Archer to NC State as DC

Tip of the hat to 850TheBuzz who has linked this article from Lexington, KY stating that Mike Archer will become the Tom O’Brien’s Defensive Coordinator at NC State.

Archer has a much more impressive resume than he had impressive defense at Kentucky last year.

UK finished the season ranked 118th out of 119 Division I-A teams in total defense.

The Cats were No. 118 in passing defense, No. 108 in rushing defense, and No. 99 in scoring defense.

But UK’s 28.4 points per game allowed in 2006 was an improvement from the 34.1 it allowed per game in 2005. And UK tied for second in Division I-A in turnover margin thanks to a defense that tied for third in fumbles recovered (18) and tied for 41st in pass interceptions (14).

We don’t think that you need to get too hung up on ^these numbers. It isn’t like Kentucky’s program is stocked full of talent…particularly in light of the program’s recent NCAA probation. Archer brings with him a wealth of experience and contacts throughout football – particularly the southeast. He won two SEC Championship in 1988 after a 10-1 season in 1987 as the Head Coach at LSU. At the time, he was the youngest head coach in college football (34).

After leaving LSU, Archer remained in coaching, but strictly as a defensive coach. In 1991, he became linebackers coach at the University of Virginia. In 1993, Archer became linebackers coach and assistant head coach at the University of Kentucky. He moved on to the NFL in 1996, where he served as linebacker coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers for seven years. However, Archer returned to the University of Kentucky as the defensive coordinator in 2003.

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21 Responses to Archer to NC State as DC

  1. Trout 01/10/2007 at 9:35 AM #

    It Bill Cowher kept him for 7 years, that says a lot. He’s a very good football mind. Hopefully, he will bring some southeast recruiting ties as well.

  2. GAWolf 01/10/2007 at 10:02 AM #

    Is this equal to Sid bringing Towe in? Towe’s numbers weren’t spectacular in New Orleans, but he has head coaching experience and obviously great knowledge of his respective sport.

    Trying to get over the last in the SEC business….

  3. sautz 01/10/2007 at 10:18 AM #

    I was down on Archer before, just because I thought we could have broadened the scope of our search, but now that he is here I am glad to have him. Anyway, the last coach brought in a lot of big names from all over the country and few served him well. At least O’Brien knows what he is getting in Archer.

  4. noah 01/10/2007 at 10:30 AM #

    Outstanding hire. Happy as hell to have him aboard.

  5. BJD95 01/10/2007 at 10:43 AM #

    I am hopeful that TigerFan will chip in with some LSU/SEC-level insight.

  6. choppack1 01/10/2007 at 11:41 AM #

    While I pay close attention to assistant hires, I always take the perspective that wins/losses are the coaches fault. I don’t think TOB will get the blank check that Chuck got for the last 4 years. I think that folks chose to criticize our coordinators rather than Chuck because we wanted to believe that Chuck was the right man for the job, if he could only find the right people.

    If TOB goes 3-5 in the conference 2 years straight, I doubt fans will blame the OC or DC.

  7. Pack92 01/10/2007 at 11:57 AM #

    Archer was not so familiar to me as well but I became intrigued as I watched the Clemson bowl game. I was very impressed with the Kentucky defense and they kept their composure as a more athletic Clemson fought back in the second half. Welcome Mike!

  8. packbackr04 01/10/2007 at 1:58 PM #

    i hope we didnt throw too much money at this guy. his numbers in recent years dont impress me much. but, welcome aboard Archer. go get some big time recruits.

  9. stejen 01/10/2007 at 2:14 PM #

    I am not saying Archer will be the answer, but he has had too much success at too many places not to be thought of highly by the football community. Also, TOB knows him and has worked with him so he knows him personally as well as professionally. This is a good move. Maybe not the best move TOB could have made but who knows?

