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FIU Has Got Legg and Eyes (Updated)

It's official FIU has a new offensive coordinator in Bill Legg, who was Purdue's co-offensive Legg_4 coordinator last season and you the GPP faithful can eyeball here what BL & MC talked about in a phone interview just a couple of hours ago.

Bbleg_3 The hiring became official late Sunday night when BL arrived in Miami to sign on the dotted line. Before the GPP spoke to both MC & BL, the new O-coordinator was watching some FIU game tape. Nothing like a new hire that's jumping to get to work and not waiting around until March 25.

By the way, with Legg, FIU now has three former offensive linemen as coaches: MC, O-line coach Greg Laffere and Legg, who played center at West Virginia (drawing, above left).

MC said on Monday that FIU Spring Practice begins Tuesday, March 25 and the Blue/Gold Spring Game is Friday, April 18 at the FIU recreational fields behind the parking garage facing SW 8 Street. MC has yet to determine how many of those practices will be open to the public. When there is more info, it will be posted here.

MC said he interviewed more than 10 candidates for the OC job.

"We wanted to make sure we found the right guy for the job," MC said. "It was a very difficult decision, because we have some great in-house candidates and as well as guys from the outside. With Coach Legg, this was the way we wanted to go."

GPP: So what made BL the choice to lead the FIU offense?

"He's a dynamic leader and extremely knowledgable," said MC. "He's been at places where he's done awesome things and he's very experienced. He's seen and done it at the highest level. He'll help takes us to the next level."

MC added that FIU will still run the spread, but "an enhanced version". What's enhanced?

Ts "We'll keep that a secret until the Kansas game," MC said.

What did MC like about the Purdue offense so much that led him to BL?

"Explosiveness and a balanced attack," MC said. "Guys knew what they were doing and where they were going and got there fast."

BL on the phone line now....Congratulations on your new job.

GPP: So what's your offensive philosophy?

"On offense, just take the ball where they are not and don't be afraid to do what it takes to get there," BL said. "I'm sort of country so that may sound a bit too simple. We'd like to spread the field as much as possible and expose the defense at their weakest point."

GPP: How much did you know about FIU before taking the job?

"I knew a little bit about FIU," BL said. "But enough that when the job came available that I became very intrigued. There's no reason why FIU can't be a great place for football."

GPP: As you may know FIU struggled on offense last season. It can only get better in year two of the Stone_2 spread offense, right?

"This is a chance to start something special where superior talent is all around this area," BL said. "You can throw a stone anywhere in South Florida and hit a great football player."

Wanted BL to assess the FIU quarterback situation, but like it was written above the new OC has yet to see much game film. All of which should make for an intriguing 15 spring practices.

Gppaw GOLDEN PANTHER PAWSE

Yes, the hire of BL was a great one, but let's not all go crazy and say FIU will win 8 games next season. Remember, a coach is only as good as his players. Forget for a second the recent cheating of Bill Belichick. When he was the head coach in Cleveland, no one was mistaking BB as a great coach. Now put him in New England with Tom Brady, Laurence Maroney, Randy Moss and a terrific defense - B.E.M. - Before Eli Manning and suddenly BB is a great coach.

Eli The point is FIU and BL still need to find that every down workhorse, game-breaking speed running back that the Golden Panthers have been missing since Rashod Smith. Also FIU has to settle the QB situation, develop a downfield receiving threat and get more production from the O-line. Don't mean to rain on the parade, but the Panthers are a work in progress.

FIU Fanatic: Spoke to an Orlando writer that covers UCF and the word is Alphonso Bryant could be headed to FIU, but his grades are a major concern. The writer told me that Bryant is currently not enrolled anywhere and has a lot of work to do to get his grades up to par.

Baltimorepanther: Director of Basketball Operations at FIU will sort of be like a general manager.

fiufannn: Welcome to the GPP. Since he took over at FIU, MC has always said that the offensive coordinator will also be the quarterbacks coach so that there is no miscommunication.

