Monday, November 26, 2012

Ranking the MAC candidates

Brad Bates wants a younger guy with head coaching experience. The most logical place to look for an up and coming coach who has hands-on experience and is looking to jump is the MAC. Fortunately for BC, Bates came from a MAC school and knows the personalities well. This process will have many twists and turns, but I expect our new coach to come from the MAC. Here is how I would rate the potential candidates:

1. Pete Lembo, Ball State. Lembo hasn't received the attention that some of the others have, but he is a very strong candidate. He's a New Yorker and coached in the northeast at Lehigh. He played at Georgetown and although he is young, he's been a head coach for a long time. The only hole on his resume is recruiting in a BCS level conference.
2. Darrell Hazell, Kent State. He's a New Jersey native and has Kent State in the Top 25 (where they haven't been in years). He has key recruiting experience in Ohio and New Jersey. I think he will get a long look. The only problem is that he has only had two years experience as a head coach and in his first season he had a losing record.
3. Dave Doeren, Northern Illinois. I think Doeren would be ideal. He has an intensity and work ethic that we've been lacking since Coughlin. I think he could come to BC, do big things and restore our talent base quickly. His record at Northern Illinois has been very impressive. But I don't think he'll end up at at the Heights. His name is being mentioned for multiple jobs and I don't see BC chasing after the "hot" name. I've been wrong before, but if Doeren ends up at Purdue, I think it will be a missed opportunity for both sides.
4. Dave Clawson, Bowling Green. This name should be very familiar to BC fans, as he was a candidate in 2007. He's 22-27 at Bowling Green but his wins are trending in the right direction. His ties to the northeast and varied head coaching experience would make him an ideal fit at BC. There is only one problem: his very close relationship with Gene. I don't think it will fully disqualify him, but enough people know about it and enough people would raise the question publicly that I don't see it happening. Bates is his own man, but I doubt he wants to deal with any Gene-related baggage on this hire.
5. Matt Campbell, Toledo. There is young and then there is Matt Campbell. Only 32, Campbell is in his first year as the head guy in Toledo. His record is strong, but his experience is so limited outside of Toledo and Mount Union, that I don't see BC rolling the dice with him now.

The other MAC guys are either too old (Solich) or coming off disappointing seasons. If we go MAC, it will be one of those five guys.


BCballer said...

Gee, it sure is good that we're not coming off a string of winning seasons and bowl victories and looking to hire a strong candidate to continue or success. It's also a relief that we're not looking to hire a new coach after playing in the ACCCG 2 seasons in a row. That would be unfair, as we would be in a position of strength.

Fortunately, we are rubble-strewn. Thanks Gene D. Screw you.

Walsh601 said...

"The only hole on his resume is recruiting in a BCS level conference"

That's a pretty big hole. Number 1 priority for our new HC has to be recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. Cleaning up Spaz's mess is a 4-5 year job, and solid BCS-level recruiting ties are a must.

If BC was happy with MAC level talent, then we might just as well stuck with Spaz.

AA said...

Hazell would be my first choice. Got to open up the NJ pipeline. BC has been shut out of NJ since Rutgers program shot past us 5 years ago. We used to get some great players from that state.

The long shots (Mullen, Golden, etc) would never come to BC. Let's grab Hazell before someone else does.

Unknown said...

Great rundown of MAC coaches but keep an eye on O'Brien at Penn State. The situation he thought he was getting into went the way of the Sandusky "mud storm". Would increase the relationship with the Patriots and Mr. Kraft, he did a fantastic job holding the Penn State team together, he will be a strong draw for recruits, and a man with a BC attitude in the best way. Problem is whether or not he would morally bail out of Penn State.
Don't think a MAC coach will solve the BC enthusiasm problem. We might end up with a Donahue - enthusiastic but can't compete with the big guys in recruiting or in game coaching. Father Leahy knows the value of athletics as part of his master plan at BC. That attitude will be reflected in our new coach hire and facilities expansion.

dixieagle said...

Here's the take on the current coaching vacancies and possible candidates from our local paper's website, and an Auburn/SEC perspective:

El Suape said...

I'm pretty sure any of these guys would boost enthusiasm. Hazell and Doeren have some big time recruiting experience. Hazell was consistently responsible for some of the Buckeyes top recruits, especially in Florida, New Jersey and Ohio.

