2019-20 Coaching Discussion/Carousel

I knew Butch Jones was working as a "Football Analyst" for Alabama, but didn't know Mike Stoops and Major Applewhite were as well.

Not advocating for it but it is sad that I would take 3 non-coaching assistants from another team ( HC-Jones, OC-Applewhite, and DC-Stoops) over what is currently in place at Illinois (Smith, Smith, and Smith).
"Hey Nick, quit hoggin' all the coaches!"
 
I would love a journalistic deep dive on what the heck Saban has all of those guys do, but I'm sure he'd never allow that.

High-level analysis of their own film and film of their upcoming opponents I would imagine. Tendencies, potential weaknesses, things like that. But being able to have a system that synthesizes that work into a gameplan in a consistent and useful way is harder than it sounds and very, very impressive. Bama is a remarkable machine.
 
Is Florida State's offense setting your heart racing?
Ya but that may have to do with the lack of decent QBs on the roster. After Fisher decided he was going to throw a tantrum about the facilities, he just stopped trying. I think their highest rated QB on the roster is a 3 star
 
Likes: KevinC
I would love a journalistic deep dive on what the heck Saban has all of those guys do, but I'm sure he'd never allow that.

High-level analysis of their own film and film of their upcoming opponents I would imagine. Tendencies, potential weaknesses, things like that. But being able to have a system that synthesizes that work into a gameplan in a consistent and useful way is harder than it sounds and very, very impressive. Bama is a remarkable machine.
You would think that it would be "too many chiefs and not enough Indians". I would imagine its one of two things. Its either a "fallen from grace" coach (Locksley, Sarkisian, Kiffin) or guys on the rocketship up to a head job. Rising tides raise all boats.
 
Likes: RickBB
You would think that it would be "too many chiefs and not enough Indians".
Yeah that's what makes it impressive. I can imagine there are a lot of coaches, even very good ones, who would find having all these guys in the room more trouble than it's worth. They'd want to keep a tight-knit group who are out on the road together recruiting and with the players every day and all of that. It's a different sort of managerial challenge. There's getting more resources (money, infrastructure, people, whatever) and then there's having uses for more resources. Saban finds a way to take every little cherry on top that Bama can add and use it to make them just a little bit better. That's why he stands apart.

Ya but that may have to do with the lack of decent QBs on the roster. After Fisher decided he was going to throw a tantrum about the facilities, he just stopped trying. I think their highest rated QB on the roster is a 3 star
Oh sure, there are reasons for it, but I could go get Ricky Rahne or Tim Beck or maybe Chip Long or somebody that's dialing up the plays for a way better offense than FSU's. What the heck do I need Kendal Briles for? A 36 year old whose only real success was under his Dad in a situation that ended in disaster. A guy who got fired by Houston last year.

You might as well hire Kendall Roy (where my Succession fans at!?)
 
You would think that it would be "too many chiefs and not enough Indians". I would imagine its one of two things. Its either a "fallen from grace" coach (Locksley, Sarkisian, Kiffin) or guys on the rocketship up to a head job. Rising tides raise all boats.
Pretty much. A number of the big programs are doing this. UT has David Beatty, Larry Fedora and Andre Coleman in this same "analyst" role. Jorge Munoz, the old offensive coordinator at Louisiana Lafayette is in this role at LSU. Fashionable move nowadays.
 
Oh sure, there are reasons for it, but I could go get Ricky Rahne or Tim Beck or maybe Chip Long or somebody that's dialing up the plays for a way better offense than FSU's. What the heck do I need Kendal Briles for? A 36 year old whose only real success was under his Dad in a situation that ended in disaster. A guy who got fired by Houston last year.

You might as well hire Kendall Roy (where my Succession fans at!?)
If your running a QB out there that is only a playing because the team said "HEY who can throw a football" and he was the best you had, you could have Bill Walsh out there and it ain't gonna make a difference
 
Likes: KevinC
So we're ok scrapping recruiting for the next four years and running out some talent again...there wont be a recruit that will come within miles of this place if we get rid of this coach now.
I understand the stability thing, but I don't think recruits (at least quality ones) going forward are going to be committing to Illinois just because Lovie has been here for 4, 5, 6, or 9 years if they're not winning. We know that some of our top targets have been taking a wait and see approach before committing and they're waiting to see if he wins. And he hasn't. From my way of thinking beyond the is the coach/staff good recruiters and have the relationship, there are two things that move the bar for recruiting -- winning and/or a vision and hope for the future. Lovie hasn't been doing the first and the hope for success is dwindling if not gone. So I don't think firing Lovie is going to have a huge negative impact on recruiting in the near or long-term. Sure it might impact the 2020 class, but even retaining an assistant (Patterson) could help with that. To see if this has been true with recent firings, I looked at recruiting for schools that have a new HC this year because they fired the previous one. The results are below. As you can see often not much of an impact and bounce back seems to happen pretty fast. Now those numbers don't take into account transfers (either transferring in or out). And the 2020 numbers are incomplete.

