Posted on: February 4, 2011 4:14 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Former Mississippi State head coach and current St. Louis Rams running backs coach Sylvester Croom met with Nick Saban last weekend to talk about the lone opening on the Alabama coaching staff, as wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator. While it seemed that Croom had a good shot at landing the job, he told the Tuscaloosa News on Friday that he was no longer in the running and would be staying with the Rams.
"It was a very intriguing opportunity that Coach Saban and I discussed," Croom said. "My visit was more of a get-to-know-you with Coach Saban and the staff. It was a great visit. I really enjoyed it.
"I mentioned to him if certain possibilities developed I would be interested. That's how the visit came about. Just looking at the possibility when I was down there, he was not positive which way to go with the position that was open."
Croom, of course, played at Alabama under Bear Bryant and then spent a few years as an assistant on Bryant's coaching staff as well. According to the report, current Louisville quarterbacks coach and former Alabama grad assistant Mike Groh is now the frontrunner for the job.
Posted on: February 4, 2011 3:51 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
When Randy Edsall came to Maryland from UConn, he decided to keep Maryland defensive coordinator Don Brown on his coaching staff. Well, it doesn't seem that Brown was all that happy with the idea, because according to a few reports, Brown is on his way out of Maryland to take the same position at...wait for it...UConn.
So, in a sense, it's as though UConn traded Edsall to Maryland for Brown and an undisclosed draft pick.
Brown, who came to Maryland in January 2009 as part of former coach Ralph Friedgen's staff, was retained by new Maryland coach Randy Edsall when he was hired earlier this year from Connecticut. The Huskies hired former Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni to replace Edsall.
Brown has extensive experience as a coach in New England. From 2004 to 2008, he was the head coach at Massachusetts, and before that spent four seasons as the head coach at Northeastern. He also was an assistant at Brown, Yale and Dartmouth.This could prove to be a big loss for Edsall and Maryland. Brown only spent two seasons at Maryland, but he did a nice job with the defense in that time. The Terps defense ranked 39th nationally in total defense. The team's rushing defense was 21st in the country, and only eight teams kept opposing quarterbacks to a lower rating than Maryland did in 2010.
Posted on: January 31, 2011 5:47 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Texas Longhorns have had a lot of turnover on their coaching staff this offseason. Some changes were made by choice (Greg Davis for Brian Harsin) and others by necessity (Will Muschamp leaving for Florida). Ironically, the one change that Mack Brown wanted to make was altered dramatically thanks to the change he didn't want.
According to Kirk Bohls in The Statesman, Mack Brown's initial choice to replace Greg Davis as offensive coordinator was Charlie Weis, but then Muschamp left for Gainesville and things got complicated.
Mack Brown's first choice for offensive coordinator, I am told by two sources, was Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, and the Texas head coach all but considered it a done deal that the former Notre Dame head coach would join his staff in Austin. However, Weis' high school senior son bonded with Longhorns defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and had planned to learn under him at Texas, until Muschamp bolted for Florida and the entire Weis family followed.Texas would then move on to Brian Harsin, who isn't exactly a terrible consolation prize given the success of the offenses he ran at Boise State. Still, the fact that Brown thought he had Weis locked up, and then lost him and Muschamp to Florida is somewhat of an apt description for Texas football in 2010 overall. The only thing missing from the equation was a Garrett Gilbert interception.
Posted on: January 22, 2011 2:22 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2011 4:20 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
It's been rumored for a while, but UCLA made it official on Saturday afternoon, announcing that Mike Johnson has been hired to be the Bruins offensive coordinator. Of course, the school hasn't officially fired Norm Chow yet, nor has Chow officially accepted a position at Utah as has been rumored as well. Still, the fact that the Bruins have a new offensive coordinator is a pretty good indication of where Chow won't be coaching next season.
In the official release, not only has Johnson been brought on to replace Chow, but Rick Neuheisel will be taking on the role of quarterbacks coach as well.
"During my assessment of our program, I felt it was necessary for me to be more involved in the day-to-day operation of the offense," Neuheisel said. "I decided that going forward, I will coach the quarterbacks and will be more hands-on in the area of play calling with a new coordinator.
"Mike is a great addition to our staff. He has a background with a multitude of offensive schemes, has coached several different positions and has experience in our conference as well as in the National Football League. Mike brings a wealth of knowledge and adds versatility to our offense and I can't wait to get in the film room and start planning for 2011 and the Pac-12.
"In addition, Mike is a dynamic and tireless recruiter who is familiar with the Pac-12 area and, in particular, southern California. He will be a great plus for our program in this important area."
