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.
Posted on: December 20, 2010 12:27 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
If you've followed college football coaches on Twitter for any length of time, at some point you've probably seen them enthusiastically celebrating some curiously non-specific positive development. This tweet from Louisville head coach Charlie Strong from earlier today is a perfect example:
When these tweets appear, it's a safe bet the team in question has just landed a big commitment for their next recruiting class (though NCAA rules prevent them from commenting on them by name until a letter-of-intent is signed). It didn't take long for the news to spread that that was the case here as well, as Miami-Northwestern dual-threat quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has pledged to sign with the Cardinals .
If Bridgewater follows through and signs with Louisville, it will be a massive coup for Strong and the Cards. Bridgewater is rated as high as a five-star prospect by some services and a four-star, top-100 talent virtually everywhere; Maxpreps' Tom Lemming ranks him the No. 96 player in the country. For a program like Louisville with little in the way of past recruiting successes on this level, not only landing a prospect of Bridgewater's stature but landing him from points as distant as Miami is a huge, huge statement for Strong and his staff; one local writer has already called Bridgewater the "biggest recruit in school history." Combine the continued improvement the Cards showed under Strong this season with wins on the recruiting trail like Bridgewater, and "the Ville" will be challening for Big East titles sooner rather than later.
On the flip side, Bridgewater's decommitment from Miami in the wake of Randy Shannon's firing and subsequent snubbing of the new 'Cane staff under Al Golden is not the early message Golden wanted to send on the recruiting trail. Northwestern has long been a key pipeline for the Hurricanes, and though one recruit bolting in the immediate wake of the coaching turnover doesn't necessarily indicate there's any long-term damage done, Golden will have to stop the bleeding in a hurry and keep as much Miami talent at home as he can, or his tenure won't end any differently than Shannon's.
Posted on: December 15, 2010 5:29 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Now that Miami has finally hired Al Golden to take over for Randy Shannon, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald took to wondering why Golden was the man Miami finally settled on. Not a crazy question to ask considering the names that came up at times during the coaching search. Guys like Jon Gruden, Bo Pelini and Jim Harbaugh.
Well, according to one member of the school's board of trustees, the simple fact was that no big name coaches seemed interested in leaving their current jobs for Miami. Though, according to that same trustee, when it came to Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen, it wasn't his lack of interest as much as his giant ego.
A high-level trustee fully aware of how the search was done said, ``We were not going to get a star, and it wasn't a money thing. Why would [marquee coaches] leave any of their great programs'' to take another college job? ``Florida didn't get one either. We hired the best person that wasn't in the top 20.''
The trustee said UM inquired about Stanford's Jim Harbaugh, who wasn't interested, and said Jon Gruden never seemed serious about taking the job. Chris Peterson(sic) gave UM no indication he wanted to leave Boise State. UM thought Nebraska's Bo Pelini had some interest, but he changed his mind. And UM was turned off by Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen's big ego, with one trustee saying he acts like he invented the game.
I know, it's shocking to hear that a coach who has experienced success doing his job might have an ego. Still, the most shocking thing about this -- if it's true -- is that Miami would take offense to a coach's arrogance.
Miami is the same school that employed Jimmy Johnson, isn't it? It's the school that walked off the airplane at the 1987 Fiesta Bowl in fatigues and, for most intents and purposes, defined swagger in the world of college football.
That's the school that has now decided a coach may have been a bit too full of himself? Interesting.
Posted on: December 13, 2010 10:22 am
Edited on: December 13, 2010 10:28 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
The weekend full of college football awards had very little surprises this year. Cam Newton's runaway Heisman nod, Oregon's LaMichael James picking up the rest of the awards Newton could not technically win, and LSU's Patrick Peterson raking in most of the major defensive awards. The biggest surprise of the weekend came out of Gainesville, with Florida announcing the hiring of former Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp as the new head coach of the Gators.
Muschamp's ascension to the head coaching ranks is certainly no surprise, but the departure of Mack Brown's appointed successor is giving Longhorn fans reason to worry in Austin. Even before Texas' disappointing 5-7 season, many had suggested that Muschamp's time to take over for Brown was rapidly approaching. Now, after the worst season in the Mack Brown era at Texas, the Longhorns have to start over building for the future.
Replacing Muschamp is an immediate concern for Brown, writes Lake Litman from the Dallas Morning News. Muschamp was a crucial piece of the recruiting at Texas, and any passing time without a new defensive coordinator could cause recruits (or even current players) to panic. It is being suggested that Brown may look to former Miami head coach Randy Shannon to come fill the open position.
Brown reportedly had Shannon high on his wish-list before the defensive coordinator was promoted to head coach at Miami in 2007. He is a proven recruiter, but had difficulty translating high-ranking classes into the conference title contention that was expected in Coral Gables. It would be a big move geographically for Shannon, who spent his entire playing and coaching career in Miami.
