Posted on: January 31, 2011 7:03 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Good news for Temple fans settling in for this week's nationwide blizzard: Steve Addazio has officially installed a new Heater.
That's Chuck Heater, specifically, the new Owl defensive coordinator announced by the school Monday afternoon . Though the move has been expected for a few weeks now, having Heater officially signed, sealed, and delivered is a nice feather in Addazio's cap.
Why? Because on paper, Heater is vastly overqualified to be coordinating a MAC defense, or recruiting to a school with as little tradition as the Owls. Heater has been an assistant coach on the Division I level for more than 30 years, the last seven of them on Urban Meyer's staffs at Utah and Florida. In Gainesville he rose from being the Gators' cornerbacks coach to Meyer's recruiting coordinator and, eventually, co-defensive coordinator for one of the strongest defenses in the nation.
It's a measure of the respect Heater's career has accumulated that fans of Heater's alma mater at Michigan had him atop their favored list of candidates for Greg Robinson's replacement before Greg Mattison was hired. If Heater was good enough for Michigan, good enough to remain on a defensive staff with both Mattison and Charlie Strong in Gainesville, and good enough a recruiter to serve as the recruiting-obsessed Meyer's recruiting coordinator, there seems little doubt he'd going to be good enough for Temple.
When Addazio was hired, many wondered why the Owls would gamble on such a failure of an offensive coordinator, ignoring the fact that for all his weaknesses as a play-caller Addazio offered many strengths that allowed him to rise to that position in the first place. One of them was his keen rapport with his fellow coaches--one that, in the hire of Heater, has already paid off for Temple in a big way.
Posted on: January 20, 2011 3:51 pm
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.
Tags: Arkansas State, Ball State, Big Ten, Dan McCarney, Dana Holgorsen, Dave Doeren, Don Treadwell, FIU, Florida, Fresno State, Hawaii, Headset Reset, Hugh Freeze, John Chavis, MAC, Manny Diaz, Mark Hudspeth, Miami (Ohio), Middle Tennessee State, Mike Bobo, Mississippi State, Nevada, Ohio, Ohio State, Pete Lembo, SEC, Steve Addazio, Temple, Toledo, Troy, Urban Meyer, WAC, West Virginia
Posted on: January 19, 2011 3:13 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
"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 five new head coaches in the MAC.
DON TREADWELL, Miami (Ohio) (pictured)
Why him? Because few assistant coaches in the country had a better 2010 than Treadwell, who turned a collection of average-looking talent into one of the Big Ten's most effective offenses at Michigan State and added a couple of victories as the Spartans' interim head coach to boot. For 2011, Treadwell needs to: capitalize on the momentum built by Mike Haywood's amazing 9-win turnaround in Oxford. A second straight MAC title isn't a necessity, but the pieces are in place for the kind of solid, winning season that would stamp the RedHawks as a contender for years to come. By 2014, Treadwell needs to have: won the MAC. With so much coaching turnover, there's a power vaccum at the top of the conference, and no reason Miami can't fill it. Chances Treadwell gets what he needs? Good-to-very good. Haywood left behind an excellent foundation and Treadwell's work in East Lansing suggests he's just the man to build upon it.
PETE LEMBO, Ball State
Why him? At just 40 years of age, Lembo already has 10 years of head coaching experience (all at the FCS level, no less) and just finished resuscitating a truly rotten Elon program. For 2011, Lembo needs to: just move the Cardinals in the right direction. Stan Parrish's dreadful two-season reign-of-error means Lembo has to get the program walking towards, say, not losing to Eastern Michigan before it runs towards bowls and league titles. By 2014, Lembo needs to have: put the Cardinals in position for a postseason berth; the Brady Hoke era showed it's far from impossible for the right coach. Chances Lembo gets what he needs? Not bad. BSU's not an easy gig, but Lembo's energy and FCS success mean he could be a sneakily good hire.
STEVE ADDAZIO, Temple
Why him? Not his efforts running the Florida offense, that's for sure, but his top-notch recruiting expertise, Northeast ties, and Urban Meyer -trained CEO skills won him the job all the same. For 2011, Addazio needs to: put together a coaching staff -- particularly at the coordinator positions -- that can take advantage of Addazio's good work on the recruiting trails. Maintaining Temple's perch near the top of the MAC East would be a nice signal that Al Golden's tenure wasn't a fluke, too. By 2014, Addazio needs to have: gotten the Owls back to a couple of bowl games; anything else would be a terrible waste of Golden's remarkable work. Chances Addazio gets what he needs? Better than you'd think. There's a reason Meyer tabbed Addazio as his replacement during his sabbatical; he's got the leadership skills necessary to head up a successful program ... if he can just find someone to call his plays for him.
