POSTED: March 2, 2022

Coaching Carousel

Coaching Carousel

March 2nd

Report: CU has found its new defensive line coach, Gerald Chatman

From Bruce Feldman … SOURCE: Tulane D-Line coach Gerald Chatman is expected to become the new DL coach at Colorado. Chatman had been retained at LSU by Brian Kelly on the new Tigers staff. Prior to LSU, he spent two seasons as assistant DL coach with the Cincinnati Bengals.

From 247 Sports … (From January 17th) … New LSU head football coach Brian Kelly is reportedly losing one of his staffers to an in-state foe. Tigers defensive analyst Gerald Chatman will become the next defensive line coach at Tulane, according to a report Monday by Bruce Feldman.

Chatman was among the existing LSU staffers retained by Kelly when Kelly was hired away from Notre Dame as the Tigers’ head coach in late November. The 2021 season was Chatman’s first in Baton Rouge after spending two seasons as a defensive assistant with the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals.

Chatman previously spent nine years at the collegiate ranks in coaching before taking his role at LSU. He coached the defensive ends and linebackers at Tennessee State from 2017-18. Prior to that, he spent the 2016 season as the defensive line coach at Elon and was a graduate assistant at Texas A&M during the 2015 campaign. He also had stints on staff at Butler, Ball State and his alma mater, Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

Related … Chatman coaching history … from CrescentCitySports

In 2020, Chatman helped the Bengals’ defensive line improve significantly as the Bengals notched 11 more sacks in the second half of 2019 compared to the first eight games. The defense also allowed 84.1 fewer yards per game the second half of the season, including 57.5 fewer rushing yards.

In his first year with the Bengals, Chatman served as a coaching intern in the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship program during OTAs and minicamp in 2018. He also worked as an offseason coaching intern with the Denver Broncos (2016) and Green Bay Packers (’15).

Prior to his time with the Bengals, Chatman spent 2017-18 at Tennessee State University, where he worked as defensive ends/linebackers coach in 2017 and then added duties as special teams coordinator for the ’18 season.

In 2018, Chatman helped three special teams players to all-conference honors, including Ohio Valley special teams player of the year Chris Rowland, who averaged 13.0 yards per punt return. He also helped DE Mekhi Brown to second-team all-conference honors, after posting 6.5 tackles for losses and four sacks.

In 2017, Chatman helped guide the Tigers’ defense to average yields of just 19.6 points and 278.5 yards per game, good for a No. 7 FCS ranking in total defense.

In 2015, Chatman was a graduate assistant at Texas A&M University, where he worked primarily with the defensive line. He helped the Aggies to an 8-5 record and guided DE Myles Garrett to All-SEC and All-America honors. Chatman was also selected to participate in the NFL-NCAA Coaches Academy.

Chatman spent the 2014 season as defensive line coach and assistant recruiting coordinator at Butler University, where his defensive line played a key role in the Bulldogs leading the Pioneer Football League in rushing defense and ranking second in sacks.

From 2012-13, Chatman worked as a defensive graduate assistant at Ball State University. He oversaw the development of Cardinals DE Jonathan Newsome, who earned first-team All-Mid-American Conference honors and later was selected in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL draft.

Chatman started his coaching career at his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, where he served as defensive line coach from 2010-11. Prior to his time on the coaching staff, Chatman was a defensive lineman at Wisconsin-Oshkosh from 2006-10.


February 25th

Eric Bieniemy to sign a one-year contract to stay with the Kansas City Chiefs 

From … Eric Bieniemy is staying in Kansas City.

The offensive coordinator is returning to the Chiefs on a new one-year deal, NFL Network’s Jeffri Chadiha and Tom Pelissero reported.

It will be the 52-year-old Bienemy’s fifth season as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator. His contract had previously expired after signing a one-year deal in 2021, as well.

Bieniemy’s new deal is the shortest possible term, which could prove beneficial for the coordinator. As the coordinator of an offense widely regarded as one of the most explosive in the NFL in the last three seasons, Bieniemy has attracted plenty of attention on the head-coaching market, though he hasn’t been offered a job to this point. Bieniemy has completed more than a few head-coaching interviews in the last two offseasons, most recently sitting down with the New Orleans Saints about their vacancy, which was eventually filled by Dennis Allen.

Should Bieniemy again enter the coaching carousel a year from now, he’ll do so with contractual freedom.

Bieniemy rose from running backs coach to offensive coordinator in 2018 following Matt Nagy’s departure for the head-coaching job in Chicago. Since then, he’s played a key role in the Chiefs’ offensive growth, which has seen Kansas City become the league leader in points (30.3), yards (404.2) and offensive touchdowns per game (3.4) from 2018-2021. Bieniemy worked with Patrick Mahomes to power a thrilling comeback effort that produced Kansas City’s first Super Bowl title since Super Bowl IV to cap the 2019 season, and he’s since been considered a hot name on the head-coaching market.

Instead of becoming a hot target as a coordinator following the closure of the head coach hiring process, Bieniemy is returning to familiar footing in Kansas City. His new deal answers the lingering question of who would fill the offensive coordinator role under Andy Reid and — barring an unlikely collapse — sets up for another round of interest in the 2023 offseason.


February 24th

Arizona State president inexplicably defends Herm Edwards: “These are not things he was a part of”

From CBS Sports … Arizona State president Michael Crow seemed to exonerate coach Herm Edwards from wrongdoing Wednesday amid an ongoing NCAA investigation into reported major recruiting violations.

“These are not things he was a part of,” Crow said on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

The statement is the most revealing regarding Edwards’ job since the Arizona State scandal broke in June 2021.

Initial reports stated both ASU and the NCAA had been sent a “dossier” detailing evidence of the program bringing in recruits during the extended NCAA dead period due to COVID-19. Among the items reportedly in the dossier is a photo that appears to show Edwards leading a top 100 recruit around the ASU weight room, according to Yahoo Sports.

247Sports’ Chris Karpman further reports that Edwards is known to have met with numerous prospects both on and off campus during the no contact period.

Despite Crow’s assertions, Edwards himself participated in meetings with recruits on ASU’s campus and at off-campus locations including at a rented home in Paradise Valley that was secured specifically for the purposes of recruiting, during a 14-month period when it was not permitted due to the pandemic, three people with direct knowledge of the encounters told Sun Devil Source.

Crow was not asked about those reports during his radio appearance. He told CBS Sports he will not comment further at this time.

Since August, five Arizona State assistant coaches have either been resigned, left for other jobs or been fired. Last week, quarterback Jayden Daniels transferred after initial indications were that he was staying with the program.

College football sources across the country contacted by CBS Sports are incredulous that Edwards has survived while his coaching staff has been gutted.

In the radio interview, Crow was asked by host Dan Bickley why Edwards still has his job.

“Coach Edwards has done an outstanding job of upgrading our program,” Crow said. “We’ve got this collision of people who have decided not to play by the rules relative to recruiting. We’ll be looking at how we can make improvements. … Coach Edwards is responsible for the actions of all of his people. But these are not things he asked them to do. These are not things he was a part of.”

… Even if the school contends Edwards did not know meeting recruits in person was against the rules, the NCAA could still claim he violated the coach responsibility bylaw (11.1.1). That bylaw states a head coach is “presumed to be responsible” for the actions of his assistant coaches and is responsible for “promoting an atmosphere of compliance”.

Continue reading story here


February 17th

UCLA finally hires its new defensive coordinator

From ESPN … UCLA is nearing an agreement to make veteran college and NFL assistant Bill McGovern as its next defensive coordinator, sources confirmed to ESPN.

McGovern, who worked for Bruins coach Chip Kelly with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2013 to 2015, spent last season as inside linebackers coach for the Chicago Bears. He spent 2020 on Nebraska’s defensive staff after seven years with the Eagles and New York Giants.

A former defensive coordinator at Boston College and UMass, McGovern replaces Jerry Azzinaro, who resigned last month. Azzinaro, a longtime Kelly assistant at both the college and NFL levels, had come under scrutiny after UCLA finished 74th nationally in points allowed and last in the Pac-12 against the pass.

McGovern last served as a defensive coordinator during the 2012 season at Boston College. His agreement with UCLA is expected to be finalized shortly.

Bruin Report Online first reported UCLA’s expected hire of McGovern.


February 14th

Eric Bieniemy’s future in Kansas City uncertain

From ESPN … Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy’s one-year contract is set to expire, as has been the case in recent seasons, and his future in Kansas City is uncertain, sources told ESPN.

Bieniemy and Chiefs head coach Andy Reid are expected to soon meet and discuss their futures, whether they envision them together in Kansas City or apart, according to league sources. Bieniemy was also working on an expiring contract in 2020.

Chiefs quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka already has departed Kansas City to become the Giants’ offensive coordinator, leaving behind Bieniemy and making him even more essential to Kansas City’s offense for 2022.

There are no assurances that Bieniemy will return. He has considered coaching in college, listening to other offers or even taking off a year after a physically and mentally draining season in which the Chiefs fell one game short of the Super Bowl and Bieniemy was bypassed in the head-coach hiring cycle.

Bieniemy’s next meeting with Reid is likely to determine whether he will return or whether the Chiefs’ offensive coaching staff will need an overhaul.

Bieniemy has been on the Kansas City staff since 2013 and has spent the past four seasons as the offensive coordinator. His tenure as offensive coordinator has coincided with Patrick Mahomes’ four-year stretch as Kansas City’s starting quarterback, and the Chiefs’ offense has ranked no worse than sixth in the NFL each season under Bieniemy.

Bieniemy, 52, has been a candidate for multiple head-coaching jobs in recent seasons and had interviewed for the Broncos’, Texans’ and Saints’ vacant positions.


February 9th

Former CU assistant coach Brian Michalowski hired by Oregon State

From … Oregon State Football appears to be making some additions to its coaching staff, with rumors coming that the Beavers are bringing on former Colorado assistant Brian Michalowski. Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports and the Athletic broke the news initially.

After Oregon State fired Defensive Coordinator Tim Tibesar last fall, the team promoted linebackers coach Trent Bray to fill the position. Michalowski coached outside linebackers for the Buffaloes, and is joining the Beavers’ staff as a defensive assistant. It seems likely that he’ll assume some of Bray’s old duties so Bray can focus on his coordinator responsibilities.

As noted by Feldman in his tweet, Michalowski is possibly most notable for helping develop Buffaloes’ star Carson Wells. After coming to Colorado as a two star recruit, Wells became the anchor of Colorado’s defense, racking up 51 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 2021. He picked up an All-Pac 12 Honorable Mention is his final season before declaring for the NFL Draft.

Continue reading story here


February 6th

Eric Bieniemy the final interview for New Orleans Saints head coaching position

From … The New Orleans Saints have done their best to find the right man to lead their franchise to success for the next several years.

After wiping away the tears that fell once they were informed that Sean Payton would be retiring from their head coaching position, the Saints immediately picked themselves up and began searching for his best replacement.

So far, the Saints have interviewed with several hot commodities including former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, defensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills in Aaron Glenn, and their very own defensive coordinator, Dennis Allen.

Although the franchise feels fairly confident in whom they’ve spoken to, they’ve added one final name to their coaching search, offensive coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs, Eric Bieniemy. The pair are officially set to discuss the position later today.

In Bieniemy, he’s led the former Super Bowl winning Chiefs to a top-six finish in each of his four seasons in passing yards, including the top spot twice.

Continue reading story here

Former Buff defensive lineman Chidera Uzo-Diribe hired by Georgia

From … Georgia football has officially announced the hiring of Chidera Uzo-Diribe as the program’s new outside linebacker coach. Uzo-Diribe will take the role previously held by Dan Lanning, who is now the head coach at Oregon.

Uzo-Diribe joins Georgia from TCU, after he had followed Sonny Dykes from SMU. Prior to coaching at SMU during the 2021 season, Uzo-Diribe spent two seasons coaching outside linebackers at Kansas under Les Miles. Uzo-Diribe also spent three seasons as a graduate assistant at Colorado, where he also played. Uzo-Diribe is from Long Beach, Calif.


February 2nd

Herm the Last Man Standing? ASU’s Defensive Coordinator Antonio Pierce is out

From ESPN … Arizona State defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce is no longer employed by the school, a spokesman confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

Sources told ESPN that Pierce was resigning and is expected to pursue NFL coaching opportunities.

Pierce’s departure marks the fifth assistant to leave the Sun Devils football program’s coaching staff in the wake of an NCAA investigation into alleged illicit recruiting practices. Those include allegations of violating NCAA dead period recruiting restrictions prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the investigation is still open, as sources told ESPN that multiple coaches implicated have yet to speak to the NCAA.

Pierce, 43, is named in the dossier of documents forwarded to Arizona State and NCAA officials on May 31, 2021, that detail widespread allegations of recruiting violations in the Arizona State program.

Pierce is singled out in the dossier for meeting in-person with two high-profile Arizona State recruits on campus on Feb. 7 and March 27, both of which were during NCAA dead periods. Pierce not returning to the school appeared an inevitability, as he’d removed ASU from his social media accounts in December, and the school had barred him from recruiting off campus.

Continue reading story here


January 31st 

Arizona State hires its new offensive coordinator (meltdown material if hired at CU)

… Thomas is currently the OC at UNLV where his offense ranked 120th in 2020 and 112th in 2021 (imagine the Buff Nation reaction with those rankings) …

From ESPN … Arizona State football has hired veteran NFL and college assistant coach Glenn Thomas as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

The school announced Thomas’ hiring Monday, three days after offensive coordinator Zak Hill resigned amid an NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting violations.

Thomas has coached for more than 20 years, including seven years with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. He spent four years as an offensive assistant with Atlanta and three working with Pro Bowler Matt Ryan as quarterbacks coach.

Thomas spent the past two seasons as quarterbacks coach at UNLV and previously worked under Matt Rhule at Baylor and Temple. Thomas also served as an assistant coach at Midwestern State and with the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars.


January 24th

Herm Edwards adds former Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick as an offensive analyst

… Goes to show what you can do with extra money. CU has to dig through couch cushions to find loose change to pay its assistants, while other programs add extra coaches with NFL head coaching experience … 

From ESPN … Arizona State has hired former Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick as an offensive analyst and adviser to head coach Herm Edwards.

Billick, who last coached in 2007 with the Ravens, is the third former NFL head coach on the ASU staff, joining Edwards and Marvin Lewis, also an adviser to Edwards. The 67-year-old Billick had been working as an analyst for NFL Network.

“I have known Brian since the 1980s and he is a person whom I completely trust,” Edwards said in a statement. “He has built one of the finest reputations the NFL has ever known, serving as a head coach, an assistant coach and as a respected television analyst. Brian has one of the brightest offensive minds in football today and that is especially why I hired him. He will serve as a valuable resource to our entire coaching staff, but specifically to our offensive staff.”

Billick said Arizona State recently approached him about the opportunity when he was coaching the Hula Bowl all-star game. He said he has known Edwards for more than 40 years and also has long-term connections with Lewis, the Ravens defensive coordinator under Billick, and Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson. Lewis joined Edwards’ staff in 2019 as a special adviser and spent the 2020 season as co-defensive coordinator.

Billick went 80-64 in nine seasons with the Ravens, winning a Super Bowl after the 2000 campaign and making three other playoff appearances. He last coached in college football at Stanford in 1991.

“I love what they are doing at ASU,” Billick said in a statement. “It’s all about structure in the NFL and hopefully that’s what I can bring to the table at ASU. My work for the last 12 years in television at Fox and the NFL Network has allowed me to take a step back and see the game from a different angle. It broadened my perspective and that is what I will bring to this position.”


January 21st

Report: Eric Bieniemy interviewing with Denver Broncos

From … Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid may have been right when he said last week that this will be the year when well-respected offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy finally earns a head-coaching job at the highest level.

Per Mike Klis of 9News, the Denver Broncos will interview Bieniemy in Kansas City on Friday ahead of Sunday’s postseason game between the Chiefs and Buffalo Bills:

Paton and Co. Zooming Callahan as we type (Thursday afternoon), then meeting w/O’Connell in person. Interview Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy in KC tomorrow. And then … And then after Bieniemy, Paton and his commitee regroup. Source says possibility of 2nd round of interviews with 1 or more candidates is still up in the air.

As Josh Alper explained for Pro Football Talk, the Broncos are speaking with Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan and Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell on Thursday. The Bengals play at the Tennessee Titans on Saturday afternoon, while the Rams will face the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Florida on Sunday afternoon.

Bieniemy’s name came to the minds of many within the football community after the Fritz Pollard Alliance hit out at the fact that Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers was the NFL’s only Black head coach coming off the opening week of the offseason for non-playoff teams. It was reported earlier this week that the perception Bieniemy has performed poorly in previous interviews was “BS” and not the reason he hasn’t yet been hired as a head coach.

Under Bieniemy, the Chiefs finished the 2021 regular season third in yards per game (396.8) and fourth in points (28.2) per game. Kansas City thrashed the Steelers 42-21 in last Sunday’s wild-card clash.

Cal coach Justin Wilcox receives an extension

… Wilcox interviewed for the Oregon position, which he has parlayed into a nice payday … 

From ESPN … California football coach Justin Wilcox has signed an extension through the 2027 season.

Wilcox was rewarded with the extension Thursday after leading the Golden Bears to two bowls in five seasons as coach. The contract also increases the salary pool for assistant coaches.

“Justin Wilcox is a football coach who shares our values and vision, and we want to ensure that he is the leader of our program for the long term,” athletic director Jim Knowlton said in a statement. “He is a great fit for Cal Athletics and our university, with a philosophy that places an emphasis on developing young men on the field, in the classroom and as people.”

Wilcox has a 26-28 record and led the Bears to back-to-back winning seasons and bowl games in 2018 and 2019 for the first time in a decade. Cal went 5-7 this season but beat rivals Stanford and Southern California down the stretch.

The Bears have won two of the last three Big Games against Stanford after losing the previous nine matchups.

“I appreciate the opportunity to be the head football coach at Cal and am excited about the future of our program,” Wilcox said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute I have spent with the extraordinary young men who have been in our program.”