As for the numbers first number is national rank, second number is average recruiting ranking or score or whatever 247 calls it, and third number is number of recruits. The number of years next to school name is the length of time previous coach has been there. And I chose those 3 years because they represent last year under old coach, "half" of a recruiting cycle for new coach, and then his first year recruiting.

Akron (7 years)
2020. 104 .8278. 9
2019 114 .7923. 23
2018. 127 .7915. 16

Colorado (6 years)
2020. 45. .8489. 19
2019. 44. .8491. 25
2018 53. .8449. 25

Maryland (2 years)
2020. 41. .8562. 16
2019. 47. .8573. 18
2018. 28. .8698. 24

Charlotte (6 years)
2020. 106. .8243. 11
2019. 132. .7945. 16
2018. 111. .7877. 26

Louisville (5 years)
2020. 31. .8545. 22
2019. 69. .8496. 15
2018. 30 .8653. 24

UMass (11 years)
2020. 78. .8154. 18
2019. 113. .8030. 21
2018. 108. .7885. 24

East Carolina (3 years)
2020. 53. .8323. 21
2019 78. .8256. 21
2018. 89. .8109. 25

Central Michigan (4 years)
2020. 96. .8066. 13
2019. 104. .8012. 23
2018. 120. .7919. 19

Texas Tech (6 years)
2020. 44. .8550. 17
2019. 61. .8426. 20
2018. 72. .8376. 22

Texas State (3 years)
2020. 128. .8146. 6
2019. 133. .7973. 17
2018. 107. .7902. 31

Bowling Green (3 years)
2020. 75. .8093. 22
2019. 129. .7889. 20
2018. 91. .8081. 24

North Carolina (7 years)
2020. 19. .8771. 22
2019. 29. .8623. 24
2018. 20. 8780. 24

Western Kentucky (2 years)
2020. 100. .8140. 14
2019. 89. .8118. 25
2018. 84. .8149. 26

Kansas (4 years)
2020. 36. .8424. 26
2019. 70. .8376. 18
2018. 60. .8354. 26
 
Awesome work, forgive me, I'm gonna delete the non-Power Five teams for my ease of reading.

Colorado (6 years)
2020. 45. .8489. 19
2019. 44. .8491. 25
2018 53. .8449. 25

Maryland (2 years)
2020. 41. .8562. 16
2019. 47. .8573. 18
2018. 28. .8698. 24

Louisville (5 years)
2020. 31. .8545. 22
2019. 69. .8496. 15
2018. 30 .8653. 24

Texas Tech (6 years)
2020. 44. .8550. 17
2019. 61. .8426. 20
2018. 72. .8376. 22

North Carolina (7 years)
2020. 19. .8771. 22
2019. 29. .8623. 24
2018. 20. 8780. 24

Kansas (4 years)
2020. 36. .8424. 26
2019. 70. .8376. 18
2018. 60. .8354. 26
And forget about the previous classes and the bounce back or whatever, just look at those 2020 classes. They're all doing pretty well.

The idea that it takes years to build momentum in recruiting is a humongous lie, usually used in basketball, but it's even more ridiculous in football.

Barring like Bill Snyder-level program transformation, coaches start on day 1 with as much recruiting capital as they're ever going to have. It is far more likely to erode than build from there, EVEN IF they do pretty well on the field.

Our best bet for the 2021 recruiting class is a new coach, full stop, and that's not even really a slight against Lovie, that's just the nature of things.
 
Last edited:
California
EyeoftheIllini - That was a very informative post. Thank you!

If you have time (or if I have time tonight), I would be interested in the Big Ten firings for a few years before 2019. Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, and Rutgers (firing of the coach before Chris Ash) come to mind.

See how your good work is rewarded with requests for more work?
 
