Thursday, February 10, 2011

The never-ending OC search

Doug Martin is the latest guy to interview for the BC open Offensive Coordinator position. Doug Martin coached under Steve Logan for a long time and has a good connection with Jags and Logan. He would have been a good candidate for the OC job TWO YEARS AGO when we had Logan personnel. Now we've moved back to pocket passers. Bringing in Martin doesn't make sense. None of this search makes sense. And it is all due to one person: Gene Defilippo. I've hinted around this topic for a long time, but now let me come out and say it as clearly as possible -- Gene has more influence than an AD should in the day-to-day of the football program. As much as I am frustrated by Spaz as a head coach, he should be hiring his own staff. As much as I want Ryan Day to be the new offensive coordinator, that should be what Spaz wants, not what Gene wants. We might still end up with Day as OC (a position that Gene has dangled in front of him for three years). But I don't think our AD running the show is good for the rest of the Spaz era.

Gene has done many great things for BC. I don't need to rehash them all. Gene's unconventional style also led to the hiring of Jags over more obvious candidates (which I applauded). So can I complain when Gene's micromanaging leads to results and decisions I don't like? I don't know, but I think I can. If I liked the Jags hire or the Ryan Day promotion that doesn't mean the path we took to get to those decisions was healthy, professional or good for program stability.

Gene holds all the cards. He has a coach that he just bought off with an extension and who isn't going anywhere over the OC position. He has an ambitious young assistant who wants to move up but wants to do it at BC. I still think we will end up with Day, but all we've done is kill momentum and plant serious questions in the whole staffs' heads about how things are run around BC.


McDaid said...

I'm meeting Gene D tonight as he's giving a talk to the BC London Alumni group. At the Q&A I'll ask him about the OC role - why its taking so long and why it appears the choice will be external. Will revert tomo with comments.

Keep up the great blog - its a million times better than eagleaction...

Erik said...

McDaid - great opportunity to ask the question, I'm looking forward to the answer

ATL & Everyone else - Has GDF been in London and other places for a while now? Maybe his travel is why this is taking longer?

This should have been locked up a while ago. We know GDF has his candidates lists always up to date even when coaches are in good standing. He probably has an extensive list for York & Crawley! And we know Cavanaugh is getting York's job. But with this hire, he had his list and we knew it was likely Tranquil would retire or be forced out, so GDF would have been ever more prepared to move fast.

blist said...

I give GDF a big benefit of the doubt. Sure he's meddlesome, but the athletics top to bottom are much better than they were before he arrived. When I was at BC, the baseball team was a proxy to get more hockey players on scholie - now they take Texas 26 innings in the CWS. I even watched a women's soccer game too last season.
to my way of thinking, it shows he knows the OC was lacking and replacing the Nyquilizer is a big deal. It's February, how big of a rush is it to get a guy in anyway?

JD said...

Kinda curious, if Spaz chose Tranq, and you dont like Tranq, why are you advocating for this decision to also be executed by Spaz.

Also, when we hired Spaz, the big knock I heard on the blogosphere was that his "national" search was done with Spaz as the end in mind. It seems as though they are turning every stone with the OC.

I have no inside knowledge, but I can imagine that Spaz has a say, and I bet GDF also has a say. Which may not be a bad thing... I think Spaz can be a good coach, but he is still growing into it (at an advanced age).

If they interview everyone and like Day the best because he showed the most on the whiteboard, or had the best strategies, I am all for it. But I for one am glad they are looking around. That said, I hope we dont go back to the spread, that put our offense in a hole as we attempted unsuccessfully to transition over.

mod34b said...

The obvious lack of leadership by the actual head coach is troubling. Nature abhors a vacuum!

Maybe some arm-chair psychology explains things:

"Fool me once, shame on you ...

.....Fool me twice shame on me"

I would imagine GDF's mess up with Jags hire/fire and hiring of Spaz is what is causing GDF's paralysis.

And, as we all know from our own lives, once procrastination and paralysis sets in, it can be very difficult to get going again.

