Tag:West Virginia
Posted on: January 25, 2011 3:04 pm
 

Rich Rodriguez joins CBS College for Signing Day

Posted by Chip Patterson

Former Michigan and West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez knows his recruiting.  Despite his 15-22 record in Ann Arbor, Rodriguez did bring in three straight top 20 recruiting classes.  His list of talented prospects he has recruited and coached is more than impressive, including most notably in recent years the likes of Pat White, Steve Slaton, and quarterback Denard Robinson.  Rodriguez has been on five different FBS coaching staffs, and has left his mark at each stop along the way.

Which is why we are proud to announce that Rodriguez will be joining our multi-faceted coverage of National Signing Day here at CBS. CBS College Sports Network will be offering seven hours of live television programming featuring recruiting expert Tom Lemming, Rodriguez, and former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer giving instant updates and analysis as the nation's biggest recruits sign their LOI's on the New Years Day of the offseason.

In addition to the television coverage, keep it locked here at CBSSports.com all day on February 2 as we will be providing breaking news and analysis as soon as pens hit paper. If you haven't already, go bookmark our Eye on Recruiting Blog to get caught up on the latest recruiting news. Bryan Fischer will keep you covered on which way the four and five-stars are leaning, and what their decisions will mean for teams moving forward.

So next Wednesday February 2, join CBS Sports for a truly multi-media experience as we deliver all the biggest news on National Signing Day. Your favorite team is preparing for tomorrow today, because there is no offseason in college football.
Posted on: January 25, 2011 12:26 pm
Edited on: January 25, 2011 12:27 pm
 

Bill Stewart signed his own fate November 17

Posted by Chip Patterson

When West Virginia brought in offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, he was basically given the keys to the program with a head coach guarantee starting in 2012. At the same time, current head coach Bill Stewart was put on a timer, with a leash. Many Mountaineer fans felt bad for Stewart, a coach who has been respected and adored by many around the conference. But what several fans found out this week is that Stewart agreed to the current coaching arrangement back on November 17, in a written agreement recently obtained by the Charleston Daily Mail.

The agreement is between Stewart and athletic director Oliver Luck, on behalf of the West Virginia Board of Governors. It details an amendment to the employment agreement laid out in Stewart's contract. The date of the agreement is particularly interesting, not only because it was just before the Mountaineers closed with three straight wins to tie for the Big East title, but because it was on the same day that the program agreed to move forward with an NCAA infractions case.

At the time, it was those infractions, not the back-to-back losses to Connecticut and Syracuse, that posed the biggest threat to Stewart's employment status. In August, the NCAA accused West Virginia for five major violations for allowing unauthorized people to perform coaching duties, additionally secondary violations were self-reported for use of pads on the second day of practice.

By signing the written agreement, Stewart was given the option to resign at the end of 2010 (and receive a benefits package that included tickets, use of a car, and an "alternate employment position") or the possibility of returning to coach in 2011. If Stewart did not sign the agreement, he would risk losing his job because of the NCAA infractions case. The agreement was amended in a written letter on December 7 to detail Stewart's setup for 2011 as the head coach, with a "coach in waiting" (Dana Holgorsen) brought on staff as offensive coordinator.

If anything, this story is an interesting look into the complicated agreements/scenarios that exist between a college football coach and his university. Clearly Oliver Luck and the West Virginia Board of Governors were trying to put themselves in the best position to move forward regardless of NCAA ruling. The Mountaineers proceeded to finish their season with three straight wins, but their offensive struggles hurt them once again in their 23-7 Champs Sports Bowl loss to N.C. State. Tip of the hat to the Charleston Daily Mail for digging up the documents. You can check out all the Legalese by hitting the links below.

Bill Stewart - Oliver Luck written agreement, November 17, 2010

Bill Stewart - Oliver Luck written agreement (with December 7 amendment on final page)
Posted on: January 25, 2011 11:57 am
 

Ole Miss search for QB leads to transfer Brunetti

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When one-time hyped quarterback recruit Raymond Cotton left Oxford in a huff last offseason, Houston Nutt decided to shore up his signal-calling depth in the most high-profile way possible: by bringing in banished Oregon quarterback and alleged Heisman candidate Jeremiah Masoli. Masoli (as expected) won the starting job from sophomore Nathan Stanley, but struggled with the rapid (lack of) transition as the Rebels finished a disappointing 4-8.

But that hasn't stopped Nutt from returning to the transfer well again, as Ole Miss has confirmed to Clarion-Ledger reporter Kyle Veazey that they will be officially accepting the transfer of former West Virginia quarterback Barry Brunetti. Brunetti spent just one season in Morgantown, attempting nine passes and completing four without an interception or touchdown.