I understand the stability thing, but I don't think recruits (at least quality ones) going forward are going to be committing to Illinois just because Lovie has been here for 4, 5, 6, or 9 years if they're not winning. We know that some of our top targets have been taking a wait and see approach before committing and they're waiting to see if he wins. And he hasn't. From my way of thinking beyond the is the coach/staff good recruiters and have the relationship, there are two things that move the bar for recruiting -- winning and/or a vision and hope for the future. Lovie hasn't been doing the first and the hope for success is dwindling if not gone. So I don't think firing Lovie is going to have a huge negative impact on recruiting in the near or long-term. Sure it might impact the 2020 class, but even retaining an assistant (Patterson) could help with that. To see if this has been true with recent firings, I looked at recruiting for schools that have a new HC this year because they fired the previous one. The results are below. As you can see often not much of an impact and bounce back seems to happen pretty fast. Now those numbers don't take into account transfers (either transferring in or out). And the 2020 numbers are incomplete.

As for the numbers first number is national rank, second number is average recruiting ranking or score or whatever 247 calls it, and third number is number of recruits. The number of years next to school name is the length of time previous coach has been there. And I chose those 3 years because they represent last year under old coach, "half" of a recruiting cycle for new coach, and then his first year recruiting.

Akron (7 years)
2020. 104 .8278. 9
2019 114 .7923. 23
2018. 127 .7915. 16

Colorado (6 years)
2020. 45. .8489. 19
2019. 44. .8491. 25
2018 53. .8449. 25

Maryland (2 years)
2020. 41. .8562. 16
2019. 47. .8573. 18
2018. 28. .8698. 24

Charlotte (6 years)
2020. 106. .8243. 11
2019. 132. .7945. 16
2018. 111. .7877. 26

Louisville (5 years)
2020. 31. .8545. 22
2019. 69. .8496. 15
2018. 30 .8653. 24

UMass (11 years)
2020. 78. .8154. 18
2019. 113. .8030. 21
2018. 108. .7885. 24

East Carolina (3 years)
2020. 53. .8323. 21
2019 78. .8256. 21
2018. 89. .8109. 25

Central Michigan (4 years)
2020. 96. .8066. 13
2019. 104. .8012. 23
2018. 120. .7919. 19

Texas Tech (6 years)
2020. 44. .8550. 17
2019. 61. .8426. 20
2018. 72. .8376. 22

Texas State (3 years)
2020. 128. .8146. 6
2019. 133. .7973. 17
2018. 107. .7902. 31

Bowling Green (3 years)
2020. 75. .8093. 22
2019. 129. .7889. 20
2018. 91. .8081. 24

North Carolina (7 years)
2020. 19. .8771. 22
2019. 29. .8623. 24
2018. 20. 8780. 24

Western Kentucky (2 years)
2020. 100. .8140. 14
2019. 89. .8118. 25
2018. 84. .8149. 26

Kansas (4 years)
2020. 36. .8424. 26
2019. 70. .8376. 18
2018. 60. .8354. 26
Did you happen to notice a trend after this analysis, specifically as it relates to Maryland, Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina and Texas State? The HCs of those programs are all well established recruiters with a staff made up of high profile recruiters.

If you hire a HC proven in this area, there’s no data anywhere that would lead a person to suggest a significant short term backslide. Excellent work.
 
EyeoftheIllini - That was a very informative post. Thank you!

If you have time (or if I have time tonight), I would be interested in the Big Ten firings for a few years before 2019. Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, and Rutgers (firing of the coach before Chris Ash) come to mind.

See how your good work is rewarded with requests for more work?
Trust me on this one, you don’t want to see Purdue’s.
 
EyeoftheIllini - That was a very informative post. Thank you!

If you have time (or if I have time tonight), I would be interested in the Big Ten firings for a few years before 2019. Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, and Rutgers (firing of the coach before Chris Ash) come to mind.

See how your good work is rewarded with requests for more work?
I didn’t check how long previous coaches had been there or note number of recruits in each year., and on my phone so don’t feel typing all those numbers so here is a summary.

Purdue — 80th recruiting class and .8113 year before Brohm arrived. Been building since he arrived — 72nd, 52, 25, 32. 2019 class had score of .8663.

Minny
46 and .8391 year before Fleck. Dropped slightly first year — 59 and .8324 — but then up to 38 and .8626 next year.