Johnson spent the last few seasons with the San Francisco 49ers as a quarterbacks coach before taking on the position of offensive coordinator in 2010. He also spent two years working with Neuheisel on the Baltimore Ravens staff from 2006-07.
UCLA's offense was rather abysmal in 2010, as it finished 104th in the nation in scoring, averaging 20.2 points per game, and 116th in passing. The Bruins finished the season with a 4-8 record, including a 2-7 campaign within the Pac-10.
Posted on: January 20, 2011 11:50 am
Edited on: January 20, 2011 12:19 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The overhaul of the Texas coaching staff continues, and it looks like Mack Brown has found another new member for his Longhorns staff. Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels was in Austin on Wednesday afternoon, and according to a report he'll be accepting the job of offensive line coach at Texas.
Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels traveled Wednesday afternoon to Austin, Texas, where a website covering University of Texas athletics, Orangebloods.com, reported Wednesday night that he accepted an offer to become the Longhorns’ offensive line coach.
Texas has not yet announced a hire.
Texas head coach Mack Brown has been seeking an offensive line coach since the December retirement of Mac McWhorter. Auburn O-line coach Jeff Grimes last week turned down the position.Searels and Georgia have not released a comment on the story either. Searels has been in Athens since 2007 as an offensive line coach, and has made previous stops at LSU, Cincinnati and Appalachian State.
Posted on: January 19, 2011 4:45 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 12:05 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
"Headset Reset" is the College Football Blog's series reviewing the 22 new head coaches in the FBS and what they'll need to accomplish in their new jobs to succeed. In this edition: the four new head coaches in the SEC and the ACC.
WILL MUSCHAMP, Florida
Why him? Urban Meyer blindsided the college football community by stepping away from his gig as the head coach at one of the biggest football programs in the nation. So naturally, Florida poached the highest profile assistant coach from right under Mack Brown to lead the Gators into the new decade. For 2011, Muschamp needs to: Win the SEC East. By bringing in Charlie Weis as the new offensive coordinator, Gators fans will expect that many of the offensive woes that plagued them in 2010 will be eliminated immediately. But despite all their downfalls, Florida still came one game from winning the division. There will be no excuse not to reclaim the East in 2014. By 2014, Muschamp needs to have: Won the SEC Championship. Urban Meyer won two national championships in his first four seasons at Florida. Muschamp needs to at least win the SEC crown by 2014, presumably meaning the Gators are also in the national title discussion. Chances Muschamp gets what he needs?: There is no reason to think that Muschamp, a coach who carries a strong reputation in several major recruiting hotbeds, cannot continue to bring in the talent to Gainesville to build his own dynasty. I'd say chances are pretty good.
JAMES FRANKLIN, Vanderbilt
Why him? After Bobby Johnson retired less than two months before the start of the season, Vanderbilt scrambled to promote offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell to head coach. After Caldwell's 2-10 record in 2010, he stepped down as well. For 2011, Franklin needs to: Beat Elon and win at least one conference game. After two straight 2-10 seasons Franklin at least needs to equal that win total, even with a difficult non-conference schedule. The bar isn't too high, but the Commodores need to find at least one non-conference and one conference win in 2011. By 2014, Franklin needs to have: Made the postseason. Again, the bar is not too high (Vanderbilt has only 2 bowl appearances since 1980), but Franklin would likely land himself a long-term contract and cement his own place in Vanderbilt history by adding a postseason win to the school's resume. Chances Franklin gets what he needs?: Have you seen the SEC? Not great.
RANDY EDSALL, Maryland
Why him? New athletic director Kevin Anderson clearly had plans to get rid of Ralph Friedgen before he went on to win 8 games and be named ACC Coach of the Year. Despite the biggest turnaround in school history, the coach was removed in favor of Randy Edsall, the perennial coaching search smoke-screen. For 2011, Edsall needs to: Equal or improve from Friedgen's 8-win regular season in 2010. With many Terps fans and players sad to see Fridge shoved out the door, Edsall will immediately be compared to his predecessor. Fortunately, Edsall inherits a young and talented team led by ACC Rookie of the Year Danny O'Brien. By 2014, Edsall needs to have: Won the ACC Atlantic. Anderson's main reason for buying out Friedgen's contract was to take the Maryland football program from "good to great." After coming one game from winning the division in 2010, the only way to improve would be an appearance in the ACC Championship Game. Chances Edsall gets what he needs?: Not very good. The ACC Atlantic is getting stronger with Jimbo Fisher bringing Florida State back to national relevance, Dabo Swinney beefing up his coaching staff, and Tom O'Brien turning N.C. State into a perennial threat in the conference. Thinking that Edsall will be able to take the Terps to their first ACC Championship Game by 2014 is a tall order. But if it happens, it will be because of the play of O'Brien.
