Football Coaching Staff / Coaching Carousel Thread

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Cincinnati, OH
I'm curious why exactly you think it hurts losing Luke Butkus?
I can't speak to the inner workings of the staff, only to the performance on his supervised unit. Illinois' offensive line had their best season since......2013? 2008? 2002? Some of that is luck with the lack of injuries but all of the starters took significant steps forward compared to 2017.

His lack of recruiting is disappointing, but Koenning wasn't a good recruiter either and we would lose our minds if he came DC again.
 
Likes: Chukwuwumba
Cincinnati, OH
Anyone have any thoughts about Mike Bellamy potentially returning for the open RB coaching spot? The possibility was brought up elsewhere.
Hiring Bellamy would be a great step forward and would quell some of my concerns.
 
I can't speak to the inner workings of the staff, only to the performance on his supervised unit. Illinois' offensive line had their best season since......2013? 2008? 2002? Some of that is luck with the lack of injuries but all of the starters took significant steps forward compared to 2017.

His lack of recruiting is disappointing, but Koenning wasn't a good recruiter either and we would lose our minds if he came DC again.
Serious question - do the position coaches recruit a particular position or do they recruit a geographical area?
 
Likes: Clemillini21
Cincinnati, OH
The one thing that is apparent in reading this board is that people that think Lovie is on a downward trend, have only observed the info that supports their claims following the season. The same can be said of people that think Lovie is the answer.

Indications that we be bowl eligible next year:
One more year of strength and conditioning and one more year of experience coupled with the recent influx of playmakers to a team that was otherwise borderline good enough to qualify for a bowl (I'm thinking USF and Northwestern were winnable games). With the improved quality of transfers and players in this class are all indications that next year will be better than last year.

Indications the sky is falling (I would write Lovie's career is over, but this more accurately captures the way most posters are relating to the information):
Coaches leaving along with the long drawn out hiring process with only one legit coach hired (out of 3 positions, DB, LB, DC). This lack of continuity, lack of bodies to support recruiting and strategizing are all indications that the team will not do as well.

I have been one of the people critical of the decisions made by the staff and wanted to respond to this. For me, both of these are and can be true. I am both (a) critical of the decision-making by Lovie on staff hirings and the slow process of replacing position coaches, and (b) believing the team should be significantly better in 2019 and 2020. This will be the first year since 2014 where we can realistically aspire to make a bowl game. Illinois is going to have their first year in two years with a strong group of upperclassmen. They also brought in their best group of recruits (quality-wise) in 11 years. Hopefully the on-field product will win 6-7 (maybe 8?) games this year and show that progress is being made to convince recruits that they should come to Illinois as an outlet to play for a winning program (especially now that playing time is a much tougher sell than 2016/17).

My worries about the hiring of Miles are two-fold: (1) we have no idea how he is as a recruiter or player developer, and (2) he'll never be fired (save for extreme circumstances). Illinois can take a chance on Austin Clark last year because he was more of a known commodity on the recruiting front (which paid off in spades), but if he performed poorly, Lovie could terminate his employment. We all know that is Miles Smith performs poorly he is extremely unlikely to be fired. So now instead of our lot being tied to Lovie (with interchangeable assistant coaches), we've thrown our lot behind Lovie and Miles.

Also, with my question about how many $$$ are left to spend on staffing, now is the time it is most important. Coaches know that if Illinois has a poor season in 2019, the whole staff could be fired. No one is going to take a lateral job (Scheelhaase) or giving up job security at a lower-level job (Temple hires) to come to Illinois. Lovie and the athletic administration needs to be willing to shell out greater financial rewards in order to convince quality coaches to come here. If they aren't willing to do that, we are going to see more hires that have concerns (lack of experience, troubled past) compared to the home run hires of Rod Smith like last year.
 
Cincinnati, OH
Serious question - do the position coaches recruit a particular position or do they recruit a geographical area?
Position coaches will be assigned a geographical area, but can expect to be involved with recruits for their position. This involvement may just be during campus visits or periodic phone calls.
 