January 19th

CBS: Best fit for Bieniemy is in the AFC East

From CBS Sports … Eight teams could be looking for a new head coach in 2022 (seven for certain), making this version of the NFL silly season even crazier than in recent years. Two teams, the Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins, finished 2021 with a winning record. Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia led his team to the playoffs and it’s not yet known whether the team will retain him or move on, but if the Raiders do move on, Miami and Vegas are the top destinations available.

The Chicago Bears have a large market and a first-round quarterback in Justin Fields heading into his second year, while the Minnesota Vikings have the offense in place to win immediately. The Denver Broncos are a quarterback away from contention while the Jacksonville Jaguars have an elite talent in Trevor Lawrence but a lot of rebuilding to do in order to compete in a talented AFC full of young, elite quarterbacks. The Houston Texans have an uncertain quarterback situation in Deshaun Watson, and a franchise that has more questions than answers after firing David Culley after one season with arguably the worst roster in the NFL. The New York Giants have been one of the worst franchises in the NFL over the last five years.

With seven vacancies (potentially eight depending on what the Raiders do), let’s take an educated guess which team will hire which coach over the coming weeks. Some predictions will be based on the head coaching interviews with candidates already set in place and the best destination for each of the candidates.

Some of these hires could make these franchises contenders sooner rather than later.

Miami Dolphins: Eric Bieniemy (Chiefs OC) 

The Dolphins are seeking a culture change from Brian Flores and appear to be looking for a coach to continue to develop Tua Tagovailoa. While Miami hasn’t interviewed Bieniemy yet (they interviewed him in 2019 before settling on Flores), they take a chance on Bieniemy this time around.

Bieniemy’s resume speaks for itself. The Chiefs have scored the most points per game in the NFL (30.3) since Bieniemy became the offensive coordinator in 2018, along with the most yards per game (404.2). Kansas City also has the best record in the NFL during Bieniemy’s run, going 50-15 with three conference championship game appearances and a Super Bowl title in the 2019 season. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes also has the most passing yards, passing touchdowns, and the second-highest passer rating since the start of the 2018 season.

Coming from the Andy Reid tree, Bieniemy knows how to build a staff and can work well with a front office. He appears to be the right fit for Miami, even though the Dolphins haven’t sought him out in the early stages of their head coaching search. If the Dolphins are committed to Tagovailoa, Bieniemy seems like the coach to get the most out of him.

Miami is set to win now, giving Bieniemy an opportunity to win immediately with a good defense already in place. The offense is the unit that needs significant work, which is where Bieniemy comes in.

Read full story here

Rumors that Eric Bieniemy is a “bad interview” for NFL jobs “is BS” 

From … Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy is widely respected as one of the best assistants in the NFL today and is credited for the Chiefs finishing the latest regular season third in total yards (396.8) and fourth in points (28.2) per game. Despite helping quarterback Patrick Mahomes evolve into a regular-season and Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, Bieniemy hasn’t yet received an opportunity to guide a franchise as a head coach.

It’s been rumored during offseasons that Bieniemy has performed poorly during interviews with other clubs. However, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reports “the periodic and persistent chatter regarding Bieniemy being a ‘bad interview’ is BS” and that Bieniemy did well in interviews last offseason even though he didn’t land a gig.

“It comes down to the reluctance, to date, of a team to make the bet that Bieniemy the great offensive coordinator will become Bieniemy the great head coach,” Florio added about why no team has named Bieniemy its head coach as of the middle of January 2022.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid told reporters last week he believes Bieniemy will ultimately be hired elsewhere this winter, and logic suggests every team looking for a new coach should at least interview the 52-year-old before making any final decision. Bieniemy’s resume should speak for itself, but the NFL’s overall lack of Black head coaches shows he could go yet another year without obtaining a job he’s undeniably earned via his work with the Chiefs.


January 18th

CU Coaching Staff Complete: Phil McGeoghan hired as wide receivers coach

Press Release from … University of Colorado head football coach Karl Dorrell announced on Tuesday that he has hired Phil McGeoghan as receivers coach, and in the process has completed his full-time staff of assistants for the 2022 season.

As with all hires of this nature, it is subject to the approval of CU’s Board of Regents.

McGeoghan, 42, most recently was the wide receivers coach for three seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers (2018-20); he took off the 2021 season on personal leave urged by Chargers’ head coach Anthony Lynn to care for some health issues in his immediate family.

A 15-year veteran in the coaching profession overall, he has about evenly split that time with three teams in the National Football League (eight years) and in the collegiate ranks (seven seasons).  Among the players he has coached include Keenan Allen and Mike Williams (Chargers), Jarvis Landry and Brian Hartline (Miami Dolphins) and Zay Jones (East Carolina who now stars for the Las Vegas Raiders).

Dorrell has a previous relationship with McGeoghan, whom he coached while he was an assistant under Mike Shanahan with the Denver Broncos from 2000-2002.

“I first got to know Phil when he was on the roster with the Broncos and he was in my receivers room,” Dorrell said.  “I remember him as technician of the game, a very detail-oriented guy.  He was someone who you felt that when he was done playing could become a really good coaching candidate in the profession.  He’s done a reputable job at developing players wherever he’s been, and his body of work is very strong.”

“Coach Dorrell was a very good teacher, he was very patient and knew how to develop his players through a positive and calming influence,” McGeoghan recalled about his time with the Broncos.  “There were a lot of talented players in that room, and he always found the right way to reach every player.  Many of us have remained very close to him for the remainder of our lives, someone we could always count on as we grew older and had families and needed advice, whether it was about our careers or our families.  He was always someone who was sincere about caring greatly about his former players.

“I’m very excited about being reunited with coach,” he said.  “I believe it’s always a goal in life to be able to work for people who know you, trust you, and know what you can bring to the table every day.  So it will be a privilege to work for a man who has integrity like Karl, who is obviously very passionate about football.  I love the state of Colorado, so to be reunited with a very special man, in a very exceptional place, to take on a job that I am really excited about doing, it’s going to be special for our family.”

McGeoghan’s naming as receivers coach completes Dorrell’s overhaul of his coaching staff heading into his third season at Colorado.  New offensive coordinator Mike Sanford will coach the quarterback position; other new hires include Rod Chance (cornerbacks), Clay Patterson (tight ends/passing game coordinator), Kyle DeVan (offensive line) and Vic So’oto (defensive line).  Chris Wilson remains as defensive coordinator but will now coach the outside linebackers; Darian Hagan (running backs), Brett Maxie (safeties/defensive passing game coordinator) and Mark Smith (inside linebackers) all return for the 2022 season on Dorrell’s staff.

The first day of CU’s spring practice is tentatively set for Wednesday, March 30, with the spring game on Saturday, April 23.

A Closer Look at Phil McGeoghan

In his three seasons coach receivers for the Chargers, his top threat, Keenan Allen, was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and set numerous franchise records; Allen and Mike Williams both recorded 1,000-yards seasons in 2019.  He was responsible for third down game planning and team presentation (the Chargers were sixth in third downs in 2019, converting at 44.3 percent), and other duties included coverage analysis and analyzing opponent personnel in the secondary.  The ’18 Chargers went 12-4 and advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs.

He spent the 2017 season as the receivers coach for the Buffalo Bills, helping the team finish 9-7 and earn their first playoff berth in 18 years (only the team’s third winning season in that entire span as well).

He had returned to the FBS ranks in college for the 2016 season, where he tutored the receivers at East Carolina University.  His top performer was Zay Jones, who earned first-team All-America honors after leading the NCAA in receptions (158) and receiving yards (1,746), also leading in per game averages for those categories (13.2 and 145.5, respectively).  It set the nation’s record for receptions and the American Athletic Conference mark for yards.  A finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, he was a second round pick (37th player overall) by Buffalo in the 2017 NFL Draft (and whom McGeoghan would coach as a rookie in the league).

McGeoghan’s first NFL position came with the Miami Dolphins under head coach Joe Philbin for the 2012-15 seasons, finishing in the top third in the league in passing yards three of those four years.  His top players were 1,000-yard receivers Jarvis Landry and Brian Hartline; Landry set the franchise record with 110 receptions in 2015 when he was selected to the Pro Bowl, a year after he set the Dolphin record for receptions by a rookie (84).  Hartline had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2012 and 2013, just the second player in franchise history to accomplish the feat.  His receiving corps in 2013 was the No. 1 NFL unit in ball security, with no fumbles in 227 receptions.

His first collegiate job on the FBS level came at the University of South Florida, where he coached the Bulls’ receivers for three seasons (2009-11) and had his first real experience in recruiting, where he covered both Florida and Georgia.  He coached the three leading receivers at the time in USF history, Andre Davis (who is still first), Dontavia Bogan and Carlton Mitchell, all of whom eventually played in the NFL.

A four-year letterman at wide receiver in college, first as a freshman at Boston University in 1997 and then three times for the University of Maine.  He finished his career following the 2000 season, he was fifth on the school’s all-time list for receptions (161) as well as receiving yards (2,343), scoring 13 touchdowns.  He was the recipient of the Black Bears’ Jack Butterfield Outstanding Offensive Player award as a junior and the Woody Carville Senior Achievement Award.  As a member of Maine’s track and field team, he set the record in the high jump for the American East Conference, the state of Maine and New England with a leap of 7-foot-1/4 inch.  He was inducted into Maine’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018.

He signed with the New York Jets as a free agent ahead of the 2001 season, but had not yet finished his degree; after he was done playing professional football in which he spent with the Jets, Broncos, New Orleans Saints and the Oakland Raiders as well as in Europe with the Berlin Thunder, he returned to Maine as the school’s wide receivers and tight ends coach in 2007.  He then completed his requirements for his bachelor’s degree in Marketing, which he was awarded in 2008.  After graduating, he served as the offensive coordinator at the Naval Academy Preparatory School that fall before moving on to USF.

A native of Agawam, Mass., he graduated from Agawam High School, where he lettered in football and was an All-American in track and field; he finished third in the nation in the high jump as a junior and senior (6-foot-11 best as a prep).  He is married to the former Tori Schmitz and couple has two children, son Knox and daughter Morgan. (Last name is pronounced mick-gaig-in; gaig as in craig.)


 2007 Maine Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
 2008 Naval Academy Prep Offensive Coordinator
 2009-11 South Florida Wide Receivers
 2012-15 Miami Dolphins (NFL) Wide Receivers
 2016 East Carolina Wide Receivers
 2017 Buffalo Bills (NFL) Wide Receivers
 2018-20 Los Angeles Chargers (NFL) Wide Receivers



January 15th

Chip Kelly signs a four-year extension with UCLA

From ESPN … UCLA and head football coach Chip Kelly have agreed on a four-year contract extension through the 2025 season, the school announced Friday.

“This new contract represents the commitment, stability and investment needed to continue the upward trajectory of our football program,” athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement. “Since joining UCLA, our football team’s winning percentage has increased every year, including increased momentum in recruiting and strategic use of the transfer portal.”

The extension comes a day before Kelly’s buyout was set to drop to $0, as he entered the final year of his initial deal. The new contract will pay Kelly an average of $4.7 million annually, a source told ESPN. His salary in 2021 was $5.6 million.

UCLA has posted a 18-25 record in Kelly’s four years. The Bruins’ 8-4 record in 2021 was their first winning season since Kelly replaced former coach Jim Mora in 2018.

“We are extremely appreciative of the entire UCLA administration for their support of our football program,” Kelly said in a statement. “We have a tremendous amount of gratitude for our players and staff. Their tireless work, and commitment to our vision has built a great foundation. We are excited to continue to build this program into something that makes the UCLA fanbase proud.”

Kelly confirmed last month that he was in touch with his former employer, Oregon, about its head-coaching vacancy after Mario Cristobal left Eugene for Miami.


January 11th

Eric Bieniemy once again on short lists to fill open NFL head coaching positions

From CBS Sports … The Chicago Bears moved on from head coach Matt Nagy after four seasons at the helm. While Nagy didn’t have a losing season until this year and had two playoff appearances in his first three seasons, his handling of Mitchell Trubisky and Justin Fields ultimately led to the end of his tenure in Chicago.

Chicago also fired general manager Ryan Pace, so it will be a clean slate for a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game since the 2010 season. The Bears do have a young quarterback in Fields that’s heading into his second season and a crop of young offensive talent led by David Montgomery and Darnell Mooney. Chicago’s defense — led by Roquan Smith — finished sixth in yards allowed this season, so this is a franchise that can turn things around quickly (if Fields can be developed right).

The Bears are in a major market and in the NFC North, which isn’t very good outside of the Green Bay Packers. The Minnesota Vikings just cleaned out their front office and coaching staff while the Detroit Lions are in the midst of a rebuild, so there’s an opportunity to win immediately.

With the Bears one of six teams searching for a new head coach, here are the top candidates for Chicago’s vacancy.

Eric Bieniemy

The Bears shouldn’t shy away from the Andy Reid tree just because Nagy floundered. There are plenty of successful coaches that were assistants under Reid and Bieniemy looks primed to be the next one if given the opportunity.

Bieniemy’s resume speaks for itself. The Chiefs have scored the most points per game in the NFL (30.3) since Bieniemy became the offensive coordinator in 2018, along with the most yards per game (404.2). Kansas City also has the best record in the NFL during Bieniemy’s run, going 50-15 with three conference championship game appearances and a Super Bowl title in the 2019 season. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes also has the most passing yards, passing touchdowns, and the second-highest passer rating since the start of the 2018 season.

Bieniemy would do wonders with young quarterback like Justin Fields and would put a talented staff around him — aiding in his development. This is a perfect opportunity for Bieniemy to install his offensive game plan with an offense surrounded with young talent.

Read full story here


January 10th

Report: This could be Chip Kelly’s last week at UCLA

From … Remember this: Chip Kelly’s buyout at UCLA goes to zero dollars next Sunday, Jan. 16. There is plenty of speculation already circulating through the Pac-12 football community that Kelly is not entirely safe and secure for 2022, based on that one big fact. We have seen coaches get fired in mid-January before. It’s not unheard of. It isn’t the normal process anymore, given the early signing period in December and the attached need to save recruiting classes, but buyout economics are still a big part of the timing of coaching decisions. Kelly’s buyout situation invites natural speculation surrounding his job status.

Monday morning, something happened which could alter the calculus even more. To be more precise, the calculus might have shifted substantially against Chip Kelly at UCLA.

Tweet from Pete Thamel … Ohio State is hiring UCLA OC/OLine coach Justin Frye, per sources.

If you talk to UCLA fans and insiders, Justin Frye was probably the best assistant on Kelly’s staff. UCLA did have a very good offensive line, one of the best units on the team. UCLA’s offensive line used to be the Bruins’ weakness. Frye turned it into a strength.

One could make the argument that Frye as Chip Kelly’s replacement, with different defensive coaches, might have represented an upgrade. That’s a debatable but legitimate claim to make.

Now, with Frye reportedly headed to Ohio State, UCLA Athletic Director Martin Jarmond and those above him in UCLA’s leadership structure have a real choice on their hands.

Continue reading story here


January 9th

Karl Dorrell adds Clay Patterson (TE/Passing Game Coordinator) to staff

Press Release from … University of Colorado head football coach Karl Dorrell announced on Sunday that he has added Clay Patterson to his staff as tight ends/passing game coordinator.

As with all hires of this nature, it is subject to the approval of CU’s Board of Regents.

Patterson, 39, is joining the CU staff from the University of Minnesota, where he coached the tight ends the past four seasons.  The last two years he worked under Mike Sanford, who Dorrell named as CU’s new offensive coordinator on Dec. 17.  The versatile Gopher tight ends played a vital role in Minnesota’s offense, from robust blocking in the running game to thriving when their number was called in the passing game.

“Before accepting the position at Minnesota, Clay’s background and experience was well documented in highly productive offenses,” Dorrell said.  “His knowledge with passing game concepts over his career will be a big benefit for us as we build a successful offense here at Colorado.”

“My wife Ashley and I are very thankful for Karl Dorrell and Rick George for the opportunity to come to Boulder and coach at the University of Colorado,” Patterson said.  “Coach Dorrell is an outstanding football coach and man – I am very excited to work for and learn from him.  When the opportunity to continue to work with Mike Sanford (CU’s new offensive coordinator) and build an offense together came up, I was thrilled.  Mike is great to work with and he has an excellent offensive mind.”

Dorrell also confirmed Wednesday that Bryan Cook (tight ends), Danny Langsdorf (quarterbacks) and Brian Michalowski (outside linebackers) have not been retained.  He still needs to complete one final hire to fill out his full-time staff.

A Closer Look at Clay Patterson

This past season, he coached Ko Kieft, who was one of the top-rated tight ends by Pro Football Focus, as he was one of three in the nation that earned 80-plus grades both as a receiver and run-blocker.  In 2020, behind the offensive line and UM’s bruising tight ends, Mohamed Ibrahim set school records in rushing yards per game (153.7), consecutive 100-yard games (8) and touchdowns in consecutive games (8).  In 2019, Minnesota’s tight ends excelled under Patterson as they were part of one of the most prolific offenses in school history.  The Gophers amassed 5,616 yards of total offense (the school’s third-most ever), threw for a school record 3,293 yards and scored their second-most points (443) in the modern era.

During Patterson’s time on the Minnesota staff, the Gophers were 30-16 and were undefeated in three bowl games, winning the 2018 Quick Lane over Georgia Tech, the 2020 Outback over Auburn and the 2021 Guaranteed Rate over West Virginia.

Patterson took his first FBS position at Minnesota after serving as the head coach at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, where he led the Norsemen to a 14-8 record.  After going 5-5 in his first season, NO A&M went 9-3 and claimed its first Southwest Junior College Football Conference (SWJCFC) title since 2003, along with playing in its first bowl game since 2012.  Patterson was named as the conference’s coach of the years, as his team was an offensive powerhouse in averaging 524.5 yards per game (253.8 rushing, 270.6 passing) and 36.2 points per game.

He had previously spent three years (2013-15) as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas.  He helped coach the team to five SWJCFC championships (three regular season and two playoff crowns), in addition to a pair of Heart of Texas Bowl championships.  In 2015, his offense broke the all-time yards per game record at any level of football, averaging an astounding 656.1 yards per game.  His 2014 team set two other National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) records for total plays and yards in a single season (938 and 7,778, respectively).  In 35 games on the Trinity staff (30-5 record), his offenses scored 50 or more points 23 times (13 60-plus and eight of 70 or more), overall averaging 54 points and 604 yards per game.