It would also be a big move for Texas, who could use the help of a recognizable name to replace Muschamp. It is true that hiring Shannon would not provide the immediate answer for the future of Texas football. But with the current state of the program, Brown cannot afford to spend his final years on the sideline rebuilding from the disastrous 2010 season.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 3:38 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
With the news that Urban Meyer has resigned/retired at Florida (delete as you personally see applicable), the Dan Mullen sweepstakes has a new almost-certain winner. The Gators will likely see Mullen as their Nos. 1, 1A, and 1B candidates, and there's no better fit -- and no place that can pay him more money -- for Mullen than his old stomping grounds in Gainesville. From the outside, it appears to be the kind of marriage that'll have both parties at the courthouse before anyone even knows they're courtin'.
That may be great news for Gator fans who would be happy to sacrifice Meyer if it meant replacing Steve Addazio' s hapless play-calling with Mullen's tried-and-proven offensive acumen, but it's a terrible blow for Mississippi State (who given their financial constraints will have no chance of keeping Mullen if/when the Gators come calling) and a big one for Miami as well. Depending on which reports you believe, the 'Canes had made Mullen their top candidate after being turned down by Jon Gruden , and given his offensive pedigree and performance in Starkville, he was the option with the best combination of availability and likelihood of success.
If he's off the board, where might Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt turn? A flurry of reports out of South Florida have identified the candidates currently at the forefront of the search. (The 'Canes will apparently risk receiving another sternly-worded letter from Donald Trump , as Mike Leach is not among them.) Taking them one coach at a time, and assessing their chances of eventually taking their talents to South Beach:
Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech: Tuberville has a strong Miami connection, having coached there for eight years and winning a national-title as a defensive coordinator under Dennis Erickson, and would certainly be capable of preserving the team's defensive improvement under Randy Shannon. He would almost certainly accept the job if offered, as whispers have indicated Tuberville has been campaigning hard for the job behind the scenes. (Then again, Tuberville's agent is infamous rumor-starter Jimmy Sexton, so take that with a grain of salt.) The problem is that Tuberville is already 56, with his best coaching days behind him, and has struggled at times putting together a working offensive staff. Would he cause enough of a splash?
Randy Edsall, UConn: Then again, if the 'Canes are seriously considering Edsall, making a splash isn't high on their list of concerns. Edsall would maintain Shannon's sense of rugged discipline, with an old-school grinding running game to match, and there's no doubt he's wrung the most out of his fledgling program. But the Huskies haven't actually been "good," even by Big East standards, as much as they have been the team least-prone to shooting itself in the foot.
Kevin Sumlin, Houston: Sumlin is a young, charismatic coach with an exciting up-tempo offense that ought to put butts in seats; he should be able to immediately connect wit hthe 'Canes fickle fanbase in a way the above candidates might not. But he's also by far the least proven, having made his name by maintaining Art Briles' previous good work at Houston.
Al Golden, Temple: Golden's resuscitation of the Owls is one of the most impressive feats of college coaching of the past few years, and he's young enough that he could be a cornerstone for Miami for years and years to come. But there's a strong sense -- bordering on consensus -- that Golden is waiting for Joe Paterno' s retirement for a shot at the Penn State gig. After Turner Gill' s struggles at Kansas , it's also worth wondering if rebuilding jobs in the MAC are easier than they're made it out to be.
Mike Stoops, Arizona: In what might be seen as a too-close-for-comfort parallel with the Shannon era, Stoops's steady year-by-year improvement project in Tucson took a minor step backwards this year. But Stoops' sideline antics prove he's got the energy for the job, and his reclamation job with the Wildcats has been impressive. But Miami may not be able to pay him much more than Arizona can, and there doesn't seem to be as much buzz as there is with the candidates above.
And that, for the time being, is the list (though the reports also agree that other candidates are likely on the radar screen). There's a few reasonably solid options there, and at this point you might have to consider Tuberville the favorite; he has the biggest name, the strongest ties, and likely the most intense interest. But if Mullen is truly no longer in the picture, Hocutt might also have to get creative to stave off the perception that the Gators stole his hire's thunder clean out from under him.
Tags: Al Golden, Arizona, Dan Mullen, Dan Mullen to Florida, Donald Trump, Florida, Florida coaching search, Houston, Jon Gruden, Kevin Sumlin, Kirby Hocutt, Miami, Miami coaching search, Mike Leach, Mike Stoops, Mississippi State, Randy Edsall, Randy Shannon, Steve Addazio, Temple, Texas Tech, Tommy Tuberville, UConn, Urban Meyer, Urban Meyer resigns, Urban Meyer retirement
Posted on: December 7, 2010 12:30 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
In collegiate athletics these days, it's all too common to see "it's just business" used as an excuse for quickly divorcing one's self from the emotional difficulties that come with major personnel changes. Players never like seeing their coaches leave the team before they do, even though it's increasingly common, and when a coach compounds the stress by stone-facedly blaming the almighty dollar, nobody's better off.
