Connecticut lands Bob Diaco as its new head coach
Notre Dame assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Bob Diaco will be the new head coach at Connecticut, sources tell us. We are told the deal is being prepared now and will be official later Wednesday night.
Update> CBS is adding now that the deal will be five years for Diaco beginning at $1.5 million.
This is the first first head coaching job for Diaco but, equally interesting. this is the second Notre Dame coordinator to take a head coaching job this season. Offensive coordinator Chuck Martin was named the head coach at Miami (Ohio) on December 3.
Can only imagine what Brian Kelly is thinking right now...— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) December 12, 2013
Diaco brings an engaging and charismatic personality at a program - following the dismissal of Paul Pasqualoni - that desperately needs an engaging and charismatic personality.
Diaco will win the press conference.— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) December 12, 2013
Diaco won FootballScoop's Defensive Coordinator of the Year award in 2012 while guiding Notre Dame to the top 10 nationally in a dozen different defensive categories, including touchdowns surrendered (16, 1st), scoring defense (12.77, 2nd) and total defense (305.5 yards per game, 7th).
Diaco worked with Brian Kelly in his final season at Cincinnati and then followed Kelly to Notre Dame in 2010. He played at Iowa from 1992-95, and then worked as a graduate assistant for the the Hawkeyes in 1996-97. From there, he worked at Western Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Central Michigan and Virginia, coaching a combination of linebackers, running backs and special teams before working his way up to defensive coordinator.
Diaco is a very astute coach and has been preparing for this day for a long time. UConn is getting a good one.— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) December 12, 2013
I'm anxious to see who he brings on as OC (and really for the rest of the staff). Needs an innovative OC. Critical hire.— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) December 12, 2013
Diaco takes over a program that went 3-9 this season and holds just a 13-23 mark since winning the Big East and making a Fiesta Bowl appearance in 2010.
Diaco is the eighth FBS head coach - and second of Wednesday night - to be hired this season, following Steve Sarkisian (USC), Chris Petersen (Washington), Chuck Martin (Miami, Ohio), Bryan Harsin (Boise State), Craig Bohl (Wyoming), Dave Clawson (Wake Forest) and Chris Creighton (Eastern Michigan).
As always, we will have more updates as they become available.
Chris Creighton will be the new head coach at Eastern Michigan
Sources tell us Drake head coach Chris Creighton has accepted the same position at Eastern Michigan. A formal announcement should be made tomorrow.
Creighton has compiled a 44-22 record in six seasons at Drake, and held the best winning percentage in school history entering this season. The Bulldogs were 6-5 this season, but went 17-5 the previous two seasons with back-to-back shares of the Pioneer Football League title. Before Drake, Creighton spent seven seasons at Wabash College, owning a 63-15 record with four conference titles and three trips to the Division III playoffs. Prior to that, Creighton posted a 32-9 record in four seasons as the head coach at NAIA Ottawa University from 1997-2000.
In 17 seasons as a head coach, Creighton possesses a career record of 139-46.
@footballscoop: coached against Creighton. Always prepared, teams regularly overachieved. Never a letdown.— Jake Denham (@TheJakeDenham) December 12, 2013
Coaches tell me he did it the right way. Won without scholarships. Great story. I personally don't know him; but see @zach_barnett— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) December 12, 2013
Creighton was an All-American at quarterback for Kenyon College (Ohio), before graduating in 1991. He previously coached at Concordia (Ill.) University, Limhamn Griffins in Malmo, Sweden (where he also played quarterback), and Manchester (Ind.) College.
This is Creighton's first experience in FBS as a player, assistant coach or head coach.
Creighton steps into a program that went 2-10 this season and is 33-106 over the past dozen seasons. The last full-time head coach to leave Eastern Michigan with a winning record was Dan Boisture, who posted a 45-20-3 record from 1967-73.
Creighton is the seventh FBS head coach to be hired this season, following Steve Sarkisian (USC), Chris Petersen (Washington), Chuck Martin (Miami, Ohio), Bryan Harsin (Boise State), Craig Bohl (North Dakota State) and Dave Clawson (Wake Forest).
