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New coordinators David Lee and Geoff Collins hit the Mississippi airways

New Ole Miss offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach David Lee and Mississippi State co-defensive coordinator / linebackers coach Geoff Collins both hit the Mississippi airways this morning.

Lee appeared Reb Sports Radio and said, “I have never had more fun and meshed better with a coach than Houston Nutt.  This will be our fourth time together.”

“The system won’t change too much.  These players and coaches have been in the system for a long time, so it wouldn’t be smart for me to come in and change 90% of the terminology.  I’m not going to bring in our terminology from Miami (Dolphins).  I do, however, want to work with the new receivers coach, whoever that might be, on some passing route combinations.”

Collins told host Matt Wyatt with First Call, “I got here about 5 AM this morning and I’m ready to get going.”

“Our expectation is to be the best defense in the country and the best group of linebackers in the country.  You have to set goals.”

“At the end of the day, you are only as good as your players.  I absolutely love recruiting.  Some coaches look at it as a pain or evil.  I am passionate about it.”

“4 things…Playing hard, having a nastiness, being physical, and the fundamentals of tackling are really, really important.”

“Before I got to FIU, they played MTSU with Dwight Dasher and allowed 369 yards on missed tackles. Then my first year against the same team with Dwight Dasher, we had just 4 yards of missed tackles.”

 

Rocky Long: I hope I'm on the sidelines like Joe Paterno

It didn’t take long for San Diego State athletic director Jim Sterk to promote Rocky Long to head coach.  Long, who served as the Aztecs’ defensive coordinator the last two seasons, is the former head coach at New Mexico.

"I hope this lasts 10, 15, 20 years," said Long of his new job. "I hope that I'm on the sidelines like Joe Paterno."

"The Mountain West Championship is the first goal and will always be the first goal but I don't think that it will stop there. There are teams (TCU) in our league that go to BCS games and win the BCS games. There is absolutely, absolutely no reason that that cannot be us, no reason whatsoever."

“I thought coach Hoke did an amazing job getting this program started in the right direction. The foundation has been poured - it is not solid yet. There is a long way to go before we are going to be considered a great program. Everything is in place here that we can be a great program.”

Long agreed to a 5-year deal worth $800,000 per year.

San Diego State AD not pleased with Dave Brandon

San Diego State AD Jim Sterk wasn’t overly pleased with Michigan AD Dave Brandon and perhaps even Brady Hoke in regards to the handling of the Michigan coaching search.

Sterk said that Hoke didn’t notify him that he met with Michigan until after the meeting occurred, which was either Friday or Saturday.

Brandon, the former Dominos Pizza CEO, never contacted Sterk.

“It’s not good business,” said Sterk.

San Diego State has since named Rocky Long as their new head coach.  Long served as the Aztecs’ defensive coordinator the past two years. Sterk said he will not pursue legal action against Michigan.  He did say that Hoke's contract states he does have to notify the administration of any interview, which he did only after-the-fact.  

While watching the presser, it didn't seem to us that Sterk would pursue legal action against Hoke, although he didn't say he would not.

A reporter asked Sterk at the end of the press conference this afternoon, “Pizza Hut or Dominos?”

Sterk’s responded, “Pizza Hut” with a laugh and smile.

Les Miles explains decision to remain at LSU

Les Miles explained his decision to remain at LSU during a morning press conference on Wednesday.

Miles said, “I could not have met with Michigan without the potential of a different outcome. In your waking hours, the 4 a.m. in the morning talk with your wife or that drive home from the office, there are those moments where you put it in line and you structure the decision. I always allowed for that, but it kept comfortably returning to the people and the commitment.”

“I like working for (Michael) Bonnette and Sam Nader and Frank Wilson and Steve Ensminger. Those are the guys that I respect in this decision. I think my strength and my weakness is loyalty, and I will always see it as a strength."

(on potential staff changes) "I really don't know exactly what to tell you. I normally have a staff meeting on Thursday morning. I'm not really ready to say there won't be some changes in the staff. I don't know that I necessarily am going to be the factor there as opposed to other great opportunities, so we'll have to see how that goes."

"This is home to us. My family really loves being in Louisiana and I love representing this great institution. Staying at LSU is the right thing to do. I wanted to stand by the commitment that I made to the team and to LSU and that really overshadowed any other consideration.”

"The business that we're doing is affecting people's lives, playing for championships, encouraging a degree, setting people on a path that will benefit them. I think that happened for me at Michigan and hopefully it's happening for others at LSU and I like being part of that here. This is a wonderful place and I'm thrilled to be the LSU coach."

LSU will open the 2011 season against Oregon at Cowboys Stadium.

Phil Bennett wanted a big boy deal

Former Pitt defensive coordinator Phil Bennett explained to ESPN’s David Ubben exactly how he ended up accepting the Baylor defensive coordinator job.

Bennett was in Birmingham preparing for the bowl game when Art Briles called and said he wanted to move quickly.

Bennett said, “He goes, ‘Well, let me tell you how fast I'll be: I can be in Birmingham tomorrow.’ And I said, ‘Wow!’ He asked what my schedule was like, and it was Tuesday and I had an idea, I had some things going, and I told him, ‘Art, I think you've got it going on, but it will take a big commitment.’ He just told me to let him come down. When he came down, we practiced, he came up to my suite and we talked about a few things. I'm a guy that wants to know things. I want to know what I'm getting into. And when I told him what it would take, he told me, well this is what I've got. I said, "Well, this is what it will take." 

“I wanted a commitment. I wanted to know how serious they were about getting better. I looked at the top pay of the coordinators and said ‘Hey, look, none of them have more experience than I do. I'll put my résumé against anybody.’ I said, ‘If we're going to do this, let's pay like it.’ It was a little variation from what they had to what I wanted, the number of years. I said, ‘I plan on this being my last job. Let's make this work.’ I talked about the staff, that I had to have control of the staff, who I'm going to be working with. He said, ‘Phil, we will get this done.’ I told him when he got it done to call me. 

“I was a little bit shocked. He wasn't gone 10 minutes. On the way to the airport he says, ‘It's done.’ I said, ‘I'm in.’ That's how it went down.” 

“I asked for a much larger salary and extended years and not a lot of assistant coaches get that. I'm going to have the final say on all the players -- all the defensive players we take.”

We have confirmed that Bennett will be in Waco when this crazy carousel begins next year.

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