But Brunetti will arrive at Ole Miss with some measure of hype, ranking as one of the more highly-regarded "dual-threat" quarterbacks in the class of 2010, with offers from the likes of Tennessee, Penn State and in-state rival Mississippi State. It's even possible he could play this season, as the Memphis Commerical-Appeal reported in mid-January ; he'll be applying for a hardship waiver from the NCAA based on his mother's health issues and Oxford's proximity to his hometown of Memphis.

If the NCAA does grant the waiver -- not a sure thing, but certainly a possibility, as the almost-similar travails of Masoli proved -- Stanley will have yet another battle on his hands for a starting position that seemed to be all his both in 2010 and 2011. Whether or not he wins it, it seems clear by this point that his head coach just isn't comfortable handing the job over to him without Stanley having to fight for it.

Posted on: January 20, 2011 3:51 pm
 

Coaching hires show Sun Belt still FBS's worst

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

College football fans love to chatter about which of the 11 FBS conferences is best. They get much less excited to discuss which of them is worst, though for the few who do, this past bowl season provided some quality fodder when the two leagues generally considered the FBS's weakest -- the MAC and Sun Belt -- squared off in three different bowl games. The Sun Belt came out ahead 2-1, with Troy dominating Ohio and FIU winning a 34-32 barnburner over Toledo. (MAC champion Miami (Ohio) did cruise past Middle Tennessee State for the Midwestern league's victory in the MAC-SBC "Challenge.") Case closed?

Not even close. This week the College Football Blog reviewed all 22 (or 21, if you don't count Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia) new head coaching hires in our Headset Reset series , and that review turned up something interesting about the Sun Belt and the MAC: namely, that the MAC is making much stronger coaching hires.

First, look at the MAC's new coaches : two of them are coordinators from two of the 2010 Big Ten co-champions; one was the offensive coordinator and highest-ranking assistant for Urban Meyer's national-title winning program at Florida ; one was a longtime position coach and ace recruiter for Ohio State; and the "weakest" of the hires on paper, Ball State's Pete Lembo, is a 40-year-old coach with 10 years of successful head coaching experience on the FCS level already under his belt.

Contrast that with the Sun Belt's three choices: one a promotion from within the Arkansas State staff, one a potentially past-his-prime Florida position coach, the other the Mississippi State wide receivers coach.

All three of those hires could prove to be shrewd (it's not as if Dan McCarney and Mark Hudspeth don't have quality head coaching experience to draw on, and Hugh Freeze has been knocking on the door of his own head coaching gig for years). But if the MAC is to the Big Ten as the Sun Belt is to the SEC, then you'd have seen the SBC hiring the SEC equivalents of Don Treadwell or Dave Doeren (pictured at right), well-regarded college-first coordinators like Manny Diaz or John Chavis or Mike Bobo. That's not happening. In fact, the only 2010 SEC coordinator to take a head coaching job this offseason went to ... Temple.

(As an aside, this might also be an indication of the relative strength of the Big Ten and SEC; where SEC schools are willing to pay top dollar to retain their best assistants and keep them out of the clutches of smaller schools, the Big Ten watches the likes of Treadwell and Doeren walk away.)

The Sun Belt's bowl performance was nice. But until they show they can land the same caliber of coaching talent as their Midwestern counterparts (or, more easily, the WAC says its official goodbyes to Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii) they should continue to be regarded at the bottom of the FBS conference barrel.

Posted on: January 18, 2011 6:38 pm
 

Graham getting RichRod band back together at Pitt

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Todd Graham (pictured) is all but finished putting together the new coaching staff at Pitt, officially announcing today what candidates he's chosen to fill eight of his program's nine vacant positions. Where Pitt fans are concerned, probably the most controversial hire will be new defensive coordinator Keith Patterson, who served with Graham as his co-defensive coordinator at Tulsa the previous five years; Panther fans had better hope the Golden Hurricanes' up-tempo offense had a lot to do with their defensive struggles, because otherwise hiring an assistant who oversaw the nation's 110th-ranked defense will end up looking awfully curious.

But where fans of virtually every other school are concerned, the most eyebrow-raising aspect of the announcement is the connection binding three of the other new hires:
Calvin Magee served at Michigan the past three years as associate head coach and offensive coordinator ... Prior to Michigan, Magee spent seven seasons as the running backs coach at West Virginia ...

Tony Dews joins Pitt after a three-year tenure at Michigan as wide receivers coach ... Dews' Pitt appointment marks his return to the Big East . He coached the receivers at West Virginia in 2007 ...

