Once again, more moves have been made by Coach Mora in filling out his staff. The two newest additions are Eric Yarber as WR Coach and Sal Alosi as S&C Coach for Football. In addition, Inoke Breckterfield has been let go and Angus McClure has been named DL Coach, leaving only one vacant spot on Mora's staff.
While there has been some exuberance over most of Coach Mora's hires, there are some valid concerns as well. Namely, other than Coach Mazzone and Coach Yarber, who are technicians and X's and O's guys? We all know that Klemm, Broussard, McClure, and Martin can recruit, but the college is not just about getting the best players in the program. Player development and scheming is just as important as recruiting, and at this point we simply do not know if the assistant coaches are as good at coaching as they are at recruiting.
This fact is nowhere as pronounced as it is on the DL, where Coach McClure was recently assigned despite never having coached on the
offensive defensive side of the ball. Of course, one doesn't spend as long in the coaching circles as McClure has without some basic knowledge of all of the positions, and having previously worked as an offensive line coach, McClure likely has more than a basic idea of life in the trenches, but Coach Mora has repeatedly stated that his goal is to hire the "best coaching staff in college football", and I find it hard to believe that such a staff would include McClure as DL Coach.
The obvious solution to all of these questions is the hiring of a great DC with hands on experience teaching and coaching the DL. We know that Coach Mora can assist Coach Martin in the secondary, and a strong hire at DC would alleviate much of the concern over the DL and allow Coach McClure to learn on the job while likely adding "Recruiting Coordinator" to his job title or retreat to an "On Campus Recruiting Coordinator" position after signing day and allow the new DC to bring in his own DL coach.
We'll break down the current staff and options for DC after the jump.
To date, the following names have been announced as Mora's assistant coaches:
Offensive Coordinator: Noel Mazzone
Offensive Line: Adrian Klemm
Running Backs: Steve Broussard
Tight Ends: Marques Tuiasosopo
Wide Receivers: Eric Yarber
Defensive Line: Angus McClure
Defensive Backs: Demetrice Martin
Special Teams/LB: Jeff Ulbrich
The majority of BN'ers were very high on Mazzone. Klemm, Broussard, Yarber, Martin, and Ulbrich all also appear to have a lot of support, and the jury is still out on Tuiasosopo. As noted above, the McClure hire is a bit of a head scratcher, but we take a wait and see approach and let the situation work itself out before we make any judgments.
Some of the names to watch out for at DC are listed below. Coach Mora indicated that he would like to name a DC by the end of the week, but he is conducting his search under a veil of secrecy and there is virtually no inside information at this point.
We've previously discussed a few names, including Jim Leavitt, Greg Manusky, Ed Donatell, Kalani Sitake, Jeff Casteel, Randy Shannon, and, of course, Ken Norton Jr. Of those, only Ken Norton Jr. faced real backlash, but when BN'ers were polled asking whether he should be considered for the job or not, the results were split right down the middle.
A couple other names to look out for are Mike Nolan and Sal Sunseri. Nolan was recently let go as DC of the Dolphins. While he'll likely get NFL offers, he played at Oregon and coached at Stanford, Rice, and LSU in the early ‘80's and is at least familiar with the college coaching world. Sunseri is currently employed as Alabama's Assistant HC/LB Coach, Sunseri's was a finalist for Pitt's HC job last year before Todd Graham was hired. Anyone who watched the BCS game on Monday witnessed amazing LB play, and important championship caliber coaches is always a good thing.
What are your thoughts on these candidates? Please, spare the Norton backlash- it has already been posted and noted. If you have any other candidates in mind, go ahead and share them here.