Team preview: Tulane

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(All information as of June 20, 2007)


At 60, with a good job as the offensive coordinator at the University of New Mexico, it would have been a lot easier for Bob Toledo to spend the next few years calling plays for the Lobos and preparing to ride off into the sunset with one last paycheck and a pension.

Instead, Toledo finds himself starting over as a head coach for the fourth time in his career. After stints at Cal-Riverside, Pacific and UCLA, Toledo brought his West Coast resume and West Coast offense to Tulane.
"I was an assistant coach, not the head coach, and one of the things I really wanted to do was be a head coach again and run my own program," Toledo said. "I like being a leader and I like being in charge. This was an opportunity to do that. I like challenges, and there's no question we have a big challenge ahead of us, but with challenge comes opportunity. If we can get it done here, we've accomplished something pretty good."

If Toledo wants a challenge, there's no doubt he has found one at Tulane. In the last 25 years, the Green Wave has finished with a winning record only four times and played in three bowls. The best year came in 1998, but the Green Wave's 12-0 record under Tommy Bowden seems like ancient history at this point.

Former coach Chris Scelfo and his staff did some positive things in eight seasons at Tulane, including two winning seasons and a bowl, but things were
tough enough before Hurricane Katrina drove the football program out of New Orleans two years, forcing the Green Wave to spend most of the season living on the Louisiana Tech campus and play all 11 games on the road.

When the Green Wave finally returned home, it found a campus without an adequate football facility or weight room. The entire program seemed to be trying to crawl a steep, slippery slope until a 4-8 record finally led to a coaching change after last season.

With running backs coach Greg Davis, Jr. the only holdover from the previous staff, the 2007 season represents a fresh start for the entire program.