Monday, May 11, 2009

Michigan isn't the only school that losses players due to a Coaching Change

Last year Michigan lost a few high profile players off it's team due to the retirement of Lloyd Carr. They lost a 5 star QB (Ryan Mallet) and an offensive lineman (Justin Boren) that would rather pay his own way at Ohio State, then face Mike Barwis in the weight room everyday. Justin even threw a blast as he was heading out the door at Rich Rod and staff by saying, "Michigan had lost it's family values". Which is funny because some may question that Justin choose to pay his own way at Ohio State so his lower rated brother could get a scholarship in Ohio State's 2009 recruiting class.

Anyway, this post isn't about Justin Boren, it's about player losses when a new coach takes over a program. Over the past two years, I have counted 11 Wolverines that have "left the program" for one reason or another: Zion Babb, Justin Boren, Artis Chambers, Avery Horn, Jason Kates, Ryan Mallett, Sam McGuffie, Quinton Patilla, Marques Slocum and the recent departures of Stephen Threet (Transfer Hall of Fame) and Toney Clemons.

There were 22 coaching changes in division 1 NCAA college football last year. Out of those 22 new jobs; 17 of them were hires outside the current coaching staff. So I thought I would take a look a few high profile schools (Tennessee, Syracuse, Auburn, & Washington) and see how many players they have lost so far this Spring.

We have all heard by now the "unique" coaching style that Lane Kiffin has brought to the Volunteers and none of us are surprised that he has lost the most players to date with 11. Lane is just going to be Lane and will continue to sign players with past rape charges and say "no thanks" to 5 star quarterbacks that had already verbally committed to his school. I thought Rich Rod got a lot of attention in his first few months. Lane has taken the media attention up a couple of notches. Keep up the good work Lane! The SEC needed some more coaches with strong personalities.

Next is Syracuse, where former Orangemen and New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Doug Marrone took over the reigns from current Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Robinson. It seems Michigan and Syracuse worked some type of trade in the off season where Syracuse sent Michigan it's un-successful head coach and Michigan traded their un-successful defensive coordinator (Scott Shafer) to the Orangemen. So far the change in management in northern New York has caused at least 5 defections that we know of so far. We will see how the rest of the summer plays out.

Auburn who made one of the most controversial hires this past off season by hiring Gene Chizik, the former Auburn defensive coordinator and now the former head coach at Iowa State. Gene was an un-impressive 5-19 in two seasons leading Iowa State's rebuilding process. So did Aubrun get a guy on the verge of becoming one of the hottest candidates out there (if he turned Iowa State around in a year or two) or did they get a guy that really doesn't know how to be a head coach yet? Only time will tell, but being a good coordinator doesn't mean you will be a good head coach. Not everyone has leadership skills. So you ask, how many players have left the Auburn program so far? The list comes in at 4 at this point. Which is not too bad for a new head coach.

Maybe the most impressive job of keeping your players in tact is at U of W, where Steve Sarkisian replaced Tyrone Willingham and the win-less Huskies in 2008. Steve has manged to only lose 2 players, one to academic reasons and the other was to injury and not wanting to play football anymore. Those departures could be seen as a normal occurrence to any program across the nation. Well done Steve on keeping your guys in the boat, now let's see if they can all row in the same direction.

The moral of this story is that when you make a major change in leadership in college football or in any organization you are going to lose people. These changes could be good or they could be bad, but thinking that everyone is going to be happy with change is not realistic. Everyone will have their reasons, for Mallett and Threet it was because they didn't fit the system, for Boren it was because he didn't have Carr has his security blanket anymore.

I'm sure each player that leaves Kiffin's closet will have their reasons as well. I just hope for the boosters that are helping pay these million dollar salaries that these changes equal more wins and championships or these fellas are going to have a short lease.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a LOT of excuses for a coach that has 3 wins and no recruit in the 2010 class that is over 210 lbs--Give me a break and the NEXT coach who gets stuck with these runts and trys to play real Big Ten fooball with them after the AD spends another 4 mil to give Rich Rod the BOOT--and YES I am a UM alumn and VERY sad with the current program as aLOT of my classmates I still stay in touch with !!!!!!!!!!

KB said...

Anonymous is clearly a moron. One season and RR is a failure? It takes years to turn around a program moron. Also, even if Carr had stayed the team would of been terrible losing what they did the year before. Henne, Long and Hart were U of M for 4 years and all left the same off season.

Either you don't understand sports and the fact that it takes years to turn a team around (Red Wings from 1989-1995, Tigers from 94? to 96, Pistons from 2000-2005) or your an OSU troll.

KB said...

Sorry Tigers from 94-06 not 96.

Bob said...

Michigan needed major change and yes last year was painful. Look what is going on with the Basketball program. Michigan will make a small step forward in 2009 and a big leap in 2010.