As always, we will have more updates as they become available.
Chris Petersen on leaving Boise: 'Everyone will be better off for it'
It came as a surprise to everyone when Chris Petersen left Boise State for Washington late last week. Everyone, including Petersen himself.
"Absolutely. Without question," Petersen said on feeling it was time to move on from Boise. "And it caught me by surprise when I became the head coach (at Boise State), because I hadn’t thought much about it at all. In some ways, my hand was forced when Hawk was going, and then I had that opportunity presented to me. My first reaction was, no, I’m not going to go do that.
"Then I started thinking about it and there was some excitement and trepidation and all those things that come with it. But that caught me off guard way back when and certainly when I started thinking about this, that caught me off guard, too, going, OK, maybe this is time. Because that hasn’t happened to me very much."
Petersen sat down with Idaho Statesman beat writer Chadd Cripe for one last Q&A for the city he called home for 13 years on Tuesday.
Petersen said that his departure was not pre-ordained. When asked about the CBSSports.com report from earlier this fall about getting the itch to move on, Petersen responded, "Absolutely not true. Not even kind of true."
But when the Broncos' regular season ended and USC wanted to talk, Petersen felt he needed to oblige. "You’re trying to get through the season and you’re trying to do the best you can so you’re not dwelling on those types of things. And then the opportunity comes up to talk to those guys — I wouldn’t talk to somebody unless I was real serious," Petersen said." That was a situation I felt like I really needed to look at."
Then Washington became a possibility and a "gut feeling" overcame Petersen and, as we stand today, orange and blue were traded in for purple and gold.
For the first time in his career, Petersen is now dealing with the always-sticky situation of leaving behind an old roster and approaching the possibility of Boise State recruits wanting to follow him to Seattle.
That is always a very awkward situation," Petersen said. "We went through it last time with Hawk and we’re going through it now. There’s not an easy way around that. Most of these kids are so connected to me and some of the coaches who will come, that it’s hard. Yeah, they like the universities, but they get connected to the coaches. So a lot of times they want to follow you or they at least want to look at it. We’ll try to operate with as much integrity (as possible) in this whole thing. Kids who want to stay there at Boise, that’s great, that’s a great place. And everybody knows we view it like that. The other kids who are contacting us, it’s hard to say, no, we’re not going to talk to you, when we’ve been talking to these guys for over a year. It will be a tough recruiting year."
In the end, though, both programs will be better off for the change, Petersen believes.
"They’re going to be playing for another really good staff and they’ll get a great head coach in there and this is an unsettling time and nobody really wants to hear it now, but trust me, in six to eight months, everybody will be better off for it," Petersen said of his now-former Boise State players.
So why will he be better off? His predecessors, Dirk Koetter and Dan Hawkins, didn't bring their Boise success with them. What's different about Petersen?
"They didn't come to Washington."
D-II title game will get a change of scenery after 30 years in Alabama
For nearly 30 years Division II teams had a final destination of Florence, Alabama on their list of goals at the beginning of the season because that's where the Division II national championship had been.
Earlier today the NCAA announced that Florence would no longer be home of the national title game, and that it would be moving to Kansas City, Missouri for the foreseeable future (2014-2017 to be exact).
"It was always our goal to showcase the student-athletes and provide them with a true championship environment and provide them with life-long memories." Shoals National Championship Committee Chairman Mitch Dobbs told Al.com.
"As a committee and as a community, we could never have accomplished this goal without the tireless support of The University of North Alabama, the Shoals Chamber of Commerce, all of our city and county governments across the Shoals, local businesses and most importantly the thousands of volunteers that have worked so hard for the past 28 years. Grady Liles had a vision and the vision became a reality that was far greater than anything we or the NCAA could have ever expected."
A lot of the history behind where D-II football stands today is because of ties to the Florence area, including the naming of the Harlon Hill Trophy after a North Alabama star player, and Florence also serves as the location of the Division II Hall of Fame.