Patterson was the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M University-Kingsville for six seasons (2007-12) before heading to Trinity Valley. His Javelina offense broke 28 individual and 17 team passing records, as it claimed a share of the Lone Star Conference championship in 2009 and made two playoff appearances.  He had arrived at Kingsville after coaching the receivers for one year (2006) at Tarleton State.

As a player, he was a tight end at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M for the 1999 and 2000 seasons before finishing his career at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, where he played wide receiver the following two seasons and earned his bachelor’s degree in Health, Human Performance and Recreation in 2003.  He began his coaching career later that year as the Savage Storm’s wide receiver coach, where he spent three seasons while earning his master’s degree in Education Technology in 2005.

A native of Morris, Okla., he lettered in football and basketball at Morris High School.  He is married to the former Ashley Holt.


 2003-05 Southeastern Oklahoma Wide Receivers
 2006 Tarleton State Wide Receivers
 2007-12 Texas A&M-Kingsville Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
 2013-15 Trinity Valley CC Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
 2016-17 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Head Coach
 2018-21 Minnesota Tight Ends


January 5th

Grading Pac-12 Hires: Only one school in four gets an “A”

From CBS Sports … Blink and you missed the latest coaching carousel. Twenty-eight schools changed coaches in a 99-day period. Compare that to the 2020-21 hiring cycle when 18 changes took more than 10 months to complete. (Ohio’s Frank Solich retired last July.)

Changes were so fast and furious in 2021 that at least one school fired a coach and then hired a replacement within the regular season (Georgia Southern swapping Chad Lunsford for Clay Helton.) Thirteen schools that changed coaches were bowl-eligible.

The only certainty is that the landscape of college football will change further. Three of the Pac-12’s most traditional powers will all have new coaches: USC, Washington, Oregon. Brian Kelly changed jobs, cultures and accents in leaving Notre Dame for LSU. Florida has its third full-time coach since 2014. Almost half of the 28 coaches hired (13) are first-time program leaders.

Change is here to stay. In the last three offseasons, 67 schools have hired new coaches. That’s more than half of FBS.

USC … Lincoln Riley … A+ … As sudden and swift as Riley left Oklahoma, out on the West Coast the prospects at USC improved in a heartbeat. Riley carries the future of not only USC but the Pac-12 in his playbook. The league’s flagship program will start keeping California five-stars home. Riley has the coaching chops to move the Trojans back to the top. It was bit unnerving (for OU loyalists) when Riley said, “This was too good to pass up.” It made Oklahoma look like a stepping stone. USC looked forward to a limitless future.

Oregon … Dan Lanning … B … After considering the implications of hiring Chip Kelly, AD Rob Mullens focused on the 35-year-old coordinator of the best defense in the country. Shortly after playing for the national title on Monday, Lanning will head to Eugene, Oregon. The cupboard is loaded from four straight top 13 recruiting classes per 247Sports from 2018-21.

Washington State … Jake Dickert … B … The Cougars defensive coordinator was picked as interim coach when Nick Rolovich flushed his career and disowned his players by refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The move kept the players emotionally attached to a current staffer. Dickert had a certain charisma, going 3-3 down the stretch during tremendous upheaval. He’s the perfect pick for a program that always punches above its weight class. I don’t know if AD Pat Chun could have done better with a protracted search for a sitting coach.

Washington … Kalen DeBoer … B- … Jimmy Lake was suspended then fired in November in a dizzying turn following a sideline altercation with a player. AD Jen Cohen is on the hook for Lake’s $9.9 million buyout plus DeBoer’s $16.5 million salary (over five years). That’s a bargain in the current overpriced market. DeBoer has one year of Power Five experience (Indiana offensive coordinator, 2019) but plenty of promise. A short, quick stop at Fresno State yielded a 12-6 record over two years.

Others hires of note … 

Miami … Mario Cristobal … A … It only took the UM administration 20 years to figure out, if you want to be like the SEC, you must spend like the SEC. It went out and got Cristobal, who was a recruiting force at Alabama and reinvigorated Oregon. Cristobal, reportedly making $80 million over 10 years, won two national titles at Miami as a player. He is motivated to see the Hurricanes get back to their glory having grown up and played in South Florida. The Canes under Cristobal will be physical in both lines, for starters.

TCU (CU 2022-23 opponent) … Sonny Dykes … B … As ugly as the process may have been — Gary Patterson forced out to get in front of Texas Tech for the services of Dykes — these are desperate times in Fort Worth. TCU wants to remain competitive in the reconstituted Big 12. Dykes comes over from one of the Horned Frogs’ biggest rivals with a proven track record of winning. His record at SMU (33-17) was the best of any coach since the death penalty. At a key point in its history, TCU is committed to spending big to stay relevant in the new Big 12.

Colorado State … Jay Norvell … B … Pretty much anyone would have been an upgrade over Steve Addazio. Norvell made what, at first glance, looks like a lateral move from Nevada. But Colorado State has one of the best on-campus stadiums in the West, and given the surrounding talent, should be able to challenge for Mountain West crowns.

Georgia Southern … Clay Helton … C+ … Helton went 46-24 at USC and wasn’t nearly good enough. If he goes 46-24 at Georgia Southern, they might make him school president. Helton ran the Air Raid at USC, so it will be interesting see which way the Eagles head offensively. The eight-year-old FBS program has an option tradition.

Florida International … Mike MacIntyre … C+ … Mac has been a turnaround master at both San Jose State and Colorado, winning 10 games at both places. Given his talents and the fluid nature of Conference USA, there is nowhere to go but up. The Panthers have lost 19 of their last 21 games.

Read full story here


January 3rd

Not done yet? Report: QB Danny Langsdorf hired by Temple as OC/QB coach

Tweet from Bruce Feldman … SOURCE: Temple is expected to hire Colorado QB coach Danny Langsdorf as the Owls new offensive coordinator and QB coach. Langsdorf has over a decade of Power 5 coordinator experience and also was an NFL quarterback coach with the Giants and Eli Manning.

CU back down to ten assistants: Outside linebackers coach Brian Michalowski will not be retained

From the Daily Camera … Last week, the Colorado football program bolstered its defensive coaching staff, but that left one coach as the odd man out.

On Monday, a source confirmed that Brian Michalowski, the Buffaloes’ outside linebackers coach the past three seasons, will not be retained.

Michalowski was hired at CU by former Buffs head coach Mel Tucker on Jan. 7, 2019, as the director of quality control for defense. About a month later, Tucker elected to promote Michalowski to a full-time assistant position, coaching the outside linebackers.

A year later, Tucker left CU for Michigan State and his replacement, Karl Dorrell, chose to keep Michalowski on board.

Now, Dorrell is going in a different direction.

Nearly two weeks ago, cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin left CU for the same position at Oregon. Dorrell responded last week by hiring two new defensive coaches: Rod Chance (cornerbacks) and Vic So’oto (defensive line). Chance came to CU from Oregon and So’oto from USC.

When So’oto was hired, CU announced that defensive coordinator/defensive line coach Chris Wilson would coach a different position yet to be determined.  With Michalowski not returning, it’s possible Wilson will coach the outside linebackers.

Continue reading story here

While not fully announced, here is a possible breakdown of the CU coaching staff in 2022 …

OC/WR: Mike Sanford
PGC/QB: Danny Langsdorf
RB: Darian Hagan
TE: Bryan Cook
OL: Kyle DeVan

ILB: Mark Smith
DC/OLB: Chris Wilson
DL: Vic So’oto
CB: Rod Chance
S: Brett Maxie


January 1st

UCLA may be two weeks away from parting ways with Chip Kelly

From the San Jose Mercury News … Four Pac-12 football programs experienced coaching changes during one of the most chaotic stretches in recent conference history, but there could be more upheaval to come.

On January 16, UCLA might be in the market for a head coach to replace Chip Kelly.

Don’t be fooled by the eight-win season, the turn of the calendar or the general lack of rumor and speculation. Kelly’s situation is anything but settled.

To be clear: We believe it’s more likely than not that Kelly will coach the Bruins next season. But by no means is his return guaranteed, according to sources familiar with the situation.

As of today, in fact, Kelly is a lame duck.

The 2021 season ended Tuesday, when the Bruins pulled out of the Holiday Bowl because of COVID. Today is effectively the first day of 2022 for the program. It’s also the fifth and final season covered by Kelly’s contract.

The Bruins have discussed an extension with Kelly and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, but nothing has been signed.

The mere fact that Kelly has entered lame duck territory is all the evidence required to understand the fragile state of affairs.

The next two weeks will be tense. On Jan. 16, the $9 million buyout in Kelly’s contract drops to zero. At that point, he could walk away from UCLA, or the school could cut him loose.

Continue reading story here


December 31st

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU coaching staff for 2022? (CU has 11 assistants; NCAA allows 10)

While not fully announced, here is a possible breakdown of the CU coaching staff in 2022 …

OC/WR(?): Mike Sanford
PGC/QB: Danny Langsdorf
RB: Darian Hagan
TE: Bryan Cook
OL: Kyle DeVan

ILB: Mark Smith
OLB: Brian Michalowski
DL: Vic So’oto
CB: Rod Chance
S: Brett Maxie

The problem? Not on the list is defensive coordinator Chris Wilson. This leaves 11 assistant coaches, when teams are only allowed ten. Will one of the above be let go? Will one of these coaches be asked to assume an analyst role?

Stay tuned …

Rod Chance named CU’s Cornerbacks coach: “He’s known as a developer, a strong recruiter”

Press release from … University of Colorado head football coach Karl Dorrell announced on Friday the addition of Rod Chance to his staff as the Buffaloes’ new cornerbacks coach.

As with all hires of this nature, it is subject to the approval of CU’s Board of Regents.

Chance, 37, wrapped up two seasons as cornerbacks coach at the University of Oregon on Wednesday night in the Valero Alamo Bowl against Oklahoma.  He first crossed paths with Dorrell at Vanderbilt University in 2014, when he was in defensive quality control and Dorrell the Commodores’ offensive coordinator.

“Rod comes to us as a coach that can develop our corners and impact our defense right away,” Dorrell said.  “He is known as a developer, a strong recruiter and has the defensive knowledge to help our secondary improve and play at a high level.”

“I’m excited and privileged to join such a great staff of good people,” Chance said.  “I am looking forward to get right to work and help the foundation that’s being built in Boulder.  At Vanderbilt, I had the privilege of learning and developing under Coach Dorrell and Coach (Brett) Maxie (CU’s secondary coach) and it’s exciting to be reuniting with them.  I want to thank coach and athletic director Rick George for having the faith in me for this opportunity.”

A Closer Look at Rod Chance

Chance has coached seven seasons at Power 5 schools in three conferences (Pac-12, SEC and Big Ten) with experience both as a defensive backs coach and a defensive coordinator.  He completed two seasons at Oregon under head coach Mario Cristobal, with the Ducks winning the Pac-12 title in 2020 and the league’s North Division in 2021.  He actually returned to Oregon after spending the 2019 coaching the cornerbacks at Minnesota.  He was a defensive analyst for Oregon in 2018.

In his second stint in Eugene, Chance helped the Ducks to their second straight Pac-12 Conference championship and a berth in the 2021 Fiesta Bowl opposite Iowa State.  He had the task of coaching the cornerbacks in a secondary that lost three of its starters to opt-outs because of COVID-19, including corner Thomas Graham Jr., a three-year starter.  The Ducks were 14-7 in his last two seasons, which also included the Pac-12 North Division title and a berth against Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl.

Despite the absence of Graham, Chance coached a pair of corners in 2020 that earned All-Pac-12 honors.  Mykael Wright, Graham’s replacement, claimed first-team recognition from the Associated Press and the league coaches after leading the Pac-12 in passes defended with nine (1.29 per game).  Deommodore Lenoir earned second-team honors from both AP and the coaches.

Lenoir joined three other Oregon defensive backs selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.  San Francisco selected him in the fifth round, while opt-outs Graham, Jevon Holland and Brady Breeze all were drafted.  Chance had coached Graham (Chicago, sixth round) and safeties Holland (Miami, second round) and Breeze (Tennessee, sixth round) during the 2018 season when he was an analyst.  That season, Chance brought his defensive coordinator experience to Oregon’s staff.  The defense continued its steady improvement and helped the Ducks a 9-4 record, capped by a 7-6 win over Michigan State in the Redbox Bowl, the second-fewest points surrendered by Oregon in the school’s bowl history.

Oregon’s youthful secondary was a big part of the improvement on the defensive side of the ball that year.  The Ducks tied for 11th nationally with 17 interceptions (four returned for touchdowns).  Oregon was one of two teams that saw four players intercept three or more passes.  Seattle selected safety Ugochukwu Amadi in the fourth round of the 2019 draft, thus totaling five players in all that Chance coached who would go on to the NFL.

In his one season at Minnesota, he helped the Gopher defense finish No. 9 nationally against the pass for in 2019.  Minnesota finished 11-2, shared the Big Ten’s West Division title, defeated Auburn in the Outback Bowl and finished No. 10 in final Associated Press poll, the school’s highest finish since 1962.  As cornerbacks coach, he saw the Gophers improve from 51st to ninth in passing defense, with much of the credit going to starting cornerback duo of Coney Durr and Benjamin St-Juste, who both earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors.  His guidance also helped Minnesota’s defense finish tied for 10th nationally in passing touchdowns allowed (14), tied for eighth in fewest 20-yard pass plays allowed (30) and tied for 17th with 14 interceptions.

He originally joined Oregon from Southern Utah University, where he was the defensive coordinator for two seasons (20-16-17).  In 2017, Chance’s defensive unit finished third in the Big Sky Conference in scoring defense and forced 29 turnovers (including 15 interceptions) to help lead SUU to a 9-3 record and the league championship.  Over his two seasons in Cedar City, 11 different players earned Big Sky All-Conference honors, including three first-teamers.  In 2017, cornerback Jalen Russell was named a Freshman All-American by Phil Steele’s College Football.

His first coaching opportunity in the collegiate ranks came at Rhode Island, his alma mater, for spring practices in 2013, where he coached and developed the cornerbacks.  He had an opportunity to jump from the FCS to the FBS later that year, and joined the Vanderbilt University staff as an offensive quality control analyst for the 2013 season.

He was hired by James Franklin at Vanderbilt, and worked daily with the offensive line and assisted in all on-campus recruiting efforts.  After Franklin left for Penn State, Derek Mason took over the program in 2014 and retained Chance but switched him into defensive quality control.  At Vandy, he was involved in the daily development of the secondary, with particular emphasis with the cornerbacks.  Over his two seasons with the Commodores, he gained invaluable experience in several areas involving the secondary and defense overall.

Chance soon went into teaching after his playing days, first as a long-term substitute at his high school alma mater in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.  It is also where he started his road down the coaching profession at Alpharetta (Ga.) High School.  Over the course of four seasons there (2009-2012), he was the offensive and defensive coordinator for the football team, while coaching the defensive backs and wide receivers; in addition, he was the head track coach and assistant boys basketball coach.  Following the 2012 season, 12 players from Alpharetta signed letters-of-intent with Division I programs, with several joining Power 5 schools.  In the classroom, he was a special education teacher in math and science, where he developed lesson plans and implemented individualized education plans.

Chance graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies in 2005.  He was a four-year starter at cornerback, finishing his career with 108 tackles, 11 interceptions and nine pass deflections.  A team captain as a senior in 2005, he was voted URI’s Defensive Back of the Year that same season.  In his final semester, he worked as an intern in the Ram’s media relations office.

A native of Fort Lauderdale, he enjoyed a standout prep career at the city’s St. Thomas Aquinas High School, as he lettered in football, basketball and track.  He had two summer minority internships with NFL teams, with the Tennessee Titans in 2014 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018, and was selected to the AFCA “35 Under 35” Coaches Leadership Institute in 2020.  Prior to entering the teaching profession, he was the athletic coordinator for the City of Atlanta.


2009-12Alpharetta (Ga.) High SchoolDefensive Backs/Wide Receivers/Special Teams
2013Rhode IslandCornerbacks
2013VanderbiltQuality Control/Offense
2014-15VanderbiltQuality Control/Defense
2016-17Southern UtahDefensive Coordinator
2018OregonDefensive Analyst/Secondary


Getting to Know Vic So’oto: “He helps us come into our own”

From The Athletic … So’oto drew some laughs back in March (2020) during his introductory meeting with the media as USC’s defensive line coach. He told reporters he followed new Trojans defensive coordinator Todd Orlando on Twitter the day of the Super Bowl after he saw USC had some assistant openings and sent him a message.

“Vic told me, ‘I think I’m going to message him,’” his wife, Ashley, remembered. “ … I was like, ‘OK, Vic, you go get ’em. You go get USC and you go tell me.’ I was almost being a little sarcastic when he meant that because I was like, ‘Come on. Stop.’”

Ashley grew up in Porterville, Calif., and is just as familiar with USC’s place in the region as So’oto, who shared a hometown with USC legend Junior Seau. She thought he was aiming a bit too high.

Then Orlando messaged him back.

“Vic was like, ‘You didn’t believe. You didn’t believe,’” Ashley said. “You’re right. I wasn’t a believer in that moment and he reminds me all the time. When he responded back, my jaw dropped like, ‘What?’ I learned my lesson. Just let him go.”

Things moved quickly from there. So’oto and Orlando talked on the phone after the Super Bowl that night, and the message was clear: Orlando was looking for the best of the best and wanted someone who was passionate and saw it as more than a job.

So’oto flew to Los Angeles for his interview. Ashley felt things were going well when Orlando was comfortable enough to ask her for some of her pizza at dinner. And Orlando knew So’oto was their guy before the interview was even over.

“We, obviously, had not worked with him but done enough research on him,” Orlando said. “And had an opportunity when we brought him up here to do his interview to go out there on the field to work with him a little bit to get an overall sense. We knew we had our guy the second we got out of there.”

Within 10 days or so, USC had a new defensive line coach. Of course, a conversation with Mendenhall had to take place first.

So’oto’s family had grown close with the other football families in Virginia. Opportunities had come up for So’oto in previous years, but he had stayed. He and Mendenhall had had several discussions about his career before, and Mendenhall knew this day would come at some point.