It's refreshing, then, to see the way Randy Shannon dealt with his firing from Miami two weekends ago. Rather than just say "that's that" or make a cursory goodbye through the press, Shannon went through the unusual effort to address dozens of his players on his way out with hand-written notes.
"It was the nicest thing he ever said to me since I’ve been here," tackle Orlando Franklin told the Miami Herald on Monday. “He was just telling me to keep my head up and don’t get sidetracked. I’m going to actually rewrap it and put it under my Christmas tree so I can open it on Christmas Day. I felt real nice when I [saw] it in my locker."
Miami cornerback Ryan Hill said he talked to about 20 teammates who told him they received notes and suspects many more actually did. Other fired coaches, consider the bar raised.
This sort of high commitment to the well-being, character, and progress of the young men even after Shannon was no longer professionally obligated to do so is something that would be nice to see more often. No, we don't want to get into seeing coaches get into the act of self-publicized token goodbyes and other empty gestures, but Shannon's notes are the type of thing that takes effort. Plus, y'know, we didn't hear about this from him, either.
Perhaps Miami's next coach will be better at meeting expectations when it comes to wins and losses, and Shannon's failure to do so is a perfectly acceptable reason for him to get fired. Seriously, it happens at basically every school, and there's no reason for Miami to be different. That next new coach will have absolutely giant shoes to fill where it comes to genuine concern for his players, though, and that's something the current Hurricanes will be acutely aware of going forward. Miami would be wise to hire with great consideration to character accordingly.
Posted on: December 1, 2010 5:02 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
It's hard to say that the Vanderbllt football community can be left "reeling" by any bad news these days; the program is traditionally the worst in the SEC, after all, reaching a bowl game less than once per decade since World War 2 and usually not coming close. All the same, Vanderbilt's considerable admission standards discourage many high school prospects of limited discipline or character, so scandals are few and far between at Vandy; it's just year in and year out, three wins a season or so. That breeds plenty of turnover in the coaching ranks, as one might imagine, so a coaching change in Nashville is hardly the headline material it is in, say, Tallahassee or Lincoln.
And yet, the resignation of first-year head coach Robbie Caldwell on Saturday was something of a surprise, even to Vandy fans; while the Commodores were just 2-9 (and screaming headlong into 2-10) on the season, Caldwell was still a first-year head coach, and um, Vanderbilt isn't exactly a "win very very immediately or go home" type of program. So Caldwell's departure wasn't exactly a foregone conclusion, even if it's sort of par for the course at Vandy.
All the same, the fan base is scrambling to find a replacement that'll hold up Vanderbilt's academic standards without capitulating on discipline, and some Vandy alums already have such a candidate in mind: Randy Shannon.
Miami 's recently ousted head coach caught the attention of some Vanderbilt alums, and here was their pitch to other alumni in an email being circulated (and posted to a premium Canes website ):
There's no telling how much regard Vanderbilt has or will have for this petition, of course; Shannon's track record is something that those in charge of finding Vandy's next coach will (or at least should) already be aware of. Still, it's interesting to see that while Shannon didn't succeed in Miami's eyes as a coach, college football fans are still noticing what he and his team accomplished off the field and recognizing him for it. Perhaps Vanderbilt is a better environment for Shannon. Perhaps Minnesota is. Regardless, it seems evident that Shannon's time between jobs will be brief.
Posted on: December 1, 2010 2:20 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
We already knew that Mike Leach has one major player in his corner for the Miami job in the person of Mike Leach , but as we've been reminded today, he's got friends in some very high places. Like, Trump Tower high. As in Donald Trump his own self, who befriended Leach several years ago and recommended him to Miami president (and Trump acquaintance) Donna Shalala before Randy Shannon was hired in 2006.
After Shannon's firing, it would appear Trump might have had the right idea after all, not surprisingly for someone who knows from hiring and firing (or so television would have us believe). Maybe also unsurprisingly for someone with the self-confidence to wear Trump's hair, he hasn't been above reminding Shalala of that, and in the most perfectly "billionaire eccentric" manner possible: a handwritten note scrawled across the Palm Beach Post 's story reporting Shannon's dismissal.
No, really: you can see the note for yourself right here . The message:
Donna – You made a big mistake when you did not take my advice and hire Mike Leach of Texas Tech – look what happened to them since he left – (they knew he was leaving) – Jealous! Hire Coach Leach and you will be #1 – And you can now get him for the right price. Best wishes, Donald."While we're not sure what "Jealous!" is supposed to mean exactly, it's worth noting that otherwise, Trump is mostly on the ball: Tech is almost unquestionably worse off for his departure, and hiring a coach with Leach's impeccable college track record seems like a much, much better idea than trying an NFL retread who's been out of coaching for two years and college coaching for more than 20.
Besides, the U has always been on the cutting edge of celebrity fanhood, and bringing Trump into the stable would be quite the coup; you know he and Luke Campbell would get along famously. Make this happen, Miami.
HT on note image: DocSat .