I also have seen some Hazell bashing based on the fact that this isn't his team that has 11 wins. I think that's all the more reason to like him. He is winning with talent that most likely wasn't going to succeed under Martin. Martin didn't leave Hazell with spectacular recruiting classes. Obviously BC has had some talent issues recently and Hazell seems like the type of guy who can maximize our guys abilities. On top of that he has big time recruiting experience and everything I've heard point to him having a lot of pull in the Northeast/Midwest. He is by far my number 1 choice assuming we can't get Golden or O'brien.

ScarletEagle said...

Don't forget Addazio. He was a MAC coach until Temple jumped to the Big East this year. Has big time recruiting experience too.

CatabEagle said...

I respectfully disagree that we need a great recruiter in the sense of a guy chasing down 4/5 star recruits, and we need a great coach instead.

(1) I think that BC will always struggle to get the top ranked players, because of the nature of BC; (a) our academics are too high for x% of the players that populate the big time programs like Alabama, and (b) for those top tier players who are also top tier students, they are far more likely to go to a equal or better academic schools with equal to better football. A classic example of this is Stanford's Kevin Hogan. He went to BC feeder Jesuit high school Gonzaga in DC, but, due to his high status both as a player and a student, attended Stanford over BC and ND.

(2)I believe our better option is to go get a great coach/teacher, of which I'll include TOB and Coughlin. TOB and Coughlin regularly turned 1 and 2 star recruits into solid NFL veterans, particularly on the offensive and defensive lines. While we may not be able to beat the top programs in the country that way, we can churn out regular 8-9 win seasons with great lines that were expertly coached and developed. The classic example here is Charlie Weis v TOB. He recruited some of the top players in the country, but they never improved because he never coached them, and by the time he left, they were a mess. As a result, TOB's o-lines pushed his guys up and down the field year after year. We need a great coach and teacher, someone with a track record of putting guys in the NFL. That's how we'll get back to respectability in football.

AA said...

Reason number 5098 why we shouldve fired Spaz three weeks ago...Now every program in the country is looking to hire the same candidates we are. We shouldve gotten out in front of this one. Who is going to come to BC when they can go to Auburn, Ark, Tenn, etc.
We will get whoever is left then claim it was Bates' FIRST CHOICE.
BC football fever...catch it

Joseph said...

First of all, it makes no sense that BC cannot develop top tiered teams. It will take a top-tier coach and support from the school. It will take the systematic building according to a well developed schedule. Good student/athletes will come if we offer them what they want. The only reason that this won't happen is if the administration doesn't want it.
Second, I can't believe that there are not great coaches that want to work in a great city at a great institution with players who are smart and dedicated. If BC really wants to have a premier athletic department, then it can. It would not be easy, but contrary to the nay sayers opinions, it is not inherently impossible. EVER TO EXCEL need not be just words translated from the Greek.

El Suape said...


It wouldn't make a difference. If we fired him a month ago, this process would still drag on for several weeks into the off season. Every school that has an opening would get their shot at these guys.

Knucklehead said...

AA is on the third step vocalizing anger.

EL MIZ said...

if Doeren is the "ideal candidate" why is he #3? just because a Big 10 school may engage him? i understand BC's financial limitations but its silly not to make a competitive offer to a guy if we think we have a chance to get him.

Friday's Northern Illinois @ Kent St. is required viewing I guess -- Hazell v. Doeren.

ATL_eagle said...


Doeren is my ideal. I ranked him third because I don't think he is BC's top choice (for a variety of reasons) and I don't think we are his top choice (for a variety of reasons). I think it is a shame, but I don't think it comes together. When both sides start off with doubts, I don't think the relationship comes together...especially when both have options.

TGS said...

In addition to being a great recruiter and game day strategist, the next BC coach also has to install and run a dynamic offense. Another Tom O'Brien type (7 wins, none vs. high quality teams, a berth in a third tier money losing bowl and a snooze inducing offense designed to win 20-17), just won't bring BC to the level we all want to see.

Do any of these MAC guys run a 21st century offense?

mod34b said...

Funny how the same names are recyled for the various openings. Here is a list of 10 potential candiates for Purdue.

Seems awfully familiar

10 Coaches to Replace Danny Hope at Purdue

1. Jim Chaney, offensive coordinator, Tennessee
2. Dave Clawson, head coach, Bowling Green
3. Bob Diaco, defensive coordinator, Notre Dame
4. Dave Doeren, head coach, Northern Illinois
5. Darrell Hazell, head coach, Kent State
6. Butch Jones, head coach, Cincinnati

7. Kliff Kingsbury, offensive coordinator, Texas A&M
8. Chuck Martin, offensive coordinator, Notre Dame
9. Todd Monken, offensive coordinator, Oklahoma State
10. Pat Narduzzi, defensive coordinator, Michigan State

mod34b said...