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Good!!! Welcome to Coach Legg!! Thanks Pete for keeping us informed. Can't wait for you to give us information and possible blueprints and renderings of the stadium's fieldhouse...and Maidique's interview with you....Again, thank you.

Thanks Pete, I'm just glad they hired an OC. I'm ready for some spring football. Are the practices open to the public??? Thanks in advance.

GO FIU!!!

Great hire PG and MC. Legg is a valuable addition to our staff, he'll be able to show tangible improvement, which is hard to do given we were offensive on offense last year.

Welcome aboard Bill!

Thanks for the info Pete, that is a great hire, and hopefully this year our team will continue to improve on both sides of the field. Welcome to Golden Panther Country Bill Legg

Bill Legg, welcome to the GPC (Golden Panther Community)!

Golden Panther Countrymen, stand tall for this will be a day to remember. This guy is well respected on the national scene, very impressive hire.

Interesting hire, indeed... and not just for the offense. Purdue's a factory for great QB's historically. Sounds like MC wanted to focus on getting someone who would develop QB's.

I also like that FIU's committing to the spread. It's the best offense to run at the level FIU's at, because a couple of dynamic athletes can take over a game with it. You don't need perfection or lots of really skilled athletes to run it right (see Hawaii). You just need some real game-busters at the skill spots and decent enough players everywhere else. Purdue's used that philosophy well, though I do have to admit that they recruit at a different kind of talent level.

I won't say it's a great hire... that remains to be seen, as Pete said... but I like the idea behind the move by MC. We do have too many young coaches. Getting someone with some real notches under his belt is waaaaaaay past due at FIU. Especially for offense.

I am very happy that we were able to land a guy with his experience. I would be very interested in the "sale" or what really intrigued him about FIU. You would think that a BIG 10 conference O-coordinator had several options ?? Was it $$ or the opportunity to build a program that plays in the most fertile grounds of recruits nationwide. I am of the opinion that coaching is vastly UNder-rated. Coach Coley was nice hire - LSU roots and MIA Dolphins....But Legg has been around the game for a while and played at a BIG time level. The fact that he shared dual responsibility for calling plays at Purdue and generating the #1 offense in the conference speaks to his abilities.

Big question now: Who will call the plays at QB ? We have Paul, Wayne, Darold, Colt, and the frosh Dannehower....That kid Troy on game tape is an animal.

Can't wait for spring ball to begin !!!

Welcome to FIU Coach Legg and the Golden Panther community awaits eagerly to see what you can do with our boyz down here.

I need to be honest, I am a little upset with the choice of Legg. He may be a great coach, but I was hoping to land more of an offensive guru and recruiter. Not another offensive line guy who I never heard of. I wanted someone who could walk into Northwestern, Carol City, Pahokee, Killian and relate to the kids and tell them why FIU is the place to be. This guy is self admitted "a little country." I do not see how, Player X, an offensive skill position player with 4.4 speed, will relate to our new "country" offensive coordinator and want to come to FIU. I could be wrong, but if FIU is going to be big time, we need big time talent and big time names coaching - I liked the hire of MC b/c he was a local guy, Coach Legg is neither a recognizable name, a "sexy" name if you will, nor his a local guy who can relate to the talent FIU needs to compete. I know the rest of the GPC is really excited about this hire, but I am just failing to see the rationale behind it. Look everyone, I am a golden panther fan, and I am entitled to my opinion, I hope will not all rip me for expressing it.

FIUDad, ever hear of Bobby Bowden? Pretty "country", right? Look at his recruiting track record and the trail to the NFL. So skip the "country" talk because whether you're from the "country" or you're "urban", if you're a good recruiter, you're a good recruiter!

GO FIU!!!

Sorry - I did not realize that Bill Legg was Bobby Bowden. I didnt realize that Bill Legg was a successful HEAD COACH at West Virginia (or another D-1 powerhouse) before becoming an offensive coordinator at FIU. I didn't realize that Bill Legg already had ties to the FIU program as Bowden did when he returned to be the head coach ( he was an assistant in the early to mid 60's) also, I didnt realize that the atmosphere and overall way of life in and around Tallahasse, which is ALOT more "country" is so similar to what we have here in Miami-Dade. Hey UFF, do me a favor, do not cut down my opinion by using a legendary coah like Bobby Bowden to prove your point, it is non sensical and you are just inviting the UCG fans to talk crap about you. Please, for the sake of the GPP community, try and be smarter than that.

