Posted on: December 9, 2011 2:21 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 2:46 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
While the news has been official for a few days now, North Carolina was proud to tie up their loose ends and announce former Southern Miss head coach Larry Fedora as their next football coach.
On Friday morning the Board of Trustees approved a seven-year deal with Fedora earning more than $1.7 million annually, with more bonuses for division or conference championships as well as high graduation rates. With the specifics settled, Fedora was officially introduced to the media in a press conference on Friday afternoon.
"Today is the first day in a new era of UNC football," Fedora said as he took the podium for the first time. "It's going to be exciting. You better buckle your seat belts and hold on, because it's going to be a wild ride"
The last two seasons have already been a wild ride for North Carolina football, under the cloud of an NCAA investigation into the football program that began in the Summer of 2010.
Fedora steps into the position with a two-year probation and scholarship reductions already self-imposed by the school, and possibly more sanctions coming from the NCAA in the coming weeks. The scandal, especially the dismissal of head coach Butch Davis just days before the opening of training camp for the 2011 season, has divided the North Carolina football fan base over the last few months. The idea of unifying the North Carolina fans was mentioned by Chancellor Holden Thorp, new athletic director Bubba Cunningham, and driven home by Fedora himself. He described the "UNC brand" as being recognized nationwide, and needed the support of "everyone who bleeds Carolina blue" to build a successful program.
Fedora was fiery and energetic throughout his first meeting with the North Carolina media. While he has no experience recruiting in the area, he pointed to his wife as an example of what kind of recruiter he is - even using the expression "I out-kicked my coverage" The off-field troubles and discontent within the fan base resulted in some disappointing attendance during the 2011 season, and Fedora offered a message for the fans.
"We need our students and fans to make game day an unbelievable experience in Chapel Hill," Fedora exclaimed. "We need you to pack Kenan Stadium, we need to be here early, and we need you to stay late. You need to understand, if you get up to get a drink - you just missed a Tar Heel touchdown."
Fedora's arrival brings arguably the most dramatic on-field change to North Carolina football in more than a decade. The former Oklahoma State offensive coordinator plans to make North Carolina's offense a no-huddle, single back spread. He said he plans to sit in on every offensive meeting, and joked that the plays that work will be the ones that he had called. Defensively, he plans to use multiple looks as well as disguised blitzes and coverages. Fedora promised the fans a unit that will be known for "flying to the ball" and "knocking the tar out of people."
He acknowledged the adversity the team has overcome already, and credited interim head coach Everett Withers for leading North Carolina to their fourth consecutive bowl appearance. No decisions have been made regarding Fedora's staff, but he indicated that both members of his staff at Southern Miss and currently in Chapel Hill will be considered.
Fedora also plans to coach the Golden Eagles in the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24, his final game with the Conference USA Champions.
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Posted on: November 29, 2011 6:59 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 6:20 pm
Posted by the Eye on College Football bloggers
Looking for one place with all the latest on the 2011 college football coaching changes, organized by conference and job? This is that place.
OUT: Butch Davis, who lasted four seasons with the Tar Heels before he was fired by Chancellor Holden Thorp July 27, just days before the opening of training camp. Davis accumulated a 64-43 record and took UNC to three bowl games, but was dismissed when the NCAA discovered rampant violations within the football program.
IN: Southern Miss head coach Larry Fedora, who took home the 2011 Conference USA title with an 11-2 record and compiled a 33-19 overall mark in Hattiesburg. His Golden Eagle offense set a school record for yards in his very first game and finished in the FBS top 20 in total offense three of his four years.
WHAT WE THINK: Fedora is about to offer the Tar Heels the most exciting, high-scoring offense Chapel Hill has seen in some time; his offenses both in his coordinating tenure at Oklahoma State and at USM have been far too explosive, far too consistently, to think his acumen won't translate to the ACC. But we're not sure this is quite a smash hire, since Fedora's teams often struggled as badly on defense as they succeeded on offense and regularly suffered stunning upset losses. Was a coach carrying a three-game losing streak to UAB the best Carolina could do?
OUT: Turner Gill, after serving only two years of the five-year $10 million contract he signed before the 2010 season. Gill only won 1 game in the Big 12, and lost 10 games total by 30 or more points.
IN: In the most stunning hire of the 2011 coaching carousel so far, Charlie Weis is your new Jayhawk head man. After making his mark as the offensive coordinator of Bill Belichick's great New England Patriots teams, Weis coached Notre Dame to a 35-27 mark over five turbulent seasons between 2005 and 2009. He spent the 2011 season as Florida's offensive coordinator, to mixed reviews.
