Coaches to Watch this fall Part 3: Current Defensive Coordinators
Since everyone has Spaz on the Hotseat List, now is as good a time as any to look at future BC head coaching candidates. Unlike our past profile series, the timing and style on these posts will be a little different. Instead of being weeks or days away from a potential change, we have the benefit of a whole season to evaluate these guys. Some stocks will rise, while others will fall and it will make our usual scoreboard watching that much more interesting.
BC has turned to college coordinators in the past to step up as Head Coach. While there is risk with any hire, the nice thing about a rising coordinator is that they've usually proven themselves adapt at one phase of the game and you have the chance to hire the next great football mind. Plus most coordinators come in hungry and hard working, looking to make the most of their first chance as a head coach. Because Spaz is a a defensive coach, I am sure BC fans will want a replacement with an offensive background, but that doesn't mean we should overlook these guys.
Defensive Coordinator, Michigan State
Until Bruce Feldman dropped his name as a Spaz replacement, I don't think many BC fans were even thinking about Narduzzi. On paper he's a very solid candidate. He's got BCS experience at Michigan State. The Spartans love him and recently gave him a huge raise. While they haven't been elite, I like what Michigan State has done under Dantonio (and Narduzzi). They overachieve given their talent base and work hard on the recruting front. Because of his stops in Cincinnati and growing up in northeast Ohio, Narduzzi has ties to our important midwest recruiting territories. What I like most about him as a candidate is his time at Rhode Island. I don't think our new head coach needs ties to BC, but I do think it helps if he comes in with an understanding of what BC is and can be. If you've coached at URI, you know what New England football is like. You know about the difference in fan interest and the space crunch BC is under. And you'll know that BC can be successful with the right coaching.
What to Watch for in 2012: How high Narduzzi's profile rises. He interviewed for head coaching jobs last year. If Michigan State continues to improve and Narduzzi earns more accolades, other schools will have interest.
Defensive Coordinator, Florida State
Normally I would worry about the fit of a guy like Stoops. He's coming from a football factory. His last name brings some good and bad baggage. But I do think there are some strong pluses in his candidacy at BC. Like Narduzzi, Stoops has deep ties to the Ohio Catholic high school circuit. He also has a good understanding of the ACC landscape after stops in Miami and Florida State. His FSU defenses still begin with the 4-3, so he could take our current roster and install his own system. Although the Stoops name isn't a household name in Boston, his track record, name and personality would be an easy sell to the BC faithful.
What to Watch for in 2012: How Florida State handles their expectations. If this is the year they finally return to being "Florida State" Stoops will get much of the credit and be a hot name. Even if they are good, not great, he's still viable at BC.
Defensive Coordinator, Texas
Due to his unusual path into coaching and his sudden rise, Diaz is a very hot name among coordinators. Aside from his time coaching at other ACC schools, there's not much tying him to BC. But I think his ability to recruit, his Xs and Os and the ability to be the face of the program deserve consideration. Diaz is young, but serving as a coordinator at Texas is a good proving ground. Mack Brown is in CEO mode, so his coordinators do much of the heavy lifting. It's great preparation for making the jump to head coach.
What to Watch for in 2012: TOB's potential retirement. Diaz is one of the names on many NC State wish lists. If TOB steps down, some in their fan base will make a big push for Diaz to return to Raleigh.
Defensive Coordinator, Notre Dame
Diaco is one of the most relentless recruiters in college football. If he took over at BC, I think we could upgrade our talent quickly. The New Jersey native has plenty of ACC experience and has recruited at schools with academic restrictions. I don't love his scheme (3-4) and have a few concerns about his defenses being good but never dominant. But he would be a very good fit at BC and worth the risk.
What to Watch for in 2012: An Irish implosion. Although his seat is not as hot as Spaz's, Kelly needs to win this year. If he's fired, we can't hire his fired defensive coordinator. The perception would be terrible among fans and recruits.