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: December 23, 2010 1:10 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2010 1:12 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Ask the Oklahoma Sooners what formations their Fiesta Bowl opponent from UConn like to use, what coverages they'll employ on third-and-long, what a specific bit of pre-snap motion from the Huskies means for the Sooners' alignment, and there's no question they'll know all of that.
But as for what they know about the actual UConn program, well, it looks like all that study of the opposing football team doesn't lead to a better understanding of the institution they represent, at least according to an impromptu quiz of Sooner players by the Oklahoman on the finer points of UConn information. For instance, when asked who the Huskies' head coach is ...
Randy Edsall needs a better publicist because nobody got this one right. Only [DeMarco] Murray ventured an actual guess with “isn't it like Al something?” which was actually not that far off. Al Golden , who last week took a job with Miami , coached Temple to victory over UConn this season. [Jonathan] Nelson declared he knew Edsall's face but couldn't place the name. [Kenny] Stills didn't know who coached UConn football, but correctly offered up the name of the women's basketball coach: “Geno Auriemma."The Sooners also struggled mightily to name where UConn is located, to name their best player (All-American running back Jordan Todman), and even UConn's nickname, with multiple players going with "Huskers."
None of which means a thing other than it being fairly amusing, of course; no doubt a similar quiz applied to similar teams preparing for similar bowls would yield very, very similar results. But it's interesting to see that once bowl practice begins, the players' focus can be laser-guided enough that even things like the opponent's head coach name aren't worth learning when compared to the X's-and-O's.
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.
Posted on: December 21, 2010 11:58 am
Edited on: December 21, 2010 12:23 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
For now, Steve Addazio is still the offensive coordinator at Florida. But after coaching the Gators against Penn State in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day, Addazio will become another piece of the coaching carousel. One program in the market for a new head coach is Temple, who saw head coach Al Golden leave to accept the same position at Miami. After losing a promising recruit to Golden in the move, the Owls may feel the pressure to select a new man quickly, and begin preparing for the future.
The Philadelphia Inquirier is reporting that Addazio was in town on Monday to discuss the open head coaching position at Temple. Addazio, a Connecticut native, has been on Urban Meyer's offensive staff for his entire tenure at Florida. Despite criticism for this year's offensive struggles, he is still credited for helping put together the high-octane offense that won two national championships in three years between 2006-2008.
Other names connected to the Temple job have been current offensive coordinator Matt Rhule, who called the plays for Golden this past season, and Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti. Cignetti is not guaranteed a job after the "resignation" of Dave Wannstedt, though there is a possibility he could be retained by new head coach Michael Haywood.
Posted on: December 17, 2010 7:03 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Earlier this month we wrote about UMass considering making the jump from the FCS to the FBS -- for what it's worth, I hate calling them that, they'll always be Division I and Division II to me -- and, in doing so, becoming a member of the MAC conference. Well, it seems that UMass is moving along a lot quicker in their plans than Villanova is.
Word out of Boston is that UMass could announce its intentions to make the jump and join the MAC as early as next month.
“We’re not going to comment on anything regarding that,’’ said UMass athletic director John McCutcheon told The Boston Globe. “But our discussions involve football only and we are still talking about making a decision sooner rather than later.’’
Of course, the move wouldn't be official until next September when the moratorium on keeping FCS teams from jumping to the FBS -- AARGH -- come to an end. If that is what happens, then UMass will have to go through a two-year transition period before officially joining the MAC in 2013. Which would then make the MAC the first 14-team conference in college football, that is unless Temple bolts for the Big East before then.
UMass, much like Temple, will only join the MAC in football, as both schools would prefer to stay in the more respected Atlantic 10 for basketball.
Posted on: December 16, 2010 4:08 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
It's long been an open secret that after TCU joined the Big East as the conference's ninth football member, the league's top choice for a 10th member was original member in all-other-sports Villanova.
But how committed is the conference to that choice? Based on the timetable established today in an open letter from President Father Peter Donahue, committed enough that they're unfazed by that timetable coming with something of a sticker shock (emphasis added):
That's right: even with an open invitation on the table that an awful lot of schools would rename their biology buildings "Big East Hall" for, the Wildcats won't come to a final decision for another four months.
So why is 'Nova permitted to take its time when so many other conference alignment decisions in the past year's reshuffling have been made on the fly? Because while the leap from FCS directly into a BCS league wouldn't be easy for any program, there's several reasons to think the Wildcats can make it work: a well-established championship program at the FCS level; an administration with a history of overseeing and supporting successful athletics programs; and maybe most key of all, their location squarely in the middle of a major Eastern metropolitan area without a prominent college football team to follow. (No, Temple doesn't count.) If UConn can become a viable BCS-level program, there's zero reason to think 'Nova can't.
As long as 'Nova offers the league the chance to add that kind of football program without burdening the already badly-overstuffed basketball collective and bring Philadephia into the fold in the process, the conference -- apparently -- will be willing to wait.
Posted on: December 12, 2010 6:34 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Well it seems as though all the head coaching vacancies are being filled this weekend. First Will Muschamp takes over at Florida, then Gus Malzahn moves north to Vanderbilt, and now it seems Miami has found its new head coach as well. No, it's not Jon Gruden, apparently it's Temple's Al Golden. According to reports, Golden has been offered the Miami job, and is expected to accept it though the deal has not been finalized as of yet.
Golden has been at Temple since 2008, when he took over a program that had gone 0-11 the year before he showed up. The Owls went 1-11 in his first season at the school, but Golden has turned the program around the last two seasons, winning 19 games. The Owls went to a bowl game in 2009, and should have gone to another this year, but were left out despite an 8-4 record with a win over Fiesta Bowl-bound UConn.
Golden has always been an excellent recruiter, and now he'll be unleashed upon the recruiting hotbed that is the state of Florida. Of course, getting talent to Miami hasn't exactly been a problem the last few years. It will be taking that talent and turning it into victories that will be Golden's biggest task in South Beach.
There is no word on whether or not Golden will take over in time to coach the Hurricanes in the Sun Bowl against Notre Dame.