WHAT WE THINK: Contrary to popular opinion, Weis hasn't been a total failure as a collegiate coach; when given the strong-armed passers necessary to run his preferred aerial pro-style schemes, his Irish offenses were among the nation's best. The question is whether Weis can ever find such a quarterback in Lawrence, or whether he can avoid the multiple other pitfalls -- poor development of fundamentals, questionable defensive schemes, lack of a running game -- that submarined his Notre Dame tenure. It seems like a longshot, but it's hard to blame a desperate Kansas program for taking a gamble this splashy.
Out: Mike Sherman, who was fired following his fourth season with the Aggies, going 25-25 in his time at the school. He was done in by failed expectations after the Aggies began the season ranked in the top ten thanks to 19 returning starters on a team that finished the 2010 season strong.
IN: Houston's Kevin Sumlin began the Aggies' search as their No. 1 candidate, and he finished it as their No. 1 candidate. Sumlin's four years at the Cougar helm produced a 35-17 record and were arguably the best four-year stretch in school history, as UH won its first bowl game since 1980 and only missed the postseason once (that when Case Keenum went down with injury).
WHAT WE THINK: Sumlin has overseen explosive "Air Raid"-style offenses at every step of his career (including stops at A&M and Oklahoma before moving to Houston with then-head coach Art Briles). With coordinator Kliff Kingsbury in tow and loads of offensive talent in College Station, expect that to continue. But it'll take more than a great offense to win in the SEC, and Sumlin never got enough done on defense to even win a Conference USA title. The jury remains out on his potential at the SEC level.
OUT: Ron Zook, who survived for seven years before a 6-game losing streak wiped out a 6-game winning streak in 2011 and led to his dismissal on November 28. Zook leaves with a 34-50 (18-38) record at Illinois, and a 57-64 overall head coaching record.
IN: Toledo head coach Tim Beckman has agreed to be the Illini's next head coach. After a successful string of assistant's jobs (including stops at Oklahoma State and Ohio State), Beckman took over a flailing Rocket program and took them to winning seasons and bowl berths in both 2010 and 2011.
WHAT WE THINK: There's no doubting the impressive work Beckman did at Toledo, where the formerly sad-sack Rockets were a handful of plays from winning 10 or even 11 games this season. (Of their four losses, three came by a total of 11 points.) His spread scheme -- and its reliance on a dual-threat QB -- seems a good fit for the Illini's personnel, too. But the porous Rocket defense was a disappointment, and how he'll recruit in Champaign is anyone's guess; this looks like a solid double than a home run.
OUT: Joe Paterno, after 46 years at the head of the Penn State program and over 60 years involved with the Nittany Lions in some respect. Paterno was fired in the wake of a scandal concerning the coverup of child sexual assault charges against former longtime PSU defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
IN: New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is expected to be hired by Penn State by the weekend, though he will remain the Patriots' OC until the end of their playoff run.
WHAT WE THINK: The PSU search was doomed from the start by the circumstances surrounding the Sandusky scandal, up to and including the fact that the school does not have a permanent athletic director serving at this point. O'Brien is young and talented, but this may be a coaching task with odds too long for anyone that might want the job.
OUT: Jim Tressel, who was forced to resign after it was revealed he withheld knowledge of a widespread pattern of impermissible benefits going to his football players. Tressel had been with Ohio State for 10 years, going for a 94-22 record (106-22 before 12 wins from 2010 were vacated) and three BCS Championship Game appearances in that span.
IN AND OUT: Luke Fickell, who had been the defensive line coach and Jim Tressel's assistant head coach, assumed the role of head coach for the football team in 2010 after Tressel's departure. Fickell was often erroneously referred to as the interim head coach; the "interim" tag was taken off his job title before the season started. Fickell guided the Buckeyes to a 6-6 record in 2011, including a 33-29 victory over highly-ranked Wisconsin, all while breaking in talented QB Braxton Miller as a true freshman.
IN: Urban Meyer, announced as the next head coach of Ohio State at a Monday press conference. Fickell will coach the team through whichever bowl game it attends, while Meyer will be focused on recruiting and building his next coaching staff. After the bowl, Meyer will assume the head coaching role while Fickell will join Meyer's staff in an as yet undetermined role. This is Meyer's first coaching gig since he resigned from Florida in December 2010, citing health concerns.
WHAT WE THINK: Concerns over his health and potential longevity in the job notwithstanding, any hire that brings aboard a coach who won two national titles in just six years at his last stop certainly meets the definition of a "home run."
OUT: Rick Neuheisel, forced out after four years at his alma mater, during which he compiled a 21-28 record. Neuheisel went 0-4 vs. archrivals USC, losing by a combined score of 134-28.
IN: Former Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawk head coach Jim L. Mora, the first Bruin head coach since 1949 to take the job without having been a former UCLA assistant or player. More spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons as an NFL Network analyst after compiling a 32-34 record with the Falcons and Seahawks.