But then, again, GDF must know that Day did not earn his stripes the last two seasons, as he was expected to do. It is easy to dump on Tranq, but Day was sitting right there too and has to be held accountable too. Arguably the worst part of the offense was the receivers -- Day's job. So, really, GDF must be asking himself why he should reward bad work. I do think GDF has high expectation for success (so why the Spaz hire?...good question)and Day can't even claim to rise to the level of explainable mediocrity. He was terrible.

Patrick said...

Four seasons ago, Gene gently pushed Tom O'Brien out of the door. He did so for what, I think, were very valid reasons: O'Brien had stopped recruting, never fully embraced the school, and believed that aggressive coaching would cause BC to suffer enless 4-8 seasons. In fact, I think Tom O'Brien believed, contrary to the factual record, that the default season of BC football was 4-8 and only his brilliant and conservative stewardship could consistently produce winning seasons. In other words, Gene made the right call there.

And he made it at the right time: Matt Ryan was entering his senior year and the football program was on very solid foundation. The right hire would have expanded the foundation and built a lasting reputation at BC. Indeed, he had the tools for immediate success at his disposal: a first-round QB, a first-round DT, and a very strong defensive core.

But Gene hired Jags. A total fraud of a person who was entirely dependent on his former boss whom he hired as OC. A guy who was at the Heights for all of six months before lusting after the Falcons job (and we'll leave the discussion of his lust there).

Any competent football coach could have done what Jags did. And any competent football coach would not have been forced out within two years, brining the program to a state of turmoil it NEVER should have been in.

A state of turmoil that, of course, frustrated the school president, and caused Gene to retreat to the safety of a long-time assistant. Our football program immediately returned to the Tom O'Brien years --- but this time with an even less aggressive coach, and an offensive coordinator who had last called an effective play when many of us were but a twinkle in our parents' eyes.

Gene made the wrong call in handing the reigns to Jags. And Spaz was a natural outgrowth of that horrid decision: having made a national laughing-stock of himself with Jags firing, Gene had to go all in on the "loyalty to BC card." What choice, then, did he have but to hire the long-time good soldier (and very effective!) assistant whom everybody in football seems to like.

Of course, that assistant didn't exactly surround himself with offensive know-how. One shockingly inept offensive coordinator is out the door...and now list of the potential next-in-line screams "we're desperate to get somebody to come in and fill this unattractive job." But it's not an unattractive job, or at least it should not be. BC coordinators have a long history of success: just look at the damn list of ACC head coaches (and, say, Tom Coughlin).

The only thing Gene knows how to do is sell himself...and apparently, hire a basketball coach. But because he's sold himself to Fr. Leahy, we're stuck with him. And we're stuck with his torrent of poor decisions concerning the football program. His first major personnel decision--that's right, check the record, York, Skinner, and O'Brien ALL predated him---was such a spectacular flame out that he was forced to return to Spaz, whom he had passed over in the first place. The reasons why Spaz were passed over still exist and are there for the world to see --- but ol' Gene can't replace him so he'd doing (as he is wont to do), one worse: he's meddling.

Bob B. said...

I heard a rumor from a pretty credible source that BC is planning on breaking its contract with Under Armour due to all of the errors they have made so far. Apparently UA's mistakes costed BC a lot of money this football season. ATL, can you confirm this or have an opinion on this? I'd be surprised to see BC and UA split after just one year, but I heard this from a pretty close source.

blist said...

they totally should break the contract - that uni totally screwed up Shinskie's form

David said...

There is absolutely no truth to what you heard regarding the UA contract

Bob B. said...

I have several sources within the varsity athletic program who have told me that Under Armour has stopped sending supplies and that there is tension between BC and the company that will probably cause BC to look elsewhere next year for uniforms, etc, even though they have a long term contract with UA. Not sure what the financial ramifications are but the disagreements must be pretty serious between the two sides. Let's be serious, Under Armour products are not great, and the brand is clearly not the leader in the field in terms of quality or popularity (NIke obviously wins). That said, I find this interesting because it is year one of the deal.

Mike said...

