2013 January

Monthly Archives: Jan 2013

San Diego State's Long gets two-year extension

San Diego State has signed Rocky Long to an extension through 2017. (Photo: Ron Chenoy/US Presswire)

Rocky Long received a contract extension through 2017. (Photo: Ron Chenoy/US Presswire)

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen Brady Hoke left San Diego State to take the Michigan job two years ago, he offered his defensive coordinator Rocky Long the chance to join him.

Long passed on the opportunity to work at a perennial power because he didn’t think it was fair for the Aztec players to go through another coaching change.

San Diego State hired Long as head coach, and so far, the decision has proven to be the right one. Today, school officials announced that Long has signed a two-year contract extension that runs through the 2017 season.

Following an 8-5 finish in 2011, Long guided the Aztecs to a 9-4 finish last season and a share of the Mountain West Conference championship – the school’s first conference title since it won the WAC in 1986. San Diego State was predicted to finish fifth in the conference in the preseason, and Long earned MWC Coach of the Year honors.

Through two seasons at SDSU, Long’s 17-9 record (.654) is the third-best mark in school history, trailing only legendary head coach Don Coryell (.840 from 1961-72) and Claude Gilbert (.697 from 1973-80).

In coaching circle’s, Long’s reputation is impeccable. A former defensive coordinator at UCLA and Oregon State, Long served as head coach of his alma mater New Mexico from 1998-2008, winning a school record 65 games and leading the Lobos to five bowl games in his last seven seasons. To put that accomplishment in perspective, since 1984 UNM is 60-151 (.284) with only three six-plus win seasons in 18 campaigns without Long at the helm.

“I am very excited about the future of Aztec football under Rocky Long’s leadership,” SDSU athletic director Jim Sterk said in a statement. “Coach Long has continued the growth and the success in all aspects of our program, while gaining more regional and national interest. I look forward to next season as we look to defend our Mountain West title.”

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The Coaching Wire: Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013

Ron Aiken will be Oregon's defensive line coach. (Photo: Peter Vander Stoep/Arizona Cardinals)

Ron Aiken will be Oregon’s defensive line coach. (Photo: Peter Vander Stoep/Arizona Cardinals)

Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield has announced that Dwayne Ledford, who is in his second year as App State University’s offensive line coach, and Frank Ponce, a longtime assistant at Florida International University, will serve as the Moutaineers’ co-offensive coordinators. … Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich has hired former Arizona Cardinals defensive line coach Ron Aiken to coach the same position for the Ducks. Aiken replaces Jerry Azzinaro, who left Oregon to join former Ducks coach Chip Kelly with the Philadelphia Eagles. Aiken spent the past six seasons with the Cardinals. He coached the defensive line at Iowa for eight season (1999-2006) and spent one year as  linebackers coach at San Diego State in 1998. Aiken also had stints as a defensive assistant at Texas (1997), Vanderbilt (1995-96), and New Mexico (1991-94). … Also at Oregon, Helfrich has officially announced Scott Frost offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. This has been speculated since Helfrich was hired, but Helfrich waited until after Duke’s Matt Lubick was hired as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator (which happened on Monday) to make the announcement. Frost, the former Nebraska quarterback, has served as the Ducks wide receivers coach since 2009. Frost broke into coaching as a graduate assistant at Nebraska in 2002 before filling the same role at Kansas State in 2006. He then spent two years  Northern Iowa in 2007 before joining the Oregon staff.

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K-State's Snyder signs extension through 2017

Kansas State's Bill Snyder has signed a contract extension through 2017. (Photo: Peter G. Aiken/US Presswire)

Kansas State’s Bill Snyder has signed a contract extension through 2017. (Photo: Peter G. Aiken/US Presswire)

[dropcap]J[/dropcap]ust in time to quell any potential pre-Signing Day questions as to Bill Snyder’s retirement, Kansas State has inked the 73-year old coach to a contract extension through 2017.

Athletic director John Currie announced the deal in a letter addressed to the K-State Nation sent Thursday morning. The extension will increase Snyder’s compensation to $2.75 million for the 2013 season, with annual increases of $100,000 over the life of the contract that bring the five-year total to $14.75 million.

Currie stated:

We are thrilled Coach Snyder has accepted this new contract and proud of the competitive improvement our team has made – both on the field and in the classroom – under his leadership. Coach Snyder’s daily drive, focus and energy in continuing to build the K-State football program are truly remarkable and inspirational. While he is not one to focus attention on himself, President Schulz and I felt that it was important to recognize, in this very significant way, his tremendous leadership and commitment to continuing to lead the K-State football program.