WHAT WE THINK: Well, hiring a failed-but-energetic former NFL coach worked for the Bruins' crosstown rivals, didn't it? But Pete Carroll is the rare exception among a long string of pro coaches turned mediocre college head men, and Mora's total lack of experience in the amateur ranks -- his only season of college coaching came a grad assistant at Washington in 1984 -- doesn't seem to suggest he's going to buck the trend. But his charisma and NFL experience should make him a decent recruiter in the L.A. area; can he translate that to on-field success?
OUT: Dennis Erickson, fired following a loss to Cal that dropped the pre-season Pac-12 South favorites to 6-6. He went 31-30 five years at Arizona State with only one winning conference record.
IN: In a shocker, Pitt head coach Todd Graham, who left the Panthers for Tempe Dec. 14 after one 6-6 season. Before arriving in Pittsburgh, Graham spent four seasons as the head coach at Tulsa, going 36-17 and winning three divisional Conference USA titles. The Devils job will be Graham's fourth in six seasons.
WHAT WE THINK: We know the Sun Devils had to be getting desperate; we know Graham's up-tempo offense should both fit in well in the Pac-12 and -- if successful -- help sell a few tickets; we know Graham still has those outstanding years at Tulsa on his resume. But scrape that away and you're left with ASU firing Erickson for going a disappointing 6-6 only to hire a coach who also went a disappointing 6-6, and this coach now comes with a dyed-in-the-wool reputation for job-hopping and back-stabbing. How was this a better choice than June Jones, again?
OUT: Mike Stoops, fired Oct. 10, following a loss to previously winless Oregon State on the road. He left with a 41-50 record in eight seasons with the Wildcats.
IN: Rich Rodriguez, former Michigan and West Virginia head coach and CBS Sports analyst. Hired November 21, he compiled a 75-48 record at his previous two coaching stops and took the Mountaineers to two BCS bowls.
WHAT WE THINK: AD Greg Byrne took his time with the coaching search after dismissing Stoops but was able to zero in on RichRod after talking to several people in the college football world and local high school coaches. He brings a fast-paced, spread offense to a league full of them and should fit right in the Pac-12 despite his lack of West Coast ties. With facilities being upgraded and an engaging personality at head coach, the future is looking bright in Tuscon--if Rodriguez can hire a top-notch defensive coordinator.
OUT: Paul Wulff, dimissed Nov. 29 after posting the lowest win percentage of any coach in Cougar history at just 9-40 overall. Wulff failed to win more than two Pac-12 games in any of his four seasons.
IN: Mike Leach, who CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman reported accepted the job Wednesday. Leach brings an 84-43 record from 10 years spent as the head coach at Texas Tech, a decade which saw him produce some of the game's most explosive offenses (and porous defenses), earned him recognition as one of college football's brightest, most unique offensive minds, and garnered national coach of the year honors after his 11-1 season in 2008.
WHAT WE THINK: We're sympathetic for Wulff, who took over a smoldering asteroid crater of a program and little-by-little hauled it back to semi-respectability. But hiring Leach is a massive coup for athletic director Bill Moos, one that brings instant credibility to the program and should spark a huge renewal of energy in the Wazzu fanbase. Given how many other programs would have loved to have brought the pirate captain aboard, this is a smashing win for Moos and the Cougars.
OUT: Houston Nutt, fired Nov. 7 after 2-6 overall and 0-6 SEC start. Lost final 14 SEC games and 16 of final 19 overall of four-year tenure.
IN: Per CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman, Arkansas State head coach Hugh Freeze has been offered and accepted the job. A former Rebel assistant under Ed Orgeron, Freeze took over as the Red Wolves' offensive coordinator in 2010 and was promoted to head coach in 2011, after which he led ASU to its first-ever Sun Belt championship and a 10-2 record.
WHAT WE THINK: Freeze was always the most natural fit for the job, a former Memphis high school coach who knows both the Rebel program and its local recruiting grounds inside and out. The dramatic improvement in the Red Wolves' offense on his watch suggests that the Rebels' most recent season of offensive misery should be behind them, too. So a quick return to respectability should be in order, but there's one question: can Freeze put together an SEC-caliber defense?
OUT: Todd Graham, who accepted the Arizona State head coaching position Dec. 14, following one 6-6 season at the Panther helm.
IN: It's done: Pitt has hired Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst. Chryst has been one of the nation's hottest assistant coaches after guiding a Badger team with a grind-it-out reputation to back-to-back national top-5 finishes in scoring offense in 2010 and 2011. Chryst has no head coaching experience but has spent the last eight seasons as an OC at Oregon State and Wisconsin.
