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Grad assistants earning their opportunity to coach

It looks as though not as many grad assistants will move up to full-time positions this off-season as last year.  According to our research, 24 grad assistants landed full-time D1 coaching positions last off-season.  Less than 15 have made the jump this year, so far.

Here's a rundown of the grad assistants that have landed full-time D1 jobs this off-season:

Randy Edsall hired LSU offensive quality control John Dunn as tight ends coach.  Dunn was on the LSU staff with new Maryland offensive coordinator Gary Crowton.

Troy head coach Larry Blakeney hired Texas Tech grad assistant Sean Reagan to coach the quarterbacks.

Bill Cubit hired North Carolina offensive grad assistant Josh Gattis to coach the wide receivers at Western Michigan.

Kent State head coach Darrell Hazell hired Northwestern special teams quality control Jafar Williams as running backs coach.


Dan Mullen and Larry Fedora each promoted grad assistants to serve as wide receiver coaches.  At Southern Miss, Fedora promoted Walt Bell to wide receivers coach.  Mullen promoted Angelo Mirando to wide receivers coach.

Derek Dooley promoted defensive grad assistant Peter Sirmon to linebackers coach.

At Utah State, Gary Anderson promoted defensive grad assistant Frank Maile to defensive line coach.

I’ll bring you with me:

UL-Lafayette head coach Mark Hudspeth brought Marquase Lovings from Mississippi State to UL-Lafayette, where he will coach the running backs.  Lovings served as the defensive grad assistant for the Bulldogs last season.

Steve Addazio hired his grad assistant at Florida, Justin Frye, to coach the offensive line at Temple.  Frye actually went briefly to North Texas with Dan McCarney, but then decided to join the Temple staff under Addazio.

Darrell Hazell hired Ohio State defensive quality control Marcus Freeman as linebackers coach.

Don Treadwell brought Michigan State grad assistant Zak Willis with him to Miami (OH).  Willis will serve as the special teams coach / recruiting coordinator.  Michigan State intern Nick Siatris also followed Treadwell to Miami (OH).  He will serve as the defensive tackles coach.

Dan McCarney hired Florida grad assistant Anthony Weaver as linebackers coach at North Texas.


Here is the complete list of coaches that went from a grad assistant position to full-time D1 coach last year:

James Bettcher - Ball State (Defensive ends)

Marty Spieler - Buffalo (Tight ends / assistant special teams coordinator)

Mike Daniels - Buffalo (Running backs)

Kort Shankweiler - Central Michigan (Running backs)

Jared Allen - Florida Atlantic (Wide receivers)

Lamar Owens - Georgia Tech  (A backs)

Kliff Kingsbury – Houston (Co-offensive coordinator / quarterbacks)

Ryan Solesky – Louisville (DFO)

JaJuan Seider - Marshall (Running backs)

Zach Smith - Marshall (Wide receivers)

Sedrick Irvin - Memphis (Running backs)

Adam Braithwaite - Michigan ( Safeties)

Napolean Sykes - Navy (Safeties)

Brian Haines - Ohio  (Tight ends)

Scott Turner - Pitt  (Wide receivers)

Bryant Young - San Jose State  (Defensive line)

Charles Clark - San Jose State  (Defensive backs)

Louis Ayeni - Toledo  (Running backs)

Sonny Cumbie - Texas Tech  (Inside receivers)

Clark Lea - UCLA  (Linebackers)

Jovan Bouknight - Utah State (Wide receivers)

Robert Rodriguez - UTEP (Linebackers)

Terry Obee - Western Kentucky  (Wide receivers)


Quick Hits: Dabo, Kevin Wilson, Todd Monken, Addazio

Dabo is hyping Clemson’s brutal 2011 schedule: “This is certainly the most challenging schedule since I have been at Clemson, including my time as an assistant.”

“I don’t know how many teams nationally have three straight games against FBS teams that won at least 10 games the previous year. All Clemson fans will be excited to have the defending national champions come to Death Valley.”

“Florida State and Virginia Tech back-to-back is a tall order to open the conference schedule. We are going to have improve on the road over last year. The five teams we play away from home won 44 combined games last year. Those will all be difficult places to play with sold out crowds.” 


Kevin Wilson explains how he plans to install an offense at Indiana: “I’m a no-huddle offensive guy, so I move fast. But I’ve never had a playbook where I said we have to run these plays. Who’s your quarterback? What can he do? What’s your offensive line? What can they block? These are the things you have to look at.”

“You have to run the ball. You have to be physical. You have to take care of the ball. We’ll try to be wide open. But, offensively, you have to work toward your strengths. We’re not coming in and saying, ‘This is the system.’”


