Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A new coach should be in place soon

Yale is moving forward relatively quickly in naming its next football coach. Multiple sources have said that a new coach could be in place as early as the middle of next week.

Sources have said that Georgetown head coach Kevin Kelly has been interviewed and former UConn defensive coordinator Don Brown is a serious candidate for the job and Yale has been granted permission to interview Brown although I have yet to confirm if he has been in for an interview yet. Tony Reno is another candidate but a source has confirmed that he has yet to come in for an interview. According to the site, the other candidate is Lehigh offensive coordinator Dave Cecchini.

Both Kelly and Brown fit the criteria of previous head coaching experience that the search committee is looking for in Yale's next coach while Reno and Cecchini are in the mix despite the lack of previous head coaching experience.

With one prominent member of the search committee expected to be out of the state next week, there is a sense that the interviews could be conducted by the end of this week. The weekend of Jan. 13-15 was also circled as a key recruiting weekend before Tom Williams was forced to resign last month over claims that he overstated some of his credentials on his resume. The rest of the staff has remained in place until the new coach determines which of them would be part of the new staff. Having a new coach in place by next week could be invaluable in attempting to salvage the recruiting class.

Brown just completed his first season as UConn's defensive coordinator and has the most head coaching experience among the candidates with stops at Plymouth State, Northeastern and UMass. Brown led UMass to the 2006 FCS national championship game. Brown was one of the early frontrunners for the Yale job back in 2008 before pulling his name out of consideration for the job. He left UMass to become the defensive coordinator at Maryland. Brown was Carm Cozza's defensive coordinator with the Bulldogs from 1987-92.

Kelly has ties to Connecticut as his first college job was as an assistant at Southern Connecticut State in 1984 and 1985. He also has some Ivy League experience as he was on Dartmouth's staff during the Big Green's run to the 1991 Ivy League title. He also coached at Navy, an experience which could prove helpful in dealing with a limited and select player pool in recruiting.

Reno was a member of Jack Siedlecki's staff for six years, five coaching the defensive backs. When Siedlecki was pushed out the door, Reno was the point man for recruiting before Tom Williams was hired. Reno left to join the Harvard staff, in large part because of family considerations since he lived in Sturbridge, Mass. with his wife and children. Reno doesn't have any head coaching experience but he was a defensive coordinator at Worcester State.
Cecchini, a former offensive coordinator at Harvard and Citadel, guided a Mountain Hawks offensive which finished third among Football Championship Subdivision teams in total offense and fifth in passing offense. Among Cecchini's pupils were current NFL players Andre Roberts and Ryan Fitzpatrick. He guided an offense which put up 475 yards in a 37-7 win over Yale on Oct. 1.

On another matter, I did follow up on a couple of comments on my blog saying that nobody from Yale has been in contact with players who have committed to Yale. I spoke with athletic director Tom Beckett last night during Yale's men's basketball game who said he took part in a recruiting meeting with the Yale staff and if that is the case he would like to know that. Beckett would not comment on anything regarding to the search.

I was also told that the players were e-mailed about Williams' resignation before the media was told. I received the e-mail announcing Williams' departure at 8:10 and I was told that the mass e-mail to the players was sent at 8:04. I guess I need to back off some of my criticism of Yale as I suggested the media was told before the players but I still have issues with how it was handled. I understand Yale has more than 100 players but between assistant coaches, people in the sports information department and other athletic department employees there's no reason that Yale couldn't have contacted each player directly by phone or at least text message rather than send out a form letter via e-mail.

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Anonymous Truly Blue '59 said...

Dear Jim:
Thank you for following up with Tom Beckett on the issue of reassuring our recruits. However, I still can't tell from what you wrote about his ambiguous response whether the recruits have been contacted and, if so, when.

3:01 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelly's W-L record at G'town isn't very impressive. I wonder why he's being considered, when other Patriot League coaches have much better records.
Brown has a very impressive resume, and I understand was very popular when he was here in both f'ball and b'ball.
Also, I hope they're giving Shoop and Lamb a look.

3:27 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not true that their players were emailed first. My son is one of them and he received no such email.

4:11 PM 
Blogger Jim Fuller said...

My main focus is reporting on the hiring of a new coach and also my other assignment as the UConn women's basketball beat writer. Once a coach is in place I plan on trying to report on the recruits, both the committed and those yet to commit.

Kelly walked into a very difficult situation at Georgetown and took a program which struggled mightily and turned them into a solid program. A look at the Yale/Georgetown scores over the last few years indicates how far he's brought the program. Shoop had a very poor record as Columbia's head coach but I still look at him as a good candidate.

5:00 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw my son's email, and it certainly looked like every player was addressed. With everyone on vacation across the country, I don't think it was reasonable to expect that everyone would get a personal call from a coach. The school needs to manage the message and how it initially hits the media, telling a hundred 18022 year old guys and expecting it to be kept secret is unreasonable, too.

5:15 PM 
Anonymous SG said...

Bring ex-Fresno State coach Pat Hill out here!!!

7:50 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, my son is being recruited and he was contacted within a few days of coach Williams' departure. He had a very positive conversation and was assured offers would be honored.

8:12 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from regarding Yale coaching search....Multiple sources telling us that 4 remaining finalists (it is believed that Bob Shoop turned it down) are Don Brown (UConn DC), Kevin Kelly (Georgetown HC), Tony Reno (Harvard secondary / special teams) and Dave Cecchini (Lehigh OC).

11:07 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My so also did not see any e-mail. However, whats done is done. He is more concerned with getting a new coach soon, starting over to retain his spot in the lineup and playing some Yale football.

1:04 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brown is the only one of the 4 I really know of, but Ciccini sounds very interesting. Great success as an offensive coordinator, including in the Ivies at Harvard, and in late 30s should be a nice mix of experience (granted, not as a HC) and youth.

8:04 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently Tony Reno has an incredible amount of alumni support -- a letter was sent to alums and admins with lots of captains and players signed on in endorsement

9:04 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony Reno is my choice.

6:33 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

seems like the search is about done.. and word or insight if Jeff Devanney from Trinity was considered. Built a very nice program, similar academic profile and local?

9:02 PM 

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