WHAT WE THINK: For all of Steve Pederson's past failures on the head coaching hiring front, this one looks like the furthest thing from a Steve Callahan or, well, Todd Graham. Chryst's offenses have always been supremely well-coached, rock-solid in their identity as a run-first-run-second attack, and hyper-efficient in the passing game. While finding the Badgers' caliber of offensive linemen won't be easy, Chryst should be able to unearth a Scott Tolzien or Nick Toon at Pitt without much trouble. If Chryst learned anything from Bret Bielema about hiring the right defensive staff, Graham's bolt job should leave Pitt better off in the end.
OUT: In arguably the biggest shocker on this list -- given its timing, a week before signing day -- Greg Schiano has left to take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coaching position. Schiano leaves with a 68-67 record over 11 years with the Scarlet Knights and five straight bowl wins, a remarkable accomplishment given the program's downtrodden status when Schiano arrived.
IN: Kyle Flood, the Scarlet Knights' offensive line coach since 2005. Since Flood's arrival, Rutgers has endured just one losing season as his lines have consistently ranked among the best in the Big East.
WHAT WE THINK: Flood appears to be a natural leader -- the school wasted no time in naming him the interim coach following Schiano's departure -- and the connection he enjoys with his players is obvious both in their reaction to his hire and the team's late surge on the recruiting trail. But Flood is, to date, also a career assistant who hadn't even reached the coordinating level yet. Rutgers had few options given the circumstances and Flood was likely the best of those, but the jury is as badly out as it is for any of the season's new hires.
OUT: Rob Ianello, fired Nov. 27 (on the way to his mother's funeral, no less) after consecutive 1-11 seasons. Only 2011 win came over FCS VMI.
IN: None other than Terry Bowden, making his long-awaited return to Division I football after a 13-year absence. Bowden comes to Akron from North Alabama, where he led the D-II Lions to three straight playoff appearances, but is best known for his six-year tenure at Auburn, where he went 47-17-1 with one undefeated season.
WHAT WE THINK: Considering the depths to which the Zips sunk under Ianello -- they stand alone as the only FBS team to record one total win over FBS competition over the past two seasons -- they could have done a lot worse than Bowden, who brings instant name recognition and credibility (and a fine track record of program-resuscitation to boot). But Bowden's ties to the Midwest recruiting scene are tenuous at best, and he's been out of the FBS game a long time; former Zip assistant and current Wayne State head coach Paul Winters would have been the safer choice, even if Bowden may yet prove to be the better one.
OUT: program patriarch and coaching legend Howard Schnellenberger, who announced his retirement in August after 11 seasons in Boca Raton. He is the only head coach in the Owls' brief football history.
IN: Nebraska defensive coordinator Carl Pelini will be the Owls' next head coach, as CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy reported Dec. 1. Pelini has no college head coaching experience but has overseen some of the nation's best defenses during his Lincoln tenure and -- based on his energetic sideline presence -- should have no lack of enthusiasm for the job.
WHAT WE THINK: For a program with as little tradition and recent success as the Owls, hiring a nationally recognized name like Pelini is quite the coup. Pelini has been his brother Bo Pelini's right-hand man ever since Bo took over the Huskers and Carl should have little problem transitioning to the head coaching ranks. The lone issue: defense hasn't been the Owls' primary issue the past two (awful) seasons, and Pelini's almost exclusively a defensive coach. A solid offensive coordinating hire is a must.
OUT: Larry Porter, fired Nov. 27 after a 3-21 record over two seasons, 10 of those 21 losses coming by 35 or more points.
IN: Justin Fuente, co-offensive coordinator at TCU since 2009. The Frogs set school records in yards and points each of his first two seasons as play-caller, including the undefeated 2010 campaign, and have finished in the FBS top 12 in yards per-play all three years.
WHAT WE THINK: For being a program as downtrodden as Memphis, the Tigers' final two of Fuente and Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain was impressive in and of itself, with Fuente bringing the gaudier offensive resume and McElwain the bigger name-brand. Fuente's offensive track record and youthful energy should get Memphis out of the C-USA cellar at the minimum, but whether he'll recruit or defend well enough to do more remains to be seen.
OUT: Mike Locksley, fired Sept. 25, a day after a recruit was arrested and charged with DWI while driving a car registered to Locksley. He left with a 2-26 record at the Lobos' helm.
IN: Bob Davie, former Notre Dame head coach and longtime ESPN analyst. Hired November 16, Davie hasn't coached since 2001 but went 35-25 in his five years in South Bend.
WHAT WE THINK: The marriage of a program that desperately needs a burst of energy/enthusiasm and a 57 year-old coach who hasn't been on a sideline in a decade is an odd one. But Davie didn't rise to the Irish head coaching position by being an idiot, and his name recognition and classiness should bring some dignity back to a program stinging from a long string of embarrassments under Locksley. Could the Lobos really have done much better?
OUT: Bob Toledo, who "mutually agreed" to resign Oct. 15 after four and a half years at the Green Wave helm, during which he compiled a 15-40 record.
