Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Coordinators in place

Although Yale has not sent out a release naming the new staff just yet, it should be noted that its offensive coordinator and defensive coordinators have bios up on the Yale web site.

The hiring of Ikaika Malloe as the defensive coordinator is not a new development. Reports surfaces of his hiring from the Hawaii media last month. However, the new offensive coordinator is Brian Stark who spent the last nine seasons at San Diego State.

Here's his bio courtesy of the Yale site.

Brian Stark, who spent the last nine years at San Diego State, will be coordinating the Bulldog offense and coaching the quarterbacks. Stark was the Aztecs' quarterbacks coach for four seasons, director of football operations for four and had one-year stints as passing game coordinator (2005) and tight ends coach (2008). As the QB coach from 2002-05, he helped SDSU signal-callers average nearly 3,100 yards (259 yards per game) and 18 touchdowns per season. Four SDSU players under his guidance became NFL draft picks, while his quarterback protégés hold 18 SDSU and Mountain West Conference records. Before he joined the Aztecs, Stark spent a year as offensive program coordinator at Washington, where he also assisted with the Huskies' recruiting efforts. Prior to that he served as student assistant coach and assistant recruiting coordinator at his alma mater, Colorado, from 1994-99. Stark, who has worked with five bowl (Holiday, Fiesta, Cotton, Aloha) teams, was involved in coaching the running backs with both the Buffaloes and Huskies. After graduating from Colorado in 1997, he began his coaching career by serving as offensive coordinator at Brighton (Colo.) High School. He helped coach 12 first-team all-league and three first-team all-Colorado selections while with the Bulldogs. Stark, a Fort Morgan, Colo., native, and his wife, Sarah, have a son, Jackson.

Former defensive coordinator Rick Flanders is now the defensive backs coach and Duane Brooks, who will remain the defensive line coach. Yale also retained its Emil Johnson, its strength and conditioning coach. The other newcomers are Mike Preston (offensive line), Rod Plummer (special teams coordinator) and Mike Sanford (tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator). Word is that one more assistant - a receivers coach - will be named to fill out the staff. That could happen in the next couple of days. Former running back coach Larry Ciotti remains on board in an advisory/consulting role.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tragic loss for Princeton

It should be a somber mood before tonight's Princeton/Yale men's basketball game when a moment of silence is observed in honor of Lorin Maurer, the Athletics Friends Manager for the Princeton University Department of Athletics and Office of Development.

Maurer was one of 50 people (49 on board, one on the ground) who died when Continental flight 3407 crashed into a home in Buffalo, N.Y.

I never met Maurer but my heart goes out to her family and all of those who lost loved ones in the terrible accident.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nitti to be honored

John Nitti, the captain of Yale's 1980 Ivy League championship team, is one of eight honorees being inducted into the Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame.

Nitti would play for the New York Jets and N Giants in a three-year NFL career.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Some recruiting news

According to, Brian Leffler passed on a chance to go to Stanford and reaffirmed his commitment to Yale.

Leffler was one of the 11 players who were early entrants into Yale. The number dropped to 10 when Louisiana linebacker Chris Wade (more on him later in this entry) committed to Miami (Ohio).

Leffler, a 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker/running back who starred at The Hun School of Princeton, N.J. and was one of the top targets of the Yale staff. Among the schools looking at Leffler was Stanford and West Virginia.

By my count, Leffler makes 18 confirmed commitments for the Bulldogs who are hoping to bring in a class somewhere between 25-30 players.

Here's the list which figures to grow in the next few weeks as reports of other players committed to Yale begin to surface.

Roy Collins TE/OL Choate
Nick Daffin, DE Cincinnati (Elder HS)
Allen Davis LB Choate
Dylan Drake, DE St. Thomas Aquinas, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Dez Duron QB Evangel Christian Academy, Shreveport, La.
Ryan Falbo DB Moon Area High, Moon Township, Pa.
Charlie Holmes LB Choate
Justin Hymes, OL Allegany High, Cumberland, Md.
Mark Kaczor, TE St. Paul, MN
Brian Leffler LB/RB Hun School, Princeton, N.J.
Will McHale LB Greenwich
Philippe Panico K Buckingham Browne & Nichols, Cambridge, Mass.
Russell Perkins, DB Menlo-Atherton (Calif.)
John Powers QB Hopkins
Derek Russell, QB Newton (Mass.) South
John Runk WR 6-4 195 Cincinnati Anderson
Javier Sosa, RB Belen Jesuit, Miami
Chance Van Meter, RB Jesuit High, New Orleans, La.

Two players you won't see on this list are Jerry Rice Jr. and Chris Wade.

Rice Jr. is the son of the NFL's all-time leading receiver who made a visit to the Yale campus in October. The standout receiver from the Menlo School in Atherton, Calif. was considering coming to Yale if he didn't get a scholarship offer from a Pac-10 school. However, the people most responsible for recruiting Rice Jr. was former defensive backs coach Tony Reno, who is now on the staff of Harvard coach Tim Murphy. A source close to the situation said that Rice called Yale in the last week to see if they were still interested and he was told that they were done with their recruiting efforts. I do not know how Rice Jr.'s academic credentials were received by the Yale admissions department but if he was able to get into Yale, it seems odd why Yale wouldn't take a flyer on the offspring of the best receiver in the history of the NFL. The source did indicate that even if Yale practiced due diligence in the recruitment of Rice, he would likely have decided to become a preferred walk-on at either UCLA or Stanford.

The decommitment of Wade to go to Miami (Ohio) seemed a little out of the ordinary at the time. As it turns out, this is one time where appearances were not deceiving.

A story in Wednesday's New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Yale recently backed off the recruitment of Wade. Fortunately for Wade, one of his teachers at Northshore High contacted Miami on his behalf which began the process of Wade landing a scholarship with the Oxford, Ohio school.

Expect the entire class to be announced in May. The new coaching staff should be revealed in the next couple of weeks.