Saturday, November 29, 2008

My 2 cents

Names of potential candidates to replace Jack Siedlecki as Yale's head football coach have been flying around the internet in recent days.

The Register's columnist Dave Solomon will weigh in with some names in his weekly "I Was Thinking" column which will run in Sunday's edition of the Register. I will not reveal who is on his list so you'll have to pick up the paper or log onto the web site tomorrow but have a few thoughts of my own.

First, my take on some names being speculated as popular picks to become Yale's third head football coach since 1965.

Steve Addazio, current an assistant at Florida. An absolutely top-notch coach who did a sensational job during his days as Cheshire High's head coach. I just don't see him leaving Florida for anything other than a head coaching gig at a Bowl Championship Series school or an assistants job in the NFL. I also don't think dealing with the non-coaching responsibilities that come with being the head man at Yale would be his cup of tea.

Mark Whipple, currently an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles. If you could come up with the check list of the ideal candidate, it would closely resemble Whipple's resume. A former Ivy League player who had success as a head coach in the league at Brown and was also a winner coaching in the greater New Haven area at the University of New Haven. Also won a Division I-AA national title at UMass. I know things are a little dicey in Philadelphia these days concerning the future of Whipple's current boss Andy Reid but I would be a bit surprised if Whipple headed back to the Ivy League especially with all the BCS openings popping up.

Chuck Priore, currently head coach at Stony Brook. Had a brilliant run at Trinity College, winning his last 30 games and posting three straight perfect seasons so he certainly understands recruiting while dealing with the high academic standards he would face at Yale. Priore just signed a contract extension at Stony Brook in January.

Now for a few other "candidates" with the disclaimer that this is nothing but speculation on my part since it is still very early in the process.

Kevin Morris, currently the offensive coordinator at UMass. Like Siedlecki, Morris was a former head coach at WPI and both also had coaching stints at Albany. It's hard to ignore his results at Northeastern and UMass but a 24-32 record in six seasons as the head coach at WPI might be a tough sell to the alumni who were applying increasing pressure on Siedlecki.

Frank Sheehan, currently the offensive coordinator at Brown. Has spent the last 11 years at Brown, including the last two as the director of the Bears' dynamic offense. Has ties to the state both as a player and an assistant coach at the University of New Haven but would be surprised to see Ivy League co-champions let Sheehan go to one of its biggest rivals.

Mike Pedone, currently the offensive coordinator at Holy Cross. I know some are dreaming about convincing Holy Cross head coach Tom Gilmore to head south. That seems pretty unrealistic. Pedone, who was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2008 after doing yeoman's work with the Crusaders offensive line, would seem to be a more attainable option if both Yale and Pedone are so inclined.

Now for the fun part, big names who may be available with may the operative word.
Ron Prince, former Kansas State head coach. Prince has an Ivy League background with a brief stint as an assistant coach at Cornell. The hire would make waves by making him the first black head football coach at Yale. Prince, a former offensive coordinator at Virginia, he is a well-rounded individual as he served NFL Minority Fellowships with the Jacksonville Jaguars (1996), Washington Redskins (1997), Atlanta Falcons (1999) and New York Giants (2000). Don't be surprised if BCS or NFL teams come calling for Prince but if I were involved in the process, I would certain drop a dime to speak with Prince.

Mike Dembrock, currently the offensive line coach at Washington. With Ty Willingham not returning at Washington, it's uncertain what will happen with his staff. Dembrock had coaching stints at Stanford and Notre Dame so he is no stranger to coaching in setting where academics are a priority.

Dave Clawson, formerly the offensive coordinator at Tennessee. With veteran Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer not returning, Clawson is looking for a job as reports out of Knoxville have Fulmer's entire staff looking for work. During head coaching stints at Fordham and Richmond, Clawson has a 58-49 record. Yale would be crazy not to make a run at the former head coach who began his coaching career at Albany in 1989.

Aside from all of these candidates, you have the current group of Yale assistant coaches. It is certainly hard to ignore the job defensive coordinator Rick Flanders has done especially in the last couple of years but my gut feeling is that Yale will be looking to shake things up and will not hire somebody closely affiliated with Siedlecki which would take the current staff out of the equation.

Whatever direction Yale goes, it would be wise to act quickly. The Bulldogs lose 34 players including 15 players who started games this season. The more time that goes by, the tougher it will be recruiting a class to fill the void left by an outstanding outgoing group of seniors.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you have any insight into who has applied or interested in head coach position.

8:25 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what are you talking about? Where did you get these names from? First Ron prince is not coaching here. He was just a head man that wasnt given a chance at KSU so he's gonna get another shot at D-1A or at least another coordinator job. Listing Mike Dembrock shows how much you really don't know about football. If I told you a team's o-line averaged 6'5" 320lbs, you'd expect them to blast people in the run game right? Well Dembrock's oline at UW average 86 yds per game. 86 YARDS PER GAME.Enough said. Interesting that the was only one black/minority coach on this list and that there was no mention of a guy I found, stanford OC David Shaw. Look him up. All of these other guys' resumes are not that impressive or won't even take a look at Yale since they'll think they're too "big time" to coach the Y. Enough of the 1-AA coordinators. He should be at least a 1-A coordinator who's coached at a serious school and believes in eduacation. Jim Fueller I suggest you step your game up and do some research on the game of football and how it is really played, the passion, the intensity, and the intelligence needed to play or coach the game...

7:27 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finding an upwardly mobile,young,established winner won't be easy.Yale plays 10 games a year,not 11-12 as other FCS schools.The Ivy league does not play in the FCS playoffs.Yale plays Columbia and Dartmouth,not App State or Richmond.Boola-Boola
may be a big deal for some older,has- been coach or someone from a Div3-Middlebury or Amherst,but not an aspiring coach who is use to coaching a much more
competitive environment with much more exposure.

6:13 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be dismayed by these guys who say you know nothing about football. Neither do they.
Clawson would have been a great choice. He's already signed elsewhere.
Yale's gutless treatment of the last two head coaches may appeal to some. Have a few losing seasons; don't beat Harvard; and retire to the AD department.
It will be some third-rater looking to coach at a school who requires nothing more than 4th or 5th place who gets the job.

5:05 PM 

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