I don't care what this guy's name is or if he's country or not. Can he coach these guys to be winners?

I think I know the 'secret' for the game against Kansas..that's right, score touchdowns and kick field goals...just a guess.

The guy does not need to be a good "Head Coach" just a good O-Coordinator. Im sure most of the recruiting falls to position coaches anyways. Coordinators might make the final push, but the other coaches do most of the work.

Purdue, for years, has had an exciting offense. And remember FIU is not big enough yet to attract "big names" who would want to work under a young coach with only 1 year exp.

This seems like a good hire.

For all the FAU fans that read this blog, my sympathies to coach S.
I it is just natural that the playbooks change a little every year, the personel changes every year and a good coach must adjust to the talent at hand. I think we have a good situation with qb's it makes it a competition and it pushes them to work harder to get some play time.
We will see in the fall, but both players and coaches should be improved then.

Hey FIUDad quit while you're behind! You too may want to invest on some "Hooked On Phonics" along with your UCG friends to help you out. My only comparison to Coach Bowden comes from your insinuation that a so-called "country" coach can't recruit in Florida. Coach Bowden proves that you CAN and you do not necessarily need Florida roots. Coach Bowden coached @ Samford & W. Virginia before calling FSU home. Much to his credit he has built a great program @ FSU.

On a more serious note my condolences to the Schnellenberger family. The loss of their son must be very painful, especially with both Howard and Beverlee being such great parents. Our prayers are with you!

GO FIU!!!

FIUDad, i completely agree with you that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But one thing though, what does him being "country" have to do with how good he will be as recruiter or how good he will be calling plays??? Why don't you just give him a chance to recruit and let him call his first play as FIU's OC before making a judgment on him??? Just be patient.

My condolences to the Schnellenberger family.

Go FIU!!!

Great, great hire.

Screw local and sexy, we needed EXPERIENCED on this hire.

The adjustments he'll able to make for us in the middle of games will win us at least 2 more games this year.

Another Coley type would have reset the clock to 0.

Like milk on a hot day it would've been a baaaaaad choice.

I really like this hire. Besides, the best recruiting tool an offensive coordinator has is success on the football field. We need coaches who know the game and who can help the guys we recruit grow and get better each year. Besides, recruiting South Florida is Coach Cristobal's turf. I like the fact that we may now be able expand our recruiting territory a little north and look for talent there as well to compliment our South Florida recruits. And having suffered through the last two years, another offensive line coach is more than welcome!

I won't judge Coach Legg's success or failure until the end of the season, but I think we'll learn alot about him when we see who's under center in our first game.

UFF - for once I will agree with our UCG guests on this blog - you are an idiot.

WOW - FIU baseball is awesome. Do not worry about the loss last night to Jacksonville, they are a super power in their own zip code. I mean, I think Jacksonville also beat the local little league team, but lost to the local high school teams in close match ups. With losses to Florida Gulf Coast, and now Jacksonville, maybe FIU should stay away from that conference. I know I am having fun with the pitiful start the GPers are having while the cross town Canes are rolling right along sweeping BC and beating up Penn State, but I do no think this was the start the FIU faithful had in mind when TT started. I know he is playing with DP players and some of his own, but if DP was the problem last year, how was he able to win games against BC and sweep Wagner. I am sorry FIU fans, but TT MAY not be the right guy, just as it did not appear that MC was the right guy. I guess time will tell.

FIU dad like you said everyone is intitled to their own opinion.... however the GCP has seen you turn on your team more then once at the first sign trouble or a bumpy road. so forgive us for not taking kindly to your words. i like the fact that they were able to get an OC from the bigger conf. some1 with experience. wether he can recruit S.fla is based on one thing. progress. if fiu wins more he can recruit

FIUDad, do you really think we (GPP blog) believe you're an FIU fan? We know you're a Cane in scum clothing using "FIUDad" as a sign-in name.