“Both Vic and Ashley are California people,” Mendenhall said. “Ashley’s passion is the beach, and she’s happiest on the planet when she’s near the water. That reason alone is worth it. If your wife and spouse is just vibrant and alive when she’s near the ocean, and has dreams for her kids to be raised up that way, it made complete sense. So great opportunity for both of them, not only professionally but for their family.”

So’oto is closer to his parents now. His five children are able to have a relationship with their grandparents. And Ashley loves Los Angeles.

But the job itself has presented plenty of challenges. Within a month of So’oto’s introduction, USC shut down spring practice. Coaches in new roles around the country had to get creative in getting to know their players during a pandemic. Then the Pac-12 called off its fall football season in August. A few weeks later, Jay Tufele opted out of a potential spring season and entered the 2021 NFL Draft, taking the best defensive lineman off USC’s roster.

So’oto is still holding his group to a high standard. Marlon Tuipulotu has taken a leap this season and looks like one of the most dominant defensive linemen on the West Coast. Nick Figueroa was more of a rotation player last year but is now making big plays on a weekly basis, recording three sacks against Washington State. True freshman Tuli Tuipulotu, a three-star prospect in high school, has become a contributor already. And Caleb Tremblay has been solid in an expanded role. The Trojans enter the weekend 21st in the FBS in sacks per game.

“As a Samoan kid in Oceanside, you’re preached to about your last name and bringing honor to your last name,” So’oto said. “That’s kind of how I feel with all these players. You run out there, your last name is on the back of your jersey. You’re representing your family, but you’re also representing mine. I’m going to treat them like I was coaching my sons.”

“Coach So’oto comes in every day, same guy, so I know what to expect,” Figueroa said. “I think he’s been a beacon of consistency for our D-line and that’s helped us perform. Obviously, (he) coaches at a really high level, brings a lot of juice to practice and games, and I think that’s really helped us come into our own, position-wise.”

Over the next few weeks, So’oto will be one of the program’s most important figures. On Saturday, the Trojans take on UCLA at the Rose Bowl, where a win would clinch them the Pac-12 South title. The Bruins average 227.6 rushing yards per game and might present the biggest challenge of the season for USC’s defensive line. The early signing period for the Class of 2021 begins on Wednesday. So’oto is one of the lead recruiters, alongside cornerbacks coach Donte Williams, in USC’s pursuit of five-star defensive lineman Korey Foreman. Oregon has signed California’s top-rated player in each of the past two recruiting cycles (Kayvon Thibodeaux in 2019, Justin Flowe in 2020), and USC could send a big message by landing Foreman.

When So’oto first spoke with the USC media in March, he got a lot of attention for talking about the violent, physical mindset he wanted to bring to the defense. What went relatively unnoticed was his comment that the best players in Southern California leaving the region and not signing with USC, which happened at an unprecedented rate last recruiting cycle, was a “travesty.”

If the Trojans actually want to “take back the West,” to quote their recruiting mantra from earlier this year, it has to start with Foreman, who is also considering Clemson, Arizona State, Georgia and LSU.

“A lot of it is just what we’re doing on the field,” So’oto said. “I think once they have seen the success we’re having on the field, especially as a defensive line, with Coach Orlando’s defense and how multiple it is and how fun it is. … I think that’s our biggest calling card. Just turn the film on. A lot could be said during recruiting, but I like to show them what they’re going to do and show them the plan by the guys we have now. Guys leaving the state, it blows my mind. Hopefully we keep this going and it’ll be an easier decision for someone to decide to stay here because it’ll be a lot of fun and we hit quarterbacks like crazy and get tackles for loss. That’s the plan.”

“I always joke Vic is the Most Improved in Life right now,” Ashley said. “Whatever energy he had that was getting in trouble, he really learned how to shift that into something productive, into coaching. That same thing he talks a lot about, that violent mentality.

“I just don’t think there’s any other job that would allow him to do what he does.”

Read full story here


December 30th

… CU in a few minutes … 

So’oto: “Teaching and building are my passions”

From the Daily Camera … Former Southern California defensive line coach Vic So’oto is coming to Boulder.

On Thursday, Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell announced he has hired So’oto to coach the Buffaloes’ defensive line.

So’oto, 34, is a former NFL player who spent the past two seasons coaching the defensive line at USC. He was not retained by new Trojans coach Lincoln Riley, however.

“I am excited to become a part of Karl Dorrell’s staff at the University of Colorado,” So’oto said in a press release. “Teaching and building are my passions and I can’t wait to get started in Boulder.”

… Dorrell jumped at the chance to get So’oto, an up-and-coming position coach who has a good reputation as a recruiter on the West Coast.

“Vic is an impressive young coach,” Dorrell said.  “He is a great communicator, teacher and developer who relates very well with his players.   His body of work speaks volumes, and I know our players will gravitate to his teaching style.”

Read full story here

Press Release CU adds new defensive line coach: Vic So’oto

 Press release from … University of Colorado head football coach Karl Dorrell announced on Thursday that he has added Vic So’oto to his staff as defensive line coach.

As with all hires of this nature, it is subject to the approval of CU’s Board of Regents.

So’oto, 34, is joining the Colorado program from the University of Southern California, where he coached the Trojan’s defensive line the past two seasons (and the outside linebackers last fall) and was one of USC’s top recruiters.

“Vic is an impressive young coach,” Dorrell said.  “He is a great communicator, teacher and developer who relates very well with his players.   His body of work speaks volumes, and I know our players will gravitate to his teaching style.”

“I am excited to become a part of Karl Dorrell’s staff at the University of Colorado,” So’oto said.  “Teaching and building are my passions and I can’t wait to get started in Boulder.”

Chris Wilson will continue as CU’s defensive coordinator, but will switch from coaching the defensive line to a position to be determined.

So’oto, who played three years in the National Football League, coached defensive lines on the FBS level the last five seasons, two at Southern California and three at Virginia.  A fast-riser in the profession, he earned his first full-time position just two years after retiring from professional football.

In 2020, he coached defensive lineman Marlon Tuipulotu, who earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors and went on to be drafted in the sixth round by the Philadelphia Eagles; two others earned All-Conference accolades, Drake Jackson (second-team) and Nick Figueroa (honorable mention).  Another of his players, Tuli Tuipulotu, was named a 2020 second-team Freshman All-American and was a first-team All-Pac-12 performer as a sophomore in 2021, when Jackson repeated as a second-teamer.  He also recruiting and signed who many rated as the nation’s top recruit, defensive lineman Korey Foreman from Corona, Calif., in USC’s 2021 class.

In his three years (2017-19) coaching Virginia’s defensive line under head coach Bronco Mendenhall (his college head coach as a player), UVA’s defense ranked high nationally in several statistical categories.  In 2019, when the Cavaliers won the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division and earned a berth against Florida in the Orange Bowl, UVA was ninth nationally in sacks (3.3) and 22nd in tackles for loss (7.1).  In 2018, Virginia was 20th in the NCAA in total defense (330.5) and 21st in scoring defense (20.1), as well as 12th in passing efficiency defense (107.6) and 16th in pass defense (183.0).  Virginia defeated South Carolina in the Belk Bowl, 28-0, the first time an SEC team was shut out in a bowl by a non-SEC school since 1975.  In 2017, UVA’s pass defense was seventh in the nation (165.8) when the Cavaliers lost to Navy in the Military Bowl.

So’oto began his coaching career as a defensive graduate assistant at Virginia in 2016, where he took postgraduate courses in Business Administration.  In 2015, he was a football intern at Brigham Young, his alma mater, when the Cougars finished 9-4 and played rival Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl.

So’oto was a four-year (2005-07-09-10) letterman at BYU where he began his career as a tight end and finished his final three seasons on defense (linebacker and defensive end); he earned first-team All-Mountain West honors as a senior.  During his career, he suffered two season-ending injuries (in 2006 and 2008) and was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA.  He had 12 receptions for 124 yards on offense, and on defense, he recorded 65 tackles (16 for losses including six quarterback sacks), along with two forced fumbles and an interception.  He earned his bachelor’s degree in Geography from BYU in 2010.

So’oto played linebacker in the NFL, signing as an undrafted free agent with the Green Bay Packers, where he spent the better part of two seasons (2011-12).  He also played with the Oakland Raiders (2012), Washington Redskins (2012) and Arizona Cardinals (2013).  At Green Bay, two of his teammates included former Buffaloes Mason Crosby and Brad Jones.  He also was picked up briefly by the New Orleans Saints in 2013 and Pittsburgh Steelers in 2014, but did not make the regular season roster.

A second cousin of the late Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau, he played football and volleyball at Carlsbad (Calif.) High School.  He is married to the former Ashley Moea’i, and the couple has five children, daughters Fia and Ave, and sons Tre, Samson and Mack.  He was selected by the American Football Coaches Association to its 2020 35 Under 35 Coaches Leadership Institute.  (Last name is pronounced so-oh-toe)


2015            Brigham Young                         Intern

2016            Virginia                                       Graduate Assistant/Defense

2017-19     Virginia                                       Defensive Line

2020            Southern California                 Defensive Line

2021            Southern California                 Defensive Line/Outside Linebackers


December 14th 

Former Buff George Frazier joins Mike MacIntyre’s staff at FIU

From … George Frazier, a former University of Colorado player with previous stints working at the high school ranks, as well as at Ole Miss and Memphis, is leaving Jason Simpson’s UT-Martin staff to join Mike MacIntyre’s inaugural Florida International Staff, multiple sources told FootballScoop on Tuesday.

Frazier, who spent the past two years with the Skyhawks’ program and helped the team to an unprecedented season this fall, played at Colorado under MacIntyre and joins fellow Colorado alum and MacIntyre’s son, Jay, in helping to fill out some of the positions on the Panthers’ new staff.

Twice a captain under MacIntyre at Colorado, Frazier immediately helped bolster the Skyhawks’ defensive line in both the COVID-19-shortened spring season and during this most recent 11-win campaign that culminated with UTM’s advancement to the second round of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

Continue reading story here

The Athletic: Winners (USC) and Losers (Oregon) on Coaching Carousel

From The Athletic … The college football head-coaching carousel has nearly come to a stop, so let’s take a step back and assess the new landscape.

It’s been three months since the first head coach was fired in this cycle (Clay Helton at USC) and less than three weeks since the regular season ended. There have been 28 head coaching changes, with Temple as the last job open, for now, and seismic changes at some of the sport’s most prolific programs.



The Trojans are cool again, and it’s been a long time since we’ve been able to say that. Mike Bohn’s stealth hire of Lincoln Riley shook up college football and planted a flag out west. The Trojans had a No. 3 poll finish and Rose Bowl win 2016, but USC hasn’t felt like a national player in this kind of way since the No. 1 preseason ranking in 2012 under Lane Kiffin. Now USC has one of the best offensive minds in the sport in Riley and a talented young quarterback for him to work with in Jaxson Dart.

Riley has a lot of work to do to salvage the 2022 recruiting class, but his success recruiting in Southern California at Oklahoma should pay off quickly. Couple the hire of Riley with the departure of Mario Cristobal from Oregon, and USC’s future looks bright again.

Defensive coaches

Hiring offensive coaches has been en vogue for more than a decade now, but this cycle may have shifted the balance a bit. Of the 27 hired head coaches, 17 came from assistant roles. Of those 17, nine are defensive coordinators, including names at major jobs like Marcus Freeman (Notre Dame), Dan Lanning (Oregon), Brent Pry (Virginia Tech) and Mike Elko (Duke).

The theory behind hiring offensive coaches is that offense scores points and points bring more fans to the stadium. It makes sense. But with so much churn through coaching hires, athletic directors have floated back toward finding the best person for long-term success, whether that be on offense or defense. Football has changed. The days of winning games 17-10 are over. What constitutes “success” on defense has changed.

Those defensive coaches don’t go into interviews promising 17-10 games, by the way. They present an offensive plan and sometimes include names of potential offensive coordinators, which helps illustrate the total picture. Pitt won the ACC this year with the third-highest scoring offense in the country, despite having a defensive head coach in Pat Narduzzi.

Miami fans

I don’t know if Mario Cristobal will work out. Again, no one ever really knows. But the moves Miami pulled off in hiring Cristobal from Oregon and athletic director Dan Radakovich from Clemson are a sign that Miami will finally carry itself like one of the sport’s powers. The millions and millions needed to pull that off while also giving Cristobal money for a staff showed that the ’Canes are no longer trying to win on the cheap. That type of commitment and investment is exhilarating for Miami fans who are tired of being the butt of jokes, viewing their program as a blueblood while the commitment to be one was never there.

Cristobal is going to change south Florida recruiting and get talent to The U. There’s no doubt about that. Time will tell if he can win an ACC championship, but Miami fans finally see the school going for it, and that’s exciting. They can probably thank Kirk Herbstreit for his blistering takedown of Miami’s administration on “College GameDay” during the season for the inspiration.


Most athletic directors, though not all

When the agents are the winners, the athletic directors they go up against in negotiating end up on the other side. We already talked about all the coach-friendly contracts in this cycle. Schools are spending and guaranteeing more money than ever, and coaches who have spent two years at a school are getting 10-year contracts. This is also around the time when certain coaches get extensions and more guaranteed money despite not having any interest elsewhere. Be careful with that.

But some ADs who deserve praise include UTSA’s Lisa Campos, who kept Traylor and got a school-friendly buyout that doesn’t drop below $5 million until five years from now. There’s also Michigan’s Warde Manuel, who kept Jim Harbaugh on a pay cut and incentive-laden contract for this year. Most of those incentives will be paid out, but only because of success on the field. It could be the model for ADs in the future, as we saw Nebraska do similar with Scott Frost this year. Instead of firing a coach, give him another year and save yourself some money if it doesn’t work out.

The once-unshakable pride of top programs

A head coach hadn’t left Notre Dame for another college job in 114 years. A head coach hadn’t left Oklahoma for another college job since 1946. They happened in the same year, on consecutive days. Some Oklahoma fans didn’t know how to handle the news, questioning if the Sooners could even play in a bowl game. Welcome to what it’s like to be any other fan base. Almost everyone else understands losing a coach. But not Notre Dame and not Oklahoma. This wasn’t supposed to happen to them.

Then Oregon got stung for the second time in five years, seeing another head coach leave for a dream job in Florida. This is an Oregon team that had won consecutive Pac-12 titles and won at Ohio State this year.

The theory of a “destination job” got a lot smaller this month.

Read full story here


December 12th

Get this: Cal’s Justin Wilcox turned down the Ducks

From The Oregonian … Turns out Justin Wilcox didn’t get passed over for the University of Oregon head coaching job.

He turned the Ducks down.

Oregon AD Rob Mullens formally offered Wilcox the job on Friday, per multiple sources. The kid from Junction City High interviewed well and was told a marketing campaign would be shaped around his return to Oregon. The plan even included T-shirts that would be printed and distributed at his introductory news conference.

On Friday Wilcox told Oregon, “No thanks.”

I’ll bet Mullens nearly fell over.

Dan Lanning will be introduced on Monday as Oregon’s head football coach. The 35-year old former Georgia defensive coordinator jumped all over the opportunity. I hope he wins big and gives Phil Knight the national title he covets. But I’ll forever wonder what Wilcox might have done at Oregon.

Maybe Wilcox, who played his college ball in Eugene, will talk about it one day. Maybe he’ll even take the UO job the next time it opens but as we peel back the events of the last week a few things become evident:

Among them:

♦ Oregon interviewed UCLA coach Chip Kelly but the Ducks appeared focused on putting a great defensive mind in charge. Three confirmed candidates: Lanning, Wilcox and BYU coach Kalani Sitake are stars on the defensive side of the ball. Going with a defense-first hire is an interesting course correction for Oregon and may end up being an antidote to the offensive-minded hires at USC (Lincoln Riley) and Washington (Kalen DeBoer). Not the worst strategy for Oregon.
♦ The Ducks strong denial that Lanning had the job on Friday night makes more sense now. Lanning moved into the No. 1 position after Wilcox turned Oregon down. Lanning probably knew he had the job but I’m told the Ducks paused to make one final “Hail Mary” run at Wilcox early Saturday morning. The Cal coach slept on it and told Oregon he still wasn’t coming. Lanning was then announced as the hire at 2 p.m. PT by Mullens.

♦ The University of Oregon is a dramatically different place than what Wilcox left in the late 1990s. The facilities look different. The expectations are sky high. Mario Cristobal, for example, won 10 games this season (including a victory over Ohio State) and was greeted with rampant fan criticism for not winning 11 or 12 games. Mark Helfrich, another native Oregonian, took the Ducks to the College Football Playoff but then got vilified and fired two seasons later. I wonder how all this played into Wilcox’s decision to stay put.

Continue reading story here


December 11th

John Canzano at the Oregonian: Lanning hire “a gamble”

From The Oregonian … It was 2 o’clock — straight up — on Saturday when University of Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens sent a mass text message to Ducks’ football players.

“Good afternoon…” Mullens began.

The AD informed players that he’s handing the keys to the UO football empire to Dan Lanning. The Georgia defensive coordinator, just 35 years old and with no previous head coaching experience, will take over for Mario Cristobal. Mullens’ career is tied to it. So is Phil Knight’s hopes to see his favorite college program finally win a national title in his lifetime.

What I’m saying is — this hire is a gamble.

One Oregon must go all-in on now.

It’s the 83-year old Knight I first thought about when the hire was confirmed on Saturday. Knight and his wife, Penny, have poured $1 billion into UO over the years. They’ve endured criticism, lots of “Uncle Phil” snickers, and watched as the returns on their football investment have done everything but give them a national title.

Twice in the last 11 seasons Oregon suited up in college football’s championship game — the Ducks lost both. In that same span there’s been a Heisman Trophy, five conference championships and three Rose Bowl wins. But what Knight doesn’t have is the biggest trophy in the land. It’s Lanning’s job to deliver what Chip Kelly, Mark Helfrich, Willie Taggart and Cristobal couldn’t.

You know, a title.

Lanning’s hire was first reported on Friday by a veteran Atlanta Journal Constitution beat reporter named Chip Towers. He’s been in the business longer than Lanning has even been alive. Oregon officials saw the report and adamantly denied any deal had been reached. An administrative source called the report “inaccurate” and insisted the search was ongoing. Maybe it actually was until Saturday afternoon or maybe the Ducks just wanted to control how the news broke.

