Tag:Dan Hawkins
Posted on: January 19, 2011 5:29 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2011 5:30 pm
 

Headset Reset: Welcome to the Pac-12 and Big Ten

Posted by Adam Jacobi

"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 Pac-12 and Big Ten.

DAVID SHAW, Stanford

Why him? Shaw represents a reaffirmation of the Jim Harbaugh regime, which rose from doormat to Pac-10 power with Shaw as offensive coordinator. Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby didn't get Boise State head coach Chris Petersen during negotiations after Harbaugh's departure, but Bowlsby's bona fides in football coach hiring are pretty solid. By hiring Shaw (and interviewing two other in-house candidates), Stanford has told its fans, "it ain't broke, and we're not fixin'."  By 2014, Shaw will need to: perpetuate Stanford's recent successes. Harbaugh isn't the first coach to win at Stanford, and he's also not the first coach to bolt for greener pastures at the first opportunity. So being that Stanford's main opposition in the Pac-12 North is Oregon and four programs with a light history of success (and let's ignore Stanford's time in that role since 40 years ago), there's an opportunity for the Cardinal to assert some authority.  Chances Shaw gets what he needs? Pretty good. Stanford's athletic department has a surprising amount of money, and with Oregon and Nike trying to start an arms race with the rest of the Pac-12, Stanford is one of the few schools that can probably keep up -- as long as it still wants to, anyway.

JON EMBREE, Colorado

Why him? Well, let's just not ask Bill McCartney that question. Past that, Embree was hired because he's a former Buffalo, and it would take a Colorado man to take this job and not flee the first time the Buffaloes put together seven wins in a season. By 2014, Embree will need to: get his team competitive with USC -- or whoever else is atop the Pac-12 South. There's no indication that Colorado's better or even as good as the rest of the division it's entering. CU can thank Dan Hawkins in some respects for that, but really, Colorado football hasn't been relevant for almost 15 years (yes, CU went to two consecutive Big XII Championships ... and lost them by a hilarious combined score of 112-6). Continued sub-mediocrity won't fly, especially as the Buffaloes try to acclimate themselves to a new conference without the strong tradition of success the Big XII had. Chances Embree gets what he needs? Not great. Colorado has struggled with keeping its football program relevant ever since the shared title year of 1990, even with some apparently decent head coaching hires. The move from the Big XII North to the Pac-12 South won't help lighten the Buffaloes' burden any, either. Colorado's struggles could very well be an institutional problem, not a coaching problem, and if that's the case it's probably easy to see how the Jon Embree Era will end in Boulder.

KEVIN WILSON, Indiana

Why him? This might actually be the most surprising hire of 2010, mainly because we didn't know Indiana could do something like this. The Hoosiers tabbed the vaunted Oklahoma offensive coordinator for his first head coaching gig, and they briefly had Boise State WR coach Brent Pease as the offensive coordinator. Hello, points! Problem was, Boise State's OC position opened up, and Pease went back to Boise for that gig, as would most sane coaches. This is still Indiana we're talking about. By 2014, Wilson will need to: prove that his offensive genius wasn't just "hand the ball to Adrian Peterson or DeMarco Murray and watch what happens." It likely wasn't, of course; Texas ably demonstrated this year that there's no such thing as a team too talented to get run into the ground by mediocre coaching. But still, the question remains; what's Wilson going to do when week in and week out, his players are inferior to their opponents? Chances Wilson gets what he needs? The better question here is whether Indiana gets what it needs, which is a solid football program led by a solid coach. That seems unlikely. Either Wilson fails badly in Bloomington like pretty much everyone before him, or he actually puts together a winning season, and starts getting wooed by job offers. What's going to keep Wilson in town when that starts happening? He doesn't have any prior connection to Indiana (both the school and the state itself), and his salary is only ("only") $1.2 million. As soon as he wins six games in a season up there, he's getting phone calls.

BRADY HOKE, Michigan

Why him? Michigan went back to its roots by hiring a former assistant, effectively admitting that the Rich Rodriguez dalliance was a mistake (also conveying that message: firing Rich Rodriguez) and that there was a formula to be followed. Hoke has whipped two programs into shape in short order, and he'll need to do it again at Michigan, which is just a mess. By 2014, Hoke will need to: have Michigan reloading instead of rebuilding. Michigan's biggest challengers in its new division are Nebraska and maybe Iowa or Northwestern. Hoke has no excuses for not routinely making the conference championship (or if not, being just a game out). Beating Ohio State would also be strongly recommended. Chances Hoke gets what he needs? Pretty darn good. Michigan has the resources, tradition, and expectations to get at least 10 wins a year, and now it's got a coach that can make that happen too. The common theme about the Hoke hire was that it wasn't "sexy," which means he's literally not an attractive person and/or that his teams play defense. Neither fact is a valid reason not to like this hire. Hoke wasn't Michigan's first choice, but neither was Jim Tressel at OSU. That's not to say "hiring fifth choice = national championship" is a valid strategy, but it's just extremely unlikely that there's only one right choice at a school with the inherent advantages that Michigan or any other traditional college football power would have. Jim Harbaugh probably would have succeeded at Michigan. So might Hoke. So might a cardboard cutout of Bo Schembechler (which is what the older part of Michigan's fanbase really wants in its heart of hearts anyway).

