University of Miami coach Randy Shannon probably already has someone in mind for his newly vacated offensive coordinator position. But like most coaching searches, there still figures to be plenty of names thrown out there as potential targets and replacements for Patrick Nix in the coming days and possibly weeks.
About 99 percent of them will be wrong. And, obviously, only one will be right. But last night, I figured why not join the fun and start throwing some names out there. After speaking with several guys in the coaching and recruiting business, I came up with this list of names with bios and reasons why they might or might not work in becoming UM's new offensive coordinator.
We all know the situation at UM. This program isn't exactly loaded with money. So, big time spending isn't expected. And the last time Shannon hired a coordinator, he went after a veteran in Bill Young for his defense. He might decide to do the same here. Still, there is no telling right now which way Shannon wants to go this time. But if you listened to coach Patrick Nix last night you gathered what Shannon is ultimately looking for in a coordinator is a coach that doesn't run the spread and rather plays more the traditional Canes' pro-style attack. That being said, you never know. Here's my just for fun potential candidate list broken up by categories.
Rob Chudzinski: At the moment, still the Cleveland Browns' offensive coordinator. The 40-year old played at UM and won two national titles in 1987 and 1989 and coached as an assistant (1996-2000) and offensive coordinator (2001-2003) before leaving for the NFL in 2004. He's been Cleveland's offensive coordinator since 2007 and was thought to be on his way to an NFL coaching job before the Browns finished this season 4-12. Now, his future is uncertain after the firing of coach Romeo Crennel. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN: Chud has had high hopes of becoming an NFL coach and he makes a lot of money right now in Cleveland. Coming back to coach The U isn't really what you'd think he'd want to do. But you never know.
Bernie Kosar: Has never coached. The 45-year old led UM to its first national title in 1983 and spent 12 years in the NFL, finishing his career asa backup to Dan Marino and the Dolphins. Since retiring, he's gone into the business world as part owner of the Florida Panthers and as a steakhouse owner. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN: Kosar's name came up the last time. But with no coaching experience I just can't see it happening. Just too wild.
Ken Dorsey: Has spent five seasons in the NFL as a backup quarterback after leading the University of Miami to a national title in 2001. He's been the Cleveland Browns backup quarterback since being traded from the 49ers in 2006 and has carried the headset connected to offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN: Dorsey's playing days look finished, but I doubt he would come here as an offensive coordinator. Quarterbacks coach? Maybe. Wouldn't it be great to see him coaching Jacory Harris?
COLLEGE VETS AT OTHER PLACES THAT WOULD BE UPGRADES
Chris Klenakis: Currently the offensive coordinator at Nevada, he runs the Pistol offense. The Wolfpack ranked second in the country in rushing and 12th in scoring this season. He's got 17 years of Division I experience and eight as an offensive coordinator. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN: I doubt Randy will head out to Nevada to get a guy who runs the Pistol offense.
Jeff Quinn: A 24-year veteran and the right hand man of Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly, who has spent the last 17 alongside him. He served as associate head coach at Central Michigan and in 2006 the Chippewas ranked 23rd nationally in scoring offense and 32nd in total offense. He's spent the past two seasons at Cincinnati and helped the Bearcats set school records for points, touchdowns, passing touchdowns and finishing 16th nationally in scoring offense in 2007. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN: Quinn has been tied to Kelly so long, he doesn't seem the type to leave a good thing now. But maybe Randy could convince him. After all, he's been here preparing for the Orange Bowl since last Friday. And we remember where Randy got his last coordinator don't we.
Steve Logan: The current quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator at Boston College with a long history attached to coach Jeff Jagodzinski. Logan began his college career under Jimmy Johnson in 1980 at Oklahoma State. Logan was East Carolina's coach for 11 seasons from 1991-2002. and developed three NFL quarterbacks -- Jeff Blake, Marcus Crandell and David Garrard. Spent 2007 tutoring Matt Ryan at Boston College after coaching the Berlin Thunder. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN: What's the incentive to leave BC, which has played for the ACC title two years in a row, for Miami right now? Not the money because it won't be much more.
John McNulty: The current Rutgers offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach has more than 17 years of NFL and college experience -- mostly as a receivers coach at places like Connecticut, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN: He was interviewed for the Alabama job before. Looks like he's holding out for a head coaching job somewhere.
STARS IN COLLEGE MAYBE LOOKING FOR A BIGGER CHALLENGE
Dana Holgerson: Offensive coordinator at Houston. The 37-year old coached receivers at Texas Tech for five years under Mike Leach and helped developed Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker before moving on and becoming the offensive coordinator where the Red Raiders became one of the best passing teams in the country. In his first season in Houston, the Cougars had the nation's No. 1 total offense, No. 2 passing offense, No. 49 rushing offense and No. 10 scoring offense. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN: He left Texas Tech for Houston. Wouldn't UM be an upgrade? Then again, is Randy Shannon going to run the
spread? Probably not.
Tom Herman: Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Rice. The young gun has helped the Owls become one of the top scoring offenses and passing offenses in the country with his spread attack. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN: Miami tried young and talented and then got rid of Patrick Nix. Plus, the spread at UM -- probably not going to happen.
UNEMPLOYED AND LOOKING
Chuck Long: An NCAA Hall of Famer, Long, 45, was the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator from 2000 to 2005 at Oklahoma before leaving for San Diego State in 2006. His career as a head coach lasted three years before he was fired after compiling a 9-27 record. A finalist for the Broyles Award in 2004. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN: What better way to set yourself up for another head coaching job by bringing The U back to prominence?
