Posted on: January 11, 2011 3:08 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Hey, did you know that there are other coaching searches going on right now besides the one at Michigan? I'm serious, there are! UConn still needs to find a head coach since Randy Edsall decided to leave following the Fiesta Bowl and take over for Ralph Friedgen at Maryland. Though it's starting to look as though the job vacancy in Storrs has been filled.
Reports out of Florida say that former Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, now out of a job following the firing of Randy Shannon and hiring of Al Golden, will be named the new head coach at UConn.
If the reports turn out to be correct, and the 53-year old Whipple lands the UConn gig, it will be his first head coaching job on the FBS level, and his first head coaching job anywhere since he left UMass in 2004. While at UMass he won a Division-IAA national championship in 1998. Whipple has spent the last two seasons as Miami's offensive coordinator, assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach. After a nice 2009 season that saw the Hurricanes score the most points they had in a season since 2002, things took a big step backwards in 2010. Of course, that could be the fault of Jacory Harris throwing interceptions like they were going out of style more than it was Whipple's offensive system.
Either way, to lose a job as an offensive coordinator only to find yourself getting a job as head coach at another BCS program is a pretty nice turn of events for anybody.
Posted on: January 10, 2011 5:44 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2011 6:00 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
According to Fox 23 out of Tulsa, the next Pittsburgh football coach will be Todd Graham of Tulsa. Fox 23 reports that while Graham's hiring has yet to be announced, it is a "done deal" and he will depart for Pittsburgh later this evening.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette confirms this report, reporting that Graham and Pitt have come to terms on a deal and will be announcing the hiring tomorrow. It's likely that the announcement may come later today, considering the pressure such reports put on athletic officials who are being asked constantly for confirmation, but Pitt's current plan is to take care of the formalities on Tuesday.
At any rate, this report likely dismays Panther fans who had been holding out hope for Tom Bradley , the longtime Penn State assistant who was the early favorite for the job. Bradley did interview with Pitt, but obviously those talks stalled at some point. It's also entirely possible that Pitt AD Steve Pederson just plain liked Graham better as a candidate (rather than, say, getting hung up on money with Bradley), but those specifics will have to come from Pederson.
Bradley is also interviewing with Connecticut this week, as the Huskies look to replace Randy Edsall after his move to Maryland a week ago.
Posted on: January 5, 2011 11:35 am
Edited on: January 5, 2011 11:47 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
After a day of back and forth, the deed was finally done on Wednesday morning. Rich Rodriguez has been fired as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines. While the potential Michigan opening has been the subject of discussion for coaches such as Jim Harbaugh, Les Miles, and San Diego State's Brady Hoke; the move also makes Rodriguez, a high commodity himself, available on the coaching market.
Many people are quickly trying to link Rodriguez to one of the currently vacant head coaching positions, but sources believe otherwise. The Detroit News reported that those close to Rodriguez believe there is a strong possibility he will take a year off to spend with his family before returning to coaching. The move would give Rodriguez a chance to reboot after three frustrating seasons in Ann Arbor, as well as give him the option to pick his options when he decides to return to coaching. That's not to say there aren't suitors that are interested in obtaining Rodriguez's service.
One of the popular thoughts for Rodriguez's next stop, should he make a move this offseason, is the recently vacated position at Pittsburgh. With new hire Mike Haywood pushed out just as soon as he arrived, speculation has swirled at the possibility of Rich Rod coaching the rival of his Alma mater. There is also the opening at Connecticut, now available with Randy Edsall leaving to take the job at Maryland. Another interesting possibility would be at Clemson if Dabo Swinney is relieved of his duties. Rodriguez spent two years as Clemson's offensive coordinator under Tommy Bowden before accepting the head coaching position at West Virginia.
Posted on: January 4, 2011 10:50 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
UConn finds itself in unfamiliar territory at the moment, because for the first time in the school's FBS history, it has a coaching search to conduct. The problem is, with signing day not even a month away, somebody needs to take the program over now to keep things running as smoothly as possible while the school begins its search.
And that person is going to be assistant head coach Hank Hughes.
