If any genetic connection can be made between a lizard and big-time college basketball or football coach, the first DNA comparison should be with that of a chameleon.

A little Wednesday afternoon research revealed the following characteristics:

-- They are built for climbing.

-- Their eyes operate independently from one another.

-- Changing color is a way of communicating.

Is that a coach? Or a chameleon? You decide.

In either event, the coaching carousel between Eugene, Ore.; Omaha, Neb.; Ames, Iowa; and Minneapolis in the past few days has been breathtaking to watch, even by college standards. Dana Altman to Oregon, Greg McDermott to Creighton and Fred Hoiberg to Iowa State — all seemingly before lunch.

This is a culture we’ve come to accept in sports. Coaches are constantly on the move, whether motivated by their own interests or an impatient athletic director and/or pack of boosters.

If we’re honest, none of us can begrudge a coach for improving his “situation.” It’s the American Way.

Just spare us the commitment and loyalty speech.

The Associated Press dug up this 3-year-old quote from Altman following his return to Creighton after a change of heart about accepting the Arkansas job in 2007:

“This is home,” he said when returning to Omaha. “This is where I will finish my coaching career. That’s pretty obvious now.”

The only thing that’s obvious is the way coaches fly away like dandelion spores in the springtime. It’s enough to make you wonder if even he believed those words.

This much we know: These coaches are built for climbing, they can keep their eyes on multiple things at once, and they’re quite apt to change their skin to match their environment — any environment.

Just remember, when they break out the lecture on loyalty — that’s when you know when to reach for your coat.


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