In a release, Snyder expressed his gratitude to the Wildcat administration, staff, and fans.

“My entire family and I have been so very grateful for the genuine, caring and loyal support K-Staters have provided our coaches, staff, families and young people on a yearly basis,” Snyder said. “And, as I have stated so often we came to Kansas State because of the people, stayed because of the people and returned because of the people, and that remains unchanged. We have continued to make daily improvement as a football program, and I am grateful for the opportunity to continue and will do so as long as I feel that I am having a positive impact on our university, community and football program and the young men that are involved. I appreciate so very much the leadership of President Schulz and John Currie, in addition to all past administrators and staff, and their commitment to our football program.”

The architect of arguably the greatest turnaround in the history of college football history, Snyder has compiled a a 170-85-1 career record.

What he’s been able to accomplish since coming out of retirement in 2009 is equally remarkable. During that time, Snyder has a 34-16 record and is 21-5 over the past two seasons.

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Vandy's Franklin calls Saban to apologize

Franklin: Saban "good" with the situation after apology. (Photo: Dave Martin/AP)

Franklin: Nick Saban is “good” with the situation after apology. (Photo: Dave Martin/AP)

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin says that he called Nick Saban on Wednesday to apologize for the ‘Nicky Satan’ reference he made at a football banquet in Macon, Ga. Tuesday evening.

Franklin told The Tennessean that Saban was “good” with the situation.

“We spoke briefly,” Franklin said. “He said, ‘Coach, I have a lot of respect for what you guys are doing up there at Vanderbilt.’ I said, ‘Coach, I’ve got tremendous respect for what you’re doing.’ And that was it. Got off the phone and that was it.”

Franklin said that he made the comment as a joke, and that he has tremendous respect for the four-time National Champion coach.

“(I was) really talking about the work ethic that he has a reputation for, and that we’re going to outwork them,” Franklin said. “I made a joke. And in today’s society with all the media and social media and people with tape recorders and things like that, that doesn’t come off that way. I know people have tremendous pride in Alabama and their fans are fanatical, so I understand.

“But it was a joke, and I didn’t mean to offend anybody.”

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Ex-Arkansas coaches sting players, admin in Sporting News article

 Ex-Razorback assistants Paul Petrino and Paul Haynes say that John L. Smith's 10-month tenure at Arkansas was set up for failure. (Photo: Pat Sullivan/AP)

Ex-Razorback assistants Paul Petrino and Paul Haynes say that John L. Smith’s 10-month tenure at Arkansas was set up for failure. (Photo: Pat Sullivan/AP)

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his time next week, former Arkansas assistants Paul Petrino and Paul Haynes will have just put the finishing touches on their first-ever recruiting classes as head coaches.

But Petrino, now at Idaho, and Haynes, at his alma mater Kent State, told Sporting News writer Steve Greenberg that they might still be in Fayetteville if not for some serious missteps by the Razorback administration in the wake of Bobby Petrino’s abrupt firing last April.

The biggest of those mistakes was signing John L. Smith to a short-term deal.

“I don’t think an A.D. should ever hire somebody for 10 months,” Paul Petrino said. “Players know what that means; they understand that. It hurts the power of the head coach and the assistants.

“They should’ve hired (Smith) for two years or hired someone else for two years, or just (expletive)-canned all of us.”

Haynes went through a similar situation at Ohio State after Jim Tressel was fired and believes Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long could’ve learned from the Buckeyes.

“Even if they had a plan to get rid of us no matter what, which I think they did, you say two years and I think the kids dig in,” Haynes said. “When you give 10 months, everyone is on egg shells.”

Petrino said that Smith, now head coach at D-II Fort Lewis College and who was also interviewed in the article, was in a no-win situation and may not have gotten a best effort from anyone – coaches or players.

“It was also hard for John L. with assistants,” he said, “maybe even with me. And I love John; outside of my brother and my dad, that’s the person in football I love the most. … I don’t necessarily know if he was ever able to be himself all the way.”

Quarterback Tyler Wilson made headlines when he said that some of his teammates “gave up” in a 52-0 loss to Alabama in week three. Petrino said that by November, it was clear some players were putting their own interests over doing what they could to help the team win.

“There were some seniors who kind of hung it up, to be honest with you,” Petrino said. “They were going to worry about their futures more than that team. A couple seniors said they were hurt and I don’t know if they really were.”

Haynes agreed that some Razorback veterans mailed it in, but he doesn’t blame them. Instead, he blames the administration’s poor decision-making that Haynes feels set the team up for failure.