Tony Gibson was the assistant head coach and defensive backs coach at Michigan the past three years. He added special teams coordinator to his duties in 2010. Prior to his time in Ann Arbor he coached West Virginia's defensive backs for seven seasons (2001-07) and was the Mountaineers' recruiting coordinator his final year.
Yep, that's not one, not two, but three different coaches who cut their teeth under Rich Rodriguez at Pitt's archrivals from Morgantown, then followed Rodriguez to his doomed tenure in Ann Arbor. Grabbing three coaches coming off of such a notable failure is one thing; grabbing three coaches coming off of that kind of failure who also happen to be associated with Pitt's one-time public coaching enemy No. 1 is another. Graham had better be right about this, or he likely won't be met with a lot of forgiveness by Panther fans.

Then again, he probably won't need it; though Gibson's secondary was frequently torched by opposing passing attacks, he didn't have a lot to work with (including helpful advice from his defensive coordinator), and neither Magee's offense nor Dews's receivers were remotely the problem for the Wolverines. If the trio can recreate anything like the success they had at West Virginia at Pitt, no one will blink an eye at where they spent their previous stops.
Posted on: January 18, 2011 3:34 pm
 

Headset Reset: the Big East and Mountain West

Posted by Tom Fornelli

"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 Big East and Mountain West

TODD GRAHAM, Pitt

Why him? Because Mike Haywood got arrested two weeks after he was hired. Also because Graham put together some successful offenses at Tulsa. For 2011, Graham needs to: build a strong offense without the services of Pitt's two best offensive players Jonathan Baldwin and Dion Lewis.  Luckily for Graham, Dave Wannstedt recruited good players to Pitt, but Graham will have to mold them to his offense. By 2014, Graham will need to have: won a Big East title and taken the Panthers to a BCS bowl.  Dave Wannstedt won more games than he lost at Pitt, but it was the lack of a conference championship in a weak conference that ultimately led to his dismissal.  Chances Graham gets what he needs? I'd say they're pretty good. Weak conference or not, Pitt is still in a BCS conference and has the resources to win in college football.  Of course, by the time Graham has his stamp on the program, TCU will be a Big East member, so it won't be easy.

DANA HOLGORSEN, West Virginia

Why him? Have you seen West Virginia's offenses under Bill Stewart the last few seasons?  Nothing like a Mike Leach disciple who helped put together one of the best offenses in the country at Oklahoma State to infuse life into a dormant scoreboard.  For 2011, Holgorsen needs to: bid his time, let Stewart finish his final season, and start getting his offense ready for his ascension in 2012. By 2014, Holgorsen will need to have: won a Big East title and improve the Mountaineers offense enough so that it once again resembles the teams Rich Rodriguez put together.  He'll also need to find a quarterback better suited for his system than Geno Smith. Chances Holgorsen gets what he needs?  They're very good.  Even with the program's struggles under Stewart, they still competed for the Big East title.

PAUL PASQUALONI, UConn

Why him? Well, it came as a bit of a surprise.  Pasqualoni hasn't been a head coach or coached on the college level since 2004, spending the time in between in the NFL.  Still, the last time he was a head coach he was a rather successful one at Syracuse in the Big East.  So he knows what it takes to win in this conference.  For 2011, Pasqualoni needs to: silence the doubters.  We know that Pasqualoni can coach, but will the lay off and his age (he'll be 62 when UConn kicks off its season) prove to be too much for him?  By 2014, Pasqualoni will need to have: maintained what Randy Edsall started at UConn.  I'm not sure he'll have to win a Big East title to keep his job, but at the least he'll have to continue to build the program for his eventual successor.  Chances Pasqualoni gets what he needs?  Not great, but not terrible.  UConn has always been a basketball school first and foremost, but who knows how a trip to the Fiesta Bowl will affect the schools interest in building a winning football team?

ROCKY LONG, San Diego State

Why him?  Because Brady Hoke left, and had built something at SDSU that Long was a part of.  The school didn't want to risk losing any momentum by starting a coaching search. Plus, Long has head coaching experience from his time at New Mexico.  For 2011, Long needs to: continue the rise that Hoke started.  Since Marshall Faulk left for the NFL, the Aztecs weren't exactly a football powerhouse before Hoke came along.  The good news is that Long inherits some talent in Ronnie Hillman and Ryan Lindley. By 2014, Long will need to have: kept San Diego State competing in the Mountain West.  With Utah, BYU and TCU leaving, the conference becomes a lot easier to win.  Chances Long gets what he needs?  Not great.  San Diego State just doesn't have the established history to make me think they'll do whatever it takes to help Long build this team into a powerhouse.  What Long will have working for him, however, is the fertile recruiting base of southern California.
Posted on: January 14, 2011 2:41 pm
 

What's next for Michigan's Mike Barwis?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Brady Hoke is the new head coach at Michigan (perhaps you've heard). Hoke hasn't filled out his entire staff yet, but one move he was expected to make was bringing his strength & conditioning coach from San Diego State ; being as that's the case, that means it's the end of the line for Michigan S&C coach Mike Barwis. The fact that QB Devin Gardner bid Barwis a farewell on Twitter means all that's left is the formality of an official announcement.

