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OC Candidates; New DC?

The coordinators search continues as your Panthers keep looking to fill the offensive coordinator andOc defensive coordinator positions.

FIU could have its new defensive coordinator in place by the end of the week. It's looking like it might be Central Florida linebackers coach/recruiting coordinator Geoff Collins who could up being the new FIU DC.

Collins (left) turned around one of the worst defenses at Western Carolina as DC. He also helped bring the best recruiting class in Alabama's history as the Tide's director of player personnel. Not Collins too shabby a resume.

Until we know for sure, here's a preliminary list of possible offensive coordinator candidates that I'm hearing about to replace Bill Legg -- now the OC at Marshall. These names are in no such order so don't think anyone is more of a leading candidate than the next guy. MC said last week he would like to have the DC in place before moving on to the OC.

Charlie Weatherbie - former ULM head coach

Rob Spence - former Clemson offensive coordinator and Syracuse OC

Gregg Brandon - former Bowling Green OC under Urban Meyer and Virginia OC

Shane Montgomery - Akron OC

Mike Cassano - FIU running backs coach

Mike Groh - Alabama offensive GA and former Virginia OC.

These are just some of the first names to emerge for the OC spot. There will be some more to eventually surface and will get them on here.


Aaapaw Will have a LIVE BLOG of tommorrow's (Thursday) hoops game between FIU and ULM. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. Will be on here at 7:54 p.m.


PantherPride: Pete, what exactly happened with Kambriel Willis? Wasn't happy at FIU? Academics?

PP: From what I can tell you, it was just not a good fit for both parties (KW & FIU).

Baltimorepanther & FIU Rage: Hi Pete, can you please give us some information on any of the players transfering?

PP: Outside of KW, there aren't expected to be any other transfers.

Miri: Pete, did you see how Antwan Barnes helped the Ravens get into the playoffs? They had a nice reportAb on him on (I think?) ESPN on Sunday night. They said that it looks like he will play in the next game. It's very nice to see Antwan get some playing time and attention as well. Was he hurt?

PP: El Monstruo was not hurt. Ravens coach John Harbaugh and EM did not see eye to eye at the beginning of the season. Apparently, it has been patched up. During one FIU spring practice last season, I was speaking to a Ravens coach that was at FIU to evaluate some Panthers and he said the Ravens expected big things from Barnes this season and the coaching staff did not just see him as a special teams player. Antwan plays one of his favorite QBs to sack this Sunday in the playoffs. The Ravens take on the Patriots and Tom Brady, who Antwan sacked twice in one game (photo, right).

Julias P.: Hey Pete - Whatever happened to Ricky Booker?

PP: Booker was let go from the team more than one year ago. He also did not enroll at FIU. He had off-field issues.

gpantera: PETE, Is Mike Shula a good option at OC? Didn't he do a decent job at Alabama?
Shula Aren't some of his players playing in this year's national championship game? He's currently the QB coach at Jacksonville...a move to FIU would be a step-up, no?

PP: Shula (photo, left) would be a great option at OC and would even give the annual Shula Bowl a different twist. Considering the NCAA trouble he inherited at Alabama and cleaned up for Nick Saban, Shula did a great job with the Tide. Yes, he has several players playing in the national title game. Not so sure, going from Jaguars QB coach to FIU OC would be a step up. Considering, Shula might be looking for an NFL OC or head coaching job. Plus, FIU does not have the alumni money to pay Shula. 




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Im watching ESPN and Steve Levy just quoted "Baltimore linebacker Antwan Barnes" regarding sacking Tom Brady. Hahaha. Sweet!!! Play good and your name becomes a little relevant.

I am sure that with a well organized team and a firm commitment from the school about winning, a lot of people would pour money into the program. FIU needs to step up and hire better people that get us to winning.

I'm not familiar with the majority of these coaches. However, I don't support acquisitions from within the same team or conference.

Charlie Weatherbie obviously hasn't done much as ULM's former head coach. Correct me if I'm wrong, but only Troy, Middle Tenn, FAU and North Texas have been the only SunBelt teams to previously make any sort of noise.

Mike Cassano is not someone I can approve of either. From an outsider looking in, I don't think our running backs have ever done anything too special. Sure, Mike perhaps hasn't had much to work with, but I think a quality coach makes something out of nothing (ie Howard at FAU)

Rob Spence seems like a viable option, especially considering he has BCS conference experience.

Gregg Brandon is someone I have absolutely zero knowledge about.

Shane Montgomery...AKRON... 'nuff said.

FIU2009, until fans start showing up and giving a little to the program it will hard for us to hire a staff chock full of quality coaches. If every alum gave $100 that would give us an extra $15.2 million to play with.

Gregg Brandon has head coaching experience, knows the spread, and has been successful.
Rob Spence has been successful and he knows how to run a well balanced offense, he was very successful at Clemson and did good at Syracuse.
I don't like the others, Akron O sucked last year and Montgomery's records is not so successful, Wheaterbie didn't do much with ULM, Groh has some experience, but I don't think he favors the spread, and that wont be a good fit for us.
Cassano has not business interviewing for OC, but I think most likely he will be the chosen one. I think if he wants to be an OC, he should go get that experience in a different division, I think everybody deserves a chance to shows their talent, but I am tires of the experiments at FIU football with unexperience coaches, we need a proven coach, we need to improve and move forwars not backways, Legg is an experience coach with previous success, we need to replace him with someone better and experience not with someone learning on the job, but then again, most of our coaches have been paid to learn to coach, and that is why our program went backwards last year.

i like the DC choice (from what im hearing hes a good recruiter.) and hes young.. hopefully the OC brought in can bring a fire to FIU

I want to believe the only reason Cassano is there because they had to open up the position to someone inside the organization. I am hoping that is the reason.

After reading some quotes on Collins form Saban & O'Leary he maybe a good fit and hopefully should help in recruiting where UCF has been making Major strides the last couple years.

For the OC i like Groh or Spence. I really don't care what system they implement as long as it works.

I have to agree with Quijote. You nailed it on the head!

As for DC I thought Collins would be the RIGHT choice from the begining. Just the recruiting part of it puts him on the Top of the list. Plus he has worked with LB's before and that is the ONLY strength of our Defense. Maybe we can get 11 LB's to play at the same time. We actually do have enough of them..

What do people think the chance are that we can pick up two amazing DL and two OL recruits. Four guys that can become 4 year starters and can make a huge impact on both lines?? Last year we got Poo-Bear what is 2010 going to bring..


You heard about Collins here first! Haha, glad he's gonna be the guy. He had the most impressive resume with a great track record of success. Hopefully he turns things around sooner rather than later!

I like Collins, but I can't say I feel comfortable with those names for OC. Definitely an insider is a no-no. Quijote pretty much summed it up the best with hiring someone from within the conference.

That being said, the RB's coach being on the list really frightens me.

Of the bunch it would seem Brandon is the best fit for us. Familiarity with the spread and experience as a head coach means that he can work with our current scheme as well as help manage the team.

MC knows that he's got to bring 'the beef' to the program. We got pushed around on both sides of the ball this year. You can have the best skill position players in D-I but if they aint got a whole to run through or time to throw (i.e. allow the pattern to develop) you don't have much.

Time = Confidence

Virginia has been pretty $hitty these past couple of years. I dont understand why people would get excited about some guys that have been mediocre?

i dont really like Weatherbie or Cassano either, as a hire.

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