How could Under Armour's mistakes on BC uniforms cost BC a lot of money? The whole point of the sponsorship is that we wear their gear if they supply it. If they screw up, they are the ones responsible to replace it. In fact, I know someone who works in the athletic office who just showed me a picture of a redesigned hockey jersey. UA didn't have enough time to design their own for this season, but it will be rolled out in time for fall 2011. The bookstore has already stopped stocking the current UA hockey jerseys. Whatever you can buy from them is from their current stock. UA isn't going anywhere.

JBQ said...

I liked Jags. Also, if the offense was terrible under the present coaches, why would you want to reward one of those coaches with a promotion? The best answer would be bring in a "young gun" who will then move up when Spaziani fails.

EL MIZ said...

i fail to see how extending the search to look at guys with NFL experience is a bad thing. gene D, spaz, maybe fr. leahy or the BCPD police commish -- whoever is behind it is doing a diligent job and making sure they leave no stone unturned.

look, we all want to pretend that the BC o-coordinator should be some illustrious job but it's just not the case. i don't know the finances behind it but spaz is, if not the lowest, among the lowest paid ACC coaches and our coaching staff likely corresponds. i doubt we are going to blow this guy out of the water with money, and he's inheriting aa unit that had a woeful offensive season last yr.

the vikings QB coach, chris palmer (an NFL head coach at one point, qb coach of the giants when they won the super bowl) aren't complete schleps. i'd prefer a guy with NFL experience over day, a guy who coached a bad offensive unit last year. the dropped balls, lack of big plays, and sheer inability to get open were all thoroughly disappointing.

some of the guys ive never heard of and would probably prefer day over, just because day has supposedly been the guy and it seems like everyone speaks highly of him. the delaware o-coordinator comes to mind -- they weren't a remarkable D2 offense, i'd rather roll the dice on day and hope he's the future head coach (presumably the idea in 4-5 yrs since spaz is mid-60s).

when jags/logan came here with ryan, callender/whitworth, a solid o-line, and a few small but good WRs (b-rob, tony gonzalez, gunnell, even purvis) it was a perfect time with so much experience at all the positions. i think now is/would be the perfect time to bring in a new offensive philosophy and build something. rettig played a lot as a true freshman and seems to have the physical tools and desire. montel is coming back and will probably be the all-time acc rusher, andre williams torched 'cuse and had a nice run against nevada. i like swigert. there is a lot of youth on the offense, and suntrup is in the pipeline as a QB to develop. finding the guy right now is of utmost importance, i am pleased that they didn't just rush to annoint a 31-yr old who coached a position that thoroughly underperformed last year to OC.

chicagofire1871 said...

Gene is looking for that guy who says, "BC is my dream job and I will never want to leave."

The very fact that this is the type of person GDF is looking for makes me tend to want a new AD. I'd much rather have a Urban Meyer type coach on his way up than someone who's only good enough to get a look by BC. To my thinking, that's a self limiting philosophy.

Benjamin said...

I agree with El MIZ on this one. When we hired Spaz, people complained that GDF didn't go through his due diligence. When Spaz brought Tranquil in, people said that the search should have been conducted with a broader reach in mind.
And now that GDF is conducting a more thorough search, people are complaining that it's taking too long. If we went with Day or Brock, people will complain and say that we shouldn't have gone with staffers who worked under Tranquil's tenure, because they obviously didn't do anything for the program. If we bring someone in who has extensive experience in the NFL and other college gigs, people will complain that they clearly weren't bright enough stars to win championships at any level.
If we bring some up and comer from D2, people will say that they've only won at the lower levels, and that their D1 record is atrocious. If we bring in some young hot-shot from elsewhere in D1, people complain saying that will force guys like Day and Brock out. No matter who we bring in, people are going to complain.
When it comes to the new OC, I'd rather have the due diligence met. With GDF's last few hires, they came quickly, and people thought they haven't panned out (Jags clearly didn't, and see the anti-Spaz movement currently going on). I want GDF to bring in a guy that wants to stay at BC, but more importantly, that believes they can make BC a competitor year in and out. Remember, Jags came in saying he was a "BC guy." Spaz has proved he is a BC guy. Now all we need is a proven BC guy that can win.