IN: New Orleans Saints receivers coach Curtis Johnson is the choice. A New Orleans native and local high school graduate, Johnson has spent five seasons with the Saints after nine as a receivers coach at Miami, tutoring the likes of Reggie Wayne and Andre Johnson.
WHAT WE THINK: It's hard to imagine a candidate with closer ties to the New Orleans community or one with more immediate credibility on the local recruiting trail, and Johnson's Saints colleagues (including Sean Payton) have said he's ready for a head coaching position. But the track record of NFL assistants turned college head coaches who haven't had so much as a coordinator's job have a spotty track record, at best. Johnson could be the Green Wave's Doug Marrone ... or its Tim Brewster.
OUT: Neil Callaway, who "resigned" Nov. 27 after his first head coaching job produced an 18-42 record over five seasons.
IN: Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee is the choice after helping guide the Razorback offense to top-two finishes in the SEC in back-to-back seasons (not to mention a pair of 10-2 records). McGee is a finalist for this year's Broyles Award and enjoyed two productive years as the OC at Northwestern before joining Bobby Petrino's Razorback staff.
WHAT WE THINK: Corralling an experienced, highly respected SEC-level coordinator is quite an accomplishment for a program with as little track record of success as UAB's--not to mention their major issues in facilities quality and fan support. We don't know if McGee will succeed or not (though the Blazers shouldn't lack for offense), but he's going to give the Blazers as much of a chance as any candidate in their pool.
OUT: Per CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy, Steve Fairchild, who coached the Rams for four seasons but couldn't finish any better than 3-9 in any of his final three. After starting 3-1 this season, the Rams dropped their final eight, including a third straight "Border War" loss to Wyoming.
IN: Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain, who has overseen offensive improvement relative to the SEC all four of his seasons in Tuscalooa after one equally promising season as a play-caller at Fresno State. McElwain has never been a collegiate head coach.
WHAT WE THINK: McElwain's schemes aren't revolutionary and may not be quite as effective without Crimson Tide-type personnel, but that still shouldn't overshadow what he accomplished for Nick Saban--back-to-back years in the top 10 in yards per-play and three straight in the top 21 in scoring offense. Coordinators that do those those sorts of things for national championship-caliber squads typically go to much larger jobs than this one, making this a legitimate coup for the Rams.
OUT: Pat Hill, the dean of WAC coaches whose all-comers scheduling philosophy and BCS-level upsets arguably put Fresno football on the map. He leaves with a 112-80 overall record and 11 bowl appearances, but zero outright conference titles and a 4-9 record this season.
IN: Tim DeRuyter, current Texas A&M interim head coach and Aggie defensive coordinator, who officially took the job Dec. 14. After helping turning around previous defenses at stops like Ohio and Air Force, the California native spent two years taking the Aggies from 90th nationally in yards allowed per-play to back-to-back top-25 finishes in that statistic.
WHAT WE THINK: Though DeRuyter has often been mentioned as a bright up-and-coming coordinator since landing in College Station, he might still be underrated; A&M's up-tempo offense and the Big 12's regular shootouts have kept his total defense and scoring numbers artificially low. We like DeRuyter's first-time-head-coach energy and Cali connections as well as his 3-4 schemes, too; given Fresno's budget crunch, it's hard to imagine them having done any better than this.
OUT: Greg McMackin. The head coach since 2008, McMackin announced his retirement on Monday after four seasons in which his teams went 29-25 and made two bowl appearances. The team went 6-7 in 2011.
IN: Norm Chow, the Hawaii native who earned a deserved reputation as one of the college game's brightest offensive minds through years of helming devastating attacks at BYU and then USC. This is the 65-year-old's first college head coaching position.
WHAT WE THINK: If this was still 2003 or 2004, the Warriors would have just made one of the biggest, best hires of the season. But Chow's star has dimmed of late, with his UCLA tenure a total bust and Utah not seeing much in the way of results this season, either (110th in total offense). Still, Chow's certainly no dummy when it comes to offensive scheming, and in full command of his own offense at a place that's always enjoyed plenty of aerial success, the Warriors should still put up plenty of points. Chow's legendary status on the islands won't hurt recruiting, either. But at his age, how long can Chow handle the pressures of the job?
OUT: The aformentioned Hugh Freeze, who took the Ole Miss head coaching position after one spectacular 10-2 season in Jonesboro, the only 10-win campaign in Sun Belt conference history.
IN: Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn agreed to become the Red Wolves' new head coach Dec. 13, following a spectacular run as an assistant at Tulsa and then on the Plains that saw him turn the Golden Hurricane into the nation's No. 1 offense two years running and the Tigers into Heisman-winning national champions.
