Michigan strength coach Aaron Wellman may overtake Derek Dooley

Michigan head strength coach Aaron Wellman has been with Brady Hoke for eight years.  The two coaches are on the same page and believe toughness has to be a major component of the program.

So what is your philosophy, Coach Wellman?

“It’s a loaded question because that’s a 5-hour answer.  My philosophy is a couple of things.  Number one is you have to have a program based on accountability.  It’s gotta promote discipline and mental & physical toughness.”

“We want to build a program that is orthopedically sound.  In other words, we don’t want to cause injury in the weight room or provide exercise that promotes injury in the fall when they get on the field.”

Wellman, who may overtake Derek Dooley for the coach that most clearly replicates the body language and mannerisms of Nick Saban (evident by this video, especially in the third minute), says the strength program will evolve as the team evolves.

“We have to bring energy as a staff,” said Wellman.  “When I hired these guys, I said look ‘First couple of years, you have to lay down your life for these kids and this university.  It’s about these kids.  It’s not about us.’”

“It’s easy for us to work with 2 or 3 big groups a day.  It’s easy for us, but that’s not what’s best for the kids.  If I bring 50 guys in here, then I’m just watching over, making sure things are flowing, I’m not coaching kids. What’s best for the kids is 6 (smaller) groups a day.”

“Here’s who is gonna love this program…guys who are tough and competitive.”


Norm Chow opts to live in hotel

It’s off to Salt Lake City for Norm Chow, who will serve as the offensive coordinator at his alma mater.

Chow, who won the Broyles Award in 2002, led his high school basketball team in rebounding during his senior year.  He’s probably more widely for his tutelage of Steve Young, Carson Palmer, and Matt Leinart.

This all leads him to a hotel in Salt Lake City, where Chow will live in a hotel as he directs the Utes’ offense.

Chow explained to The Deseret News, “I'll be like Rick Majerus. It's really not that out of the ordinary these days in the coaching profession. When I was at Tennessee, there were four of us coaches who lived in one of those Marriott hotel properties like a Fairfield or something. There were four of us; three of us were married and one was divorced."

The Utes open with Montana State next fall, but then Chow will face USC and BYU in the next two weeks.  Both games on are the road.  He will try to hang 50 on UCLA when the Bruins visit Salt Lake City on November 12th.  No word yet if the Bruins will be staying at Norm’s hotel.

Jedd Fisch: I hadn't met Pete Carroll before I landed in Seattle, either

Last week, the national media gave plenty of attention to the fact that Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch accepted the offensive coordinator job at Miami (FL) without ever meeting Al Golden in person.

Today, on the Joe Rose Radio Show, Fisch said it wasn’t the first time that situation has happened in his career.  Fisch explained, “I didn’t meet Coach Carroll until I landed in Seattle, either.  Sometimes you just don’t have time.”

When Pete Carroll dismissed Jeremy Bates as offensive coordinator, there was speculation that Carroll would hire Fisch as his new coordinator, but Fisch said, “No, I wasn’t close to going back.  I was totally 100% committed to coming to The U and that never wavered."

Seattle eventually brought in former Minnesota Vikings coordinator Darrell Bevell for the position.

So what’s going to be the key for the Hurricanes’ offense in 2011?

“We’re going to be very multiple and use personnel groupings to our advantage.  We’re going to balance out how we can get the ball into our playmaker’s hands.  The quarterback has to be the best point guard…the Magic Johnson or John Stockton.”

The non-conference schedule includes Ohio State, Kansas State, Bethune-Cookman, and at South Florida.

Randy Edsall defends himself, not worried about glitz and glamour

Less than a month on the job, Maryland head coach Randy Edsall is aware that his own hiring wasn’t the glitzy name that many local Maryland supporters wanted when the search started.

Edsall told the Washington Post, "People are entitled to their opinion, and a lot of people are going to have knee-jerk reactions to things because they have something set in their mind. They can say what they want to say. . . . If you take a look at my record and what I've done and things like that, I think substance is more important than glitz or glamour, okay? Because to me, substance wins out in the long run. And that, to me, is really what it's all about.”

Edsall (52) has put together a staff that includes Gary Crowton (offensive coordinator), Don Brown (defensive coordinator), Lyndon Johnson (special teams / outside linebackers), John Dunn (tight ends), David Walker (running backs), Greg Gattuso (defensive line), and Todd Bradford (inside linebackers).  Two coaches from the previous staff were retained.  Lee Hull will coach the wide receivers and Tom Bratten will coach the offensive line.

The 2011 non-conference schedule for the Terps includes Towson, Temple, Notre Dame (FedEx Field), and West Virginia.

Andy Ludwig explains leaving Cal for San Diego State

When San Diego State head coach Rocky Long offered the offensive coordinator position to Cal offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, it didn’t take Ludwig long to accept the position.

Ludwig told the San Diego Union-Tribune, "At Cal, I was an offensive coordinator with a coach who was also an offensive coordinator. I'm excited to get back to running my system. I have nothing but positive things to say about my time there and we'll be implementing a similar system to what we had at Cal, just with my signature on it."

In 2008, as the offensive coordinator at Utah, Ludwig helped the Utes to a 13-0 season.  The Utes dominated Alabama in route to a 31-17 win in the Sugar Bowl.  The Utes averaged 37 points per game that season.

After the season, Ludwig decided to bolt for Manhattan, Kansas to join Bill Snyder’s staff at Kansas State.  After a few weeks however, he left K-State to join Jeff Tedford’s staff at Cal.  The results weren’t as Ludwig hoped for.

This past season, Cal was 5-7 while finishing 90th in total offense and 73rd in scoring offense.  In 2009, the Bears were 8-5 while finishing 49th in total offense and 47th in scoring offense.

Now, Ludwig can get back to his own thing.  "I bring a style and a philosophy that matches the head coach," said Ludwig, 46. "We have a chance to minimize the transition from one system to another. There are going to be a lot of similarities in style, terminology and method. All in all, I think it's going to be a pretty clean transition.”

"This isn't necessarily about one system. It's about identifying the strengths of the players and making the system fit them."

The Aztecs’ non-conference schedule in 2011 includes at Army, Cal Poly, Washington State, and at Michigan.

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