Likes: Chukwuwumba
Zero things have changed. It's bowl or bust in 2019. Fine to be annoyed by our hires, but they only matter in the context of whether the move us towards or away from that objective, and I won't pretend to know enough about the inner workings of our staff to credibly make an argument one way or another.
Agree with this. It's (basically) bowl or bust this year. I know it. You know. Lovie knows it. JW knows it. If Lovie thinks this gives him the best shot of succeeding, I'm not really going to question it because I don't really know enough about all the inner dynamics.
 
I never viewed 2019 as a window either. JW and Lovie were all in that it would take time and that Lovie would get time. Recruiting seemed to improve and the OC was a hit.

Then this round of coaching departures and replacements happened. On its face, it appears things aren’t good. Months looking for a DC. Nepotism. etc.

Perhaps Lovie feels there have been to many voices on the defensive side. Maybe things are fine.

Time will tell but it does give JW an out if it all back fires. Failure to put together a good staff should have come in year one and never looked back. A lot riding on 2019 now that probably wasn’t before.
For me, with the way our roster shapes up now and in the years coming, 2020 is where I see the "This is our year" blinking road-sign. The only way I'll feel comfortable with the ability of this HC and staff to deliver the on-field product I believe we'll be capable of in 2020 is with a tangible change in on-field production and I don't believe setting a 6 win benchmark achieves that. Not if we go into Iowa City and East Lansing and lose by 30.

If the choice is 6 wins and a small bowl in front of a half-empty crowd or 5 wins and no bowl but a number of losses by single digits that saw us in it to the end, I choose the latter. If I'm alone in that, I understand.
 
Miles Smith has forgotten more about linebacking than Hardy Nickerson ever learned.
Not doubting that. The key is, not how well you were able to do it, but how well you can teach it.
There be an old saying, Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Tony Larussa and Whitey Herzog come to mind.
 
Likes: the national
Hiring Bellamy would be a great step forward and would quell some of my concerns.
Agree, bringing MB back would be a great move! He is a very good recruiter & WR coach. Ideally then, AHS would become the RB Coach (he played & has coached the position) allowing MB to become the WR coach.
 
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This is probably where things get gray, for me at least. Define "ever so slightly" in terms of what isn't acceptable. The prevailing thought seems to be 6 wins, "bowling or nothing". To me, that's a little tough to get behind. Winning 6 games isn't the end all be all for me if the 6 games we lose are 30+ no-contests. If we win 5 games but the 7 losses are actually competitive (As in, we had a legitimate chance to win in the waning moments), I'm good.

Then again, I don't view 2019 as our window and I'm fully cognizant of the fact that this places me in the minority.
I actually agree with you. I don’t think 2019 is anything special. I think more wins = Lovie stays. Same wins with some legitimate excuse, and he stays.
 
Likes: KevinC
Not doubting that. The key is, not how well you were able to do it, but how well you can teach it.
There be an old saying, Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Tony Larussa and Whitey Herzog come to mind.
Bellamy is a fine coach, a loyal alum, and I'd love to see him back. It would be a great hire; a coach who truly WANTS to be here.

But Lovie had the chance to keep him on staff when he arrived, and chose not to, so I don't see this one happening.
 
Bellamy is a fine coach, a loyal alum, and I'd love to see him back. It would be a great hire; a coach who truly WANTS to be here.

But Lovie had the chance to keep him on staff when he arrived, and chose not to, so I don't see this one happening.
I don't quite get the fascination with Nathan Scheelhaase. I'm a big fan of his both as a person and an Illini. That said, he's new to the coaching profession and I see nothing in his bio that screams superstar recruiter, etc. Is it his Illini background that makes him so appealing? Please enlighten me.
 
