Posted on: December 14, 2010 12:35 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2010 12:37 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
First Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen was a leading candidate for the open position at Pittsburgh, then there were reports of discussions with West Virginia. Engaged in discussions with bitter rivals, and only one head coaching position available, there was little clarity to Holgorsen's situation. But according to the most recent reports from Morgantown, Bill Stewart does not have to worry about his coaching for his job like we may have thought.
The Charleston Gazette is reporting Tuesday that Holgorsen will join the Mountaineers staff as offensive coordinator in 2011, and then take over Stewart's position as head coach heading into the 2012 season. According to the report, current offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen, a candidate for the Kent State head coaching position, will be out whether he lands the job or not. Defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel and the entire defensive staff will be retained.
So it appears as though the "coach-in-waiting" is not dead after all, just maybe put on a more definite timetable. Holgorsen has put together an entertaining and high-powered offense at Oklahoma State, and he will have many of the same caliber athletes to work with at West Virginia. One of the biggest disappointments of the Mountaineers' season was an offense that could not always capitalize on the play of their defense. West Virginia finished second in the nation in scoring defense, only allowing 12.8 points per game. But it was failing to score a second-half touchdown in back-to-back losses to Connecticut and Syracuse that prevented West Virginia from winning the Big East outright. After four years of Pat White-led offenses, an inferior offensive unit was not something fans were used to seeing.
Posted on: December 14, 2010 11:48 am
Edited on: December 14, 2010 12:51 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The time between the announcement that Will Muschamp had become the new Florida head coach and the rumor that he'd be bringing fellow Texas staff member and former Alabama offensive coordinator Major Applewhite along as his offensive coordinator was so small you'd have to measure it in nanoseconds.
But like so many other assumptions made during the coaching carousel's silly season, it turns out a gun was being jumped , as the Gainesville Sun is reporting that Applewhite has either decided to turn Muschamp down -- with the departure of Greg Davis at Texas, he could be in line for a promotion in Austin -- or Muschamp has decided to go in a different direction. Either way, Applewhite won't be coming to Gainesville.
If that's despite overtures from Muschamp, the Gators might be receiving a blessing the disguise. Though Florida has enough raw offensive talent that virtually anyone who isn't Steve Addazio could turn them into a functional attack, Gator fans spoiled by the Steve Spurrier and Tim Tebow years likely won't settle for "functional," and unless Muschamp's defense is truly terrifying, "functional" won't win the championships the Gators have become accustomed to, either. Applewhite already has a long and promising career as a position coach, but his turn at the Tide's wheel was anything but revelatory, as Alabama limped in at 75th in total offense that season and (by most accounts out of Tuscaloosa) was only saved from demotion by his move to a lower-rung position in Austin.
Though Applewhite may have learned enough from his one season as a play-caller and his last couple of years under Mack Brown to succeed in his next attempt in the coordinator's chair, there's no question he'd be something of an unknown quantity. This being Florida, the Gators likely don't have to settle for an unknown quantity. Though Dana Holgorsen may be looking elsewhere and Auburn has probably wrapped up Gus Malzahn for at least this offseason, Muschamp should just about have his pick of the rest of the nation's OC's. Applewhite may, in fact, be a good choice ... but from here, it still seems the Gators can do better.
Posted on: December 14, 2010 3:00 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
One of the more intriguing subplots of the Big East this season has been the performance of Bill Stewart at the helm of the West Virginia Mountaineers, and what little effect it's had on his job security. This is the third season of a six-year deal for Stewart, and all things considered, his time in Morgantown hasn't exactly been a failure; his Mountaineers are 27-11 in the last three years, and are playing for their first 10-win season since going 11-2 under Rich Rodriguez in 2007, RichRod's last season there.
And yet, nine wins seems to be Stewart's ceiling, which understandably irks some fans who look at a historically inconsistent Big East and see a conference ripe for regularly allowing double-digit wins to a program like West Virginia's. Stewart hasn't won the conference in his three seasons, though, and having Connecticut represent the league in one of the most lopsided BCS bowls ever while WVU faces an ACC bowl opponent for the third straight season is just a little more than some fans and school administrators want to take.
Hence, then, this report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Stewart may be fired if his team loses to 8-4 North Carolina State in the Champs Sports Bowl, and that regardless of the result of the bowl game, the school is already setting its sights on a replacement:
Now, there aren't many coaches with clean disciplinary records who get fired with records like 28-12 -- an even .700 winning percentage -- and what job Stewart takes next would depend strongly on how much of a workload the 58-year-old feels like putting himself through after what an unceremonious departure like this would be.
If the Post-Gazette's other report listed in the aforelinked article -- that if Stewart's offensive coordinator Jeff Mullen is hired as head coach at Kent State , Holgorsen would be hired as the offensive coordinator with the head coaching spot guaranteed for 2012 -- is correct, it's clear that Stewart is operating in an environment that's enormously toxic from a trust and security standpoint. If that's the case, then regardless of whether Stewart wins his bowl game and/or salvages his job with the Mountaineers for another season, he doesn't have his superiors' confidence, and those situations rarely end well.