Continue reading story here

Confirmed: Georgia DC Dan Lanning hired as Oregon’s new head coach

From UGA Sports … It’s long been thought that Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning’s next career step would be as a head coach.

That step is coming.

Lanning will be named the head coach at Oregon, replacing Mario Cristobal who recently left the school to become the head coach at Miami.

“We are so happy for Dan and his family. He and Sauphia have been an important part of our Bulldog family for the last four years, and we thank them for all they did for Georgia Football and the Athens community,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said in a statement. “Opportunities like this are a testament to a successful program. While he will coach with us for the upcoming College Football Playoff, we will move forward with Glenn Schumann and Will Muschamp as co-defensive coordinators. Dan and I are both looking forward to preparing for the CFP.”

Under Lanning, Georgia’s defense ranked among the best in the entire country, including first in scoring defense (9.54 points per game), second in total defense (254.4 yards per game), second in pass-efficiency defense (102.17 rating), third in run defense (81.7 yards per game), and third in pass defense (172.7 yards per game).

Lanning, 35, also coached at Pittsburgh, Arizona State, Sam Houston, Alabama, and Memphis before coming to Georgia in 2018 as the team’s outside linebackers coach.

The Kansas City, Missouri native made $1.7 million per year as the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator, after receiving a $475,000 raise following the 2020 season.


December 10th

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake out of the running for Oregon (signs extension); Georgia DC a candidate?

Related … “Breaking: Dan Lanning to leave Georgia to become Oregon head coach” … from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (since disputed)

From the Salt Lake City Tribune … As BYU quarterback Jaren Hall and wide receiver Puka Nacua stood up from the table at the end of Friday’s media session, Hall said three words obviously meant as a joke, but indicative of the team’s overall sentiment.

“Kalani for president.”

While there’s no indication Sitake wants to be the leader of the free world, he does want to stick around at BYU for years to come. He agreed to a new contract extension that will keep him in Provo through the 2027 season, and his players were ecstatic when they heard the news.

“We were all jumping up and down after practice,” Hall said. “Super excited, super happy for Kalani. I think he’s earned it with all the work he’s put in here and all that he stands for for us as players and as the university of BYU.”

In the athletic department’s announcement Friday, the new deal was described as “unprecedented” — a word on which athletic director Tom Holmoe and Sitake himself doubled down.

Holmoe said that when he, deputy athletics director Brian Santiago and Sitake started discussing the future of the football program, the coach wanted to talk about those around him before himself. His assistant coaches, the people that work in the office, the trainers, the strength and conditioning coaches.

From what Holmoe said, it was imperative that the athletics department not only take care of those around Sitake, but make sure the program had the resources it would need in order to thrive in the Big 12 starting in the 2023-24 season.

“I believe it’s unprecedented because one, we’re able to move forward with our head coach leading the way in a long-term contract,” Holmoe said. “It also is unprecedented that we have made the commitment to Kalani and his staff going forward, and for the rest of the program that we’re going to do the things that we need to to bring BYU football into this modern age.”

Continue reading story here

Oregon Update: Three interviews confirmed, but search not over

From John Canzano at The Oregonian

♦ Oregon interviewed Cal coach Justin Wilcox on Thursday, per a source. The interview went well in the eyes of UO contingent, I’m told. Wilcox was born in Eugene, played his high school ball at Junction City High and then played at Oregon. If the Ducks are dead-set on getting back to their in-state roots, he’s the hire isn’t he? I think Wilcox is a good coach who has done OK amid unfavorable circumstances in Berkeley. Still, I wonder if Mullens is interviewing Wilcox early here because he covets him or rather because he wants to please the boosters who passionately support a return to a local candidate.

♦ The Ducks have also asked permission to talk with UCLA coach Chip Kelly a UO source told me on Thursday. Kelly was beloved during his tenure at Oregon. He went 46-7 and won at least a share of four straight conference titles in each of his four seasons. But he’s lost some shine since and is only 18-25 at UCLA. I’m told the Bruins would very much like to retain Kelly, who won eight games this season and is going to the Holiday Bowl. Kelly’s buyout is $9 million between now and Jan. 15. On Jan. 16 it drops to zero dollars. There are some key boosters in Westwood who would like to play some defense here and retain Kelly. They believe he’s figured something out, but I’m told Kelly is listening to the Ducks.

♦ BYU coach Kalani Sitake interviewed with Oregon on Wednesday, per a source. I didn’t get the impression the Ducks were wild about this one. The whisper is that either Sitake didn’t interview well or expressed some hesitation about leaving BYU. I would be surprised if he’s the pick for this reason but we’ve seen stranger 180-degree twists. (A note… the Oregon legislature passed a law in 2009 that requires the state’s public universities to interview a qualified minority candidate before making a hire. Sitake, who is Tongan, fulfills this requirement.)

♦ This is a search. It could very well take a big twist today. I’m told that the next 24-48 hours will be critical and that Oregon isn’t done trying to hunt a whale hire, possibly with an NFL tie. It’s possible the Ducks attempted to interview some big fish and were shut down, then went back to what they know (Wilcox, Kelly). It could be that they just wanted to appease boosters who like those candidates, check them off the list and get about interviewing some others. What I’m saying is: Be patient. It’s a search. If I were Mullens, I’d have wanted to talk with all the three candidates we’ve confirmed here. Also, I’d want to visit with a few others.

Read full story here


December 9th

Report: Oregon targeting Chip Kelly for a repeat performance (or Justin Wilcox?)

From CBS Sports … Oregon has asked for permission from UCLA to speak with coach Chip Kelly about the Ducks’ coaching vacancy, according to The Oregonian‘s John Canzano. In doing so, it appears Oregon is serious about making a splash hire of its own to counter USC’s recent move of swiping Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma.

Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens made it clear that he would conduct a nationwide search after Mario Cristobal left to take the same job at Miami, but as Canzano notes, targeting Kelly signals that a more familiar name from the candidate pool may be of interest.

Kelly, of course, was the head coach of the Ducks from 2009-12 and served as Mike Bellotti’s offensive coordinator in 2007 and 2008. During his memorable four-year run as the head coach in Eugene, Kelly compiled a 46-7 record, won three straight Pac-12 championships and made an appearance in the 2011 BCS Championship Game against Auburn. The Ducks notched consecutive top-five finishes in Kelly’s final three seasons and the noted offensive guru never lost more than one conference game in any of his four seasons.

Since arriving at UCLA prior to the 2018 season, Kelly has amassed a less-successful 18-25 record with the Bruins. However, UCLA enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2021, going 8-4 and earning a Holiday Bowl berth against No. 18 NC State. The Bruins ranked atop the Pac-12 in scoring offense at 36.5 points per game and second in total offense at 441.3 yards per game.

Following the 2012 season, Kelly answered the call to the NFL first with the Philadelphia Eagles and then with the San Francisco 49ers. Kelly went 26-21 with the Eagles from 2013-15, notching back-to-back 10-6 efforts in his first two seasons and a playoff appearance in 2013. He was fired by the Eagles with one game left in the 2015 season after a 6-9 record. He took over the 49ers the following season, but was fired after a 2-14 record.

Kelly apparently isn’t the only candidate for the Ducks’ vacancy with Canzano reporting that Cal coach Justin Wilcox interviewed with Oregon on Thursday.

Mike MacIntyre a head coach once again, hired by Florida International

Tweet from Brian Howell at the Daily Camera … Seems like it’s been a long time since the MacIntyre era at Colorado, in part because this will be his 3rd job since leaving CU, but the Buffs still had 31 players on this year’s team that played for MacIntyre in Boulder

From ESPN … Florida International football has hired Memphis defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre as its coach, sources told ESPN.

MacIntyre, the former coach at Colorado and San Jose State, emerged Wednesday in FIU’s search, as ESPN first reported, and an agreement was finalized early Thursday. He replaces Butch Davis, who went 24-32 at Florida International and 1-11 this season.

An announcement on MacIntyre’s hiring is expected later Thursday. MacIntyre, 56, earned national coach of the year honors in 2016, when he guided Colorado to a South Division title and the Pac-12 championship game. He was fired in 2018 after consecutive five-win seasons. MacIntyre went 16-21 at San Jose State, which he guided to 10 wins and a No. 21 finish in 2012. He was born in Miami, where his father, George, a longtime college coach, scouted for the University of Miami.

FIU recently hired Scott Carr from UCF as its new athletic director, replacing longtime AD Pete Garcia. Sources said the school also strongly considered Florida A&M coach Willie Simmons and North Carolina special teams coordinator/outside linebackers coach Jovan Dewitt for the job. Other candidates included UCF co-offensive coordinator Tim Harris and Appalachian State offensive coordinator Frank Ponce.


December 8th

Oregon DC and safeties coach find new employment at – Texas Tech (?)

From … Joey McGuire is turning to a veteran defensive coordinator to fill the opening on his staff.

Tim DeRuyter, who spent last season as the defensive coordinator for Mario Cristobal at Oregon, is set to become the new defensive coordinator for the Red Raiders, sources tell FootballScoop.

DeRuyter has held the coordinator title in seven different spots spanning from the Group of Five to the Pac-12 and SEC. His resume includes a previous stop calling the defense in The Lone Star State at Texas A&M from 2010-11, where he later stepped in as the interim head coach.

Other spots where DeRuyter has held a coordinator title include Ohio, Navy, Nevada, Air Force, and Cal.

From 2012-16, he served as the head coach at Fresno State, where he went 9-4 and 11-2 in his first two seasons, before dropping to 6-8, 3-9 and then 1-7 in his final season. At Fresno State, he went 30-30.

From … Oregon Safeties Coach Marcel Yates is heading to Texas Tech where he will join Defensive Coordinator Tim DeRuyter, according to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman.

Yates was in his first year as the secondary coach at Oregon after coming to Eugene with DeRuyter from Cal prior to the 2021 season. This season Oregon saw strong play from numerous players in the secondary, but the best performances came from Verone McKinley III and Bennett Williams, who suffered a serious injury and missed most of the season but could be coming back for the Alamo Bowl.

Yates is the latest member of the Oregon staff to take another job with Head Coach Mario Cristobal, Offensive Coordinator Joe Moorhead and Tim DeRuyter all departing in the past week. Offensive Line Coach Alex Mirabal is expected to join Cristobal on his staff at Miami.

In the meantime, the Ducks have tabbed Wide Receivers Coach Bryan McClendon the interim head coach as they prepare for the early signing period, which is just one week from Wednesday on Dec. 15.

Stewart Mandel: Why has Oregon become a “stepping stone” job?

From The Athletic

Oregon fan here. While Willie Taggart’s departure was different that Mario Cristobal’s, it still feels the same. Left at the altar for a rebuild of a program that peaked two decades ago. Isn’t Oregon around No. 10 on the list of best head-coaching jobs? Facilities. A brand kids love and revere. The quintessential Mega Donor. Other than an “organic” recruiting territory, why doesn’t it feel like a destination job? — Joe S.

Chip Kelly to Oregon: Good idea or bad? The Ducks want a national championship. Would he deliver? Maybe Chip’s offensive scheme plus Oregon’s talent are a recipe for success. Maybe his lackluster recruiting dooms Oregon’s future. — Henry N.

It’s pretty puzzling how a program that’s reached two national championship games in the last 12 seasons continues to be a stepping stone job. Rich Brooks coached the Ducks for 18 years, Mike Bellotti for 14 years. Since then? Chip Kelly stayed for four seasons, Mark Helfrich was fired after four, Taggart left after one season, Cristobal after four.

But there’s a pretty obvious difference: Brooks and Bellotti are from the West Coast and spent time in the state previously. (Brooks played for Oregon State and was an assistant there; Bellotti was Brooks’ offensive coordinator.) Kelly, Taggart and Cristobal had zero previous connections to the program or the state. The moment I suspected Cristobal may actually go home, despite the complete dysfunction at his alma mater, was when he revealed after the Oregon State game he was flying back to Florida to visit his ailing mother. Private plane or not, I have to imagine in moments like those, the weight of being 3,000 miles from loved ones really sinks in.

There’s a reason most Pac-12 schools tend to hire coaches from that part of the country. Guys with no connection to the West Coast are always going to be flight risks. Oregon has been burned enough times now that I’d imagine athletic director Rob Mullens will be prioritizing that factor this time around. Unfortunately for him, it’s a very shallow pool of candidates. People keep understandably bringing up Eugene native son Justin Wilcox. Unfortunately, through five seasons, he’s 15-25 in Pac-12 play. His offenses have continually struggled. He’s a very sharp defensive mind, but has he really demonstrated the ability to lead a program with national championship aspirations?

I have the same mixed feelings about Kelly. He knows that program better than anyone else and is still held in very high regard there. But it’s not 2010; he’s not miles ahead of the competition schematically like he was at the time. He’s a sitting Pac-12 head coach at a program with ample past success that’s gone 16-18 in conference play. UCLA got a lot better in Year 4 and still finished a modest 8-4. And most notably, Kelly is just not a recruiter. After Cristobal showed you can sign top-10 classes at Oregon by being hyper-aggressive, bringing in a guy who takes the exact opposite approach might bum out Ducks fans pretty quickly.

In an ideal world, Mullens hires someone from the West Coast who blends Cristobal’s recruiting prowess with either Kelly’s offensive acumen or Wilcox’s defensive acumen. I can only think of one person who might check all of those boxes: BYU’s Kalani Sitake, who’s spent his entire career out West (including a season at Oregon State). Many doubt he’d leave his alma mater right as BYU is about to join a power conference, but if the past month has taught us anything, it’s that every coach is a free agent. If I’m Oregon, I do exactly what USC, LSU, Miami and others have: Call up Phil Knight and throw a whole lot of money at him.

That’s not something Oregon has historically done, but that’s the cost of competing for national championships now.

Read full mailbag here


December 6th

List of Oregon coaching candidates includes two current Pac-12 coaches

From the San Jose Mercury News … And Oregon makes four.

Four Pac-12 programs — at least four — will have new head coaches next season after Mario Cristobal left the Ducks in the dust for the lure of his hometown and the desire to rebuild his alma mater.

Cristobal accepted the Miami job on Monday, three days after a blowout loss to Utah in the Pac-12 championship and two weeks after a program-altering, playoff-wrecking beatdown by the Utes in Salt Lake City.

In the wake of his departure, the Ducks will commence a search to hire their fourth head coach in seven seasons.

By comparison, Arizona and Colorado appear stable.

Oregon has the resources to attract quality candidates, but the administration and key constituents — really, the key constituent — should prioritize one attribute above all others: stability.

Here are six names to consider, with one reminder:

The supply of quality candidates is limited — this is the wrong year to be in the market for a new head coach.

  • Auburn coach Bryan Harsin
  • UCLA coach Chip Kelly
  • BYU coach Kalani Sitake
  • Former coach Chris Petersen
  • Former coach Jeff Tedford
  • Cal coach Justin Wilcox:

Read full story here

Nevada coach Jay Norvell gets a pay raise to leave Reno to coach CSU

From ESPN … Nevada coach Jay Norvell has been named head football coach at Colorado State, the school announced Monday.

Norvell was the lowest-paid coach in the Mountain West with Nevada at roughly $620,000 annually and is expected to get a sizable raise to move within the conference.

“I would like to thank [athletic director] Joe Parker, President Joyce McConnell, and the other members of the search committee for entrusting me with this incredible opportunity,” Norvell said in a statement. “I am humbled, thankful, but most importantly excited to begin this process of building Colorado State into the championship contender we all know it can be. My family and I are ecstatic and cannot wait to get to Fort Collins to get started.”

Norvell compiled a 33-26 record in five seasons at Nevada, including an 8-4 mark this year. The Wolf Pack will play Western Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl on Dec. 27.

Colorado State coach Steve Addazio was fired last week after two seasons in Fort Collins, where he went 4-12. Colorado State, which opened a new $220 million on-campus stadium in 2017, is viewed as one of the best jobs in the conference.

Before taking the Nevada job, Norvell had several stops as an assistant coach in college football and the NFL, including time at Nebraska, UCLA, Oklahoma, Texas and Arizona State.

Assistant coach Vai Taua will be interim coach for Nevada in its bowl game.

Confirmed: Oregon’s Mario Cristobal leaving Oregon for Miami

From ESPN … Mario Cristobal is heading home to the U.

Cristobal will leave Oregon to become Miami’s head football coach, sources told ESPN.

He informed Ducks players of his decision at a team meeting Monday in Eugene. Just before the Oregon meeting, Miami announced the firing of coach Manny Diaz and a forthcoming hire of Diaz’s replacement. Cristobal is a Miami native, a Hurricanes offensive lineman for two national championship teams, and a Miami assistant from 2004 to 2006.

Miami has aggressively pursued Cristobal for several weeks to replace Diaz, and it ramped up its efforts late last week. Oregon presented Cristobal with an enhanced contract offer to remain, which the coach acknowledged after Friday night’s loss to Utah in the Pac-12 championship game in Las Vegas. But Cristobal did not immediately accept Oregon’s offer, which The Oregonian reported was then withdrawn.

Cristobal, 51, went 35-13 at Oregon with two Pac-12 championships, a Rose Bowl win two years ago and three Pac-12 North titles. He joined the Ducks staff in 2017 as co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, then was promoted to head coach when Willie Taggart departed for Florida State. Cristobal served as Florida International’s coach from 2007 to 2012, going 27-47 overall.

Oregon assistants have been out recruiting for the team but are being informed of Cristobal’s decision. Cristobal spent Sunday recruiting for Oregon and appeared briefly on a videoconference for the team’s Valero Alamo Bowl matchup against Oklahoma.

Related … From The Miami Herald … Mario Cristobal is closer to coming home. Sources say Oregon coach and former Hurricane Cristobal and the University of Miami have worked out the final details of a contract that could be worth in excess of $8 million a year. A UM official said Sunday evening that everything in the contract has been agreed to and the Hurricanes expect Cristobal to be their next coach, but that it will not be certain until he signs the contract. According to a source, Cristobal wants to inform his players before a decision is leaked publicly. An announcement from UM is expected in the coming days.

