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Thread: Off with their headsets! - Coaching hirings and firings

  1. #181
    Quote Originally Posted by NorthwestUteFan View Post
    Jay Hill started the ball rolling, so Hill and Whitt had to hire SOMEBODY. Rather than think of Christensen replacing Erickson, instead think of Christensen replacing Jay Hill and retaining Erickson for his offensive acumen and put him in charge of developing one of the most important positions in this offense (RB). Also, Christensen shared duties as O Line coach during his 19 years(!) as OC.

    This is a good hire in the long run.
    Or we can think of it as it really is- Whittingham again taking the reins to enforce his misguided vision of a turnover-free, play-not-to-lose, ball control offense that is better for his defense than it is for the team. KW has done an amazing job of providing continuity for this same ineffective offense through 6 separate OC's from all different backgrounds and coaching philosophies.

    Hill made a smart move to distance himself from KW's continued mismanagement of the program.

  2. #182
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    On reflection, the Christensen hire is actually the first OC hire since Ludwig left that makes sense. You have to look at it a certain way, but it shows (1) forethought, (2) long-term thinking, and (3) regard for both credentials and proven success. When you think about the prior six hires, none of them had all three of those elements. This one might be the first solid OC hire Kyle has made yet. We'll see.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  3. #183
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrj84105 View Post
    Or we can think of it as it really is- Whittingham again taking the reins to enforce his misguided vision of a turnover-free, play-not-to-lose, ball control offense that is better for his defense than it is for the team. KW has done an amazing job of providing continuity for this same ineffective offense through 6 separate OC's from all different backgrounds and coaching philosophies.

    Hill made a smart move to distance himself from KW's continued mismanagement of the program.
    Like you, I have no confidence in Kyle's ability to understand offense. But Christensen's resume is not about the kind of offense you describe above:

    Christensen devised and implemented one of college football's most exciting no-huddle, spread offenses at Mizzou, where he was named the 2007 National Offensive Coordinator of the Year by Rivals.com and was runner-up for the 2007 Frank Broyles Award, honoring the nation's top assistant coach. Missouri played in the Big 12 Championship game in both 2007 and 2008 as the champion of the Big 12 North.

    Missouri finished the 2007 season with a No. 4 Associated Press ranking and Christensen's offense ranked No. 5 in the nation in total offense (490.3 yards per game), No. 8 in scoring offense (39.9) and No. 9 in passing offense (314.1).


    Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 2007, when Christensen masterminded an offense that scored a school-record 558 points, far surpassing the previous Missouri single-season record of 399 points. Also that season, tight end Martin Rucker and freshman wide receiver Jeremy Maclin were Consensus first-team All-America selections, marking the first time Missouri had two Consensus first-team All-Americans in the same season. Senior center Adam Spieker was named a finalist for the Rimington Award, which honors the nation's best center.
    I'm not playing rah-rah, just trying to see the thinking here. It is discernible!

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  4. #184
    in an interview this afternoon, I heard Christensen say that he wants to run a play every 20 seconds.. Later on the news I heard that BYU ran the most plays this year per game, and at Wyoming ran the second most. Sounds like we're in for go fast go hard redux. Hope it works.

  5. #185
    One of our glaring weaknesses this year was a lack of offensive identity. It seemed like the offenses' production hinged very closely on Wilson's ability and availability to play. I think we will see Christiansen bring some clarity to that and perhaps the drop off and results won't be nearly as dramatic.

    He did well with Chase Daniel at Missouri, whose measurables nearly mirror those of Schultz and Manning.

    I agree that this is likely Whit's last move as HC if it doesn't work out. He knows that one of the big differences between a bowl game this year and not was the offense essentially being shut down in at least two winnable games if not more. He believes Christiansen is the answer. We'll find out, and if he's wrong then those that want blood will get it.

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  6. #186
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Like you, I have no confidence in Kyle's ability to understand offense. But Christensen's resume is not about the kind of offense you describe above:



    I'm not playing rah-rah, just trying to see the thinking here. It is discernible!
    The offenses our OC's have run per-KW and post-KW are much more diverse than the offenses they have run under KW. The moment Christensen became available I have said he is absolutely the guy we need. He is a great fit for Utah. But that was based on DE being given the reigns and making the hire. Christensen enters the program now to manage his three previously demoted predecessors. That is a situation virtually guaranteed to fail.