So on December 21st, Florence will host the national title game for the 28th and final time. Maybe it's because it's all still new, or maybe it's the history and nostalgia, but Kansas City doesn't have quite the ring to it that Florence does.
The New York Jets win Gesture of the Day
Temple head coach Matt Rhule passed along something very cool on Twitter today.
New York Jets general manager John Izdik took the time to thank the Temple football program for "helping mold such fine young men" as Jaiquawn Jarrett, Muhammad Wilkerson and Michael Campbell.
Jarrett is in his third year as a pro, and first as a Jet, and has compiled 23 tackles this season out of his safety position. Wilkerson is in his third season with the Jets, the former first-round pick has contributed 52 tackles, 10 sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception. Campbell is in his second year on the team, his third overall in the NFL, has appeared in four games this season as a wide receiver and is currently on the Jets' practice squad.
Very nice work by Izdik and the Jets' staff.
Azusa Pacific wins the NCCAA national championship
You've heard of the NCAA, but have you heard of the NCCAA? The National Christian College Athletic Association has existed since 1968, and it has held the Victory Bowl to crown a national champion every year since 1997.
The 2013 Victory Bowl was held recently in Rome, Ga., and Azusa Pacific defeated Greenville (Ill.) in resounding fashion. 67-0 to be exact. Terrell Watson led the way with 14 rushes for 110 yards and three touchdowns, and Dasmen Stewart completed 11-of-13 passes for 129 yards and three more scores. APU got points on 11 of its first 12 possessions.
“It’s outstanding to cap this whole season with a near-perfect game against a defending bowl champion,” said Azusa Pacific head coach Victor Santa Cruz. “Being able to play the kind of football we did with defense and special teams was a huge advantage for our offense. We came together in all three phases today.”
The win gives Azusa Pacific, a private, Division II school in Azusa, Calif., its first NCCAA title and provides a cap to a season that also brought the program's first Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship. After starting last season 0-7 but winning four straight to close the year, Azusa Pacific is now 14-2 in its last 16 games. A remarkable turnaround by Coach Santa Cruz and his staff.
Coach gives his assistant two video cameras and tell him to 'have fun'...
Rocky Mountain College head coach Brian Armstrong had a problem. He wanted his players to feel like they played at a big-time program, but he didn't have the budget to do it. In fact, saying that implies he had a budget at all, which may be overstating things a bit.
So Armstrong gave assistant coach Chad Smith two cameras and told him to "have fun and make something for us to watch this week." With the help of two redshirt freshman camera operators and in between his time spent coaching and at his full-time job, Smith produced 13 hype videos for the Battlin' Bears.
The Montana-based NAIA school battled to an 8-4 record and made the playoffs for only the third time in school history.
We've provided the full playlist below, but you'll only need to see the first hype video to see what a good job Smith and company did.
College football profited more than $210 million from the 2012-13 bowl season
It's a good time to be in the bowl business.
The long-feared college football Armageddon - the College Football Playoff - has actually turned into a windfall for the entire sport. ESPN will pay out $5.64 billion over the next 12 years, and new bowls are sprouting up in the Bahamas, Miami and possibly other places.
And then there was this report Wednesday morning, stating that the NCAA's audit of the 2012-13 bowl season turned a profit for every FBS conference. In all, teams collectively took in $300.8 million of the $445.6 million the bowls earned, and spent $90.3 million on the trips. That's a profit of $210.5 million, just north of $3 million per participant or $1.68 million per FBS team.
Of course, that money was not distributed evenly.
The SEC took in the most money, followed by the Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC. You know how this story goes.
Here's the full chart, courtesy of AL.com:
The SEC raked in the most total profit at $37,516,212, but the 10-team Big 12 earned the most per school at $3,191,025.
With the coming playoff and conferences staking more of a claim to the bowl process as a whole, both on the front end (selection) and back end (finances, ownership), these numbers will only rise from here.