CC, I can't believe I'm saying this, but your last point on DP winning against BC, Wagner & add Jacksonville to list is correct! Where I believe TT deserves this season plus a FULL recruiting period and the following season, I have been very disappointed in FIU's baseball performance. I thought we would struggle against SBC teams this season, however losses to FGCU, Jacksonville and the others is extremely hard to take. Good point though.

GO FIU!!!

Legg seems like a good hire, nothing out of the park but the circumstances around it dictated that. I don't know about Mario's recruiting tactics, but I know at both FSU and UM the coordinators don't really recruit much, it's the position coaches that do most of the work.

thats basically how most coaching staffs are the cordinator comes in when its time to seal the deal but the ground work is layed out by the position coaches

Those who have witnessed the unsatisfying start to FIU baseball in person may comment on the troubles with the pitching staff. While basically the same guys DP had (with a few freshmen tossed in), TT has supposedly hired a REAL pitching coach. Can anyone explain why the same guys can't seem to get the ball across the plate nearly as well as they did last season? Folks on this blog were quick to criticize pitching management and pitch calling last season. What do you all have to say now?

I for one believe TT was the right choice. You will see improvements once he has an opportunity to recruit pitchers. We're scoring around 1.4 more runs a game as compared to last year. I'm just wondering what's going on with the pitching staff?? Team ERA is almost 1.5 runs higher this year yet the only significant loss to the staff was Walker Whitley. I would think that adding Steve Stewart and throwing in a full year of experience for pretty much the rest of the staff should equate to a lower ERA? Some might say that it's inflated by the opening USC series but the Panthers dropped three early ones last year to Missouri. Perhaps Pete or others close to the situation can tell us why our pitchers are struggling?

It's been kind of disappointing, however, we knew our pitching wasn't that good, to begin with...Unfortunately.....However, while I agree we should be ahead of them at this point, just to set the record straight, Jacksonville is the returning A-Sun Conference Champion from last year. Also, they have so far a 11-1 record incluing a win over CUSA team UCF, which handed them their only loss of the season in a game in Orlando, 5-4, while beating them 10-5 in the first game of their series. This is NOT a bad team. Wagner is.

....BTW, Florida Gulf Coast is 11-3 so far this season, beating also USF, while losing to UF their last game, 2-1. With few exceptions, most, if not all, Florida based schools play pretty good baseball at the least. As you can see, these teams are not as bad as some might want to believe. Of course, they are not top level either, but to make the implication those teams are terrible is just plain wrong.

They will also play Jacksonville (since they are members of that A-SUN Conference), UCF, FAU, and 2 additional games against UF.

FIU Fanatic, though I agree that the teams you refernced are not that bad - is that who FIU wants to be in competition with? I thought FIU wanted to compete with the UM's, the Arizona's, the Mississippi State's, Texas's, and other perennial powerhouses who go to the CWS - not Jacksonville and Florida Gulf Coast. Copme on man, you make a compelling argument that those teams are not that bad, but FIU should not be losing to those teams if they want to compete with the big boys.

TheU24/7 has got a point. FIU should be destroying these kinds of teams and not handing them wins.

I love how UM fans are always stopping by our blog. Thanks U freaks

I have to agree with U/24/7...Miracle?...lol...however, my point was in reference to a comment here on how we were losing to terrible teams, etc.

Give it time...I think we all know that Turtle has been pretty successful wherever he's been....Let's be fair.

Those of you critisizing the baseball loses have not beeen to a single game. FGCU is an excellent team as is Jacksonville. We go from playing FAMU and Bethune-Cookman to playing quality teams and you complain. You have to start walking beore you can run. FGCU was a more complete team than USC. FIU was in two of the three games and with a couple of breaks could have won them. I can't explain the pitching other than they are thinking too much rather than just throwing. You can be too cute when pitching. This weekend is a critical series as far as confidence is concerned so instead of sitting back and reading the paper go out and see the team in person. You may learn something.

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