There have been message board rumors for a few weeks now that BC Special Teams Coach Sean McGowan was out. Although still no official word from BC, Coleman Hutzler's recent Twitter activities seem to indicate he's taking McGowan's place as Special Teams Coach. On the surface it might seem like BC made the change due to our kicking woes. It's not. This is more about recruiting and fighting complacency.
As much as we assign blame to coordinators or position coaches when things go wrong, football remains a very collaborative effort. The inability to make an extra point does fall on Sean McGowan because he was assigned Special Teams, but it also falls on Addazio. They knew they had a problem months ago and never found the right solution. Our other areas of Specials Teams were decent. We had good return games and an improving coverage team. But once again, Special Teams is still very dependent on how much time Addazio allots to it and who he assigns to play on Special Teams. That's why at many programs the Special Teams coach has another assignment. And if a guy is just Special Teams, he better be an ace recruiters. Based on his age and his short track record at Stanford, New Mexico and Florida, Hutzler fits the recruiter mode.
While I think keeping a staff intact is important in College Football, there is a fine line. A good program needs new blood, new ideas and needs to fight complacency. BC is coming off two winning seasons but there is still plenty of room for improvement. Recruiting is going well, but we still need more and better talent. Recruiting is very dependent on young staffers. They tend to have the energy needed for the constant travel, calls and texting. They also tend to relate better to the younger kids. This current staff's age/experience was offset by Addazio's energy and willingness to recruit. But considering he was still one of the younger coaches, McGowan was not making an obvious impact on recruiting (based on the credit given from the recruiting sites nor on Social Media). If McGowan wasn't meeting expectations as a recruiter, than Daz needed to make a change. It may seem harsh but it also sends a message to the rest of the staff. BC needs to keep getting better and guys need to keep grinding. From what I've been told, the staff likes Daz, but he works them hard and expects a lot.
Hutzler is a welcome addition. He'll hopefully kick recruiting into the next level and get the real kicking on track. Unless there is a retirement coming, I think this might be it on staff changes for now. While not an easy decision -- like many of Addazio's program moves -- this seems like the right thing to do.