JERRY KILL, Minnesota

Why him? Aside from the obvious--that his name is literally just "Kill"--Minnesota hired a guy with 200 games of head coaching experience and a 63.5% winning percentage, all before his 50th birthday. Kill has succeeded in the MAC, where success is fleeting at best, and at a Southern Illinois program that wasn't really in good shape when he arrived. The track record's there, in other words. By 2014, Kill will need to: keep the stadium full. Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium is the newest house on the block in the Big Ten, but it's not exactly the biggest -- more like the opposite of that word. The luster of the new stadium was already wearing off by the time Tim Brewster was fired, as the team struggled to fill the stadium or do anything else of merit.  Chances Kill gets what he needs? Well, this depends solely on Kill's recruiting ability. He's been a head coach for almost 20 years, all of which came in the Midwest, so he knows the drill, and he knows the coaches. He just hasn't tried to land any big names before, and while bringing big names to Minnesota seems like a challenge, both Brewster and Glen Mason did it every now and then. So there's a chance he makes a turnaround happen.


Posted on: January 9, 2011 12:46 am
Edited on: January 9, 2011 12:58 am
 

Stanford reaches out to Chris Petersen

Posted by Adam Jacobi

After losing Jim Harbaugh to the NFL on Friday, Stanford has the enviable task of finding a new head coach. It's enviable because for the first time in almost 40 years,* an open Stanford head coaching position is actually desirable on account of the team coming off a major bowl victory. Buoyed with this success, Stanford is able to reach out to big names early in the process, and as Yahoo! Sports reports, Stanford has contacted Boise State head coach Chris Petersen.

Now, hiring a Boise State head coach isn't necessarily a guarantor of future success; look at what happened to Dan Hawkins down at Colorado , after all. Nonetheless, this report would seem to indicate that Chris Petersen is Stanford's first choice, and there's nothing athletic directors like to do more at hiring announcements than stand up there and proclaim that they "got their guy."

Of course, it also helps that Andrew Luck is returning for his junior season, which should definitely ease the new coach's transition to Palo Alto. One could argue that this decision by Luck will be a bigger factor than the head coaching hire for Stanford's short-term success, in fact.

Now, if Stanford can't bring in Petersen or any other "big" name for whatever reason, fans shouldn't be quick to be disappointed. As the San Francisco Chronicle reminds, Stanford AD Bob Bowlsby has made two football hires at the I-A level: Kirk Ferentz at Iowa after the 1998 season, and Harbaugh at Stanford in late 2006. Neither coach had any I-A head coaching experience; Ferentz was 12-21 in three years with the Maine Black Bears, while Harbaugh was 29-6 at San Diego (a school in the non-scholarship I-AA Pioneer League). Both hires have, to say the least, succeeded.

*In 1971, John Ralston led Stanford to its second consecutive Rose Bowl (a 13-12 win over then-undefeated Michigan , incidentally), then jumped to the NFL to coach the Denver Broncos. His successor -- Jack Christiansen -- didn't fare exceptionally well, going 30-22 in five seasons and never reaching a bowl before being fired, but he at least had a winning record in every season and paved the way for legendary coach Bill Walsh to take over. So if history repeats itself, it's not as if disaster lurks for the Cardinal in the coming years. Disappointment, yes, but not disaster.


Posted on: December 7, 2010 1:01 pm
 

Troy Calhoun isn't leaving for the Broncos

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Troy Calhoun seems to be a very popular man in the state of Colorado.  First his name came up as a candidate to replace Dan Hawkins at Colorado before the school hired Jon Embree, and after the Denver Broncos fired Josh McDaniels on Monday, his name came up once again as a possible candidate in Denver.

Which was a bit surprising, seeing as how Calhoun -- who did spend three years on the Broncos sidelines -- runs an option offense at Air Force, but I guess the Broncos do have Tim Tebow, so maybe they were thinking that it might actually work in the NFL.  It wouldn't, but hey, if they were smart enough to hire Josh McDaniels, then they're smart enough to think they could run the option in the NFL.  

Of course, it's all a moot point now.  Calhoun released a statement on the school's website saying that he's not leaving Air Force for the Broncos.

"The Air Force Academy has tremendous General officers and staff members who are remarkably dedicated to the development of our cadets. It's inspiring that an 18 year old kid makes a commitment to embed the necessary character traits to grow into a fine young man or woman who honorably serves for at least five years," Calhoun said. "Our coaching staff and our families are proud to be a part of the daily lives of our nation's future officers. We certainly look forward to seeing our seniors graduate in May along with coaching the Falcons in 2011 and beyond."
Posted on: December 6, 2010 4:14 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2010 4:17 pm
 

Embree and Bienemy: A win-win for Colorado?

