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The most innovative coaches in the early 2000s

Discussion in 'Gator Football' started by Escambia94, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    Aug 18, 2008
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    Los Angeles, CA
    I know I have posted this multiple times since I joined the forum almost 10 years ago, but here is a list of what was considered to be the future of college football back then. Chip Kelly, Urban Meyer, and Mike Leach were considered to be the most innovative coaches just a decade ago. They were the ones credited with bringing different flavors of the spread and spread-option to college football and changing the game as we know it today. Take a look at the coaches who fall under their coaching trees. Those are the coaches that keep showing up in our coaching searches, other than Nick Saban's, Dumbo Fisher's, and Dabo Swinney's coaching trees.

    What you will notice is that looking forward 2-5 years, few, if any of these coaches are going to be viable head coach candidates.

    We are in the tail end of a coaching renaissance.
    • Chip Kelly
      • Mark Helfrich: Oregon (2013–2016)
      • Scott Frost: UCF (2016–2017), Nebraska (2018–present)
      • Pat Shurmur: New York Giants (2018–present)
    • Urban Meyer
      • Steve Addazio: Temple (2011–2012), Boston College (2013–present)
      • Gary Andersen: Utah State (2009–2012), Wisconsin (2013–2014), Oregon State (2015–2017)
      • Chris Ash: Rutgers (2016–present)
        Tim Beckman: Toledo (2009–2011), Illinois (2012–2014)
      • Gregg Brandon: Bowling Green (2003–2008)
      • D. J. Durkin: Maryland (2016–2018)
      • Luke Fickell: Ohio State (2011), Cincinnati (2017–present)
      • Tom Herman: Houston (2015–2016), Texas (2017–present)
      • Doc Holliday: Marshall (2010–present)
      • Brian Knorr: Ohio (2001–2004)
      • Dan McCarney: North Texas (2011–2015)
      • Dan Mullen: Mississippi State (2009–2017), Florida (2017–present)
      • Mike Sanford: UNLV (2005–2009), Indiana State (2013–2016)
      • Greg Schiano: Rutgers (2001–2011), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012–2013)
      • Charlie Strong: Louisville (2010–2013), Texas (2014–2016), South Florida (2017–present)
      • Mike Vrabel: Tennessee Titans (2018-present)
      • Kevin Wilson: Indiana (2011–2016)
      • Everett Withers: James Madison (2014–2015), Texas State (2016–present)
      • Kyle Whittingham: Utah (2005–present)
      • Ryan Day: Ohio State (2018*)
    • Mike Leach
      • Art Briles: Houston Cougars (2003–2007), Baylor Bears (2008–2015)
      • Jeff Choate: Montana State Bobcats (2016–present)
      • Sonny Dykes: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (2010–2012), California Golden Bears (2013–2016), SMU Mustangs (2018–present)
      • Seth Littrell: North Texas Mean Green (2016–present)
      • Greg McMackin: Hawaii Warriors (2008–2011)
      • Ruffin McNeill: East Carolina Pirates (2010–2015)
      • Dana Holgorsen: West Virginia Mountaineers (2011–present)
      • Lincoln Riley: Oklahoma Sooners (2017–present)
      • Kliff Kingsbury: Texas Tech (2013–present)
      • Neal Brown: Troy Trojans (2015–present)
      • Josh Heupel: UCF (2018–present)
      • Eric Morris: Incarnate Word (2018–present)
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  2. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Sep 11, 2010
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    Austin, TX
    Thanks as always, E--...another exhaustive, useful examination that pulls a lot of related data into one place where anyone can then see connections not otherwise clear, make new ones and begin to draw NEW conclusions about the past, present and future...
    In this case I am struck by the different SUB-groupings one can begin to recognize emerging from the list of those associated with each of the original "innovators", and to some extent, by now start to judge both "originator" and "deciple"--basing that very judgment, and hence the resulting "groupings", not just according to the degree of influence the "innovator" had on each one-time "lieutenant" or "hired gun" in terms of style and scheme, but things like "ethics" and/or their potential for doing longterm damage to the morale or HEALTH of a program they are being considered for "Head Coach".
    This goes to not just the elusive concepts of "morality" and how a program, institution, students and fanbase view THEMSELVES, really--and requires an across-the-board "SELF-honesty" that may well need to COME FIRST, publicly and explicitly discussed and consensus widely reached BEFORE turning to the decision of "our next Coach"--IF you truly aim to turn-the-page on an ongoing extended "slide from greatness" that some of us (they KNOW who they are...we sure did/do).
    It is a difficult time and process, faced and dealt with differently in different places (necessarily so: Different people, cultures, historical context and situations)...Personally, I THINK we got it right this time at UF, but it took repeated false starts, mistaken (stubborn?) clinging to the resulting (wrong) choices for unnecessarily long "extra time" (often marked by expensive "extended contracts" that seem bafflingly foolish in retrospect now)...But given the admitted, I think clear-eyed appraisal of the risk ahead for this coach and staff only just now filling in fully and SETTLING in for the forseeable, all now basically hunkering down and getting to work in the long and tough application of practice to build, forge individuals and the TEAMS they comprise as smaller parts of the larger TEAM and on up into iron-hard and disciplined units all more and more parts of an efficient, unstoppable WHOLE, working together towards not just "the next win" but the weekly, ANNUAL "HABIT of WINNING".