The Oregonian reported, citing sources, that Cristobal flew back to Eugene from a recruiting visit on Sunday night and canceled recruiting visits in California for Monday. Cristobal would be Miami’s 26th head football coach and would replace Manny Diaz, whose status has not yet been addressed publicly by the school.

Cristobal was eager to get back to South Florida for reasons beyond just returning to his alma mater. His mother Clara, with whom he is extremely close, has been very ill. He flew across the country last weekend to visit her before returning to Eugene. Cristobal’s overall record as head coach at Oregon: 35-13, including 10-3 this season. Before Oregon (where he also served as co-offensive coordinator/offensive line coach in 2017), he spent four years (2013-16) being groomed at Alabama under Nick Saban as the assistant head coach, offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. He got his first head-coaching job at FIU (2007-12), where he became the first Cuban-American head coach in major college football.

Continue reading story here

Related … From The Oregonian … Last week, per a source, Knight signed off on a 10-year, $85 million extension that was offered by the University of Oregon to football coach Mario Cristobal. Year No. 1 would double Cristobal’s base salary and put it in excess of $7 million a year. It escalated from there and was easily the most lucrative deal ever offered to a football coach in Eugene.

Phil and Penny have subsidized a number of powerful football-related projects at UO over the years. They’ve built buildings, expanded Autzen Stadium, helped increase the recruiting footprint and even pitched in when Cristobal said he needed to retain assistants.

Now, with Miami poised to pounce, they planned to write the check that would retain Cristobal.

However, by kickoff there was trouble.

Cristobal didn’t sign Oregon’s contract extension before the title game. He instead made plans to talk with his agent the following day. Then, his team got blown off the field by the Utes: 38-10. The Ducks’ coach took the loss hard. He spoke in the post-game news conference for only six minutes. Then, on Saturday Cristobal boarded the private plane owned by long-time Oregon booster Ed Maletis and embarked on a whirlwind recruiting trip that would include multiple states, more than 25 recruits and span 14 days.

That trip is now cut short.

Cristobal may be a few hours away from ending two days of wild speculation. He may be poised to take the head coach job at Miami. Or he may be scrambling back to Eugene to try and salvage a clunky couple of days and a booster relationship that appears to be teetering. Right now I’m not sure what Cristobal has left to come back to at Oregon because I suspect he may have lost the only donor he ever needed.

That 10-year contract extension?

“It was pulled off the table when Mario didn’t sign it and got on the plane,” said a source close to the situation.

Athletic department officials at Oregon and Cristobal’s representatives would not confirm that detail. It may be a matter of semantics (did he turn it down or was it pulled when he didn’t sign it?) Knight isn’t speaking, either. But those who know the booster well tell me he doesn’t like to be played and doesn’t appreciate those who view the job of head football coach in Eugene as a stepping stone.

Continue reading story here


December 5th

Offensive coordinator search: CU one 32 schools nationally looking; one of four in the Pac-12

From Football Scoop … 2021-22 Offensive Coordinator Tracker

Track all of the offensive coordinator movement from around college football via this page.

In what has become an annual FootballScoop tradition, the live tracking page for all of the offensive coordinator movement in college football is now live.

Some of these jobs have opened because of a head coaching change, while others were part of programs who simply decided to take things in a new direction. This is the time of year where it feels important to remind everyone that when one door closes, another opens.

A total of 32 teams will have different offensive coordinators in 2022 (almost 25% of all of the FBS), including 18 Power Five schools.

From the Pac-12 …

  • Colorado … Out: Darrin Chiaverini
  • USC … Out: Graham Harrell
  • Washington … Out: John Donovan
  • Washington State … Out: Brian Smith

Read full list here


December 4th

Oregon’s Mario Cristobal not closing the door on leaving

From ESPN … Oregon football coach Mario Cristobal confirmed the school has approached him with an enhanced contract but also acknowledged other programs likely will pursue him in the coming days.

The Miami Herald and several other media outlets reported Friday that Miami is poised to make a push for Cristobal, a former Hurricanes offensive lineman and assistant who grew up in the city. Oregon on Friday night lost 38-10 to No. 17 Utah in the Pac-12 championship game, the 10th-ranked Ducks’ second lopsided defeat to the Utes in the past three games. Utah claimed its first Pac-12 title and first Rose Bowl berth.

“I haven’t talked to anybody, so let’s not create narratives as we sit here in this press conference,” Cristobal said after the game. “Oregon’s working on some stuff for me, and that’s what I have right now, and that’s the extent of that conversation.

“If there’s anything to report, I’d report it. I always have.”

… The Oregonian first reported and ESPN confirmed that Oregon is set to offer an “aggressive” new contract for Cristobal, who is 35-13 with two Pac-12 titles at the school. Last December, Cristobal received a new six-year, $27.3 million deal taking him through the 2025 season.

“Do I expect people to come [after] me? Yeah, I do, it happens every single year,” Cristobal said. “There’s nothing else to report besides that. If there is, or when there ever is, if there ever is, I’ll make sure to get it to [the media] as fast as I can.”

Cristobal, 51, won two national championships and earned first-team All-Big East honors as an offensive tackle. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Miami from 1998 to 2000, and later served as a full-time assistant from 2004 to 2006.

A university source told ESPN that it’s “a coin flip” as to what Cristobal decides, noting that Clara Cristobal’s health and returning home — not financial reasons — would be the driving factors if Cristobal were to consider taking the Miami job, if offered.

Continue reading story here

Akron hires Oregon Offensive Coordinator Joe Moorhead

From ESPN … Akron is hiring Oregon offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead as its next football coach, the school announced Saturday.

Moorhead, 48, spent the past two seasons as the offensive playcaller and quarterbacks coach for the 10th-ranked Ducks, who lost Friday night to No. 17 Utah in the Pac-12 championship game in Las Vegas. He spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons as Mississippi State coach, going 14-12 with two bowl appearances before being fired in January 2020.

He had received consideration for Power 5 head-coaching opportunities this year, sources told ESPN.

“We are committed to fielding a championship-caliber football program at The University of Akron and I’m confident we have found the right leader at the right time to make good on that promise,” university president Gary L. Miller said in a statement. “I believe Zips fans have been patient long enough and I have no doubt Joe will deliver winning football consistently to our community, in our world-class stadium, and throughout the season whether at home or on the road.”

Moorhead could coach in Oregon’s bowl game, depending on the schedule and the future of Ducks coach Mario Cristobal, who is considering a contract extension amid interest from other schools, including Miami.

Family reasons played a significant role in Moorhead accepting the Akron job. Both he and his wife are from Pennsylvania, and their oldest son, Mason, plays football at Division III Grove City College, near the Pennsylvania-Ohio border.

“My family and I are very excited for this opportunity,” Moorhead said in a statement. “We can’t wait to get back to a region of the country we consider home. Our plan for the future is simple: we’ll roll up our sleeves and get to work, diligently building a program of which the school, the City of Akron, and the State of Ohio can be proud. Go Zips!”

Moorhead landed his first FBS assistant-coaching job at Akron in 2004, coaching wide receivers that fall and in 2005 before serving as Zips offensive coordinator from 2006 to 2008. He replaces Tom Arth, who was fired Nov. 4 after going 3-24 at Akron, which hired athletic director Charles Guthrie in May.

Moorhead’s previous coaching stops include four years as head coach at Fordham, his alma mater, where he went 38-13 with three FCS playoff appearances. He coordinated record-setting offenses at Penn State in 2016 and 2017.


December 2nd

CSU parts ways with Steve Addazio after two years (4-12)

From CBS Sports … After amassing a 4-12 record in just two seasons, Steve Addazio is out as the coach at Colorado State, ESPN reported. Addazio, 62, arrived after a seven-year run at Boston College that included six bowl appearances. But the Rams never got it going under his direction, losing six straight games to close the 2021 season.

Last week’s 52-10 home loss to Nevada appeared particularly frustrating for Addazio, who became just the second FBS coach to be ejected for receiving two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in a game since 2016. Addazio’s buyout dropped from $5 million to $3 million on Thursday, according to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports.

Addazio’s tenure at Colorado State got off to a rocky start amid the COVID-19 pandemic last season. CSU players and staff claimed there was a COVID-19 testing cover-up issue within the program. The program also dealt with allegations of racism and verbal abuse under Addazio’s direction.

But an independent investigation provided “positive and reassuring” results, CSU president Joyce McConnell said last year. Addazio kept his job and went 1-3 in his first season. The Rams started the 2021 season 3-3 and gave Iowa a scare before unraveling in the season’s second half. Addazio took over for Mike Bobo following the 2019 season after Bobo went 28-35 in five seasons.

The Rams join Fresno State among the Mountain West programs in search of a new coach as Bulldogs coach Kalen DeBoer accepted the Washington job this week.


November 30th 

Oregon offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead may be named the next head coach at – Akron (?)

From … Oregon offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead has emerged as the leading candidate to be the next head coach at Akron, according to sources. A deal could be finalized within the next 24 hours.

Moorhead spent five years as an assistant coach at Akron from 2004-2008, including the school’s only MAC football championship in 2005 and two seasons as offensive coordinator.

Moorhead, 48, is considered one of the most creative and innovative offensive minds in the country. He also brings extensive head coaching experience, as he led Mississippi State to a pair of bowl games in 2018 and 2019, and Fordham to three straight FCS playoff appearances during his four seasons there.

The combination of Moorhead’s roots with Akron and his head coaching experience made him an attractive candidate. Akron athletic director Charles Guthrie focused on FBS coaching experience as a tenet for Akron’s new coach after firing Tom Arth, who went 3-24 in three seasons.

The hiring of Moorhead would offer instant credibility for Akron, who has finished with a record above .500 just once since that 2005 MAC title team. Moorhead called plays for Saquon Barkley at Penn State, was the offensive coordinator on UConn’s Fiesta Bowl team and his Oregon team gutted Ohio State’s defense for 505 yards and 35 points in an upset in Columbus earlier this season.

Oregon is averaging 33.2 points per game this year and ranks No. 3 nationally in third-down conversion percentage.


November 29th

Washington tabs Fresno State’s Kalen DeBoer as the Huskies’ new head coach

From ESPN … Fresno State football coach Kalen DeBoer has been named the new head coach at Washington, the school announced on Monday.

DeBoer replaces Jimmy Lake, who was fired Nov. 14 after serving just 13 games as head coach over two seasons. DeBoer will head to Seattle after spending just two seasons at Fresno State, where he compiled a 12-6 record — including a 9-3 mark this season.

“My family and I are so grateful for the opportunity to lead such a storied program and be part of this prestigious institution,” DeBoer said in a statement. “The tough, hard-nosed tradition of Washington football speaks for itself, and it was obvious throughout this process that UW is committed to competing at the highest level.”

Prior to becoming the head coach at Fresno State, DeBoer spent the 2019 season as the offensive coordinator at Indiana, which followed a two-year stint as the offensive coordinator under Jeff Tedford at Fresno State.

DeBoer was named the NAIA National Coach of the Year three times during a five-year run as the head coach at the University of Sioux Falls in South Dakota, where he had a 67-3 record.

Fresno State had a team meeting scheduled for 2:30 p.m. PT, during which the players were expected to be informed of the move.

Lee Marks will serve as the interim coach for Fresno State, a source told ESPN.

Washington Press Release … University of Washington Director of Athletics, Jennifer Cohen, announced Monday that Kalen DeBoer has been selected as the 30th head coach in Husky football history. DeBoer, 47, comes to Montlake from Fresno State, where during the 2021 season, he led the Bulldogs to a 9-3 overall record in his second year in charge.

“I am excited to begin the next era of Husky Football by welcoming Kalen DeBoer to the UW family,” said University of Washington President, Ana Mari Cauce. “Coach DeBoer is committed to supporting our students on and off the field, and will help them be successful both in football and in their lives and careers after graduation. I share our community’s enthusiasm about the future of Husky Football under Coach DeBoer’s leadership.”

Immediately prior to leading Fresno State’s program, DeBoer was on staff at Indiana University, as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. After helping to guide the Hoosiers to an 8-5 record and a berth in the Gator Bowl, DeBoer returned to Fresno State, taking over for Jeff Tedford, who resigned for health reasons following the 2019 season.

The Hoosiers’ eight victories in 2019 matched their highest wins total in 26 seasons, and IU ranked No. 3 in the Big Ten in total offense. Six different members of the Indiana offense earned some level of All-Big Ten recognition.

In 2017, Tedford, in his first season as head coach at Fresno State, hired DeBoer as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. In two seasons in that role, DeBoer helped the Bulldogs to overall records of 10-4 (2017) and 12-2 (2018), along with two division titles, two bowl game victories and the Mountain West Conference Championship in 2018.

A school-record setting wide receiver at the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.), DeBoer later led his alma mater to three NAIA National Championships in five seasons as head coach, winning the title in 2006, 2008 and 2009, while also finishing as runner-up in 2007 and making the semifinals in his first season as head coach, in 2005.

During his five seasons at Sioux Falls, DeBoer compiled a 67-3 overall record, including a 49-1 mark in Great Plains Athletic Conference play. In two seasons at Fresno State, he had a 12-6 overall record, giving him a career record of 79-9. He was NAIA National Coach of the Year in each of his three championship seasons at USF.

After the 2009 season, he took a job at Southern Illinois as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach from 2010 through 2013. He moved to Eastern Michigan as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2014 through 2016, helping the Eagles to their third-ever bowl-game berth in 2016.

As a student at Sioux Falls, DeBoer set records in both football and baseball. During his football career, he compiled 3,400 yards and 33 touchdowns on 234 career receptions – all school records at the time – and played on the 1996 NAIA Division II National Championship team, which beat Western Washington in the final. He also played baseball for the Cougars, batting .520 (still a school record) as a senior in 1998. His career average of .492 is still best in USF history as are his 37 career homers, and .944 slugging percentage.

A 1998 graduate of the University of Sioux Falls with a degree in secondary education, DeBoer and his wife, Nicole, are the parents of two daughters, Alexis and Avery.

Dennis Dodd: Lincoln Riley makes a calculated move in choosing Pac-12 over SEC

From CBS Sports … College football can’t help itself. No matter how wholesome and endearing it can be at times, there is always a Sunday when a coach in the prime of his career can shake up the industry with the typical backdrop of millions of dollars, a desperate fan base, shifting loyalties and a chance to remake an entire conference.

Make that entire nation.

Lincoln Riley did that with a wave of his hand — or whatever gesture he made — in accepting the USC job Sunday. It was a shock wave felt from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Los Angeles with significant tremors still rumbling in Norman, Oklahoma.

Riley became the first Oklahoma coach to leave for another college football job since 1946. Every other Sooners coach since then had either retired, been fired or — in the case of Jim Mackenzie — died on the job. That’s the definition of a destination gig.

Riley sort of used Oklahoma as a stepping stone. That’s a necessary realization as Sooners faithful treat their wounds and attempt to heal their injured pride. But who can blame any 38-year-old — in the prime of his career with the prospect of upward mobility — for making such a calculated move? The difference is that, in the real world with a hedge fund maven or corporate real estate titan, they at least give two weeks’ notice.

Riley looked around, considered that he had peaked at Oklahoma after five seasons, and said goodbye less than 24 hours after he had declared loyalty. Sort of. When Riley said after Saturday’s Bedlam game that he wasn’t going to LSU, no one considered whether that meant he could go somewhere else.

That’s part of the shock. As long as Riley was in Norman, the Sooners were going to win Big 12 titles and challenge for the College Football Playoff. His continued excellence was a significant reason Oklahoma felt great about a move to the SEC.

The sense of, well, betrayal is palpable. Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione took a risk in 2017, elevating Bob Stoops’ 33-year-old offensive coordinator to replace the legendary coach. He paid Riley handsomely and gave him the resources he needed.

But there will be no sympathy for OU in this case, certainly in Big 12 circles. Karma is a witch when you consider Riley adapted the same secretive process Oklahoma used in jumping to the SEC. The knife in the back can twist both ways.

One of the best coaches in the game made a calculated decision. So calculated that there may now be an explanation why Riley mysteriously disappeared for “personal reasons” the Tuesday of the Baylor game. Regardless, it’s now known Riley was talking to USC in the middle of the season while chasing a seventh consecutive Big 12 title and a playoff berth.

Protocol in such situations went out the window long ago. Riley ultimately made the choice between recruiting California kids to beat SEC teams — he had three stud commits from the state in the No. 1-ranked Class of 2023 alone — and recruiting in California to beat one Pac-12 team. That is Oregon, the current class of a league that has fallen from grace.

Continue reading story here

Wilner: Riley’s USC hire a “gargantuan” move for the Trojans and the Pac-12

From the San Jose Mercury News … USC kicked off the coaching carousel on Sept. 13, when the Trojans fired Clay Helton after a Week Two loss to Stanford.

On Sunday, the Trojans ended the carousel. Not officially, of course. There are plenty of vacancies remaining. But for all intents and purposes, the comatose colossus at the corner of Figueroa and Exposition has awoken — and it just won the hiring cycle.

In fact, USC smacked a walk-off home run.

Assuming they touch home and dot the i’s with Lincoln Riley, the Trojans have hired a head coach who will instantly transform their program, the Pac-12 Conference and college football in the western third of the country.

For Riley, the move makes perfect sense: He has produced Heisman Trophy winners and College Football Playoff berths on a regular basis during a brilliant five-year run at Oklahoma. But the Sooners are joining the SEC in a few years. Competing for the CFP would be vastly more difficult against the likes of Alabama and Georgia than in the Pac-12, where USC is never far from a position of dominance.

For the Pac-12, Riley’s arrival is nothing less than gigantic — easily the most significant coaching hire since Washington lured Chris Petersen away from Boise State prior to the 2014 season.

The benefits of that move became clear a few years later, when the future Hall of Fame coach took the Huskies to the playoff and reshaped the balance of power on the West Coast. But the Riley-USC partnership has greater potential because of USC’s unmatched brand value, tradition and recruiting potential.

This, folks, is the hire the Pac-12 needed — the antidote it required after so many years of stagnation … so many years of missing the playoff and losing premium recruits and struggling to ward off declining TV ratings and empty seats … after so many years helpless to fight back against the steady creep of the fog of bore.

Lincoln Riley to USC won’t make all the ills vanish instantly. To be sure, the Pac-12 still has challenges that are both self-inflicted and beyond its control. Many cannot be solved for years; some are with the conference forever.