Here is a list of coaches for Kentucky.. more of the same...

1. Sonny Dykes (Louisiana Tech Head Coach)
2. Kliff Kingsbury(Texas A&M OC)
3. Neal Brown(Texas Tech OC)
4. Mike Leach(Washington State Head Coach
5. Dave Doeren(Northern Illinois HC)
6. Darrell Hazell(Ken State HC)
7. Pat Narduzzi(Michigan State DC)
8. Willie Taggart(Western Kentucky HC)
9. Bob Diaco(Notre Dame DC)
10. Butch Jones(Cincinnati HC)
11. Brent Pease(Florida OC)

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Whoever the next coach happens to be, priority #1 in my opinion would be keeping Timmy Boyle on board. I'm from CT and trust me, this kid can really sling the rock.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

And how 'bout Danny Rocco, the Richmond coach; 8-3 there and 47-20 at Liberty?

Tim said...

You characterize TOB's record as follows:
"7 wins, none vs. high quality teams, a berth in a third tier money losing bowl and a snooze inducing offense designed to win 20-17"

7 wins?
1999: 8 wins
2000: 7 wins
2001: 8 wins
2002: 9 wins
2003: 8 wins
2004: 9 wins
2005: 9 wins
2006: 10 wins
Average for those 8 years: 8.5 wins per year.

"none vs. high quality teams"
2001: beat #16 Georgia
2002: beat #4 Notre Dame
2003: beat #12 Virginia Tech
2004: beat #10 West Virginia
2005: beat Clemson (8-4) and Boise State (9-4)
2006: beat #18 Clemson, #22 Virginia Tech, #21 Maryland

"a berth in a third tier money losing bowl"

If you know anything about college football, you know that bowl selection is based on travel reputation, hotel rooms, etc., and not on the head coach's game plans or demeanor.

Knucklehead said...

Here is a name that is completely off the radar but intriguing . . .
Tommy Bowden. Heard he lost it Al Gore style when he was forced out of Clemson though, mat be damaged goods.

Luke Fickell intrigues me as well.

EL MIZ said...

Hazell is an interesting candidate. has HC experience, but also a coordinator and good recruiter at an elite team. has recruited Ohio and PA very well, as well as familiarity with NJ -- probably the 3 most important states for BC.

Fickell makes $750k at Ohio State, one of the highest paid coordinators in the country. BC would only be a slight raise money-wise, and i wonder if he wants to stick around at Ohio St. for the next 1-2 years with Meyer and raise his profile more than having to grind out a rebuild in the ACC

Lenny Sienko said...

SB Nation--Backing the Pack says: Per a source inside UK athletics, Butch Jones, Sonny Dykes and Mark Stoops have all said "no thanks" to Kentucky.

I was surprised to learn that Dykes had coached both Wes Welker and Gronkowski.

I'd like to see the "Air Raid" offense attempted at BC....but, I like odd offenses...still miss Princeton running the single wing in their rugby-striped jersey sleeves.


Try this on for size. How about Clarence Strayhand. He's been head coach for about five years with a 52 - 8 record; a big believer in football philosophy, a graduate of a Catholic high school (although a Baptist) but highly respected for his recruiting and coaching skills but is under the radar because he is from a small college.

Ry said...

new rule....when you throw a coach out for consideration:
a) make sure you spell his name right
b) identify where he is now.

Can't find jack on Clarence Strayhand

Walter said...

""a berth in a third tier money losing bowl"

If you know anything about college football, you know that bowl selection is based on travel reputation, hotel rooms, etc., and not on the head coach's game plans or demeanor."

And also to further your point, the ACC shares all of its bowl revenue anyway, doesn't it? Playing in the lower tiered bowls isn't that much fun, but getting there is what matters.

AA said...

If Bates fired Spaz a month ago, we would already have hired a HC by now...and gotten our top choice. Nnow we have to compete with bigger and better jobs (read: more $) and will probably have to settle for what is left.

Another reason BC will never be a top tier football school....too tied up in being nice and not willing to play the cutthroat game that is, unfortunately, necessary to compete in the ACC

EL MIZ said...

AA -- it is exceedingly unlikely that other schools would have let their coaches interview during the season. it is also highly unlikely that a coach is going to stop coaching midseason and take a job.

get over it.

