 12 or 15 guys at a particular position, you have only three or four. That's an experience I've never had and it sounds very appetizing."

Pitt coach Johnny Majors, who's handling the Blue offense, is disturbed by what happened to Perles, one of his closest friends, and Stobart.

"To see people of that type character and experience, it's troubling," said Majors, who went through a similar situation two years ago when he was let go by Tennessee.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.