Coaching Whispers  

Posted by Walter

On Sunday the Boston Herald reported that the two top candidates for the Boston College head coaching job were former UMass head coach Mark Whipple, and current Tulsa head coach Steve Kragthorpe. As a huge BC fan I could not be more pleased with the direction their coaching search seems to be taking them in. Both Whipple and Kragthorpe are young(ish), dynamic offensive minds who would bring an added dimension to the Eagle program. As faithful 323 readers know, Kragthorpe is a favorite of mine. What may be less obvious is the fact that I respect Mark Whipple just as much. Whipple coached UMass to the 1998 1AA national title (that's right, UMass!) and has since worked as the quarterbacks coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. While in Pittsburgh he has tutored both Ben Roethlisberger (the youngest QB to ever win a Super Bowl) and, perhaps more impressively, coaxed a pro bowl season out of journeyman Tommy Maddox. Whipple is a veritable quarterbacks guru, and both he and Kragthorpe would be able attract blue chip recruits to Chestnut Hill in a manner Tom O'Brien never could. Whipple is the local guy so my money is on him getting the job, but either man would be a fantastic choice. Kudos to BC for taking O'Brien's departure and turning it into a potential positive.

Also on Sunday, Arizona State announced that they have hired Dennis Erickson as their next head coach. Say what you will about Erickson's, er......uh, questionable coaching techniques, but there is no doubting that the man is a winner. Look, we all know what he does. He's going to bring in a bunch of junior college kids who are talented as hell, but also undisciplined. He's going to install a complex, NFL style offense whose productivity will be matched only by it's output to the NFL. And his teams will win. Erickson won 2 championships at Miami, turned around the program at Oregon State culminating in their bowl game thrashing of Notre Dame, and was well on his way to turning around Idaho. Erickson will inherit a talented Arizona State team and could have the Sun Devils in the hunt for the Pac-10 title as early as next season. Overall it is a solid hire for Arizona State, but one has to wonder how long Erickson will stay in Tempe. If nothing else he is a mercenary, so Arizona State may be selling their souls somewhat for immediate success.


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