  7. #187
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrj84105 View Post
    The offenses our OC's have run per-KW and post-KW are much more diverse than the offenses they have run under KW. The moment Christensen became available I have said he is absolutely the guy we need. He is a great fit for Utah. But that was based on DE being given the reigns and making the hire. Christensen enters the program now to manage his three previously demoted predecessors. That is a situation virtually guaranteed to fail.
    That does suggest to me a lack of management savvy on Kyle's part. I hope everyone can get past it.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  8. #188
    I can understand a lot of the gripes about Kyle, even if I don't agree with them. But the "Kyle doesn't want to score. Kyle meddles too much with the offense. Kyle won't let his OCs open the playbook" gripe is unfounded and simple-minded. Our offensive strategies have made sense given the QB situations we have been in.

    It's a fine line between success and failure. One play in either the OSU, the ASU, the UCLA, the Arizona, or the WSU game, and we are in a bowl game and singing Kyle's praises. Take away one injury to either Murphy or Wilson, and we are in a bowl game feeling good about our progress.

  9. #189
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    I can understand a lot of the gripes about Kyle, even if I don't agree with them. But the "Kyle doesn't want to score. Kyle meddles too much with the offense. Kyle won't let his OCs open the playbook" gripe is unfounded and simple-minded. Our offensive strategies have made sense given the QB situations we have been in.

    It's a fine line between success and failure. One play in either the OSU, the ASU, the UCLA, the Arizona, or the WSU game, and we are in a bowl game and singing Kyle's praises. Take away one injury to either Murphy or Wilson, and we are in a bowl game feeling good about our progress.
    That's just it. We improved substantially on offense. The correct system was in place. We had a lot of injuries, zero depth, and a true sophomore QB. The system was the only part if the offense that was good, and DE was more than anyone else on the staff IMO doing the right things in the offseason to fix the real problems. KW has now thrown out the system without addressing the actual deficiencies. KW can want all the scoring in the world, but he's unwilling to break a few eggs to make an omelette (or however the saying goes). After the 6 int game versus UCLA (which was an issue with receivers not DE) I knew that would be the last aggressive performance from the offense regardless of the injuries that followed. That's just KW's m.o. We're stuck with for one more year. It's unfortunate that DE won't be in the drivers seat next year when our biggest new impact players will be on the team solely through his recruiting efforts in the South/Fla.

  10. #190
    I've been away from a computer for several days and last night got told about this by a few buddies who are cougar fans. I had heard it happened but didn't know much. My head is still spinning trying to decide if this is a good decision or bad.

    I would think the only really worrisome part is if Erickson is pissed about it and leaves. That will be embarassing and a loss to the continuity of the staff. Using the word demotion sucks because players hear that and it can make these coaches look like failures in the eyes of the guys they are coaching. Plus, you have to figure they it's going to impact recruiting somewhat with a "wtf" response from some recruits. Kwhit clearly mishandled the roll out and announcement. There were ways to use Dennis Erickson to support this and have a group speak mentality among the staff. whit is a bull in the china shop and that doesn't help the perception.

  11. #191
    Quote Originally Posted by jrj84105 View Post
    Christensen enters the program now to manage his three previously demoted predecessors. That is a situation virtually guaranteed to fail.

    As opposed to DE entering the program to manage the two previously demoted predecessors? Just as when Erickson came aboard, if the other guys don't like it, they can leave. I am sure ARod and Erickson can find other jobs if they want. Not so sure about BJ. They are big boys and professionals. With the exception of Erickson, who doesn't really need to work, the others have a lot riding on what happens next year. Fair or not fair (I am in the two more years camp), I think the writing is on the wall. Make a bowl game in 2014 or find a new HC.

  12. #192
    Administrator U-Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    My guess as to the KW thought process:


    • I only have another season or two to get this thing turned around.
    • I guess offense really is important and we can't win just by emphasizing defense over offense. Man, those PAC-12 offenses are really athletic and potent!
    • The offense has been awful, and the program and I look ridiculous because of the musical chairs at OC.
    • DE isn't going to stick around very long and I really don't think Brian will be ready to take over when DE does leave. (Man! Why did I give that OC spot to BJ???)
    • Then there was Schroderick and Chow. Why did I -- oh, I don't want to think about those mistakes any more.
    • Christensen will give us a decent shot at an OC who will stay long enough to install an offensive identity. Besides, he's been successful as an OC. And he runs a spread!
    • I'll bring Christensen on and we'll give this a shot. Yeah, I might lose DE, but he was going to leave soon anyway. I hope BJ stays because I like the kid, but it won't kill the program if he leaves. He might just kill it if he stays and I let him be OC.


    [Kyle picks up the phone to call Christensen and make the offer.]

    Viewed this way the decision at least makes sense. Now we all watch to see what unfolds. I wouldn't be surprised to see both DE and BJ gone by spring. I just hope their replacements aren't Kyle's former players or teammates.
    This is pretty much how I see it.

  13. #193
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    I suspect Dennis Erickson may have wanted to step it down. BJ still isn't ready for the lead, and he remains focused on coaching QB's (he has his hands full with this task alone).