WHAT WE THINK: While the Auburn faithful are left wondering why Malzahn turned down a far more lucrative offer to coach Vanderbilt in 2010 only to bolt for a traditional Sun Belt also-ran in 2011, there's no question marks on ASU's end: they landed a native Arkansan who just-so-happens to be one of college football's brightest minds and hottest assistants, all for a salary reported to be nearly four times less than what Vandy would have paid him. It's not just a home run, it's a walk-off grand slam.
OUT: Larry Fedora, who (as you know if you read the first entry on this list) accepted the headcoaching position at North Carolina.
IN: Ellis Johnson, the just-turned-60-years-old defensive coordinator of South Carolina, named head coach Dec. 20. A former USM DC himself, Johnson has 29 years of coaching experience, including head coaching stints at Gardner-Webb and his alma mater the Citadel.
WHAT WE THINK: With his experience recruiting in the state of Mississippi (Johnson also had a successful stint under Sylvester Croom at Mississippi State) and long track record of outstanding defenses, Johnson should fix the Eagles' persistent defensive woes sooner rather than later. But Johnson's earlier head coaching gigs were less than successful, his ideas about offense seem an oil-and-water mix with USM's established spread attack, and at his age there are inevitable questions about how much energy he'll bring to the position. A solid-but-not-spectacular hire.
OUT: Tim Beckman, who has accepted the Illinois job after three outstanding seasons with the Rockets.
IN: Rocket offensive coordinator Matt Campbell has been promoted to the full head coaching position after guiding the Toledo offense to two top-15 finishes in total offense the past three years. At 32 years of age, Campbell replaces Fuente as the youngest FBS head coach.
WHAT WE THINK: Campbell had the trust and support of the Rocket players and fellow coaches, an insider's knowledge of both the program and (as an Ohio native) its recruiting grounds, all the offensive production you could want from an offensive-minded coach, and all the enthusiasm you'd expect from a 32-year-old on his first head coaching gig. The Rockets still have to repair some defensive issues to get over the hump and deliver a MAC title, but promoting Campbell looks like a no-brainer from here.
OUT: After four outstanding seasons, Kevin Sumlin, now the head coach at nearby Texas A&M.
IN: Popular associate head coach/inside receivers coach Tony Levine, promoted Dec. 21 after a brief spell as the Cougars' interim coach. Levine is in his fourth season in Houston and has also spent time as an assistant at Louisville and with the Carolina Panthers.
WHAT WE THINK: If it ain't broke, why fix it? Promoting Kevin Sumlin from the Cougar assistant ranks to old boss Art Briles's job worked like a charm last time Houston needed a head coach, so you can hardly fault the Cougar brass for going the same route again. Still, Levine hasn't held any title anywhere above the level of position coach; if he can't keep current UH offensive coordinator Jason Phillips in the fold, he may run into trouble.
Tags: Akron, Alabama, Arizona, Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Arkansas State, Bill Moos, Bob Davie, Bob Toledo, Boise State, Braxton Miller, Butch Davis, Butch Jones, Cal, Charlie Strong, Chicago Bears, Chris Hatcher, Chris Petersen, Cincinnati, Clemson, Coaching Carousel, Coaching Changes, Colorado State, Curtis Johnson, Dan Guerrero, Dan Mullen, Dennis Erickson, Doug Nussmaier, Eddie Gran, Everett Withers, FAU, Florida, Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Frank Wilson, Fresno State, Georgia Southern, Greg Byrne, Greg Schiano, Gus Malzahn, Holden Thorp, Houston, Houston Nutt, Howard Schnellenberger, Hugh Freeze, Illinois, Jason Phillips, Jeff Monken, Jerry Sandusky, Jim Leavitt, Jim McElwain, Jim McElwain, Jim Michalczik, Jim Tressel, Joe Paterno, John L. Smith, John Neal, Kansas, Kevin Sumlin, Kirby Smart, Lance Thompson, Larry Fedora, Larry Porter, Louisville, LSU, Luke Fickell, Luke Fickell, Mark Hudspeth, Mark Stoops, Memphis, Miami, Miami (Ohio), Michigan, Michigan State, Mike Bellotti, Mike Haywood, Mike Leach, Mike Locksley, Mike London, Mike Martz, Mike Sherman, Mike Stoops, Mike Stoops, Mike Thomas, Mississippi State, Mountain West, Murray State, Neil Callaway, New Mexico, New Orleans Saints, Nick Saban, North Alabama, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oakland Raiders, Ohio State, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Oregon State, Pat Fitzgerald, Pat Hill, Pat Narduzzi, Paul Winters, Paul Wulff, Penn State, Pitt, Randy Shannon, Rich Rodriguez, Rick Neuheisel, Rob Ianello, Ron Zook, Sheahon Zenger, Skip Holtz, South Florida, Southern Miss, Syeve Fairchild, Tennessee, Terry Bowden, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tim Beckman, Todd Monken, Toledo, Tom Bradley, Tom Cable, Tommy Bowden, Tulane, Turner Gill, UAB, UCLA, UL-Lafayette, Urban Meyer, USC, Virginia, VMI, WAC, Washington State, Wayne State, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Posted on: November 15, 2011 4:45 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Former North Carolina head coach Butch Davis was not named in any of the nine allegations from the NCAA against the Tar Heels' football program. But his potential role in several aspects of the investigation, particularly his relationship with John Blake and tutor Jennifer Wiley, have been a hot topic of discussion for those following the story. Davis has maintained that he did not do anything wrong, but has not taken many opportunities to elaborate on his side of the story.