DAVE DOEREN, Northern Illinois
Why him? NIU can't ask for a whole lot more than a long-time successful Big Ten defensive coordinator fresh off a visit to the Rose Bowl. For 2011, Doeren needs to: win the MAC? Those are high expectations for a first-time head coach, but the Huskies were the league's best team in 2010 and their offense returns almost entirely intact. By 2014, Doeren needs to have: won the MAC, no question mark. With the offensive talent left behind by Jerry Kill and Doeren's defensive acumen, the Huskies should find a way to finish what they started in 2010. Chances Doeren gets what he needs? Solid; none of the other new MAC coaches steps into a situation quite this friendly, and Doeren's defensive pedigree is promising.
DARRELL HAZELL, Kent State
Why him? No one the Golden Flashes could have hired knows the Ohio recruiting scene better than the longtime Buckeye receivers coach and recruiting ace. For 2011, Hazell needs to: find a difference-maker or two. KSU's been close to getting over the bowl hump, going 5-7 each of the past two seasons; if Hazell can recruit just a handful of actual play-makers, he could get them there in short order. By 2014, Hazell needs to have: reached the postseason. It would be a huge milestone for woebegone program that's had just two winning seasons since 1977, and has never played in a bowl as an FBS program. Chances Hazell gets what he needs? Like Addazio, it'll depend on who Hazell can hire for his staff, since he has no coordinating experience. But the talent level in Kent should definitely rise on his watch.
Tags: Al Golden, Ball State, Big Ten, Brady Hoke, Darrell Hazell, Dave Doeren, Don Treadwell, Eastern Michigan, Elon, Florida, Headset Reset, Jerry Kill, Kent State, MAC, Miami (Ohio), Michigan State, Mike Haywood, Northern Illinois, Pete Lembo, Rose Bowl, Stan Parrish, Steve Addazio, Temple, Urban Meyer
Posted on: January 2, 2011 4:03 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Maybe Pitt can just consider the Mike Haywood hire a practice run. A day after the Mike Haywood Era -- and what a memorable era it was -- came to an end following Haywood's arrest, names are starting to pop up as possible replacements. One of whom is currently patrolling an NFL sideline this weekend.
Marvin Lewis's contract with the Cincinnati Bengals expires after the NFL season, and all indications out of Cincinnati is that he won't be back with the team next season. Of course, that doesn't mean he won't have a shot to be an assistant coach in the NFL next year, but it's possible he could land a head coaching gig at Pitt according to a report on Pro Football Talk.
According to the report, Lewis is on a short-list of candidates the school has in mind to replace Haywood, and Lewis does have a history with the school. He spent three seasons as an assistant at Pitt, along with guys like Jon Gruden and Mike McCarthy. Now, just because Pitt has interest in Lewis, that doesn't mean he'll be interested in Pitt.
It's unknown who else is on this short list of Pitt's, but Penn State head coach Joe Paterno has an idea who's name should be on it. His long time defensive coordinator Tom Bradley. Paterno told The Morning Call that Bradley would be a very good candidate for the job, as he's an excellent coach and has strong recruiting ties in Pittsburgh and throughout the state of Pennsylvania.
Over the years many people have seen Bradley as the likely successor to Paterno at Penn State, but given the fact that he recently went after the Temple job that Steve Addazio landed, he may no longer feel as if he has a future at Penn State without Paterno.
Posted on: January 1, 2011 5:20 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2011 5:20 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Urban Meyer goes out with a win and a complimentary Bloomin' Onion as Florida defeats Penn State 37-24
Offense: Florida scored 37 points on Saturday, but don't think that means the Gators offense finally figured things out. Fourteen of those points came courtesy of the defense and special teams. Meanwhile, the two offensive touchdowns Florida did manage came on two drives totaling 40 yards thanks to Penn State turnovers.
In total, the Florida offense managed only 287 yards on the day, with its trio of quarterbacks combining to complete 14-of-27 passes for 102 yards. If there was a standout player for Gators on offense, it was Omarius Hines who had 59 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. Other than that, there wasn't much to celebrate on offense.
If the Gators were to hand out an offensive MVP for the game, it would likely go to kicker/punter Chas Henry or safety Ahmad Black. Grade:D
Defense: Thankfully for the Gators, while they still don't have an offense, the defense made the trip down south to Tampa on Saturday. Ahmad Black had a huge day in his final game as a Gator, including the deciding pick-six in the final minutes that put an end to Penn State's chances. All in all the Gators forced five turnovers on the game, all via the interception, and held Penn State to only seven points in the second half. Grade: B+
Coaching: You'd think that with over a month passing between Florida's last game and this one, the coaching staff might have been able to come up with an offensive game plan that wasn't as terrible as the one we'd seen all season. Unfortunately, even though Steve Addazio accepted the head coaching job at Temple, he stuck around Gainesville for this game. Still, since it was Urban Meyer's final game, and his beloved special teams unit got him a touchdown, the Gators staff still gets a decent grade. Grade: B-
Offense: To put it simply, Penn State's offense cost them a win on Saturday. Particularly Matt McGloin, who on one play would make a throw that completely surpassed your expectations, and on the next would throw a pass that completely defied logic. McGloin threw five interceptions on the day. Five.