    Right now, there is only ONE program that has that, obviously, and maybe a couple others who have consciously built themselves towards their own version of that ultimate goal--and each in its own way (HAS to be that way, as I say), is close BECAUSE they have done so with a certain clarity of purpose and self-awareness that started and has KEPT them on that "rough and bumpy road"; Kudos to all for seeing and seeking it with unwavering passion.
    OUR "job", as vocal fans, I think is to recognize all this, appreciate its application and, once we seem to GET on that "Right Road", then finally to stand back, SUPPORT Coach and team with clear-eyed patience and loyalty--acknowledge the trials, tribulations and yes, inevitable mistakes and disappointments along the way (especially in the growth and learning curve associated with young QBs, btw).
    As you note there, E--, aside from the guy we GOT, there doesn't appear to be anyone among that "exhaustive list of names" who we either wish we had, would be better off WITH NOW, or already considered and (regardless of who-spurned-WHO in the end) DIDN'T make the Big Effort to go out and get when it counted.
    Note also, finally, that we DO now finally have a Head Coach with previous Gator ties: Mullens and his wife (an important factor--in this case not a PHONY one, as Meyers' AGAIN has been demonstrated to have been) WANTED to come back to Florida, the state and the institution: THIS was his "Dream Job", he made no bones about it. That was NEVER the case with Meyers (don't get me started down THAT road of discussion), and for both Muschamp and MacEllwaine, it seems that timing and cash made us (for each, albeit in different ways) the perfect "Cash IN" at that point in each of their careers.
    In every case, just look at what has happened with and FOR each of them since.
    SO: We HOPE we did indeed "get it right" this time...and only "TIME will tell". But given how far we'd deteriorated as a program and in what directions, AND given the implications inherent in any analysis of the research you have presented here, E--, we have little choice here and now but to support this Head Coach as the longterm architect of a strong, successful UF Football Program, his mark left in a new tradition of cyclical "reloading" by steadily bringing in, training and moving up talented and maturing young men onto the field as part of an overall understanding of mutual effort and responsibility to themselves and each other. There should be a "Florida Way", I am hoping, by the time Mullens steps down/"hands the reins off" to RETIRE, some years down the line.
    He doesn't secretly yearn for some other job(s), a la Meyers, nor came "whatever distance" to the "highest bidder" on the heels of success that pumped his rep to unexpected (prob temporary) new heights.
    In the long run, Coach Mullens prob aims more for "Spurrier-type" success and acceptance here, rather than "Meyers-type", ya know? Probably unfair to even speak in these terms, but understand what I mean: Mullens came here to build, achieve, mentor young men as part of the general growth towards a TOTAL winning-attitude and philosophy that eventually once again pervades the whole team and program, as it did under SS. This is what we needed, and really, since SS, fairly or not, expected NO LESS--from the Coach OR the teams and program he oversees, year in, year out.
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  3. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Sep 11, 2010
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    Austin, TX
    In well-timed reinforcement to your post here (AND a kind of "coda" to my comments in reply), see if you are able to view Tim Tebow's widely posted and recorded commentary on the Gator loss to Kentucky (from ESPN's Sunday NCAA wrap up show, for example, among othercplaces ehere he has made similar points): Of course he is challenged about the loss ("What's going ON with FLORIDA, Tim?!!"--wherein he begins by playfully hanging his head and acting out baffled disappointment, but goes on to note some interesting things, like that he was "IN Gainesville for late week practice before the game", and though "they were confident, it was the WRONG KIND of confidence--more the 'Hey, we're FLORIDA: We've got a bunch of future high draft-picks on both sides of the ball!!!'..." He goes on to make some great points (well, they are the ones WE have been making HERE, so of course I'M gonna think they're "great": TT says, "Look, you can have all the talent in the world, but if you don't rise to the occasion on gameday, as a player OR as a team, in both cases you'll be good, but never GREAT! ...Now, I believe Mullens will get this turned around, already has begun the turn-around process...More and more he'll be getting 'his guys' in there, steadily change the culture and mindset, building toughness, discipline and selfless determination into the overall character of his guys as young men, more and more reflected in the various units and the product on the field." I have seen variations of these comments in different parts and snippets on different shows (thanks to the latest ESPN product, "ESPN PLUS"--Which probably ISN'T really worth the extra 5 bucks a month one generally has to pay to find and add, but IS good for stuff like this--at least until we are "automatic national BIG NEWS" ONCE MORE, and can expect this kind of thing to always be picked up and shown on its own everywhere, for free, with "--Plus" and tweaking its preferences Tebow at least gets us coverage and, still somehow a charismatic lightening rod, has become the ESPN "GO TO GUY" for comment and reaction on all things Gator...)
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