    I hate the 7 OC's in 7 years... but, Dennis (or Chow) wasn't ever going to be a long(er) term solution.

    Successful programs lose coaches to promotion... we've lost even more looking for answers.

    I want to be optimistic... but, it's damn difficult.

  14. #194
    Quote Originally Posted by Devildog View Post
    I suspect Dennis Erickson may have wanted to step it down. BJ still isn't ready for the lead, and he remains focused on coaching QB's (he has his hands full with this task alone).

    I hate the 7 OC's in 7 years... but, Dennis (or Chow) wasn't ever going to be a long(er) term solution.

    Successful programs lose coaches to promotion... we've lost even more looking for answers.

    I want to be optimistic... but, it's damn difficult.
    If this is a voluntary consensus decision, then DE and BJ and BJ's agent have prepared statements to that effect. This change doesn't happen at the beginning of a critical recruiting blackout period- a period were BJ and DE are not allowed to contact their recruits and provide reassurance.

    No doubt Christensen is a great OC, but this hiring with the timing at the front end of a recruiting blackout, the lack of a unified public front, and given our OC carousel is just another in a long string of bad executive decisions.

  15. #195
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I'll give Kyle one thing: his management style is not boring. You never know what he'll do next.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  16. #196
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Q: What do you know about Utah’s current personnel?

    A: “I’ll get started the next couple of weeks studying the personnel. I know they’ve got a number of players, excellent players, on their football team. I just don't know a lot about them yet until I can watch the video and study them, watch them in workouts and get to know the kids. But I certainly know that they have capable players. They proved when they played both teams in the Pac-12 championship game this year — in beating Stanford and playing extremely close versus ASU — that they have players that are very capable.”


    Q: Do you anticipate running a spread offense, or will the scheme be more catered to personnel?


    A: “We’ll run a spread offense but we’ll run an up-tempo spread offense where exactly what we’ll do will be based upon what our strengths are from a personnel standpoint. So until I get a chance to get in and study the personnel and see where we’re at, you know, we won’t make all of my own decisions on what we’re going to do. We will be a spread, up-tempo offense.”

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/8...ordinator.html

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  17. #197
    I hope DC gets rid of the volleyball offense where our receiver have to bump the football straight up into the air 3 times a game.
    "Be a philosopher. A man can compromise to gain a point. It has become apparent that a man can, within limits, follow his inclinations within the arms of the Church if he does so discreetly." - The Walking Drum

    "And here’s what life comes down to—not how many years you live, but how many of those years are filled with bullshit that doesn’t amount to anything to satisfy the requirements of some dickhead you’ll never get the pleasure of punching in the face." – Adam Carolla

  18. #198
    Quote Originally Posted by jrj84105 View Post
    If this is a voluntary consensus decision, then DE and BJ and BJ's agent have prepared statements to that effect. This change doesn't happen at the beginning of a critical recruiting blackout period- a period were BJ and DE are not allowed to contact their recruits and provide reassurance.

    No doubt Christensen is a great OC, but this hiring with the timing at the front end of a recruiting blackout, the lack of a unified public front, and given our OC carousel is just another in a long string of bad executive decisions.

    Talks have been going on with Christensen when he was fired from Wyoming. The hiring and the decision were not a surprise, in fact, I was told by some on the staff that they thought the announcement was going to be made before it actually came down. BJ's agent might have been out of the loop, but the others were not.

    I haven't heard reports from anyone who really matters, other than BJ's idiot agent who does not really count (who apparently spoke before talking to his client) that the way they received their information has bothered them. I know there are people on message boards who think everything should go through them and those in the media who when told someone was surprised that it was done today makes it sound like they had no knowledge that there was even a person named Dave Christensen and that he was a football coach.

  19. #199
    Quote Originally Posted by UTEopia View Post
    Talks have been going on with Christensen when he was fired from Wyoming. The hiring and the decision were not a surprise, in fact, I was told by some on the staff that they thought the announcement was going to be made before it actually came down. BJ's agent might have been out of the loop, but the others were not.

    I haven't heard reports from anyone who really matters, other than BJ's idiot agent who does not really count (who apparently spoke before talking to his client) that the way they received their information has bothered them. I know there are people on message boards who think everything should go through them and those in the media who when told someone was surprised that it was done today makes it sound like they had no knowledge that there was even a person named Dave Christensen and that he was a football coach.

    I don't know you or your sources, but I'm taking your version as truth because I like it. Thanks.

  20. #200
    Quote Originally Posted by UTEopia View Post
    Talks have been going on with Christensen when he was fired from Wyoming. The hiring and the decision were not a surprise, in fact, I was told by some on the staff that they thought the announcement was going to be made before it actually came down. BJ's agent might have been out of the loop, but the others were not.