Continue reading story here


November 28th

Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley named USC head coach

From ESPN … Six years ago, then-USC athletic director Pat Haden ushered a handful of reporters into an unglamorous conference room and announced that the school was putting Steve Sarkisian on an indefinite leave of absence. Sarkisian would be eventually fired, but on that Sunday, Haden announced that Clay Helton would be the interim coach.

It was a pivotal moment. Helton had no head-coaching experience, but his lack of baggage was appealing to the program and his affability and stability made him the ideal candidate to save face. Yet USC needed to save more than just face. It needed to revive its football program. Six years later, Helton failed to do that and is gone. So are Haden and his successor, Lynn Swann.

That’s been the USC story for the past decade: a game of musical chairs at the top, while the guy calling the shots on the field was not able to get USC to the top. But new athletic director Mike Bohn has ushered in a clean slate and, now, a blockbuster hire. By landing Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma to be the Trojans’ next head coach, USC has officially kick-started a new era. So, how does Riley fit at USC, and what are the challenges and opportunities that await him?

What are the expectations for Riley at USC?

A home run hire brings with it home run expectations. Had USC hired a less accomplished coach, it could be viewed as reshaping a program that’s fallen on hard times over the past decade. With Riley in tow, however, the expectations for success will be more or less immediate. It’s clear that the message USC wanted to send by hiring Riley is that the Trojans are ready to win again at all costs.

The fact that Riley took the job signals, in part, that USC is still one of the best jobs out there. The name brand and infrastructure have taken plenty of hits, but USC’s position on the West Coast and in a conference that’s begging for a team to truly dominate it makes the potential sky high. It’s why the immediate expectations are a Pac-12 title, at the very least, and certainly a College Football Playoff berth sooner rather than later. Riley has led Oklahoma to three playoff appearances in four years, while USC has yet to even sniff the playoff. And it’s safe to say that it’ll be easier to make it back there in the Pac-12 than with Oklahoma once the Sooners join the SEC.

There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to get USC back on top, and it won’t be overnight, but Riley’s pedigree, on and off the field, means the Trojans are primed to take the fast lane back to success.

What does it mean for the Pac-12?

As the prestige of the Pac-12 eroded over the past several years, the common solution for its troubles always revolved around USC. While there have been other schools that have experienced high-level success in the past decades — most notably Oregon, Washington and Stanford — none of them has remotely enough cachet to resonate nationally in the same way USC can when it hits on all cylinders.

The Pete Carroll-era Trojans are the prime example, of course, and as exciting as Oregon’s Chip Kelly teams were and as well as Mario Cristobal has recruited recently, it’s just different when it’s happening in Los Angeles. A dominant USC has the potential to increase the value of the conference’s media rights deals. It adds a layer of credibility to the conference that doesn’t currently exist. If USC reaches its potential, it will force other schools to make investments to try to keep up.

With Riley on board, those things seem not only possible, but are the expectation. His arrival will undoubtedly make it more difficult for teams to win the Pac-12, but the trickle-down effect should help the entire conference improve its footing compared to the rest of the county

Continue reading story here

Washington State takes the “interim” tag off: Jake Dickert named head coach

From ESPN … Washington State has named Jake Dickert its permanent head coach, with the two sides agreeing in principle on a five-year contract, the school announced Saturday night.

Dickert will be introduced at a formal news conference next week, the school said.

“We are thrilled to have Jake Dickert step into the head coaching role,” WSU president Kirk Schulz said. “Coach Dickert was able to bring together a team that has been through so much in the past two seasons and inspire them to not only keep going, but to fight harder. Coach Dickert loves Pullman, understands what it means to be a Coug, and most importantly, puts his players first. He is an asset to this program, and to WSU.”

Dickert, in his second season as WSU’s defensive coordinator, was elevated to acting head coach Oct. 18 after the school fired Nick Rolovich for not complying with the state’s vaccine mandate. Rolovich, in his second season at Washington State, and four other assistants, refused to comply with the deadline for vaccines set by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

Since taking over as acting coach, Dickert has guided Washington State to a 3-2 record, capped by the school’s most lopsided Apple Cup victory ever, a 40-13 triumph over Washington on Friday night in Seattle.

Dickert, 38, came to Washington State after three years at Wyoming, including one as defensive coordinator. A Wisconsin native and former Wisconsin-Stevens Point wide receiver, Dickert had never been a head coach before replacing Rolovich and only started coaching in the FBS in 2017.


November 27th

Note … There are (at least) three Pac-12 coaching vacancies to be filled in the next few weeks. USC, Washington, and Washington State will be making decisions which will affect the conference – and CU – for years to come. We’ll be using this heading for stories on Pac-12 coaching rumors, as well as those concerning TCU (CU’s next opponent, opening the season against the Horned Frogs next September), and other national stories.

SMU and former Cal coach Sonny Dykes to be named TCU coach (CU’s first game of 2022 season)

From ESPN … SMU coach Sonny Dykes will be the new head coach at TCU, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Dykes, 51, is 30-17 in four seasons at SMU, including 25-9 in the past three seasons. In 2019, Dykes led SMU to a 10-2 season, becoming the first Mustangs coach to win 10 games in a season since Bobby Collins in 1984, prior to the NCAA’s “death penalty” for the program. His .659 winning percentage is the second best in school history behind Collins among coaches who worked at SMU for more than two seasons.

Dykes replaces Gary Patterson, who was fired on Oct. 31 after 24 seasons in Fort Worth and 21 as the head coach. Dykes spent the 2017 season as an offensive analyst at TCU under Patterson.

Sources told ESPN that Miami offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee is the front-runner to replace Dykes at SMU, and an agreement could arrive in the next few days. Lashlee served as SMU’s offensive coordinator in 2018-19 under Dykes.

The son of former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes, Sonny Dykes has extensive connections in the state, and rebuilt SMU with a focus on players in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, which could benefit him at his new job 40 miles away.

The move is certain to add a new wrinkle to the Iron Skillet rivalry between the two teams, which has been played 100 times. Dykes and SMU won the past two, including this season, when a scuffle happened after the game when SMU player Rashee Rice tried to plant the Mustangs’ flag on the Horned Frogs’ turf.

This will be Dykes’ fourth head-coaching job. He went 22-15 in three seasons at Louisiana Tech and was the 2011 WAC Coach of the Year. He then went 19-30 at Cal in four seasons, progressing from one win in 2013 to an 8-5 finish in 2015, but was fired after going 5-7 in 2016.


November 26th

First, here are the 14 current FBS coaching changes (there were 17 in 2020; after 24 in 2019). Look for more additions to this list in the coming days …

AkronTom ArthTBD
FIUButch DavisTBD
FloridaDan MullenTBD
Georgia SouthernChad Lunsford / Kevin Whitley (i)Clay Helton
LSUEd OrgeronTBD
TCUGary Patterson / Jerry Kill (i)TBD
Texas TechMatt Wells / Sonny Cumbie (i)Joey McGuire
TroyChip LindseyTBD
UConnRandy Edsall / Lou Spanos (i)Jim Mora
UMassWalt BellTBD
USCClay Helton / Donte Williams (i)TBD
Virginia TechJustin FuenteTBD
WashingtonJimmy LakeTBD
Washington StateNick Rolovich / Jake Dickert (i)TBD

November 25th

Wilner: If Utah wins trip to Rose Bowl, Whittingham will retire 

From the San Jose Mercury News

*** Arizona State
Coach: Herm Edwards
State of play: Sloppy. The four-loss Sun Devils have struggled to execute consistently on the field as they await the outcome of the NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting transgressions. They have one victory over a ranked opponent and thus far haven’t come close to making the competitive leap they sought when Edwards took over. In fact, his winning percentage in conference games is worse than that of his predecessor, Todd Graham, over an equivalent span.
What’s next: We continue to believe a change is more likely than not, either because Edwards decides to retire or is forced out. Recruiting is in the gutter because of the threat of sanctions, and a barrage of players could transfer out as soon as the season ends. Essentially, the program is frozen in place waiting for Edwards or the NCAA or both. What a mess.
Chance of vacancy: 75%

*** Utah
Coach: Kyle Whittingham
State of play: Pretty damn good. The Utes are fresh off a wipeout of No. 3 Oregon, perhaps the most impressive victory of their decade in the conference. They have won the South for the third consecutive non-COVID season and will face the North winner in Las Vegas for that long-sought championship.
What’s next: Our projections for a vacancy have increased dramatically in recent days, all thanks to the result Saturday night. Whittingham is now one game from leading the university to its first-ever Rose Bowl. Also, he has endured the deaths of two players; he turned 62 yesterday; he has loads of grandkids in the Salt Lake City area; and he just became the winningest coach in school history. Our opinion: If the Utes win the conference championship, the Rose Bowl will be his final game.
Chance of vacancy: 65%

*** Cal
Coach: Justin Wilcox
State of play: Good, and getting better rapidly. The Bears have won three consecutive games not impacted by COVID, including the right cross administered to Stanford. Beat UCLA (difficult) and USC (not difficult), and they will qualify for a bowl berth after starting 1-5. Aside from Utah, no team has improved more than Cal since early October.
What’s next: Maybe nothing, maybe everything. Wilcox is deeply frustrated with the COVID situation, and we don’t blame him. There have been approximately 800 major college games played this fall. Only two were impacted by COVID: Cal at Arizona, and Cal vs. USC. Yet the Bears are 99% vaccinated. Is the frustration enough to prompt a move if a better job comes calling (hello, Washington)? We suspect it is.
Chance of vacancy: 45%

Report: Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell staying; no interest in USC

From Cincinnati’s …  One of college football’s top insiders says University of Cincinnati Head Football Coach Luke Fickell could be staying with the Bearcats.

Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports said on Wednesday he’d heard Fickell will remain in Cincinnati and that UC’s recruits have been told as such.

Fickell has been a rumored candidate for nearly every significant head coaching job going back 18 months, due in large part to his success in Clifton.

He would have his pick of options this year. More jobs are open than at any time in recent memory, including USC, Florida, LSU, Virginia Tech, TCU, Washington and Washington State.

… But there’s good reason for him to stay in Cincinnati. His 2020 contract extension places him in the mid-tier of Power Five head coaches, and he figures to get a pay bump when UC goes to the Big12.

The university is spending, too, being already a quarter of the way to a $100 million fundraising goal announced last week for facility improvements including an indoor practice field (located… somewhere.)

The question on nearly everyone’s mind is: What about USC?

Southern Cal’s athletic director, Mike Bohn, had the same role at UC when Fickell arrived in 2016. It might follow that Fickell, if he were to go anywhere, would be predisposed to join Bohn to LA. But that logic isn’t exactly airtight—or evidentiary. There’s been no report either side is seriously interested in the other.

Continue reading story here

Baylor’s Dave Aranda says he has no interest in USC job

From … Dave Aranda’s year two turnaround at Baylor naturally was going to make him a target for other jobs.

With jobs like LSU and USC open, Aranda’s name has been brought up at both places, among others.

However, Aranda shared recently on FOX with Joe Klatt that the fit for him at Baylor is something special, adding “I love it here, and this is where I want to be.”

Klatt asked Aranda how he’s been dealing with the speculation with his name attached to some big-time jobs in college football.

“I’m as open as honest as I can be with the team, and I am going to address it again today in our team meeting.

“I love it here, and this is where I want to be, and I think the fit here at Baylor is so strong.”

Continue reading story here

Mel Tucker finalizes fully guaranteed $95 million contract

From ESPN … Michigan State football coach Mel Tucker on Wednesday agreed to a 10-year deal worth $95 million to remain with the Spartans, the school announced.

The new contract, which made headlines around college football last week leading up to the Spartans’ game at Ohio State, makes Tucker one of the highest-paid coaches in the sport and comes four days before Michigan State closes its regular season.

Tucker can thank a group of Spartans donors — Mat Ishbia, Steve St. Andre, Brian Mosallam and Jason Strayhorn — who gathered to help complete the deal this month, as Michigan State takes a turn toward recruiting.

“Every day I wake up feeling humbled to be the Head Football Coach at Michigan State,” Tucker wrote in a letter posted on his official Twitter account. “It is my privilege to work alongside our student athletes, coaches and staff who embody our culture of hard work, discipline, and excellence — on and off the field.”

Tucker’s contract is fully guaranteed. His buyout to leave Michigan State remains unchanged from his original contract: $2.5 million with annual decreases by $500,000.

Continue reading story here


102 Replies to “Coaching Carousel”

  1. The CU Football program is a stepping stone for coaches and players alike. Unfortunately no one at the very top of the CU Administration really cares. I don’t blame KD or RG, the root of the problem lies with those inept individuals who have been entrusted with it. You can’t take a University with the tradition, resources, etc. that CU has and turn it into the worst program in its conference, for over a decade now, without either desiring that outcome or simply not caring.

    1. It is really hard to rationalize where the Buffs were before the Real Mac and where they are after the Real Mac.

      Is it down then up then down?

      In reality where do the Buffs fit.

      I can’t recall one salary presented to the regents that has been rejected. Is the
      AD not asking for enough?

      It certainly appears the likeness and image stuff at the other schools is being driven by the school supporters not the school themselves. Buffs don’t be having some big time donors that spit money whenever they are asked. Now they have contributed for big stuff like the athletic facility but I’m talking about the “Hey donors I need 5 million for a special project or a buyout or just cause I need it.” Lotta bluer-blood schools than CU have those donors on call. Also those bluer-blood schools have a better winning record over a longer period of time. Yup being the 25th winning program once upon a time felt nice. Still it is 25th. No big bowls for #25.

      All have responsibility for the athletic situation at CU. But when it comes to money, which the whole thing is about, it comes from the school supporters, an 45 years of socialistic teachings have capped the money raise proposition at CU

      It is just how it is.


  2. What an unbelievable letdown. Went form a top west coast recruiter to this? Man I thought KD had better ties to the coaching community. Sure he is a nice man, but KD gonna have a hard time selling this to the CU base. I guess it shows how little coaches must think of a CU job. First to jump to CAL after only 2 months for not a big improvement in position. After all, Vic could have told CU I want to get back to coaching outside LBs, and we could have swapped him to there next season instead of leaving our school. Quitting after 2 months is not a good look on anyone’s resume. But KD hiring this new guy is a real step down. Wasn’t there a more experienced candidate with recruiting chops and an established resume sitting unemployed out there? Hell, move Def COOR back to D line and humbly try to bring back our OLB coach from the Oregon analyst role.
    KD is looking less in control and sure of his steps all the time. He may act “in control” by the way he carries himself, but he’s had way too many missteps to actually perform with competence and to be a real winner.
    I really hope I am wrong cause I love CU, but not a good look for KD or the program.

    1. Coming from the Desoto excuse as well
      If I read it right he used Tulane as a stepping stone.
      Bright side is even if he turns out to be a great coach it will be at least 2 seasons before his name gets out there to the point where he is off to bigger money

    2. High hopes are dashed easily.

      Ya the guy who left is gone. Money jumper. Glad it happened early. HCKD missed on this guy. Just like the Buffs missed on Midnight Mel. Sometimes ya don’t know till they screw ya.

      Anyway the new guy.
      First I am glad the DC is not going to coach the DLine. DC is where he needs to focus and OLb is an area that can be influenced from afar. (Note inside: Sure hope he does a better job of using the OLB than he did last year…………..wasted some talent.)

      interesting resume
      Kelly wanted to keep him
      The new guy in the field. Good be a great one……………

      Not disappointed.
      Glad he got one on board fast…………….

      Go Buffs.

      2022 the year the Buffs come through

  3. If a head coach does not know what is going on around him with his team he should not be a head coach. But I think Herm knew what was happening. Oh well the Buffs just need to take care of themselves.

  4. With the Buff’s luck. if Eric Bieniemy doesnt get an HC job this year, he will say screw the pros and become an OC or HC at one of the other PAC schools. College salaries are starting to be as enormous as those in the pros.

  5. Don’t know much about the new WR coach, other than what’s been bandied about. Seems like a decent hire. I guess he wasn’t coaching for the last year, selling some passing machine? Is that right? Maybe better than the ol’ jugs machine that’s been the same for 100yrs?

    Hope he does better than the last guy who had a training machine/system.

    Go Buffs

  6. Well? Looks like there are a lot of nfl wide receiver coaches available now. I wonder if my of them want to coach with Karl in Boulder?

    Go Buffs

    1. Was wondering he is always “why you hiding” It is asked, “why you hiding”

      I mean sheesh there are 870,213 Erics’ in the US.

      You ain’t coming clean. Yur hiding who you really are.

      Come on quit hiding behind some common name.

      Pony up dude

      Buff Be Hidden

      You are posting as Eric? What is that?

      1. Really? Trolling so blatantly? Call me. You got my number. You can just click my name and get right to my site, even. Then call me. We can discuss why you’re suddenly so firm in your belief that Karl, Lance and Rick can turn this ship around. And that a modern offense no longer matters.

        I definitely don’t share your optimism, unfortunately. But? You won’t call. Nor email me directly. You’ll continue hiding right here with your anonymous BS.

        Go Buffs.

          1. Eric has posted articles under his full name, unlike you.
            Knock it off, both of you. Keep the discussion to CU athletics, so I don’t have to waste time deleting your posts.

          2. Thanks Stu, I know my vote don’t count in your benevolent dictatorship, but I say let the dolt troll. Maybe he’ll come clean with who he is at some point? I doubt it. He can’t handle the exposure or he’d have quit hiding behind his veil of anonymity ages ago. Let the dolt troll. It shows his true colors, every day.

            He knows who I am. Hell, he knows I worked at oars. My family barely knows those old days.

            Go Buffs

  7. Regarding CBS’s Coaching Carousel, I would give the Washington Huskies an “A”.
    And frankly, I would give Colorado State an “A” as well. These are coaches that have shown skill at their level and it will likely translate up.

    And I give Oregon a “C-” for hiring an unproven coordinator simply because he comes from the SEC. Lame.