“Again, it goes back to, ‘Who am I playing for?’,” he said. “Once they can’t say, ‘We’re trying to save the coaches’ jobs’—if they’re just playing for the university, sometimes kids feel the university let them down.”

You can read Greenberg’s full article here.

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The Coaching Wire: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013

Former Auburn and Iowa State defensive line coach Mike Pelton will join Georgia Tech's staff. (Photo: Iowa State Athletics)

Former Auburn and Iowa State defensive line coach Mike Pelton will join Georgia Tech’s staff. (Photo: Iowa State Athletics)

  • Georgia Tech: Former Auburn assistant coach Mike Pelton has been announced as Georgia Tech’s defensive line coach. Pelton, who played at Auburn, coached under Gene Chizik at both Auburn (2011-12) Iowa State (2008-09) and Auburn. Pelton also coached the defensive lines at Louisiana-Lafayette (January-March, 2011), Vanderbilt (2010), Iowa State (2007-08), Troy (2001-06), and Valdosta State (2000). (Click here for the full release.)
  • Virginia: Former Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild has been named offensive coordinator at Virginia. Fairchild has 31 years of coaching experience at both the NFL and collegiate levels, including 16 seasons as an offensive coordinator. Most recently, Fairchild served as senior offensive assistant for the San Diego Chargers in 2012. The contract is for two seasons and will pay him $450,000 per year. (Click here for the full release.)
  • Northwestern State (FCS): First year Northwestern (La.) State head coach Jay Thomas has announced his coaching staff:

[colored_box color=”grey”]Robby Brown, Offensive Coordinator & QBs (Prev.: Valdosta State, 2010-12)
Ben Norton, Offensive Line & Assistant HC (Prev.: Sacramento, UFL, 2012)
Kyle Manley, Wide Receivers& Recruiting Coordinator (Prev.: Tennessee, 2012)
Derek Foster, Running Backs (Prev.: Tennessee, 2012)
Matt Powledge, Tight Ends & Inside Receivers (Prev.: Northwestern State, 2012)[/colored_box]

(ReleaseNorthwestern State offensive staff)

Defense & Admin:

[colored_box color=”grey”]Chris Boone, Defensive Coordinator & Associate HC (Prev.: Jacksonville State, 2011-12)
Jake Landoll, Defensive Line (Prev.: Missouri Southern, 2012)
Shep Campbell, Linebackers & Special Teams (Prev.: Ouachita Baptist, 2011-12)
De’vonn Lockett, Cornerbacks (Prev.: Northwestern State, 2011-12)
Dan Korn, Director of Football Operations (Prev.: Northwestern State)[/colored_box]

(Release: Northwestern State defensive staff)


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Video: Franklin takes jab at "Nicky Satan"

Franklin: "“There’s this guy at Alabama, I think his name is Nicky Satan..." (Photo: Vanderbilt Athletics)

Franklin: ““There’s this guy at Alabama, I think his name is Nicky Satan…” (Photo: Vanderbilt Athletics)

[dropcap]N[/dropcap]o one will ever question Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin’s audacity.

Since taking over the Commodores in December 2010, Franklin has never been one to pull punches. It’s worked, for the most part, elevating the program’s visibility and recruiting, and his team’s’ level of play.

So it’s not a total shock that Franklin would take a jab at the king of the college football world, Alabama’s Nick Saban.

Speaking at the football banquet for Central High in Macon, Ga., Franklin referred to Saban as “Nicky Satan.” (Nigel Bowen, a four-star linebacker that is committed to play for the Commodores next fall, attends Macon Central.)

“There’s this guy at Alabama, I think his name is Nicky Satan. You guys have probably heard of him before,” Franklin told the crowd. “I’m gonna outwork him, I’m gonna outwork him. And that’s kind of our plan every single day.”

WMAZ-TV in Macon posted video of Franklin’s comment on their website and, not surprisingly, it created quite a buzz across social media.

You can view the clip below, and you won’t have to wait long to hear Franklin’s dig.

Fortunately for Franklin, Alabama isn’t on the Commodore’s schedule next season, so for now, Saban will have to settle for extracting his revenge on the recruiting trail.

Vanderbilt’s current No. 20 class ranking by Rivals.com has to be considering a smashing success for the long-time SEC cellar dweller, but Bama’s class is currently No. 3 and poised to potentially move up with a few open slots left.

Saban’s probably not losing a lot of sleep over the comments, but with the story now going viral, you have to wonder if Franklin is a little bit concerned that “Nicky” will decide take a long look at the Vanderbilt commit list during this last week before Signing Day.

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