New coordinators who will have a major impact on the 2011 season
These 10 hires will impact their new teams and the national landscape in 2011
Florida and Texas could get offensive boosts from new hires after down years
Michigan still needs more talent, but Greg Mattison will bring improvement
While college football's head-coaching carousel concluded in mid-January when Stanford promoted David Shaw to replace Jim Harbaugh, staff shuffling at the next level down remained ongoing. Just this week, Texas hired back former secondary coach Duane Akina from Arizona after replacement Jerry Gray bolted for the Tennessee Titans.
But with the notable exception of Maryland, which got turned down this week by former Miami head coach Randy Shannon, it appears every major program has nailed down its offensive and defensive coordinators for next season. In many cases, the new coordinators' impact will be felt more immediately than the new head coaches'. Some walk into developing programs in need of a spark on one side of the ball, while others will radically overhaul a team's system.
On that note, here are 10 recently hired coordinators who could have a major impact on both their teams and the national landscape for the 2011 season:
Norm Chow, Utah (offense): Revered for his work with quarterbacks at BYU (Jim McMahon, Ty Detmer), NC State (Philip Rivers) and USC (Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart), Chow did not fare well with the Tennessee Titans or UCLA. But Utes coach Kyle Whittingham must figure the Utah alum, 64, still knows a little something. Chow will take over the development of talented quarterback Jordan Wynn, who shined as a freshman in 2009 but struggled over the second half of last season. And it doesn't hurt to add a Pac-10 coaching veteran just as the Utes move to their new conference.
Mark D'Onofrio, Miami (defense): As Al Golden's former college teammate, fellow assistant at Virginia and defensive coordinator at Temple, it's no surprise D'Onofrio followed his boss to Miami. The Owls' historic turnaround under Golden (reaching their first bowl in 30 years) centered largely around D'Onofrio's defense, which ranked 16th nationally last season. D'Onofrio inherits a talented unit at Miami, but one that seemed to play without intensity. As Golden looks to right a team that went 7-6 last year, the defense could be more immediately fixable than the offense.
Chad Glasgow, Texas Tech (defense): Red Raiders coach Tommy Tuberville could not have looked to a better source to help upgrade his defense. Former TCU secondary coach Glasgow, 39, spent 10 seasons on Gary Patterson's staff, helping to produce the nation's top-ranked defense five times. Tuberville -- a defensive-minded coach himself -- figures to incorporate fresh concepts from a guy who's been at the center of one of the nation's most innovative defenses. It remains to be seen whether that means moving full-time to TCU's unique 4-2-5 scheme.
Bryan Harsin, Texas (offense): Harsin becomes the first Chris Petersen protégé to take the dynamic Boise State offense to another locale. Working with co-coordinator Major Applewhite, Harsin will likely bring many of the cutting edge aspects of the Broncos' system (the multiple formations, the trick plays) while staying true to Boise's emphasis on power running -- something the Longhorns have sorely lacked the past several years. Coach Mack Brown has given Harsin and Applewhite carte blanche to reinvent Texas' offense in their vision.
Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia (offense): While his one year serving under lame-duck head coach Bill Stewart figures to be painfully awkward, Holgorsen demonstrated at both Houston and Oklahoma State his ability to produce a powerful, multi-faceted offense. Expect much the same in Morgantown, where quarterback Geno Smith showed considerable promise last year but didn't attack much downfield. If Holgorsen can find a couple of playmakers to complement Tavon Austin, the Mountaineers should significantly improve on last year's 78th-ranked scoring offense.
Steve Kragthorpe, LSU (offense): Before his disastrous stint as Louisville's head coach, Kragthorpe gained renown for engineering a dramatic turnaround at Tulsa thanks to a high-powered offense and serving as offensive coordinator for Texas A&M's 1998 Big 12 title team. His plans for the Tigers remain unknown, but anything would be an upgrade over predecessor Gary Crowton's last two units (which ranked 112th and 86th, respectively). Task No. 1: Help oft-maligned quarterback Jordan Jefferson, now a senior, become a better decision-maker.
Greg Mattison, Michigan (defense): Though Rich Rodriguez spent much of his last two seasons blaming the Wolverines' defensive woes on youth and inexperience, his defensive coordinator, Greg Robinson, offered few signs he was helping the cause. Enter Mattison, a former coordinator or key assistant at Michigan (1995-96), Notre Dame (1997-2004) and Florida (2005-07) who spent the past three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. Though coach Brady Hoke will need to import more talent to produce an elite unit, Mattison will help instill confidence in the returning core.
Chad Morris, Clemson (offense): A self-professed devotee of Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, Morris is now following a similarly meteoric career path. Just two years removed from his time as a high-school coach in Texas, Morris will be directing an ACC offense after producing the nation's fifth-ranked attack at Tulsa last season. Clemson ranked just 88th nationally last season as it slogged to a 6-7 finish and will be breaking in new quarterback Tajh Boyd this fall. Like Malzahn, Morris will emphasize a hurry-up tempo, power running and downfield passing.
Kevin Rogers, Boston College (offense): BC's passing game under third-year coach Frank Spaziani has been virtually non-existent, ranking 93rd and 97th, respectively, the past two seasons. Knowing that, Spaziani could not have found a more ideal candidate to replace retired coordinator Gary Tranquill. Prior to spending the past five seasons as the Minnesota Vikings' quarterbacks coach (where he coached you-know-who), Rogers, 59, was a college QB guru, tutoring Donovan McNabb at Syracuse and Bryan Randall and Marcus Vick at Virginia Tech.
Charlie Weis, Florida (offense): Though not cut out to be a college head coach, Weis showed off his behind-the-scenes offensive acumen yet again with the Kansas City Chiefs last season, producing the NFL's ninth-ranked attack. Now he'll take on the daunting task of transforming the Gators from a spread-option team to a pro-style system. He'll almost certainly help quarterback John Brantley improve (and develop incoming freshmen Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett), but the rest of Florida's returning personnel doesn't seem to suit Weis' preferred style.