"Hank Hughes is the perfect choice to fill the role as interim head coach for our football program," said UConn AD Jeffrey Hathaway in a statement. "He has been a long-time member of our coaching staff and is extremely loyal to our university and our Division of Athletics. Hank will provide outstanding leadership to our football student-athletes and support staff during this time of transition."
Hughes will also be a candidate to take over the job full time, but he won't be alone in that department. While the school hasn't made any official announcement about who they'll be looking at, names that keep coming up as possibilities are Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, former Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, and Iowa offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe.
Ironically, another name being mentioned is the man who was supposed to be getting the Maryland job Randy Edsall left for, Mike Leach. In a way, Mike Leach has become the new Randy Edsall since his name comes up for every coaching job, but he never gets the job. Another possibility would be Rich Rodriguez should he be relieved of his duties at Michigan.
Posted on: January 3, 2011 11:55 am
Edited on: January 3, 2011 12:09 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
One of the things you can never be sure about when you commit to a school for four years is whether or not the coach that spent all those hours in your living room recruiting you will be there the entire time you attend the school. The way that college football coaching works in this day and age, it's just a risk you have to take, and you have to remember you're committing to a school, not a coach.
Still, when that coach leaves, it could sting a bit. Especially if that coach handles it the way that Randy Edsall apparently did when he told his UConn team he had taken the job at Maryland. One anonymous player told the Hartford Courant how the team found out, and he doesn't sound very happy about it .
"We were on hold for a half-hour, with the operations manager telling us Edsall would be coming on in a few minutes. When Edsall came on he was like, 'I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry I can't do this in person, but due to circumstances ... I just want to let you know that it's not because of you guys. But it's an opportunity for my family. ... I can move on feeling like I've accomplished things here and I'm leaving the program in a good way.'
"A couple of coaches said that was BS. ... They didn't know about it. He hadn't told any of us.
"It really pisses me off because he made Jordan (Todman) address the team (Sunday) night to say he was leaving. And he isn't man enough to do it face to face to us?
"A lot of people were just really upset by the call. He made Todman get up and tell the whole team: 'Jordan, I think you have something to say to these guys.' He made him do it face-to-face. But he didn't do it face-to-face.
"I'm going to look [at other schools], not Big East or anything. ... When you bring in a new coach, the first three or four years [it's all developing the program)]. But these are Edsall's players, not the new guy's. ... Well, I'm going to get the (naughty word) out of here. But what happens with the incoming recruiting class? Are those guys still coming?
"The thing I'm concerned with is, am I going to get my release."
I understand that with all of the football players on break, it's hard to get the entire team together, and that Edsall is somewhat busy at the moment, but to do to it over the phone, after you made Jordan Todman do it in person seems pretty weak. According to the player, Edsall told the team that he just found about about the Maryland job and it was something that just suddenly happened.
According to reports, Edsall had been in negotiations with Maryland last week.
So if you're going to make Todman man up and tell the team he was leaving, why couldn't he have done so himself either before or after the Fiesta Bowl?
Posted on: January 3, 2011 10:56 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The writing may not be on the wall yet for Rich Rodriguez, but by this point, the guy on the ladder with the black paintbrush in his hands may as well get to work whether Dave Brandon has told him to or not.
An utterly miserable weekend for the Wolverine head coach wrapped up yesterday with the news that the jewel of Rodriguez's 2011 recruiting class, running back Demetrius Hart, had decided to back out of his commitment to Michigan. (Though Hart maybe hasn't made it officially official yet, it's hardly any kind of a secret at this stage.) Multiple credible reports state that Hart will be pledging to Alabama instead at this week's U.S. Army All-American game.
Keep in mind that Hart isn't just the highest-ranked prospect in this year's Wolverine; he's a top-100 recruit to mutliple recruiting services (though Maxpreps' Tom Lemming is less enthused , and ranks Hart as just the No. 11 running back, behind another Michigan commit, Justice Hayes), a consensus four-star recruit, and the potential answer at a position where the Wolverines received adequate-at-best production this season. In other words, he might also have been the best, most important recruit of Rodriguez's entire tenure ... and now he's gone. (Dee-committed, we might say.)