You're not going to win many games turning the ball over that often.
Penn State's offense actually out-gained Florida's offense by 70 yards in this one, and Evan Royster rushed for 99 yards, but the interceptions and McGloin's overall decision-making killed the Nittany Lions. Grade: F
Defense: You can't pin this one on the Penn State defense at all. It did it's job and smothered a lackluster Florida offense, but the Nittany Lions found themselves in too many bad spots thanks to the turnovers. Really, the defense played well given the circumstances, holding Florida to field goals a lot of the time. Nobody on this Penn State defense has anything to be ashamed of following this game, and Matt McGloin owes everybody on this unit a free meal. Grade: B
Coaching: I did not like what Joe Paterno and the Penn State coaching job did on offense in this game. I'm sorry, but when my quarterback has had trouble with deeper routes all season long and is turning the ball over frequently, I'm not going to drop him back and have him throw 42 times. It just doesn't make any sense. If you feel you have to throw so much, then run plays with shorter routes. Yes, McGloin had a bad game, but his coaches didn't do him a lot of favors. Grade: D+
This game was not pretty. Not at all. Still, given the action going on around the state of Florida and in Texas elsewhere on Saturday at the same time, at least this one had a bit of drama in it at the end. It's for that reason, and that reason only, that this grade is even this high. Grade: C+
Posted on: December 22, 2010 6:56 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
After earlier compiling a database of all 120 FBS head coaching salaries for the recently completed 2010 season, USA Today today released a look at the salaries of the nation's assistant coaches, all 907 of which are available for comparison here . Your highest-paid assistant: Texas ex-defensive coordinator Will Muschamp at $900,000 per year. The lowest amongst coaches actually drawing a paycheck? Leon Lett -- you remember him ! -- who's being paid just $12,000 to coach defensive tackles at Louisiana-Monroe.
Inbetween on the scale are some 900 other coaches (not counting those working at private institutions whose salaries are not public information). Ignoring certain obvious choices (yes, Greg Davis was overpaid, yes, Dana Holgorsen was a bargain), looking only at 2010 results, and making allowances for coaches in their first year at a new school, here's three choices for the country's most underpaid and most overpaid assistant coaches:
MOST DUE FOR A RAISE
Don Treadwell ($235,250), offensive coordinator, Michigan State. Despite possessing few playmakers known to fans outside the Midwest, Treadwell guided the Spartans to a top-20 finish in yards per-play and offered his team an enivable balance with better than 2,000 yards rushing and 2,800 passing. He also took over for two games as interim head coach while Mark Dantonio dealt with a heart ailment, winning both. And he did all this for the cost of less than many SEC position coaches.
Jeff Casteel ($372,268), defensive coordinator, West Virginia. Casteel's not doing too badly for himself, salary-wise, but compared to what his fellow DCs are earning in the SEC, Big 12, etc., he's still a bargain. With virtually no nationally-recognized players and few star recruits, Casteel quietly put together the nation's third-ranked unit in total defense and third in scoring defense; the Mountaineers were the only defense in the country to allow 21 points or fewer in every game.
Tom Osborne ($220,000), special teams/tight ends coach, Oregon. Osborne put together arguably the best set of special teams units in the country, leading the Ducks to top 20 finishes in net punting and kickoff coverage, coaxing a 12-of-16 performance from his two kickers, and along with returner Cliff Harris creating the most dangerous punt return unit in the nation, one that racked up better than 18 yards per return and scored five game-changing touchdowns. The Ducks probably aren't in the national title game without him.
Honorable Mention: Manny Diaz ($260,000), defensive coordinator, Mississippi State; Pete Kwiatkowski ($259,520), defensive coordinator, Boise State; Al Borges ($205,000), offensive coordinator, San Diego State.
MOST DUE TO NOT RECEIVE A RAISE
Norm Chow ($640,000), offensive coordinator, UCLA. That figure includes a $250,000 retention bonus designed to keep Chow in Los Angeles, but maybe the Bruins would have been better off being spared paying the nation's eighth-highest assistant's salary for the nation's 109th-best offense.
