Coaching Whispers  

Posted by Walter

Well, after reports that Boston College had offered their head coaching position to former UMass head man Mark Whipple turned out to be erroneous, it does seem that BC has at least begun to narrow their search for Tom O'Brien's replacement.......and with mixed results in my opinion. It is believed that BC has narrowed their choices to five men: Whipple, Steve Kragthorpe, Packers offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski, Richmond Head Coach Dave Clawson and Nebraska offensive coordinator Jay Norvell. Well it is not exactly news that I love the candidacy of both Whipple and Kragthorpe, but my affinity for them notwithstanding, the rest of that list doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. First let's start with Jagodzinski, the best of the final three candidates in my opinion. JJ is a former BC offensive coordinator who has spent the last 8 seasons or so coaching tight ends in the NFL. JJ would be an outstanding fit for BC as his specialty is coaching up offensive lineman and tight ends (the two positions that Boston College has traditionally been a veritable NFL factory for). His candidacy makes some sense. Next let's look at Dave Clawson, a nice coach but someone I can't really believe is a serious candidate for the BC opening. Clawson has done a nice job at Richmond, turning in a 9-4 season in 2006 (his 2nd year on the job). He is a two-time Patriot league coach of the year, and has some MA ties since he graduated from Williams College. That said, he does not have nearly the cache of someone like Whipple or Kragthorpe. BC is a big enough program nationally, that if they want to poach an up and coming coach from a smaller school, they can have their pick. And while Clawson has done a nice job, he isn't ready. And finally we have the most puzzling candidate in Jay Norvell. Norvell is another former Tight Ends coach, but he is a straight West Coast Offense coach who was will Bill Callahan in Oakland. Unlike the other three candidates he has no ties to the Boston area, but more importantly his offensive philosophy doesn't mesh with the current Eagles personnel. It's strange. The Eagles have produced several NFL caliber QB's, the best of which thrived in West Coast systems (Flutie and Hasselbeck), but the West Coast Offense has never been installed in Chestnut Hill. I can't see that changing now. This looks like a two horse race to me (Whipple and Kragthorpe) with JJ as a longshot.

Another hot rumor on Tuesday was that Stanford was looking to bring Jim Fassel back to the program, this time as a head coach. Cardinal fans will remember Fassel as the young QB coach who recruited John Elway to Palo Alto. Fassel is a dynamic offensive mind who has had a ton of experience as a head coach. Plus, he would bring a very strong NFL pedigree to Stanford. He is an NFL quarterback guru and this would go a long way towards recruiting highly touted players to the floundering program. I think this would be an oustanding hire for Stanford and a great fit for Fassel. Other confirmed candidates for the Stanford opening are Montana head coach Bobby Hauck, former Stanford and NFL great James Lofton, and former NFL QB and current San Diego head coach Jim Harbaugh. Lofton and Harbaugh are big names, but I doubt they have enough coaching experience to be offered the Stanford job. Hauck has done an outstanding job in Montana and would be a solid hire for the program.


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