BCMike said...

I have to assume "Tim" is Patriot Golfer.

He's the only one I know who continues to give Ginger credit for the Spaz gift-wrapped Navy bowl win.

Why stop there? Why not give Toby credit for Jags' seasons?

BCMike said...

I do have to disagree with ATL's list, however.

I don't want a no-name MAC coach, which is precisely what Lembo is. He might be fantastic. He might be the real deal. But no one is going to care if we hire him. He's not going to turn heads when he walks in to schools. The fans (those that are left) will hardly get a chance to be charged up about the future.

My MAC list is short:

1) Dave Doeren

5) Darrell Hazzell

Anyone else should we go MAC diving I won't be thrilled with.

CatabEagle said...


I'm admittedly a TOB apologist, but I think TOBs legacy, aside from his consistency, is how many guys line up in the NFL who were coached by him, particularly along the oline, the dline, and under center. And I attribute that to his coaching (or that of his staff). I believe that consistency is what enabled the Jags offense to work in my opinion, along with Matt Ryan's brilliance. I think if TOB stayed during Matt's later years our results would be very simliar to that under Jags.

I think TOB's (and Bible's) playcalling is what held them back. If we can have someone with TOB's coaching skills on both sides of the ball, I think we can accomplish something great on the Heights.

mod10aeagle said...

Anybody catch Benbow's piece about Spaz in the Boston Globe today? I hadn't thought of it before, but after reading that it's obvious: Spaz is Chauncy Gardner! If you've never seen that Peter Sellers movie (unlike anything else he ever did), check it out, even just 20 minutes of it, and then think about Spaz and comments he's made in the media; imagine Spaz standing alone at midfield during BC practice with the offense on one end and the defense on the other and him having nothing to do with either (as described in Benbow's article). He's Chauncy through and through. Hell, if even pronounces Nietzsche (the philosopher) "Nitschke" (the linebacker)!

mod34b said...

Good one Mod10. Funny. Spaz really is a moron masquerading as a coach.

Here is a test. Which is a quote from Chauncey Gardiner and which is from Spaz.

"The grass is always greener. If that’s what you want to do, and that’s what you need to fulfill yourself, then that’s how you have to think. But you can fulfill yourself other ways, too. That doesn’t mean anything more than that."


"As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again. There will be growth in the spring!"

TGS said...


Is Tim TOB's red headed step child? How else to explain his irrational defense of a slightly better than average coach. Guy averaged 7.5 wins in a weak league and never went to one even second tier bowl. Beating number 21 Maryland is not my idea of a big win.

And silly me, I thought your record determined what bowl game you play in. Thanks for letting me know it is really about hotel rooms.

It is sycophants like you that allow BC to get away with subjecting their fans to an inferior product. I'm guessing you were all for hiring Spaz four years ago. Go find a field hockey blog and leave the football talk to men who don't squat to take a leak.

BCMike said...


I'm not a TOB hater, appreciate what he did here, but both TOB with BC and BC with TOB ran their respective courses.

TOB's shots on the way out were uncalled for and are still stuck in my craw. He won the games he was supposed to (barring one WTF loss) and lost the games we weren't favored in (barring one WTF win), but clearly had hit a ceiling at BC.

In regard to what Matty / Jags / Logan did after TOB left, I have to disagree completely.

Matt's numbers--across the board--doubled. Not increased 20% or 30%, DOUBLED.

TOB would have never, ever, in a million years on a drunken bet doubled Matty's numbers.

Jags had (has) plenty of things wrong with him and owes TOB for the pieces he was given to play with...but he undeniably played those pieces better.

CatabEagle said...


Point well taken on how drastically the offensive output changed. The TOB/Bible system did not aid Matt Ryan's strength as a passer.

With TOB's comments towards BC at the time, I tend to forgive them in retrospect now that we knew what kind of AD office Defillippo ran. I view those comments more at "coach" flip than at BC as an institution. In my mind, the fact that TOB sent his kids here is a more accurate reflection of his feelings towards our university than what Blauds wrote in the globe against him while working at Flip's official mouthpiece.

mod10aeagle said...

For what it's worth, which may be zilch, I would really like the next coach to be someone who wore his enthusiasm for the job, the team, and the game on his face and in his bones. That's one thing Jags did, albeit very briefly and while neglecting other critical obligations. Remember him pouncing on Ryan after the VaTech comeback? Never saw anything approaching that from TOB or Spaz.