Rutgers
56 and .8282 and then slight dip in Ash’s first year to 64 and .8286. Then in first recruiting year up to 42 and .8371. In ‘18 and ‘19 ranks dipped back down (42 and 56) but averages were up over .8400
 
Likes: SKane
Haven't seen him do enough as a HC yet. Yeah the turn around was historic and impressive. I personally like to see about 3 years of sustained success, but I get that coaches get snatched before that many times. His recruiting classes have been decent, and for cincy moderately impressive, but nothing that drops your jaw (I'd still label them as a slight positive). I think a top 25 finish this year seals the deal for me, and honestly as it stands he's still my number one. I haven't dug enough into his time at OSU but he just doesn't look like the sexiest hire out there. Like I said, he seems like the safest pick to me, but there's guys out there that have to have apparent higher ceilings, even if it's just because they haven't had as much exposure as Fickell (if that makes sense).
If it is Fickell, please bring Marcus Freeman with him.
 
Likes: krushdad
If it is Fickell, please bring Marcus Freeman with him.
One way or another, Fickell and Freeman are probably breaking up.

If we or anybody else hires Fickell away, surely Freeman is his successor at Cincinnati.

And if Fickell decides to stay, Freeman will have massive offers that Cincy can't match to be a mercenary DC at a powerhouse program, to say nothing of potential head coaching interest in the MAC or elsewhere.

I would not price Marcus Freeman into your calculations of Luke Fickell the Illinois head coaching candidate.

You know who honestly would be a very plausible Fickell DC here? Chris Ash. The two won a national title together as Co-DC's.

I really think Fickell is going to jump somewhere this offseason. He knows he's going to lose Freeman, he's already lost Joker Phillips to Maryland, one of his best recruiters. If we wants to keep the quality of staff around him that he impressively built at Cincy, he's going to have to do it at somewhere with more resources.
 
Austin
You would think that it would be "too many chiefs and not enough Indians". I would imagine its one of two things. Its either a "fallen from grace" coach (Locksley, Sarkisian, Kiffin) or guys on the rocketship up to a head job. Rising tides raise all boats.
I don’t know that I agree. These dudes are still getting paid huge bucks from their buyouts, and they just get to immerse themselves in the football. No recruiting, no fundraising, no outside bs. Just football football. And the guys I know at Texas who do the analyst roles don’t work that long in the offseason. I was actually surprised at how much they didn’t work in the offseason. I figured it was 16 hours a day everyday. And it definitely wasn’t even close. If Bama is like that, it sounds like a pretty nice gig to a former head coach who wants to stay around the game.
 
Likes: Dude
I think a big question to ask yourselves: who really wants this job? Is it a stepping stone or a destination? Do you think these coaches will stay at Illinois for their contract or will they bail for a better "football" school? Do they understand the challenges of a school that won't bend on academics? Who, of all the coaches mentioned, has had success at possibly the most challenging Division I school, has ties to Illinois, and isn't afraid of a school where people will say you can't win? I can think of only one.
 
I think a big question to ask yourselves: who really wants this job? Is it a stepping stone or a destination? Do you think these coaches will stay at Illinois for their contract or will they bail for a better "football" school? Do they understand the challenges of a school that won't bend on academics? Who, of all the coaches mentioned, has had success at possibly the most challenging Division I school, has ties to Illinois, and isn't afraid of a school where people will say you can't win? I can think of only one.
Why do these questions always get asked? Who cares if they don’t stay? If a coach comes, has success and leaves, then hire another good coach to replace them! This school will be pay well as shown with Lovie. If you don’t think money talks in this business, you are sadly mistaken.
 
Western Illinois
I think a big question to ask yourselves: who really wants this job? Is it a stepping stone or a destination? Do you think these coaches will stay at Illinois for their contract or will they bail for a better "football" school? Do they understand the challenges of a school that won't bend on academics? Who, of all the coaches mentioned, has had success at possibly the most challenging Division I school, has ties to Illinois, and isn't afraid of a school where people will say you can't win? I can think of only one.
Ok I'll bite. Who's the only one? Lovie?
 
Isn't it pretty tough to recruit for Monken's style of offense? Wouldn't most guys much rather play in an NFL style or spread offense?
 
I don’t know that I agree. These dudes are still getting paid huge bucks from their buyouts, and they just get to immerse themselves in the football. No recruiting, no fundraising, no outside bs. Just football football. And the guys I know at Texas who do the analyst roles don’t work that long in the offseason. I was actually surprised at how much they didn’t work in the offseason. I figured it was 16 hours a day everyday. And it definitely wasn’t even close. If Bama is like that, it sounds like a pretty nice gig to a former head coach who wants to stay around the game.
I bet its great for the head coach too. The ability to delegate has to be fantastic. Managing the egos has to be the only downfall.