I don't quite get the fascination with Nathan Scheelhaase. I'm a big fan of his both as a person and an Illini. That said, he's new to the coaching profession and I see nothing in his bio that screams superstar recruiter, etc. Is it his Illini background that makes him so appealing? Please enlighten me.
Obviously, this comment/question is not a response to Olaf's post. Meant it to be addressed to all in the know.
 
Obviously, this comment/question is not a response to Olaf's post. Meant it to be addressed to all in the know.
He's young and can relate to recruits. If I am not mistaken, he was the lead recruiter for 4* Jirehl Brock. I remember seeing that Brock credited Nate from the beginning of his recruitment.
 
I don't quite get the fascination with Nathan Scheelhaase. I'm a big fan of his both as a person and an Illini. That said, he's new to the coaching profession and I see nothing in his bio that screams superstar recruiter, etc. Is it his Illini background that makes him so appealing? Please enlighten me.
Well he has more experience than half our staff, while being younger, an alum, and a driven, high quality individual. He is also a smart offensive mind currently working with one of the top coaches in all of college football for a program that’s traditionally comparable to Illinois. He also has proven more in recruiting than half our staff and loves this university.
 
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that Illinois football is what Ron Guenther made it.
I mean at some point you are what you are. We’ll never be a Michigan, OSU, Penn State, even a Nebraska. Wisconsin and Iowa are substantially better and more stable. At best we’re a mid level B1G program with hope to become an Iowa.
 
I’m not well versed in our history outside of what I read and hear. I attended U of I from the 04-05 season through 07-08. So I’m one of the lucky few to see both sports teams at their recent peak. So crazy how far we’ve fallen, and really the holes have gotten substantially deeper since Gunther surprisingly.
 
Likes: KevinC
I mean at some point you are what you are. We’ll never be a Michigan, OSU, Penn State, even a Nebraska. Wisconsin and Iowa are substantially better and more stable. At best we’re a mid level B1G program with hope to become an Iowa.
A fair statement. Iowa State is not that, however. Iowa State is one of the 2 or 3 historically weakest programs in the Power Five, and have one of the most remote campuses from major talent in college football.

What Iowa State does have is an extremely loyal and long-suffering fanbase, one of the few who you could argue exceeds ours, and for now at least they have a really outstanding coach.

But there is a layer of major conference teams that sit below us in terms of history and natural resources, and it's foolish to pretend otherwise.

Our program has collapsed not because the well has run dry but because of the losers we've had manning the pump since '92.
 
Likes: SouthFLILLINI
I understand how bad Iowa state is historically and how remote their location is. They fit in more with Rutgers and Oregon State, but that’s where we are NOW. Illinois has much better resources, conference, location, history, etc. but that means very little to recruits, and even to recent and prospective students and alumni. Didn’t mean to make a poor comparison. Basically pointing out that Nate’s at a program that many consider, at best, nearly as good as Illinois, and is experiencing great success there.
 
Likes: KevinC
Basically pointing out that Nate’s at a program that many consider, at best, nearly as good as Illinois, and is experiencing great success there.
Yeah I mean, leaving the schools out of it, the point is that Nate would face a choice between working for Matt Campbell or Lovie Smith, on staffs whose fates are connected to those coaches fates.

Campbell is a rising star in the profession. Lovie is on a flaming hot seat from what is likely to be his last college job, success or failure. Not a hard decision, even if the pull of alma mater complicates it a bit.
 
Yeah I mean, leaving the schools out of it, the point is that Nate would face a choice between working for Matt Campbell or Lovie Smith, on staffs whose fates are connected to those coaches fates.

Campbell is a rising star in the profession. Lovie is on a flaming hot seat from what is likely to be his last college job, success or failure. Not a hard decision, even if the pull of alma mater complicates it a bit.
I heard Loren Tate say on Sat. Sportsline that the football program has put feelers out to Nate and he told them that he had no interest.
 
I heard Loren Tate say on Sat. Sportsline that the football program has put feelers out to Nate and he told them that he had no interest.
Makes sense. He’s in way to good of a position to leave barring a major promotion to like co-OC, which I don’t see happening.
 
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