Posted by Chip Patterson

Colorado can finally move past the Dan Hawkins era in Boulder, and they will have some familiar faces returning to lead the new regime.  On Monday, the school officially introduced Jon Embree as their new head coach.  A Colorado-grad, Embree played tight end for the Buffs in the 1980s and now is an assistant coach under Mike Shanahan with the Washington Redskins.  While Colorado did not get a coach with any head coaching experience, they were able to bring along another name from their wish list.  Eric Bienemy, the school's all-time leading rusher and now running backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings, will be brought on as offensive coordinator under Embree.  

Bienemy and Embree not only will bring a sense of school pride to the program, but also were both names being discussed for the head coaching position.  In getting both of them, the Buffs find themselves in a win-win situation.  Combine that with winning 2 of their last 3 games, and there is reason to be excited about the beginning of this new chapter in Colorado football history.  The last time both coaches were on staff was under Gary Barnett in 2001 and 2002, with the first year being Colorado's only Big 12 Conference Championship.  It would be difficult to pencil them in as Big 12 contenders in 2011, but a change of scenery after next season could provide new opportunities for the evolving program.
Posted on: December 3, 2010 11:36 am
 

Colorado and Dan Hawkins reach settlement

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Who knew getting fired could be so lucrative?

While most of the talk coming out of Colorado these days has been centered on who the next head coach would be in Boulder, the school still had some business to attend to when it came to the coach it just fired.  You see, when Dan Hawkins was fired earlier this season, he was fired with two years remaining on his contract, and there was that whole issue of how much money he still had coming to deal with.

Turns out that getting fired as head coach at Colorado comes with a lovely $2.1 million severance package.

Yes, that's right, Dan Hawkins' reward for going 19-39 without a single winning season in five years is $2.1 million or $110,526 per victory. 

Still, this does save Colorado $700,000 as it would have owed Hawkins another $2.8 million had he actually been around to see the contract to its end. That's $700,000 that could go to Colorado's next coach, and you have to think that after seeing Hawkins get $2 million to be fired, Jon Embree is a lot closer to accepting that offer right about now.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: December 2, 2010 12:38 pm
 

Colorado search down to three

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's beginning to look like at least one of the head coaching vacancies out there could be filled soon enough.  

After interviewing Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain this week, it seems Colorado is done interviewing candidates to replace Dan Hawkins, and according to the Boulder Daily Camera those finalists are McElwain and former Buffaloes Eric Bieniemy (pictured) and Jon Embree.

It's been reported in recent days that Bieniemy, a former running back at Colorado and current running backs coach with the Minnesota Vikings, is the favorite to land the job.  In fact, he and Embree are both the odds-on favorites to get the job.  Yes, McElwain is a finalist for the position, but it hasn't been a secret that most people associated with the school prefer a new coach with ties to the program.

McElwain has no such ties.

According to the report, Colorado could make the decision as soon as Friday, but no later than Monday.  
Posted on: December 1, 2010 12:37 pm
 

Troy Calhoun not interested in Colorado job

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is a name that is likely going to come up as a possible candidate for a few different head coaching jobs this offseason. Calhoun has gone 33-18 in four seasons at Air Force, and his history both in college and the NFL is appealing to schools looking for a new head coach. One spot his name has come up pretty often is at Colorado.

Along with his experience, the fact that Calhoun is familiar with the state of Colorado thanks to his time at Air Force and with the Denver Broncos only makes him more attractive to the school.  Unfortunately for Colorado, Calhoun had to let the school know that while he's flattered, he's just not into them.

Calhoun recently let the school know that he won't be a candidate to replace Dan Hawkins, and removed his name from the discussion.  He's the second candidate to do so, as former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti removed himself from consideration a few weeks ago.

As for who the new front runner for the gig is, the names Bill McCartney and Eric Bieniemy keep popping up, and interim head coach Brian Cabral had an interview earlier this week.  There are also rumors that the school still has the pipe dream of stealing Les Miles from LSU.  Why Miles would ever leave LSU to take a pay cut at Colorado, I'll never know.
Posted on: November 26, 2010 6:51 pm
 

Nebraska is going to Dallas

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Nebraska didn't have Taylor Martinez or Niles Paul available on Friday, but it didn't much need them.  The Cornhuskers put an end to Colorado's post-Dan Hawkins win streak and killed the Buffaloes chances at a bowl game with an easy 45-17 victory in Lincoln.  More importantly than ending Colorado's season, Nebraska clinched the Big 12 North with the win and will now be on its way to Dallas for its second straight trip to the Big 12 Championship Game.

Which will also be the last time Nebraska plays for a Big 12 title, seeing as how the school is bound for the Big Ten next season.

The Cornhuskers will now turn their attention to Stillwater, Oklahoma on Saturday night.  That's where they'll likely find out whom their opponent will be in Dallas.  Should Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma, then it'll be the Cowboys heading to Dallas.  If the Sooners win, then things get a lot more complicated as the Sooners, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M would all be tied for first in the Big 12 South.

Which would meant that whichever team is ranked higher in the BCS standings will get to go to Dallas, and that team would likely be Oklahoma.
 
 
 
 
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