Monday, December 20, 2010

As the Carousel Spins...Monday Episode

     The Carousel is starting to slow down some with many of the openings across thecountry starting to fill up. Two new HCs will be named today, with a third in the works. There will still be movement after the bowl games, with one job that will come open that will stir up much controversy. There have been expected moves, some unexpected moves, and some moves that just make no damned sense. Let's catch up with our daytime coaching drama, AS the Carousel Spins...
     It seems like new HC Jerry Kill is bringing just about his entire staff to Minnesota from Northern Illinois. QB Coach Jim Zombrowski and RB Coach Rob Reeves have now joined Kill in Minneapolis. He has brought both coordinators and many other assistants to the Gophers already.
    Jeff Tedford isn't going anywahere at California, but he should be on a short leash in 2011. He is currently working on replacing his O-Line Coach and his WR Coach. Word has it that he is interested in speaking to Idaho OL Coach Dan Finn.
     Rick Neuheisel began what was an expected series of staff moves at UCLA when he axed DC Chuck Bullough and WR Coach Reggie Moore on Saturday. He is telling LA media outlets that he is not finished yet, and is still working on assesments of the current staff, and nobody is safe there. THe only question that most people, including myself, have is what the hell is taking so long to make these decisions? These coaches have families, and there are other opportunities. Let them go so that they can find other gigs before they are all gone.
     Frank Spaziani has received a new contract extension of 2 years that carries him through 2015. Spaziani has done a nice job in his 2 years coming off of the insanity that was the Jeff Jagodzinski disaster. Spaziani is a BC guy, and people there love the guy, and he has done a good job, so he is being rewarded. Listen up Maryland and West Virginia...
     Tennessee DC Justin Wilcox met with Texas HC Mack Brown in Austin over the weekend, but came away without accepting any offer, and it is not known if one was made. You would have to assume that an offer was made, as Brown is not hiding who his top candidate really is.
     Ball State has made it official and has hired Elon HC Pete Lembo to run the program. Lembo is a solid coach, but I just cannot help but wonder why BSU did not look at some other coaches from the FCS ranks that have had more recent solid successes. Lembo was introduced in Muncie this morning, and we had reported this hire over the weekend.
     Kent State has a presser scheduled for this afternoon, where it has been reported that they will name Ohio State assistant Darrell Hazell as their new HC. Huh? Wow...not sure about this one. Kent State needed someone with more splash than this, and it just enforces the image of not wanting to do what it takes to get over the top. Again, there were stronger assistants on the market who were more well known, and there wwere some incredible FCS options out there that were not even tapped. Hope they prove me wrong, but I am guessing not.
     With James Franklin having left Maryland to take the Vanderbilt HC job, He is continuing to raid the Maryland staff, and it has to be assumed at this point that Ralph Friedgen is saying nothing about it at this point.More on that in a moment. RB Coach John Donovan and ST Coach Charles Bankins are the latest defectors to leave the Terps for the Commodores, and the defections have been easy as Sunday morning.
     Speaking of Maryland, no announcement has come down about an agreement with Mike Leach, but it is widely assumed that the deal is done, and Ralph Friedgen is telling sources that he is done, and not by choice. It is also unkown if he has given his blessing to the defectors going to Vandy or not. This is a classless move by the school towards a Maryland guy that has put Maryland football on the map in the last decade. Besides a couple of bad seasons, Maryland has had some serious success under Friedgen, and to bounce him now is a disgrace. If Terp fan thinks that LEach will make you a national contender, think again. As good as he was at Texas Tech, they were no better than a third tier program in the Big 12, and lived in the shadow of Oklahoma and Texas. Expect no better in Maryland, where 8 win seasons and second tier bowls are the norm, and that's a huge step up from where this program was before Friedgen.
     Al Golden has done the right thing in Miami, and has retained OL Coach and current interim HC Jeff Stoutland, OLB Coch and former Cane Michael Barrow, and WR Coach Aubrey Hill, who will also retain his job as recruiting coordinator. Smart move Golden.
     I spoke of another candidate at Temple over the weekend. ONe of our best sources brought another name to me over the weekend that has not been reported anywhere else to this point, and that is Rutgers Co-OC Kirk Ciarrocca. He has coached at both Penn and Delaware, and knows the area obviously very well, giving him an in in the Philadelphia, Eastern Pennsylvania recruiting market. He spent 6 seasons at Delaware as OC and QB Coach, and the Hens went 52-26 with three FCS Championship Game appearances during his stint in Newark. UD also won the CAA title in 2003 and in 2004 during his stint. Penn had a record of 15-4 during his time there, and he coached the WRs during his stint with the Quakers. Better still, he began his coaching career at Temple.
More later today as the carousel spins...

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