The former Tar Heels head coach took to YouTube to issue his first lengthy explanation of the events leading to his dismissal in Chapel Hill. The video runs nearly ten minutes, and it looks as though Davis has chosen each of his words very carefully. He addresses Blake, Wiley, the hot-button Blue Zone, and his opinion that the firing just days before training camp was the decision of Chancellor Holden Thorp.
You can check out the video below, and leave your comments on Davis' prepared statement. The comment section was not shockingly disabled from the YouTube page, so you might as well drop them here.
Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Tags: ACC, Butch Davis, Butch Davis Fired, Butch Davis Firing, Butch Davis NCAA Investigation, Butch Davis NCAA Video, Butch Davis NCAA Violation, Butch Davis Video, Chip Patterson, Everett Withers, Holden Thorp, John Blake, John Blake Fired, NCAA Investigation, NCAA Sanction, North Carolina, North Carolina NCAA Violation, UNC NCAA Investigation
Posted on: August 8, 2011 2:29 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 3:39 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
UPDATE: Robbi Pickeral, who authored the initial News and Observer report, says that UNC has received the information request from the lawyers of the football boosters. School still has no official comment.
Things got even crazier on Monday in the ongoing drama that has become the North Carolina football program. According to a local report, a group of North Carolina football boosters who agreed to help fund a recent Kenan Stadium expansion are exploring possible legal action against chancellor Holden Thorp.
The identities of the boosters involved has not been made public, but one of the attorneys representing the group told the Raleigh News and Observer he plans to file a public information request asking for all correspondence between the Chancellor and other school officials.
Don Brown, of Charlotte, N.C., is one of five lawyers (all UNC graduates) that have taken the case pro bono. For the first time in the stadium's 84 year history, both end zones are now bowled in thanks to the construction of the "Carolina Student-Athlete Center for Excellence." The new service building for the athletic department also brought 2,980 new seats, a club level, and suites that can be priced at $50,000 per year. There have been reports that donors have asked for refunds since Butch Davis' dismissal, which were denied.
"I can tell you, everybody that we represent is furious about the timing of Butch Davis' firing," Brown told the News and Observer in a phone interview. "They feel like their investment was based on Butch Davis being the head coach…and the public reassurances over the past year that he would remain the coach…They want answers."
A UNC spokesman said that as of 11:30 a.m. on Monday the school had received no FOIA request, and there is no official comment on the issue.
The group of enraged boosters is said to be of different contribution levels, and it is not clear exactly what they hope to gain from pursuing legal action. Brown emphasized in his interview with the News and Observer that they are only "seeking information" right now. One recent precedent was Connecticut booster Robert Burtonwho asked for his $3 million back from the school and requested to have his name taken off the Burton Family Football Complex. After causing quite a public stir, Burton and the school were eventually back on good terms and no drastic action was taken. The legalities of donations (particularly ones earmarked for a project like the Blue Zone) could get particularly hairy and difficult to reclaim in a court of law. It could be argued that this is a case of upset boosters, who simply do not know another way to fire back at an administration which they feel has wronged them.
Posted on: July 13, 2011 11:09 am
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:27 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Originally scheduled for this Friday, Michael McAdoo's hearing in Durham County Court has been rescheduled to Wednesday. On July 1, McAdoo filed a lawsuit against North Carolina and the NCAA seeking reinstatement after being ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA.
McAdoo's argument is that the crimes he has been charged with do not fit the punishment of permanent ineligibility. He was found guilty by the NCAA of receiving improper assistance on multiple occasions over several terms. His lawyers argue that McAdoo has already served the punishment issued by the school's Honor Court. After sitting out all of the 2010 season (13 games) and working his way back into good standing academically, the former Tar Heel believes he belongs back on the field.
If McAdoo wins the case, he would have one final year left with the Tar Heels - unless he decides to transfer.
Posted on: June 22, 2011 6:55 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:56 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Earlier today, I hopped on the CBSSports.com College Football Podcast with Adam Aizer and J. Darin Darst to talk a little UNC Notice of Allegations.
"Should Butch Davis be fired?" That's the question being asked by many people after scanning the collection of charges detailed in the 42-page report from the NCAA. In reality, there was very little in the notice that was not already known thanks to some aggressive reporting by both national and local media. But the report does bring together a year of investigations into potentially major violations in several different categories involving a fair share of the most notable names on the roster.