Posted on: December 13, 2010 4:11 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 9:00 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
UPDATE: In a blog from the Post-Gazette late Monday afternoon, Paul Zeise writes that "Dana Holgorsen will not be the next head coach of Pitt." He cites a source close to the situation, but does not elaborate. Though he does suggest that Holgorsen might still end up in the Big East, which could hint at possible openings at Connecticut (Edsall leaves) or West Virginia (Stewart leaves/retires). Regardless, something seems to have developed today to change the coaching search at Pitt. Stay tuned to CBSSports.com for more as this story develops.
Dave Wannstedt's "resignation" will go down as one of the more awkward departures of the 2010 postseason. Pittsburgh Athletic director Steve Pederson now must find a new face for the program. Facial hair or not, Pederson knows that he needs to take action finding his next coach. The coaching carousel has been spinning as fast as ever, and many of the names at the top of the national wish-list are quickly being employed.
Near the end of last week, it was believed the two top candidates for the job were Temple's Al Golden and Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen. With Golden heading to Miami to lead the Hurricanes, Holgerson appears to be the new favorite for the job in Pittsburgh. Of course, there are no promises that Holgerson would be interested in leaving Oklahoma State right now. He has put together an incredibly potent offense with Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon, and Kendall Hunter as the cornerstones in 2010. With Weeden and Blackmon possibly returning for 2011, there is a chance that Holgerson could stay for one more successful year and boost his stock significantly.
But according to a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Holgerson was contacted by Pitt late last week and interviewed with Pederson at an undisclosed location over the weekend. Holgerson brings a high-energy offense that could energize the fanbase and immediately utilize some of the weapons already in place for the Panthers. Similar to Blackmon, Panthers' wide receiver Jon Baldwin could return for another season and join Dion Lewis and Tito Sunseri as the playmakers of Pitts offense. Sunseri and Lewis have both been inconsistent across their young careers, but have shown flashes of their potential (In Lewis' case, his entire freshman season). There are no notions as to if this will develop into anything further, but it sounds like one of the best potential scenarios for Pittsburgh.
Posted on: December 9, 2010 6:31 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2010 6:33 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
It's been a few days since Dave Wannstedt "resigned" from his position as head coach at Pitt before giving one of the shortest press conferences in history, and it seems that the school has already gotten started searching for its next head coach. A couple of names that have popped up early are Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen and Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads (pictured).
Holgorsen's name came up as a candidate in a few reports, but if Pitt is planning on interviewing him, he doesn't know it yet. Holgorsen told NewsOk.com that he hasn't been contacted by Pitt about the job, and when he was asked about whether he'd have any interest in the gig, he told the site that he is "pretty happy where I am at."
Still, just because he hasn't been contacted yet doesn't mean that Pitt has no plans on getting in touch with him.
There's also Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads, who served as defensive coordinator at Pitt from 2000-2007 before leaving to take his current job in Ames. It's only natural that his name would come up given his history with the school. While it's likely that Pitt will reach out to Rhoads at some point, as of now, it's unknown whether or they have as of this time.
Posted on: November 29, 2010 5:58 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The ancient saw about football is that offense sells tickets and defense wins championships. But based on this offense-dominated 2010 season, it may be time to admit that when it comes to college football, offense can just about handle the whole thing, thanks; likely BCS title game participants Auburn and Oregon both ride their record-breaking offenses first and their defenses second, and whether it's the Big Ten with Wisconsin , the Big 12 South with Oklahoma , or the SEC East with South Carolina (and their 100th-ranked pass defense ), defense-first teams are giving way to more explosive counterparts.
Which helps explain why of the five finalists announced today for the Broyles Award , given annually to the nation's top assistant coach, four of them are offensive coordinators at the helm of some of the nation's best attacks. They are:
Dick Bumpas, defensive coordinator/defensive line coach, TCU
Paul Chryst, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, Wisconsin
Dana Holgorsen, offensive coordinator, Oklahoma State
Gus Malzahn, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, Auburn
Greg Roman, offensive coordinator, Stanford
Of the five, Malzahn has become (almost without question) the biggest name in the group and with his unorthodox scheme producing not only an SEC West title but a probable Heisman Trophy for Cam Newton , he's your likely front-runner. But all five have done incredible work this season: Holgorsen took over a Cowboy offense missing its longtime quarterback and biggest receiving threats and helped make Justin Blackmon and Kendall Hunter All-Americans; Chryst has made Scott Tolzien the most efficient quarterback in the Big Ten by a mile while maintaining the Badgers' bulldozing ground-based mentality; Roman, likely the most obscure name in the bunch, has coordinated an offense that lost Toby Gerhart and still averaged better than 40 points per game; and though a couple of off-games have denied TCU their run at being the best statistical defense of the decade , Bumpas's perenially excellent Frogs again lead the nation in both total and scoring defense.
But a vote for Bumpas in 2010 feels a bit like counterprogramming opposite the Super Bowl or something similar. This is the season of offense in college football, and the Broyles winner will likely reflect that.