But it wouldn't be accurate to say Hart's departure is the final nail in the coffin. More likely, it's the latest, maybe clearest sign we've gotten that that nail has already been driven in. Yesterday we saw a coach who led his team onto the field for a bowl game the night before leave for another program the very next day; if we see the same tonight and tomorrow with Jim Harbaugh, though, it won't come as nearly as much of a shock as it did with Randy Edsall.
Posted on: January 2, 2011 4:22 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
You have to wonder if UConn may be regretting the fact that it was chosen to play in the Fiesta Bowl a bit right now. Forget about the fact that Oklahoma did what everybody expected Oklahoma to do to the Huskies on Saturday night, it's what's happened in the hours since then that have damaged UConn the most.
Now, even with the loss, getting the kind of exposure for the football program that being in the Fiesta Bowl brings is a good thing. Of course, national exposure for a program is a two-way street. Yes, people know who you are now, even if all they know about you is that you aren't as good as Oklahoma. The problem is that exposure not only works for the program, but the people in it.
Jordan Todman has been one of the best running backs in college football all season, but because of where he rushed for all those yards and touchdowns, not everybody knew about it. Now Todman had a chance to perform in the national spotlight, with the eyes of NFL scouts upon him. He didn't have the greatest game, but it's no coincidence that he's now going to skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft.
He knew that the spotlight on him probably won't get any brighter in 2011.
Then there's Randy Edsall. The job Edsall has done at UConn can't be over looked. He took a program from the FCS and helped make it a contender in a BCS conference, and only needed seven years to win the Big East and get to a BCS bowl. It's because of this that Edsall's name has seemed to pop up in every coaching vacancy around the country the last few years, but it seems that one school finally couldn't resist passing up the opportunity to actually hire him.
Sunday brought the news that Edsall was going to be named the new head coach at Maryland. Now, less than 24 hours after the culmination of all the work Edsall put in at UConn, after the team finally reached a BCS bowl game, it's right back to where it started seven years ago.
Happy new year, UConn.
Posted on: January 2, 2011 2:23 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2011 6:46 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
[UPDATE, 6:45 p.m.: Maryland has officially announced the hiring of Randy Edsall tonight.]
After the unceremonious dismissal of Ralph Friedgen from the head coaching spot at Maryland , most people expected Mike Leach to be named the new head coach shortly thereafter. Leach was the only person named by Maryland AD Kevin Anderson at the press conference announcing Friedgen's departure, and he was the first person formally interviewed by Maryland earlier this week.
So, naturally, just hours after Connecticut 's 48-20 loss to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, Huskies head coach Randy Edsall was reportedly tabbed to run the Terrapins.
The Washington Post reported today that according to several sources, Edsall was at Maryland interviewing for the head coaching spot with the search committee. CSN's Chick Hernandez confirmed the report and said that "barring major setback," Edsall would be hired. Minutes later, Joe Schad reported on Twitter that Maryland had in fact tabbed Edsall, and here we are. The hire has not been confirmed by Maryland, and according to the Baltimore Sun, one source at the school insists Leach is still a candidate, but an announcement is expected within 24 hours.
If Terps fans are disappointed by the prospect of Edsall coming aboard, it'd be hard to blame them; bringing Leach and the Air Raid offense to Maryland would have been a breath of fresh air for the program after it took the hit of losing coach-in-waiting James Franklin in December. But a breath of fresh air isn't the same thing as a quality, long-term hire, and that's apparently the direction Maryland wants to go with this hire. Edsall built Connecticut from a I-AA power to a FBS BCS competitor (albeit arguably the worst ever) in just a few years, and Maryland could use that type of institutional quantum leap forward -- or, as Anderson put it, "from 'good' to 'great'." Whether Edsall can deliver on that scale, of course, is something that necessarily remains to be seen.
And if Edsall is indeed confirmed as Maryland's next top man, we can't help but wonder... Mike Leach to UConn?
Tags: 2011 Fiesta Bowl, ACC, Big 12, Big East, Connecticut, Fiesta Bowl, Kevin Anderson, Kevin Franklin, Maryland Coaching Rumors, Maryland Coaching Search, Maryland Mike Leach, Maryland Randy Edsall, Mike Leach Maryland, Oklahoma, Randy Edsall, Randy Edsall Hired, Randy Edsall Maryland, UConn, Who Did Maryland Hire