    I haven't heard reports from anyone who really matters, other than BJ's idiot agent who does not really count (who apparently spoke before talking to his client) that the way they received their information has bothered them. I know there are people on message boards who think everything should go through them and those in the media who when told someone was surprised that it was done today makes it sound like they had no knowledge that there was even a person named Dave Christensen and that he was a football coach.
    Beyond that let's also remember that an assignment as a beat writer does not mean you're given great info. If writers do something to alienate coaches and staff their access and information is often limited, even if they don't realize it.

  21. #201
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diehard Ute View Post
    Beyond that let's also remember that an assignment as a beat writer does not mean you're given great info. If writers do something to alienate coaches and staff their access and information is often limited, even if they don't realize it.
    This is why Gordon Monson never has any inside info and must always be an opinion writer.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  22. #202
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    This is why Gordon Monson never has any inside info and must always be an opinion writer.
    Haven't read his opinion in years. But I assume it still stinks.

  23. #203
    Quote Originally Posted by UTEopia View Post
    Talks have been going on with Christensen when he was fired from Wyoming. The hiring and the decision were not a surprise, in fact, I was told by some on the staff that they thought the announcement was going to be made before it actually came down. BJ's agent might have been out of the loop, but the others were not.

    I haven't heard reports from anyone who really matters, other than BJ's idiot agent who does not really count (who apparently spoke before talking to his client) that the way they received their information has bothered them. I know there are people on message boards who think everything should go through them and those in the media who when told someone was surprised that it was done today makes it sound like they had no knowledge that there was even a person named Dave Christensen and that he was a football coach.
    Don't think you know so much dude. I had Christensen in my top three when the BJ hire went down two years ago and I posted elsewhere that he would be a great addition for the Utah staff this year BEFORE his firing was announced (my insider knowledge in CFB isn't with Utah's staff), and it was known that he had discussions with KW. I'm not sure if we'll get the real story with DE, but I don't think it's as rosy as some people would like to believe.

  24. #204
    Quote Originally Posted by jrj84105 View Post
    Don't think you know so much dude. I had Christensen in my top three when the BJ hire went down two years ago and I posted elsewhere that he would be a great addition for the Utah staff this year BEFORE his firing was announced (my insider knowledge in CFB isn't with Utah's staff), and it was known that he had discussions with KW. I'm not sure if we'll get the real story with DE, but I don't think it's as rosy as some people would like to believe.
    Okay dude. Here's a proposition. I won't read your posts and you won't read mine. You won't miss much because I don't know much. I know I will miss out on a great deal of information, but I am willing to live with that.

  25. #205
    Quote Originally Posted by UTEopia View Post
    Okay dude. Here's a proposition. I won't read your posts and you won't read mine. You won't miss much because I don't know much. I know I will miss out on a great deal of information, but I am willing to live with that.
    Lol.
    “The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.”
    Carl Sagan

  26. #206
    Quote Originally Posted by jrj84105 View Post
    Don't think you know so much dude. I had Christensen in my top three when the BJ hire went down two years ago and I posted elsewhere that he would be a great addition for the Utah staff this year BEFORE his firing was announced (my insider knowledge in CFB isn't with Utah's staff), and it was known that he had discussions with KW. I'm not sure if we'll get the real story with DE, but I don't think it's as rosy as some people would like to believe.
    Wait, you had Christensen in your top 3 two years ago? Right after he was named the MWC coach of the year? Why on Earth would a conference head coach of the year have even been on anyone's radar as a coordinator two years ago?

  27. #207
    Is there any chance Christensen could bring Brett Smith with him? Apparently Smith is graduating and has a year of eligibility left. He could transfer to Utah and play immediately.

  28. #208
    On the topic of conservative play calling with a lead: the Cowboys and Lions just lost their way out of the playoffs by passing with a lead in the 4th quarter. Instead of trying to run out the clock, they both threw picks that allowed their opponent to get back into the game. Sometimes running out the clock with a lead is the best approach. That said, I was yelling for a pass on a 2nd and 6 in the 4th against ASU.

  29. #209
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  30. #210
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Does it seem as though there is nothing new under the sun? Haven't we heard all of this before? Didn't Kyle say halfway through the season that our tempo (about 70 plays per game) was just right, that we didn't want too much tempo? As BYU and Wyoming proved this year, an up tempo offense guarantees nothing; you have to have the personnel to run it. A bad up tempo offense just wears your defense out, and gives the opponent the chance to run more plays too. Hopefully it gives us an identity and stability that we can recruit to, but there are going to be a lot of hiccups next year I would guess.
    Last edited by concerned; 12-23-2013 at 10:11 AM.

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