Tuesday, January 18, 2011

As the Carousel Spins...Sunday/Monday/Tuesday Episode

     Back from taking a Sunday off to watch my Patriots play like the Patsies. Terrible day in Foxboro for the Patriot fan base. Still trying to understand how you beat a team 45-3 and then just weeks later play like the most inept team to ever grace the #1 seed. That, however, is for another conversation,on another site, like one being launched in April, maybe by me.
     The big news today is out of Austin, where Texas HC Mack Brown is on the clock to get a new O Line Coach hired. He really needs to get it done by this Friday, as a huge recruit  is coming in, and this is a potentially huge catch. Auburn's Jeff Grimes was being courted heavily, but then turned the job down to stay at Auburn, even if the talent is streaming out of school for the pros. Brown than turned his attention to Joe Wickline at Oklahoma State. That effort too has fallen short, as Wickline has announced that he is staying at OSU. Now, several sources are reporting that Wisconsin O Line/Run Game Coordinator Bob Bostad is the next target. And now, there is yet another candidate that is being indentified, and that is Herb Hand. Hand may be the easiest grab, and may fit the best of the known candidates Hand was recently retained as line coach at Vanderbilt, but has also served at Tulsa, West Virginia, Clemson, Concord, and Framingham South High School in MA.
     The other big news of the day at Texas is that the Longhorns have filled their DB Coach position with former Longhorn player and 14 year NFL assistant Jerry Gray. Gray also will take on the title of Assistant Head Coach. Gray is yet one more huge hire for Mack Brown, as Brown is furiously trying to get the Horns back on the national radar after a 5-7 season. The hiring of Gray means that the O Line job is the final spot open on the Texas staff.
     Tennessee HC Derek Dooley has moved to fill his open spot at strength and conditioning coach by hiring Ron McKeefery away from South Florida according to WBIR TV. McKeefery replaces Bennie Wylie, who left for the same job at Texas. There is no word as of yet as to who will replace McKeefery at USF.
     Jerry Gray had replaced Duane Akina at Texas, as Akina moves on after several seasons at Texas. Akina will now work on the staff at Arizona. Akina will coach the secondary for HC Mike Stoops.
     Danny Hope is on a very hot seat at Purdue coming into the 2011 season. He has been making some staff changes of late to try and fix the issues that have been plagueing the Boilermakers since the final season of Joe Hiller. His latest change is hiring embattled WR Coach Patrick Higgins of BYU. The BYU offensive staff was described as completely dysfunctional by several different sources, both internal and external. Higgins is indeed experienced. Before serving as receivers coach at BYU, he was the TE/Special Teams coach at Louisiana Tech, WR Coach and OC at UTEP, RB Coach at Columbia, OC, Special Teams Coordinator, QB Coach, and WR Coach at D2 Shepherd, HC at St. Andrews Prep and William Penn College, served as both OC and DC at Quincy, and coached receivers at St. Cloud State.
     Les Miles has still not moved on a new OC at LSU. There is a plentiful list of candidates, as it is a very desirable job. As of now, Mike Sanford, Steve Kragthorpe, and Justin Fuente are the top candidates. Sanford is the current OC at Louisville, and has also been the HC at UNLV, the OC at Utah, OC and QB Coach at Stanford, OC for the Chargers, and worked at Notre Dame, USC, Purdue, Long Beach State, VMI, Army, and San Diego City College. Kragthorpe is the former HC at Louisville and Tulsa,and worked at Northern Arizona as OC, North Texas, Boston College as QB Coach, Texas A&M as OC and QB Coach, and also worked as a QB Coach for the Bills. Justin Fuente is the fresh face of the group. He has served as Co-OC and QB Coach at TCU (working with Andy Dalton), was QB Coach and OC at Illinois State, and split his playing days between Oklahoma and Murray State.
     New Stanford HC David Shaw has named his new OC. NFL veteran assistant Pep Hamilton has joined the staff, and will get the opportunity to work with Andrew Luck next season. His career has been spent mostly in the NFL, but was receiver coach at Stanford, and had also been the OC and RB coach at Howard. His stops in the NFL include Chicago, San Francisco, the Jets, Baltimore, and Kansas City.
     New Michigan HC Brady Hoke has narrowed down his list for the open DC job. The latest candidates are former Florida DC Teryl Austin, and Ravens DC Greg Mattison. Austin has an impressive resume, as he has been the DC at Florida, and had also worked on the staffs at Penn State, Wake Forest under current Colts coach Jim Caldwell, Syracuse, Michigan, and worked in the NFL for both Seattle and Arizona. He has two appearances in the Super Bowl as an assistant. Mattison has a long list of former jobs on a coaching resume that goes back 30 years. He has worked in the NFL for the Ravens. His college stops include Florida, Notre Dame, Michigan, Texas A&M, Navy, Western Michigan, Northwestern, Cornell, and Illinois. He served as HC at both LaCrosse High School and at Riverdale High School in Wisconsin. He is a member of the Wisconsin Coaches Hall of Fame.
     John Donovan is the new OC at Vanderbilt, having followed new HC James Franklin from Maryland. Donovan coached the RBs at Maryland, but had followed Ralph Friedgen to Maryland from Georgia Tech, where he had served as a grad assistant. He also served as an assistant at Villanova. Donovan was a three year starter as a DB at Johns Hopkins.
     Pittsburgh HC Todd Graham has brought another former Tulsa staffer along with him. Graham has named Keith Patterson to the job. Patterson's experience comes mainly from the high school ranks prior to serving at Tulsa, and his experience with Graham goes back to their days working at Allen High School in Texas. He also had great success at Ardmore High School in Oklahoma.
     There are very few head coaching jobs left open on the FCS or FBS level. The follwong jobs are still open:
Alcorn State, Delaware State, Gardner-Webb, North Carolina A&T
     All other HC jobs are filled at this time. I will be checking my sources for information regarding the open jobs.

For the record, none of the above information was obtained via footballscoop.com.


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