Hello Followers. Hope your day is off to a good start.
In light of the terrible news and tragedy of yesterday, we felt it necessary to try to finish this week off on a bit of a happier note.
So, to read about my holiday wish for a homecoming party of sorts for the Cougar Football coaching staff, then click on the old jumperoo.
As reported here earlier in the week and detailed by our good friends at Cougcenter yesterday, it looks like we have two defections from our coaching staff: Jeff Choate looks to be headed to UTEP to take their Defensive Coordinator position and now Eric Morris looks to be the new offensive coordinator at THE Texas Tech university. Congrats to both guys.
So, the question that now faces the cougar football program is how do we replace those guys? And with whom? So, here are a few suggestions—all of whom have deep Cougar Roots and Ties. I begin with replacing Eric Morris.
Morris Replacement Candidate #1. Jason Gesser
To be sure, Gesser has never coached receivers directly before (he did as OC and HC at Idaho), nor has been involved in a Leach style offense, so this might be a bit of a push. But, Gesser carries the potential to assume two key roles of Morris: (a) Leach’s eye in the sky during games; and (b) A young energetic and charismatic force on the recruiting trail. Plus, Gesser already moved his family here, so he figures to be able to slide into Morris’ existing salary spot quite nicely.
Morris Replacement Candidate #2. Jim Michalczik
Obviously, we wouldn’t hire Jim Michalczik in to coach inside receivers: We’d hire him in to coach the offensive line. That would mean sliding Clay McGuire into coaching inside receivers—which he should be able to do with easy given his vast experience with the Air Raid. But Jim Michalczik’s success at CAL in coaching all those boys to the next level, plus the fact that he is a WSU (’88) alumn, would only figure to boost our prospects for landing the big boys we need to compete at the highest level. The big issue here might be affordability, but I’d bet you Moos would spring for it.
Choate Replacement Candidate #1. Bob Gregory
For those of you who don’t remember him that well, Bob Gregory is a Coug. What’s more, Bob was instrumental in launching CAL’s 3-4 defense into prominence in the Pac-10 when he served there as Defensive Coordinator. A few years back, Gregory left CAL to become Linebacker coach at Boise State. During that time, Gregory hasn’t done too bad, if you consider winning Footballscoop.com’s 2012 coach of the year award for LB coaches an achievement. I do.
So, in addition to the fact that he’s a Coug and he’s a damn good coach, he’d also represent a steal from a very quiet rival. This would be a splash hire in my book.
Choate Replacement Candidate #2. Rob Akey
Nothing would scream “Back to the Future” more than bringing coach Akey home to Cougar Nation. I mean, not only would we have someone on staff who was a part of that great Cougar run, we’d get to see the jumping jack flash enthusiasm that we really need right now. Importantly, Akey would not cost more than what we paid for Choate. And that is a big, big deal, especially if we were going to go after a dude like Michalczik. This would be the feel good hire of the century for me.
Okay, that’s all the time I have for today. Enjoy your weekend and please send your thoughts, prayers and well-wishes to all of the victims and grieving in Connecticut.
All for now. Go Cougs.
I think a very smart hire for LB's would be to grab Trent Bray from his GA spot at Oregon State. He is obviously familiar with the Palouse, and has had pretty good success with his positions wherever he has been so far.
Where is Coach Levy these days? Pretty good choice for inside receivers and a proven track record at that position.
Brother Sutra, As my daughter, Mrs. PCHogs texted me yesterday, we all grieve as Rachel did for her children. I'm sure all our hearts and prayers go out to those families in Conneticut. Words simply can not express the horror and grief of this tragedy.
Love the idea of all of them, except for Akey. I don't think he would want to come back here and after being a head coach I bet he is looking for that chance again. I imagine he will land somewhere as a Dc but that is probably it. But I am big on Gesser and Michalezik for sure! I guess we shall see how they go about filling these spots. Will Leach feel the need to bring in some former Coug's to his staff or is he too stubborn to look outside his own bubble of relationships? I want good coaches, period, but the WSU connections with recruiting can be a real plus.
@CougX Three potential snags there. The first is recruiting. The second is that Leach is notoriously skittish about retaining folks from previous staffs. The third has to do with the "lack of toughness" Mantra thrown about and the way all that stuff has been (quasi) directed at the previous staff. I sure do like Levy, though, and I think he's still around...
@SeanHawkins Brian Floyd tweeted out the idea of Bob Stitt. That would be REALLY interesting..but I like the Cougar connections...
surprised you don't like Akey. I love the idea and see it as much more plausible than Gregory...but what do I know?
@Sutra @CougX Talking with a friend who was on the staff under Price and Doba, he said Levy is not a softy, like some of us maybe thought, given MQW's situation this season. I hear he is one of the most demanding coaches around and was always an excellent recruiter in the South Sound. An area that has bread a lot of Huskies the last few seasons.
@Sutra I guess to clarify, it's not that I don't like the guy. But I just don't know how realistic it is that he would come back to coach LB's for example. I would think he has higher aspirations and his ego might not allow him to consider a non-DC job at worst? But you are right, I am just guessing! I have no idea if he really would come back. But I would hope that Gess, Michalczik and Gregory could be better hopes and better coaches too?
Not saying he is soft, lots of stories to the contrary. But the mantra of players being coddled IS linked to the previous staff from Leach's press conferences to the message boards. That's why I think it's a "hell no" for Leach.
Gesser, on the other hand... can he coach inside receivers? I don't know a lot about that position, but it doesn't really seem to fit in my dumb mind. Don't get me wrong, I'd love him on the staff, but I don't think inside receivers is the right fit?
@Sutra @SeanHawkins I really like all these potential choices, and all have a proven record of success. The biggest question is will CML indeed look beyond his own bubble. If you have a chance, look at the expression on Leach's face at the end of AC when he's headed accross the field to meet Sark. (did they ever). To me it's like: "Where did all these people come from and am I going to get out of this alive..." In othe words, I think CML finally got a glimmer of what it means to be a Cougar at WSU.
@SeanHawkins @Sutra Everyone knows you like Akey. Two things on him: Although the world knows he was working with ZERO resources and an 1000 mph wind in his face with the conference stuff, word had it that there were issues in that program. So, I'm not sure he's gonna get a HC gig for a while. The other thing which I do NOT know about is his family status. I mean, say he had kids that are HS age--sometimes you just don't want to uproot your family, especially if you're happy as a lark in the Palouse. Should be interesting!