    1. I don’t recall what grade CU received for the hiring of Midnight Mel, the unknown DC from the SEC.

      2022 and to all you anti-buffs Screw You

      1. He didn’t even mention the Buffs and you brand him anti-Buffs? Huh? Mel Tucker was far from unknown when CU hired him- over 20 years of experience in college and NFL. Lanning has a fraction of that experience. Do your homework and stop the blathering nonsense. You’re like the creepy, annoying Gollum of these Buffs message boards going back 15+ years ago. Get a therapist or a hobby, or better yet, go be a CSU fan you mean-spirited weirdo.

        1. Who is this lanning you speak of?
          The coach of washingtonyt
          The buff oc wo just left?

          Yur confusing me man

          It is always best to know who you speak of before you start keyboarding

          Sauce baby sauce

          why don’t you try that again

          buffs win

      2. VKBerlin wrote: “I don’t recall what grade CU received for the hiring of Midnight Mel, the unknown DC from the SEC.”

        I forgot to reply to your comment…

        Yes, I’m sure they rated CU’s hire relatively well at the time because CU has been in the dumps for a while, and hiring an unproven/inexperienced head coach was a warranted gamble…

        For Oregon to hire an unproven/inexperienced coach, rather than a proven head coach, just seems odd. Oregon has played in the Pac-12 championship game more times than any other team in the Pac-12 Conference, and the Ducks have competed in the current Pretend-offs as recently as 2014 and nearly made it again in 2019. There was no reason not to spend the bucks and hire a proven coach, imo. And maybe Lanning will turn out to be a great hire for the Ducks. But it seems like a losing situation for them. If he’s good, he’ll leave, and if he is no good… well.

        I’m just surprised they didn’t get a proven name since they certainly have the money. If CU had the money, they’d have kept Mel Tucker. Ducks have the money, but went with unproven. For the money and scale of the Duck’s program, I give the hire a C-. But who knows. *shrug*

    2. Jay Norvell was at Utah State. Moving to CSewe is a lateral move except he got big pay day. It’s a good hire for sure, but not a move up.

  8. There has to be an “Idiot’s Guide to Coaching QBs” out there. Other than critiquing footwork and release what else can a coach do? As for these “standard” mechanics Mahomes must have destroyed any concepts in the book.
    They do have to be taught how to recognize the pre snap D and how it will affect the play called and which read to go to first. Or do they? Seems like instead of calling an audible change themselves they always look to the sideline for another play if the D is lining upon an undesirable way.
    “Can’t let no snotnose kid change the play….too much money at stake.” Precisely, which is another way that too much money , besides ratholing the best coaches and now players, is wrecking football.
    Once in a while a Chip Kelly or a Mike Leach comes around with a radical approach that succeeds nicely until the D minds catch up with it and then their creative wad is shot and they return to cookie cutter football.
    Soooo…..the coaching carousel is nothing more than a peter principled safe house.
    So Langsdorf left for Temple. He will be the OC there so I imagine he will get more money but are Temple’s conference opponents a bigger challenge than the PAC 12? Will he gradually work his way down to the UC Davis level like HWSRN? Will Mickey Mac succeed at what ever Florida directional school he is at now. Maybe if he has an OC like HWSRN did at Boise….and no kid to coddle on the team.
    Where is this stream going? Straight at Sanford.
    Looks like is also the QB coach now. Langsford cant be much of a loss
    I suppose there is a small chance we will see Sanford “unleashed” or epiphanied (word?) but i doubt it. The modest hope is the Buff O will be improved enough to win 2 or even 3 games more a season.

    1. Given that we just experienced the worst season of QB play I’ve ever seen… I’m utterly utterly baffled anyone would hire Langsdorf but I’m also very thankful.

    2. QB coaching is about the mental side of the game; mechanics are what they are. Everyone from Always to Favre to Mahomes had their own mechanics that coaches have to ‘work with’. But the mental side….recognizing coverage, pre-snap reads, confidence in what you can do vs your actual ability…. That’s all on the QB coach.

      And Langs-Dork didn’t cut it with the ‘development’ of these things.

      I want to see a good young WR coach that recruits.

      Also wonder aloud why we even have a TE coach…..don’t use em, can’t pick from a dozen on the roster…..what’s the point ? Get a stud ST coordinator from a school known for it, like VA Tech or something. Why ignore 1/3 of the game for a single position that underperforms ?

      1. Interesting

        Maybe the right decision, but now that there are 5 coaches on defense and 4 on offense with out a WR coach, that probably ain’t gonna happen
        Go buffs.

    1. Yur right

      Been burning for 15 years.

      Tough to put out.

      Old embers all gone

      New white hats in place.

      That fire is going down and out.
      buffs win

  9. Coach Mike is a loss, don’t understand that one. Was a good recruiter but Duh-rell doesn’t care about that.

    Losing Lansgdorf to Temple is like someone paying you for the box of junk on your curb with a FREE sign: Unexpected, but very welcome.

    No get a WR coach already.

    1. Coach Mike is good. Young intern growing into it. Midnight Mel moved him up. Didn’t take him on the midnight train.

      Not HCKD guy.
      One more coach to go WR guy and the coaches will all be his choice except for the coach that can never be fired.

      go Buffs

      2022 on to the zoo

  10. I could be wrong, it has happened before, but I believe that every coach on his staff he hired………………….except the RB coach, who only one has ever fired (demoted) then hired back.

    Player? ……………………..HC?

    Go Buffsa

  11. I get LB is a complicated jack-of-all-trades position, but for a group of 3-4 guys on the field at any one time, I always thought it odd to need 2 position coaches (inside + outside). In any event, Karl has his guy now.

  12. Bummer about Michelowski. Seemed like a good recruiter and good coach. Oh well. I’m sure he’ll land on his feet. So the staff is set.

    Go Buffs

  13. Welp too many coaches.
    6 on the Dside. too many
    Lb coach moved down or out.
    Gonna combine the LBs or The DC will take the in our out

    It’s a problem
    Got the oline guy
    Got the OC
    Got the rb coach

    And the rest is a mystery

    mix it up mix it up mix it up buffs

  14. I just had a terrible thought. What if it’s like Drew’s redshirt, where it seemed nobody counted four games, and nobody counted assistants?

    Go Buffs?

  15. So who’s the coach going to either analyst role or gone? Seems like either langsdorf, which seems unlikely, or Brian cook, the tight ends guy. But who knows? We’ll see, I guess.

    Go Buffs

  16. So we just switched corner coaches with the ducks?
    The carousel never fails to confound.
    As earache would say ” interesting”
    was it a wash? “time will tell.”
    Guy sounds good to me. Young and hasn’t been fired multiple times. Good results at Oregon should enhance recruiting at what may have just become a position of need. Speaking of a position of real need the new D line guy should be able to produce as well.
    The last 3 hires sound like more of an improvement at their position than VK’s buddy.

    1. Nah

      It’s a good looking coaching staff on the defensive side
      HCKD always said the defense is the priority
      Running the ball is next. That’s the plan.
      So there is that


      Note: So as I read Yiy can have 10 assistant coaches

      And the Buffs currently have
      6 on defense
      5 on offense


  17. Rod chance was a special Ed teacher? Damn. That dude is patient and likes teaching. And can find ways to relate to all kinds of people. On the surface, comparing resumes, seems like a downgrade from Martin, but maybe he’s a sleeper stud? His teaching credentials are strong.

    We’re also seeing Karl contingency to tap his network.

    Go Buffs

  18. I’m thinking So’oto is a good hire that wasn’t retained due to the new coach bringing in his own guy more than him being a bad coach. Here’s hoping I’m right. It sucks that CU lost two better defensive players and their coach last week to (probably the players too) Oregon, it’s too bad CU’s not adding So’oto while keeping the others.

    Does this mean Wilson will coach the DBs?

    1. Absolutely. The fact Lincoln didn’t keep him has little to do w/ his recruiting nor coaching abilities. It has to do w/ Lincoln building his staff the way he wants to. Sure, if he was lights out? Maybe he’d have been kept, but even if he was/is, if Lincoln’s got a guy or three in mind, that’s who’ll get the gig. I hadn’t poked around, but it sounds like his first choice was bringing his DL coach, Cain, from OU to LA w/ him. It’s not been officially announced yet, but may be shortly w/ the departure of So’oto.

      As to DB’s, Maxie probably coaches the whole group, vs. Wilson, but we’ll find out.

      Go Buffs

  19. Maybe bienemy gets a shot in Jacksonville? But does he want a dumpster fire that Pervin liar left behind? Maybe, with a generational talent at qb. But probably not.

    Go Buffs

  20. You gotta wonder what it is about Phil Knight’s $$ that Wilcox and others don’t like. Maybe a lack of autonomy with a $1B sugar daddy always poking his nose in things? Speculating. Or maybe the pressure to overachieve?

    1. I’m very surprised that Wilcox, who has done a great job in a tough situation, turned down Oregon.

      It has to be the vaguely silly expectations?

  21. “The 2015 Alabama coaching staff now features six active head coaches in Cristobal, Smart, Mel Tucker (Michigan State) Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss), Billy Napier (Florida) and Lanning.” – Paulo Uggetti
    Quite the coaching tree…
    Here’s hoping for a good hire and good news all around next week in Boulder

    1. That is amazing.

      Seriously. And look where they are.

      All over the place.

      But they always return to “daddys conference”

  22. Graham Harrell still hasnt landed a new gig
    I know, I know…..too pass heavy for KD
    and, if course, he would have to be jobless for several more months before considering the Buffs.
    Maybe if its pointed out to him that we have the second coming of Dan Marino healing up from his preseason practice injury ……………..

  23. “(since disputed)” Sitake just stayed home but how many times has “since disputed” meant anything?
    Its starting to look more like a wife swapping club than a carousel.

    1. The “since disputed” comes from John Canzano of the Oregonian, who presumably knows more about the Oregon search than the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
      Perhaps it’s all smoke … we’ll see …

  24. If Oregon is having a hard time finding a high profile coach KD must be having a hell of a time looking for an OC. Seems like a lock that signing day will come and go before one is in place. I think it was Locobuff who mentioned it might be a candidate working currently for a bowl bound team who doesnt want his name mentioned until afterwards. Could it also be one of KD’s NFL buddies who wont commit until their season is over? aarrghhhh
    So in the meantime our curiosity has to be somewhat fulfilled by reading Oregon’s search where there is public knowledge of the process.
    IMHO Sitake would be the best of the 3 mentioned above for Oregon. I know its extremely hard to believe but there a few coaches for who 2 to 4 million a year (speculation) is enough to maintain you above a bare bones subsistence level. Especially when you have already established a momentum of success in a comfortable situation as opposed to sticking your neck out in a somewhat unstable high pressure situation. It Sounds like BYU is following a lot of recent examples and negotiating with Sitake to make sure he is even more comfortable there.
    As far as the Buffs go I have to steel myself for what I anticipate may be an underwhelming baby step selection.

    1. I heard a rumor. Only a rumor. They are targeting jimmy southwick. He’s a young, middle aged guy with a lot of experience. He has been running an offense that passes on running downs and runs on passing downs. It has been very effective for southwestern acorn state community college. His wife was second cousins to Karl’s aunt’s brother in law. Until they remarried. They did time together at Miami. In the xfl. He is a great hire. Maybe. But most definitely. Allegedly.

      Go Buffs

  25. Dang Stuart
    Running CU at the Game, practicing law, and writing a novel too?
    Just running this website would keep me pinned to the floor.
    Any chance you have any extra time to enjoy the excellent outdoor recreation in your area?
    When the book hits the NY Times best list are you going to go full bore Tom Clancy and leave us behind?

  26. Stuart:

    Congratulations on the book. I am going to pick myself up a copy. Congratulations to former HCMM on his new opportunity. 2016 feels like forever ago at this point. I wish him well.

    1. I still think CU would be in a better position right now is mac was still the coach (with revisionist history of 2018 team not completely collapsing and thus making a bowl)

      1. Please. The guy was a mediocrity with one great year that fizzled because he was so enamored with his COY award. Oh yeah don’t forget his botched handling of the Tumpkin affair. Remember he was replaced by Tucker, who had started some momentum and KD who will finally get his own staff in place.

  27. Congratulations on the book, Stu! I pride myself on being the most illiterate in my family, but I will get a copy anyway.

    Go Buffs

    Ps- as to the coaching search/es, I figure he either has it sorted out and the process is just unfolding, or the people he wanted said no thanks so he’s moving through the list, or we are completely screwed. Sure hope it is not the latter.

    Go Buffs

  28. Funny we are getting more coach search news from Oregon and others than the Buffs. KD’s lips continue to be sealed but I wonder if anyone has actually reached out to him? Would that be classified info? It could also be amusing or depressing depending on you you look at it.
    I get the feeling he is going to have to take a risk to get someone in here and looking at the Buff’s O this season he is not up to it yet. Baby steps baby

    1. With Chev out, KD has to hit the recruiting trail big time, instead of staying back at the office and working the OC candidates and misc. administrative stuff. That is the glass half empty view. Half full view is he already has somebody lined up but is keeping quiet until that guy’s team plays their bowl game. (or is that cup runeth over…?)

    2. I think it was Howell that said his hunch is after signing day and before xmas for OC news…sounds right considering what KD is doing at moment.

  29. Well that will be fun to watch, if cristobal goes to Miami, which seems like is happening, who does uo go after? Promote from within? Merry go ‘round indeed!

    Go Buffs

    1. OC Joe Moorhead would have been a popular choice … but he’s off to be the head coach at Akron.
      Could he turn the plane around?

      1. You’d think he had a sense of that coming though, right? And even if not, he had to have been approached by bigger programs than Akron, wouldn’t you think? I think dude made a lifestyle choice. Wants to keep coaching, without much of the BS and transience that comes with it. At least that’s how I see it, but what the heck do I know about his motivations?

        Go Buffs

  30. wow, just goes to show how many bad oc-types are out there.

    And they circle around

    Gotta go find the bluebird that hasn’t been found yet

    Go Buffs

  31. too bad about Addazio
    I sure dont feel sorry for him. Coaching has had made him a millionaire and some other AD sucker will ad to it sooner or later.
    Its too bad cause CSU might luck out and get someone better.

    1. Perfect for mickey mac
      or richrod
      or the flimflam man.

      all had some success at little schools eh???

      Comeback city.

      Buffs WBB is really good. Men pretty good as well

      Spinning wheel…………………………Blood, Sweat & Tears

      1. I checked the Memphis scores on Rivals and it looks like Mickey’s D is allowing around 30 a game.
        for the flim flam man I wonder if he would insist on bringing his kid along as an assistant?

  32. Just curious if the hummhuskies got their first choice? Or their only choice.

    USC gets Riley and Washington gets Deboer.

    Different class of proven success.

    Oh well as long as the Buffs keep kicking earaches team, sounds good.


    Note: Seems like he is good at offensive stuff

    1. I guess quality of life? Dude’s been around a while, and apparently was an assistant there for a bunch of years. He can probably work in a way he wants to, and then retire there. Unless he falls flat on his face.

      Go Buffs

  33. Wow. Brian kelly is making the same money -or close enough to it- as Mel tucker. And Lincoln only a little more. That is hilarious. My best guess is msu will be a dumpster fire inside of three years.

    Go Buffs

    1. Hate Midnight Mel. He represents everything that sucks in “Pro Football”. NCAA division 1 P5 money ball isn’t fun college sports anymore. Utah has the formula. One good coach and mutual loyalty. Maybe I should start to be a Division 2 fan?

  34. You definitely picked an interesting topic to follow !
    Brian Kelly to LSU, now ND job is open – wow
    Fickell will be tempted on that one…
    Look forward to hearing who you would like to see join CU’s carousel…

    1. Yep. You would think. And their timing may align, especially if nd makes the playoff and Cincinnati somehow doesn’t.

      The merry go round is always interesting. I thought rich rod may get a higher profile gig. Va tech? Looks like they got their guy. Duke? Others?

      Go Buffs

        1. VK, he moved to Colo. Spgs. and became a hairdresser. He also was gaga over Brady Hoke, who did more poorly than Rich Rod.

          1. Oh ya the hair dresser.

            He loved ep……………………not

            go buffs………….get me an OC who as a powerful right side brain and a left side brain which has influence.

  35. Riley to USC is big news, good for the Pac 12, bad for the Buffs
    I love that Fickell is still at Cinci
    UW should be interesting, I think it is a big one for them to get right

  36. That seems like a great hire at usc. I guess Bohn couldn’t wait for fickell, if he even wanted the job. So who slides where? Uw and Florida and lsu still on the hunt, at least for the bigger gigs.

    As to CU I wonder if any other changes happen? Really curious who the next OC will be. Langsdorf? Other?

    Seems having that dialed soon would be prudent with signing day two weeks out.

    Go Buffs

  37. I’m absolutely loving Oklahoma shooting itself in the foot moving to the SEC, with Riley somehow getting poached to USC with the move to the SEC rumored to be the main reason. Which is unfortunate for CU obviously, but hilarious to see OU and UT screw themselves with their greed when they have everything they want in the BigXII

  38. Wow
    “As the Carousel Turns” my have higher ratings than all the other soap operas. (are there still soap operas out there?)
    Standing room only and the ones who are able to get off for another job will most likely find themselves about 2 tiers down from their previous job.
    The hot new coaches are finally wising up and staying where the grass is green enough and knowing those dream jobs can easily turn into nightmares. I’m sure they have done the math as well. 3 or 4 million for a good number of years is better than 6 or 8 for a year and a half with all those petulant fans and boosters.
    So if you are LSU, USC, Florida, Washington et al who ya gonna call? Places like USC and LSU are the real “coach busters”….pretty much like Nebraska….who had some help from the Buffs as a “coach buster.” (snicker)
    Could ….Gasp…..Mickey mac and HWSRN find better jobs? Maybe HWSRN has no more kids at a playing age. Mickey’s D at Memphis is doing all that hot but these days that doesnt seem to make a difference.
    I coached a middle school team one year and the parents killed it for me even though we killed it on the field. You get 30 ahead and put in some second stringers and the parents of the first stringers come down on you for limiting their kid’s stats. Then you have the parents who are forcing their kids to play to make men out of them when they really dont want to play.
    Why o why couldn’t I see the coming salaries? Even the peter principle coaches making millions.
    Back in those days a head D1 coach didnt make that much more than the owner of a successful plumbing shop.

    1. Honestly MacIntyre would be a great hire at a G5 school. Hell. The last few years have made me wish we never fired him here!

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