Oklahoma State offensive coordinator / quarterback coach Todd Monken says he doesn’t know what the offense will look like: “To be honest….that is an interesting question because I really don't know.”

“If Dirk Koetter would've left the Jaguars and I would've become the coordinator there. I would've run what they'd run.”

“I don't know how we don't. With those guys already knowing it, it just doesn't make any sense (to change) when you only have three weeks (during spring football). You'd waste the whole spring.”

“With that being said, I'm not Dana and I can't go out and teach it that way.”


Quoting Temple head coach Steve Addazio: "I love challenges, I can't wait. Listen, this program was in limbo and while in limbo, it hit rock bottom. Now we're going to put a bubble on the field, we have all kinds of things going on here for a high school football player to look at us. They'll be involved in a program that's going up. It's Division I football, and it's tough. We want to be a program that continues to win, and want our kids to be around winning in a city that embraces sports. You can't beat that."

“We want to keep Philly kids in Philly, without a doubt. Not everyone can go to Penn State. But, you have to be smart. Like any sales, you target any opportunity and the people that you think you have a chance you can get. I don't want to spin my wheels against kids who don't have a chance of coming here. That's what we have to do, target accurately.”

Mike Gundy rockin Bieber's "Baby" as his ringtone

As you probably saw on Quick Hits earlier today, Justin Bieber’s iPhone ringtone is set to Mike Gundy’s “I’m a man.  I’m 40” speech.  For those of you coaches that aren't familiar with Bieber, he's the 16 year-old Canadian POP-R&B artist that has stormed the music industry.

Bieber explained why the Gundy ringtone.

Today, during a press conference to introduce three new assistant coaches, Mike Gundy returned the favor.  In the middle of the presser, Gundy’s cell phone went off to the ringtone of Bieber’s “Baby ft. Ludacris.”

Gundy went on to say he’d like Bieber to buy a suite and perform a concert in Boone Pickens Stadium.  Here's the short clip of Gundy style humor:


Urban Meyer talks about a complete turn of integrity in college coaching

Now that Urban Meyer is not a current coach, he won’t hesitate to speak his mind.   Meyer admitted on Friday during an interview with 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis, that being able to speak his mind is part of the reason he walked away from coaching.

Meyer explained, “What I’ve seen the last five years is a complete turn in the integrity of the college coaching profession. It’s completely turned the other way. Right now, it’s not good because the risk-reward is ‘have at it, do what you’ve got to do get the great player, go win games and at the end of the day we’ll find out what happens down the road."

“You tell me how a young man who is a wide receiver (Dez Bryant – Oklahoma State) and he lied to the NCAA and they took away his eligibility and he was never allowed to play again. And then there’s violations in other areas of the country and that doesn’t happen.”

Thanks to SportsbyBrooks, you can listen to the interview.


Quick Hits: Muschamp, Joe Rob, Jim Reid, and Bieber's ringtone

Will Muschamp explains he’s not a CEO: "As a leader or in a leadership role, you have to be yourself. I'm not a CEO. That's not my M.O. I'm going to be involved with the players. I've always envisioned myself in that (head coaching) chair, but when you get in it, it's different. Still, I enjoy scheming. I like drawing up Xs and Os. As a head coach, you can get pulled away from that job. That's not going to happen."


LSU special teams coordinator Joe Robinson thinks it critical for a punter to be the holder on field goals: "The reason I have fought for the punter - not just at LSU but over time - is that they spend two or three hours together every day with the kickers," Robinson said. "The chemistry is there. When you have quarterbacks, you're lucky to get a few minutes a day with them. They're too busy."

"Josh Jasper broke the school record for (field goal) accuracy. He had his punter holding for him every day for two years. I don't think that's accidental. When a kicker has a guy with him all day, every day, holding hundreds and hundreds of balls, that's going to make a difference."


Virginia defensive coordinator Jim Reid talks about pass rushers: “In the two years I was with the Dolphins, we looked at tape after tape after tape (for a great pass rusher to draft), and if you’re a dynamic pass rusher and you’re a first-round draft choice, you’ll never have to work again the rest of your life except at the game of football. They come in different shapes and sizes. Da-Da (Virginia signee) isn’t 6-5, 275, but has quickness and speed.”


Your boy Justin Bieber has Mike Gundy's "I'm a man.  I'm 40" speech as his iPhone ringtone.  Watch as Beiber explains why.


Syracuse DC Scott Shafer explains coaching moves

Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone has shifted around his defensive coaching personnel in hopes of expediting the process of development of a core group of young players on defense.

The moves start up front where defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh will now coach only the defensive tackles.  Central Michigan defensive line coach Tim Daoust has been hired to coach the defensive ends.