Tyrone Nix ($500,000), defensive coordinator, Ole Miss. For Nix's salary, the Rebels could have had Gus Malzahn, who earned the exact same amount this season from Auburn. Malzahn will earn quite a bit more next year, obviously, but Nix won't after overseeing a defense that utterly collapsed in the embarrassing season-opening loss to Jacksonville State and went on to finish 105th in yards allowed per-play.
Stacy Searels ($301,200), offensive line coach, Georgia. Offensive line coaches do very well in the SEC, with several topping the $300,000 mark. If we ignore the low-hanging fruit that was Steve Addazio's season in Gainesville, none had a more disappointing season than Searels, whose Bulldog charges looked to have the makings of one of the nation's strongest ground games at the close of 2009 and entered 2010 with as much experience (and talent, arguably) as any line in the country. Instead the Dawgs finished 10th in the SEC in rushing and middle-of-the-pack in sacks allowed (despite ranking 9th in passes attempted) as Searels wound up forced to juggle his lineup late in the year. Searels has done outstanding work before and likely will again, but 2010 wasn't his best moment.
Dishonorable Mention: Chuck Long and Carl Torbush ($350,000 each), offensive and defensive coordinators, Kansas ; Nick Holt ($650,000), defensive coordinator, Washington; Greg Robinson ($277,100), defensive coordinator, Michigan.
Tags: Al Borges, Boise State, Carl Torbush, Chuck Long, Don Treadwell, Florida, Georgia, Greg Robinson, Jeff Casteel, Kansas, Manny Diaz, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Nick Holt, Norm Chow, Ole Miss, Oregon, Pete Kwiatkowski, San Diego State, SEC, Stacy Searels, Steve Addazio, Tom Osborne, Tyrone Nix, UCLA, Washington, West Virginia
Posted on: December 22, 2010 4:03 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2010 4:06 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The great irony of the Outback Bowl is that one sideline will be coached by Urban Meyer, the poster child for the toll modern major college football coaching takes on those in the field, and the other by Joe Paterno, the indestructible symbol of the profession as it used to be in the days of 25-year tenures and mavericks whose name would wind up on the side of the stadium. The rumors about JoePa's health, ability to coach, and recruiting impact on his beloved Nittany Lion program have been around longer than Meyer's entire FBS head-coaching career. The contrast is staggering.
But even Paterno, 84 years young this week , is human. So the rumors have been beginning to curdle again, and they gained perhaps some measure of legitimacy in this report from the Patriot News on Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley's (now unsuccessful) candidacy for the Temple head coaching position. David Jones writes (emphasis added):
It has been increasingly difficult for PSU assistants to recruit around the age and apparent declining health of head coach Joe Paterno who turned 84 yesterday. Though Paterno has insisted he will coach next season, those surrounding the program have become increasingly skeptical that can happen .As Jones writes, that Bradley was fully committed to taking the Temple position indicates that he is not -- as has been widely believed in some quarters -- the man in line to succeed Paterno if and when he retires.
But as the closest thing to a "right-hand man" on Paterno's staff (where Bradley has coached since 1979 ), he is nonetheless a key figure in Penn State's future going forward. As Paterno is less and less able to handle his full complement of head coaching duties, more and more of those will have to be handled by Bradley and the other PSU assistants. And not only could Bradley not have performed those (obviously) as the head coach at Temple, Jones reports that he could have taken multiple other Nittany Lion assistants with him. If there's a worst-case scenario for Penn State beyond a sudden Paterno retirement for health-related reasons, it's a a sudden Paterno retirement for health-related reasons without Bradley or a handful of other PSU assistants on hand to help keep things afloat.
So the Owls opting for Steve Addazio over Bradley might be a bullet dodged for Penn State. There's still some issues to be addressed -- the questions about JoePa are already having a serious detrimental impact on PSU's recruiting, and assistants like Bradley looking ready to bolt won't help matters -- but Temple's decision gives PSU at least one anchor that won't have to be pulled up right away.
Posted on: December 22, 2010 3:03 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2010 3:06 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
After spending his Monday meeting with Temple officials, and his Tuesday being linked to an assistant coaching job at Texas, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting Wednesday that former Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio will be the next head football coach at Temple.
The Owls were in the market for a new head coach after Al Golden left to take the open position at Miami replacing the fired Randy Shannon. Steve Addazio was openly fired by Florida, but when Will Muschamp was hired as Urban Meyer's replacement it was clear the future of the Gators included a new offensive coordinator.
Addazio began looking for other positions, quickly lining himself with the opportunity to make the move to a head coaching job. Tuesday's reports of Temple looking at more candidates and Texas' interest in Addazio's services made it appear like Temple was quickly out of the picture. Clearly, someone in Philadelphia liked what they heard earlier in the week.
The report from the Inquirer says an official announcement is expected as soon as Thursday.