So yes, it does look bad. On the surface, it looks very bad.
But the picture that has been painted for the NCAA by North Carolina is one of an institution struggling to deal with "rogue" members. Since John Blake did not tell UNC about the money from Gary Wichard, and Jennifer Wiley continued to provide services after no longer being employed by the school; North Carolina (and more importantly Butch Davis) can say they are sorry and try to cooperate. In fact, it is their cooperation which the institution will argue demonstrates the feeling of responsibility among those in oversight of the program.
Many people would argue that Davis, who has known Blake for "at least 30 years," should have known his reputation around coaching circles. It will be argued for years to come, that no matter what the NCAA can or cannot prove: Davis knew what Blake and Wiley were doing.
But as of Tuesday, it does not appear that the NCAA is prepared to allege wrongdoing directly against Butch Davis. Enraged fans will scream that Davis is guilty, and demand what they consider "justice." But the NCAA, similar to our own justice system, does not act based on assumption or reputation. With no evidence, it cannot be proven that Davis knew of any wrongdoing during which he did not act on as a head coach.
As you'll hear in the podcast below, a decision was made when the NCAA set foot on campus. North Carolina either had to jump ship and get rid of Davis when the scandal broke, or ride out the storm with him at the helm. If Davis has made it this long, there will be no changes to his employment AT LEAST until this process is complete.
Okay, after all that serious talk I should probably warn you that we also discuss Mascots, Adam's plan for Wolvie the Wolverine, and my early crush on college cheerleaders.
Posted on: June 21, 2011 8:43 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Posted on: June 21, 2011 8:13 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 4:57 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
In June 2010 the NCAA began to investigate the North Carolina football program in regards to possible violations regarding players receiving impermissible benefits. After a tumultuous season that saw 14 players miss at least one game (with seven missing the entire season), the first steps of closure can begin with this multi-pronged investigation into the North Carolina football program.
The official Notice of Allegations (you can see the full letter here on TarHeelBlue.com), includes nine different allegations.
Three (3) of the allegations are against former North Carolina assistant coach John Blake:
- Unethical conduct for providing false and misleading information to the NCAA enforcement staff and to the institution and for failure to cooperate with the investigation.
- Blake marketed athletic abilities of student-athletes to agent Gary Wichard
- Blake received outside income that he did not report to the institution
Two (2) of the allegations are against former North Carolina tutor Jennifer Wiley:
- Unethical conduct for refusing to provide information to the NCAA enforcement staff and to the institution
- Wiley provided extra benefits to student-athletes in the form of ravel and parking expenses, and tutoring.
The rest of the allegations: - Allegations of fraud against student-athletes and the tutor
- Allegations that student-athletes received preferential treatment and accepted impermissible benefits
- Allegations against a former student-athlete for unethical conduct
- Failure by the institution to adequately monitor the conduct of Chris Hawkins, an individual triggering NCAA agent legislation; the social media activity of the football team for a period in 2010; and possible extra benefits triggered by agent legislation.
The notice of allegations tells the school the alleged NCAA violations the enforcement staff found during the investigation process. The school has 90 days to respond, though they may request more time. After the school issues their response, a hearing date is set with the Committee on Infractions. The Committee on Infractions meets about six times a year, usually lasting for two to three days over a weekend. Most recently the committee heard cases related to Boise State and Tennessee. Ohio State, the grandaddy of NCAA cases these days, is currently scheduled to go before the committee on Aug. 12.
The NCAA requested that the school limit public comments on the details of the investigation and the Notice of Allegations until the hearing before the Committee on Infractions, which has been set for Oct. 28. However, head coach Butch Davis did offer a statement in the official release.
“I feel terrible that these allegations occurred under my watch," Davis said. "I especially regret that the university has had to endure this scrutiny because of the football program. The responsibility for correcting any problems that put us in this position is mine, and I take that responsibility very seriously."
Chancellor Holden Thorp also took responsibility for the allegations, but also credited the football program's cooperation with the NCAA during this year-long process.
“I deeply regret that Carolina is in this position," Thorp said. "We made mistakes, and we have to face that. When the investigation started a year ago, we pledged to cooperate fully with the NCAA, to go where the facts took us, and to face the issues head on. Our level of cooperation is evident in the allegations, some of which arise from facts that we self-reported to the NCAA. We will emerge with a stronger athletics program, and we will restore confidence in Carolina football.”
It is not until after the hearing the Committee on Infractions will put together their final report, which will include the penalties for the violations. Different forms of NCAA sanctions include reduced scholarships, postseason bans, vacated wins, recruiting restrictions, and television bans. In recent cases Michigan. USC, Florida State, Texas Tech, and Alabama have received some form of NCAA sanctions.