AL GOLDEN, Miami
Why him? After another year of poor attendance from a disinterested fan base, not to mention the failure to compete within their own division, Miami decided it was time for a change. For 2011, Golden needs to: While Shannon failed collect any hardware on the field, he certainly did his part recruiting during the offseason. Golden realizes the importance of recruiting in-state, and has hit the trail running. With only two weeks left until signing day, Golden is in the middle of his 45 scheduled visits for the month of January to solidify his 2011 class. Many recruits, including ones in-state, have expressed how impressed they were with Golden and his new staff. Golden won't be expected to win the division in 2011, but Hurricanes fans will be far less forgiving if they see a drop-off on national signing day. By 2014, Golden needs to have: Won the ACC Coastal. After years of dominating the Big East, Miami boosters have been disappointed to see Miami fall out of the conference race each year since joining the ACC. Golden needs to take the Hurricanes to their first ACC Championship Game by 2014, or else an occasionally unstable administration may get trigger happy once again. Chances Golden gets what he needs?: Golden faces an uphill battle as a coach with no experience south of Charlottesville, VA, but what progress he has made so far has been pleasantly surprising. He still is competing against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, who have combined for every ACC Coastal crown since the division formation in 2004. I'd put the chances of Golden taking Miami to the ACC Championship game right at 50-50.
Posted on: January 13, 2011 12:12 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The funny thing about Les Miles staying at LSU was that it may have been the first time in history a coach decided to stay at his current job and disappointed the fan bases of both schools. Of course, even if there are a few LSU fans out there who aren't big fans of Miles, there's like three to four times as many who didn't like offensive coordinator Gary Crowton.
So this should make them pretty happy.
This isn't much of a shocker, as there were rumors that Crowton was on his way out on Wednesday, and Les Miles wasn't exactly emphatic about denying any changes to his coaching staff. In fact, it's long been Miles' habit to never actually fire his assistants, but rather have them find other jobs. So the fact that a day after reports said Crowton was going to lose his job he's announcing he's accepted the same position at Maryland isn't surprising.
So now we can all turn our attention to Crowton's replacement at LSU, and whether or not he'll be just as hated, or if he can actually mold all the offensive talent that the Tigers recruit into a competent offense.
Posted on: January 10, 2011 11:49 am
Edited on: January 10, 2011 11:50 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer
DALLAS, Tex. – I’m in Dallas for the annual American Football Coaches Association Convention this week. One of the biggest draws of the convention is to network with other coaches and in some cases actually receive a job offer from a recently hired head coach.
It’s pretty obvious when you walk into the conference actually, as four large job boards are plastered with resumes. As assistants jockey for offers and shake hands in the hallway, one often forgotten aspect of switching jobs is the kids they were recruiting.
After months and months of developing a relationship andgetting pitched on attending a particular school, it can sometimes be quite jarring to 18 year olds to no longer have a coach to play for. With the majority of coaching changes occurring within a month of signing day, recruits and their families are often scrambling to schedule other official visits and talk with coaches.
At the Army All-American Bowl on Saturday, former Michigan commitment Demetrius Hart chose Alabama. Hart had committed to Michigan in October but opened things up when Rich Rodriguez was fired as head coach of the Wolverines. As an early enrollee, the coaching change had an even greater impact on his commitment.
“I’ve always liked Alabama,” he said. “But a lot of things came up with the coaching change at Michigan and me trying to get into school early. I didn’t know what coaches were going to be there. I would have been in a situation where I didn’t really know anybody. I had a good relationship (with the staff) and was going to come in early but with them leaving, Alabama was always a place I wanted to go.”
Former Miami commit Teddy Bridgewater had a longtime relationship with former Hurricane coach Randy Shannon. One of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country, Bridgewater was originally the jewel in the Hurricanes’ class and a special bond with Shannon played an enormous role in first choosing Miami. Without a coach in place, he decommitted about a week after Shannon was fired and eventually committed to Louisville.
“I’ve known Coach Shannon since I was a child,” Bridgewater said. “I played Pop Warner football in Arch Park and he’s an alum of Scott Park, that’s my rival park growing up. He used to come out to the games and the practices. We just grew a relationship over the years.
“For him to just be fired, it hit me hard. I was expecting to play for him. But that’s just the business part of college football.”
As hires are made and the coaching carousel turns this week, it’s worth remembering that sometimes it’s the kids who are impacted the most.