IN THE NFL WITH PLENTY OF PAST EXPERIENCE
David Lee: The Dolphins' current quarterbacks coach and the architect of the Wildcat offense. The 55-year old spent four seasons with Dallas Cowboys as the team's offensive quality control coach and quarterbacks coach in 2005, helping Tony Romo turn from undrafted free agent to Pro Bowler. Was the offensive coordinator in 2007 at Arkansas, helping the Razorbacks average 37.3 points and 450 yards a game. He's got 29 years of experience at the college level -- including five as a head coach at UTEP from 1989-93. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN: The Dolphins have a good thing going, but he is right down the road for Randy after all.
Kevin Rogers: The Minnesota Vikings quarterback coach was contacted the last time Miami was looking to fill its OC void. But he passed. He's now in his third year with the Minnesota Vikings as a quarterbacks coach after having spent four seasons at Virginia Tech, three at Notre Dame, seven at Syracuse and and seven more at Navy. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN: He's coached Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick. Maybe the thought of coaching Jacory Harris -- or some more money -- might entice him this time around. No. Probably not.
Dirk Koetter: Currently the Jaguars offensive coordinator, the 49-year old Koetter was a
target for Randy Shannon two years ago when he was first looking to fill the position. He's got more than a decade of experience as an offensive coordinator and eight as a head coach at Boise State and Arizona State. The Jags improved from the 10th-best offense to 7th-best in his first season. But after the Jags horrid season maybe the front office will be looking to make changes. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN: He passed it up last time in part because of family issues. I don't think that's changed.
Mike Shula: The son of Dolphins legend Don Shula and the former Alabama head coach, Mike has been the Jacksonville Jaguars quarterbacks coach since 2007. He's 43 years old and has plenty of coaching experience. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT HAPPEN: Might be the perfect veteran guy and a great backup plan. Plus, he'd be home in South Florida. Then again, maybe he wants nothing to do with college football anymore after what happened to him at Alabama.
Bill Musgrave: The 41-year old and current quarterbacks coach coach in Atlanta has specialized in QBs since he began coaching in 1997, touring the NFL with the Eagles, 49ers and Carolina Panthers. Spent two seasons at Virginia from 2001-02 as offensive coordinator before moving on to the same position with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He's been back in the NFL since then as quarterbacks coach with the Redskins and Falcons. He's spent nearly all of his time in the NFL but hasn't really found the right fit. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT WORK: Maybe the road to a head coaching job has to go through a coordinator job in college first? Musgrave might have reasons to consider if asked.
YOUNG AND HUNGRY, BUT SHARING A JOB
Jay Norvell: The co-offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, Norvell has NFL and college experience. Began his career as an offensive line coach from 1989 to 1994 with Wisconsin before moving on to join Dan McCartney's staff at Iowa State where he served as assistant head coach, receivers coach and quarterbacks coach. From 1981 to 2001, he was the wide receivers coach from the Indianapolis Colts where he worked with Marvin Harrison. In 2002, he left for Oakland where he coached tight ends for two seasons and the Raiders left with coach Bill Callahan for Nebraska for three years where he became offensive coordinator. In 2006, Nebraska was one of only two teams to rank in the top 25 in rushing, passing, total offense and scoring offense while running a West Coast style offense. He spent a year at UCLA before joining Bob Stoops in Oklahoma. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT WORK: I'm sure Norvell, a coaching nomad, is going to jump at the opportunity at a head coaching job first before moving laterally to a program struggling.
Herb Hand: Currently the co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Tulsa where he's spent the past two seasons running the spread, no-huddle offense. The 41-year old was instrumental in helping the Golden Hurricanes led the national in total offense in 2007. He was the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at West Virginia for six seasons before that. His recruiting speciality? Offensive line, junior colleges and the state of Texas. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT WORK: This would be a step up for Hand, who can make a move to a BCS program and have full reigns of the offense. Then again, will Randy like his offense?
Gunter Brewer: Currently in his first season as the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Oklahoma State. Before that, he spent three seasons coaching receivers at OSU and the four before it at North Carolina. Coached Randy Moss before that at Marshall from 1996-99. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT WORK: Comes from Big 12 country, obviously a place Miami needs to recruit. Brewer, however, probably makes good money out there in the Big 12. Not sure UM will match it or give him much more of a reason to leave.
Trooper Taylor: The other side of Oklahoma State's co-offensive coordinator job. Taylor spent four years at Tennessee as the assistant head coach/wide receivers and running backs coach. He was a Top 25 recruiter in 2005 and 2007 according to Rivals.com. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT WORK: Taylor's a guy whose recruited South Florida before and probably knows Shannon. He just got out to Oklaoma State and coming to UM would be a lateral move, not a move forward. But maybe Randy could convince him.
YOUNG AND LOOKING FOR AN OPPORTUNITY TO MOVE UP
Billy Gonzales: Florida's current receivers coach and recruiting coordinator who playedfor Urban Meyer at Colorado State and has coached with him. Was recently passed over for the vacant Florida offensive coordinator job by Steve Addazio. Wouldn't it be something if Shannon stole Gonzalez from Urban under his nose? WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT WORK: Gonzalez has never really an offense before and Florida and Urban will do all he can to talk Billy out of it.
Major Applewhite: Only 30 years old, the former Texas quarterback is currently back at his alma mater as the Longhorns running backs coach/assistant head coach. He started his career as the quarterbacks coach at Syracuse in 2005 before moving on to be the offensive coordinator at Rice in 2006 and the offensive coordinator at Alabama in 2007. WHY IT MAY OR MAY NOT WORK: Was recently passed up as Texas' coach in waiting by defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. Major makes some major bucks and he's in the place he wants to be. But maybe getting passed up recently will encourage him to look elsewhere. Probably the best available candidate.