Defensive coordinator Scott Shafer will now direct the defensive backs, while John Anselmo moves to outside linebackers.  Dan Conley will remain with the linebackers, focusing on the inside players.

Shafer explained the personnel moves to Syracuse.com by saying, “It kind of goes back, for me, to when I was at Stanford (defensive coordinator in 2007). This is how we did it. And we got more productivity because we had more coaching going on.”

“We've got to shore it up, up front. Because you win and lose up front. We definitely have a big task on our hands, because we have a bunch of new faces and jerseys out there that people aren't going to recognize.”

“When you have more guys at the interchangeable positions, then you get a little more technique-specific coaching, which is why I was looking at sliding the people around the way we have.”

“At the first level (line of scrimmage) with looking at where we are, losing a bunch of D-tackles this past year, now we say to ourselves, 'How can we bring the young kids along best.' And that's when we decided it might be smart to go to the system of having two defensive line coaches.”

The 2011 Syracuse non-conference schedule includes at USC, Toledo, at Tulane, Rhode Island, and Wake Forest.

Quick Hits: Drayton, Saban, Dooley, Butch Davis, Todd Monken

Quoting Ohio State wide receivers coach Stan Drayton explains leaving Florida: “In 17 years of coaching, I’ve never had the opportunity to be around my family. My kids are born and raised in Florida, so they’ve never had an opportunity to be around their grandparents. […] I’m a Buckeye by heart. I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. I used to go to coach Tressel's camps as a high school football player at Youngstown State. I had always admired his career, always tried to model myself on some of the principles that he holds his program to. I followed his career and always had a dream of coming back to Ohio State, I just didn’t know when.”


Nick Saban talks about the future: "Because we've got some guys returning, I think the dynamics of this year's team is completely different than what it was a year ago. I think we have a little more maturity on our team. It seems like our players are hungry to get started this year."


Derek Dooley reflects on his signing class and philosophy behind the class: "We couldn't afford to have a lot of high-risk guys in this class. Everybody has got some deficiency somewhere, but it's no different than investing your money. When you build a class, we're investing in people. It's important that we minimize the amount of risk."

"I know we're charged with winning games, all right, but being able to get guys to stay through the course is just as important. It was very important to me that we try to get guys who four years from now we're going to say, 'You know what, that's a whole bunch of guys who had great contributions to the program.' "


Interesting quote from North Carolina head coach Butch Davis: "I can honestly tell you, I don't think in 37 years of coaching there's been a football team that I have been prouder of than this particular group of kids. Every single week somebody new would step up, and each week it was that next-man-up mentality."


Quoting Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken: "I want to blend what this team has done with what I've done to make this Oklahoma State's offense. We want to have flexibility with it. With all of the returning starters, it would be silly to break up what they already have going. When I was at Louisiana Tech, we were no-huddle. When I was at Oklahoma State under Les, it was power running and going straight ahead. The key is to be flexible."

“Dana Holgorsen did great job and I'm just trying to come in and find what fits best. Even before Dana was there, Oklahoma State didn't lack in offensive productivity. It's never been an issue under Coach Gundy. The biggest thing is just to have an identity where this is Oklahoma State's offense and we know what we want to do."

Neuheisel: What matters is that we play well next year

UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel, back from a brief vacation to Cabo to celebrate his 50th birthday, must feel like the weight of the world is on his shoulders.

The Los Angeles and national media have been hard on Neuheisel for his strange handling of coaching staff decisions this off-season.

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Johnson was hired with Norm Chow still on the staff.  Boy, I bet that wasn’t awkward for Chow, who has since moved into a hotel in Utah.

The negotiations to land Nevada running backs coach Jim Mastro seemed to last for over a month.

Most heavily scrutinized is that Neuheisel has yet to name a defensive coordinator to replace Chuck Bullough, who was dismissed on December 18th.  Randy Shannon, Rocky Seto, Steve Brown, and other candidates have interviewed.  Neuheisel says the defensive coordinator hire will come this weekend.  At one point, Seto accepted the job, but the offer was later rescinded.

"I understand the scrutiny," Neuheisel said. "I understand the perception and all that kind of stuff but at the end of the day, none of that matters. What matters is that we play well next year."

"I understand the scrutiny. I understand the perception and all that kind of stuff but at the end of the day, none of that matters. What matters is that we play well next year."

Neuheisel also has the defensive line job open.  Yesterday, Todd Howard accepted the defensive line job at Washington State.  It was reported that Howard was dismissed early in the day.  By night, Washington State announced him as their new defensive line coach.  Who knows what happened there?

The Bruins’ non-conference schedule in 2011 includes at Houston, San Jose State, and Texas.