Now, there are now no more open head coaching opportunities in the FBS as we speak, and that means barring something weird happening, Rich Rodriguez will not be a FBS head coach for the 2011 season. He can spend the season with his family and/or making spot appearances on ESPN, and that's a fine way to pass a year or two between coaching gigs -- especially with the generous buyout Michigan gave him as part of the severance. Barwis didn't get the $2.5 million Rodriguez got, however, and it would be a surprise if he didn't actively pursue a different job for the coming season.

Therefore, the Rodriguez-Barwis connection and Michigan-Barwis connections are both effectively over, which means there is a high-level S&C coach available to anyone who wants one. And make no mistake, Barwis is still a high-level coach; his players at West Virginia under Rodriguez were fast, strong, and mean, as typified by fullback Owen Schmitt (the "runaway beer truck," as he was called by one announcer). Barwis is a new-school type of coach, emphasizing fast-twitch muscle development, agility, and endurance more than 40 times and basketball-sized biceps. In fact, he doesn't look like a typical old-school S&C coach: so thick-necked and bald that they usually look like thumbs with faces. I say that with love.

Bringing in a new S&C regime (which is to say: different methods, not just a different guy assigning the same workouts) along with a new coach has a track record of success; at Iowa , for one example, Kirk Ferentz hired Chris Doyle from Utah and made Doyle's intense workouts the centerpiece of Iowa's campaign to turn its fortunes around. The Hawkeyes were in a bowl by the third year and in the Top 10 by the fourth, and the fact that the turnaround was led by lightly-recruited players who ended up All-Americans like Bob Sanders , Robert Gallery , and Dallas Clark speaks volumes about Doyle's influence on the program's success. And while Barwis shouldn't promise he can make All-Americans out of walk-ons, he can point to Doyle's work at Iowa and his own at West Virginia as proof of what a fresh approach to strength and conditioning can do for a football program.

Of course, Barwis can and should expect to be asked why Michigan looked so physically unprepared -- especially on defense -- three years into the Rich Rodriguez era. But really, there's only so much an S&C coach can accomplish when the team has to continually throw out freshmen to play against juniors and seniors. Yes, a player typically sees the most improvement earliest in his time in a strength and conditioning program, and yes, there are diminishing returns by the fifth year. But diminishing returns or not, the aggregation of conditioning plus both in-game and practice experience had by a senior in any program is generally more than a freshman should be expected to overcome. That's more on Rich Rodriguez and Greg Robinson than anybody else, and when Barwis find a coach that agrees with that assessment and needs to make a hire at S&C, he'll probably have a job shortly thereafter.

Posted on: January 5, 2011 11:35 am
Edited on: January 5, 2011 11:47 am
 

Source: Rodriguez could take a year off

Posted by Chip Patterson

After a day of back and forth, the deed was finally done on Wednesday morning.  Rich Rodriguez has been fired as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines.  While the potential Michigan opening has been the subject of discussion for coaches such as Jim Harbaugh, Les Miles, and San Diego State's Brady Hoke; the move also makes Rodriguez, a high commodity himself, available on the coaching market.

Many people are quickly trying to link Rodriguez to one of the currently vacant head coaching positions, but sources believe otherwise.  The Detroit News reported that those close to Rodriguez believe there is a strong possibility he will take a year off to spend with his family before returning to coaching.  The move would give Rodriguez a chance to reboot after three frustrating seasons in Ann Arbor, as well as give him the option to pick his options when he decides to return to coaching.  That's not to say there aren't suitors that are interested in obtaining Rodriguez's service.  

One of the popular thoughts for Rodriguez's next stop, should he make a move this offseason, is the recently vacated position at Pittsburgh.  With new hire Mike Haywood pushed out just as soon as he arrived, speculation has swirled at the possibility of Rich Rod coaching the rival of his Alma mater.  There is also the opening at Connecticut, now available with Randy Edsall leaving to take the job at Maryland.  Another interesting possibility would be at Clemson if Dabo Swinney is relieved of his duties.  Rodriguez spent two years as Clemson's offensive coordinator under Tommy Bowden before accepting the head coaching position at West Virginia.  

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com