  10. ncsu96 01/10/2007 at 2:33 PM #

    noah – can you elaborate?

    it’s hard not to be a bit skeptical with the 118 out of 119 floating out there. Just remember TOB strength is supposed to be building and maintaining a loyal staff so he more than deserves our trust.

  11. noah 01/10/2007 at 2:34 PM #

    The fact that Bill Cowher thought so highly of him ought to tell you everything you could ever need to know about Archer. I’m not sure if there’s ever been a better evaluator of coaching talent in the NFL than Bill Cowher. There have been some dream-team staffs before (Jimmy Johnson had one for awhile) but since 1991, Cowher has hired and groomed some of the absolute BEST in the business.

    I’m not necessarily a Steelers fan, but the Rooney’s are nuts for letting him get away. I would have paid him the way Princeton used to pay Einstein — just give him a blank, signed check and tell him to fill in the amount that he feels like he’s deserved.

    There’s also tremendous value in having as many former head coaches on your staff as possible. Coaches often tell you that one of the big lessons you learn when you move from the assistant job to the head coaching job is how precious your time is. They’re often struck by how much time they wasted by worrying about the wrong things.

  12. packpigskinfan23 01/10/2007 at 3:05 PM #

    mixed feelings….

    for one this guy coached one of the worst defenses in the country last year… It dosnt seem that he knows much about recruiting if he cant get any talent on his defense.

    I also trust Cowher and TOB….

    I also wish we could have just kept the defensive coaching staff we had!!

    oh well… I wait till I see the team before I make many judgments.

  13. choppack1 01/10/2007 at 3:12 PM #

    pigskinfan – Worth noting that he didn’t have a full allotment of scolies at UK for much of his tenure. I too wish his #s would have been better. However, I’m glad we have another coach w/ HC experience and that we’ve got a guy that Cowher evidently thought a lot of.

  14. noah 01/10/2007 at 3:12 PM #

    Hard to recruit when the previous staff left your team on probation with serious scholarship restrictions. I think UK has another two years before they’ll be able to have a team with 85 rides.

  15. Cosmo96 01/10/2007 at 3:19 PM #

    From what I have read before, UK’s talent on the defensive side of the ball will be getting a significant upgrade with the incoming class. It makes me think that Archer was playing the hand he was dealt, and working to make improvements and build a defense that would be more indicitive of what he could do.

  16. LSUTigerFan 01/10/2007 at 3:46 PM #

    I can’t say that I was as tuned in to LSU football when Archer was on campus as I am now. That being said, I have a very favorable impression of Archer as a DC. His defenses at LSU were very strong as a coordinator, and he had two great seasons as the head coach.

    I think the biggest hit on Archer was that he was made head coach at the age of 34 before he was ready, and the Tigers had some personnel problems. Others have said that alot of these personnel problems were the result of the previous head coach, Bill Arnsbarger, but I couldn’t confirm that one way or another. In any case, I think his failure at LSU at a young age has tainted his ability to regain a head coaching gig. Its easy to scapegoat him as the head coach that precipitated the worst period in LSU football history, but that responsibility falls on the athletic administration at the time who snubbed Mack Brown and Steve Spurrier in favor of Archer.

    Overall, I think Archer is a great hire as a coordinator though rumor is that you guys are paying him a surprisingly high amount of money ~$500K for a coordinator. Is that true? Anyway, I would expect his defenses to perform at least up to the level of the talent he has to work with and probably better.

  17. MadWolf92 01/10/2007 at 4:06 PM #

    $500K *with* certain incentives. Obviously some of those would not be attained in most years.

  18. choppack1 01/10/2007 at 4:38 PM #

    Thanks LSUTigerfan – I know you enjoyed your bowl performance. As a committed regionalist, I was glad to see LSU, Auburn and most importantly, perform at a level which justified the accolades the conference had rec’d this year.

  19. RedTerror29 01/10/2007 at 5:37 PM #

    I saw $500,000, three year contract. If it is $500,000 over the course of three years, then that’s a very reasonable salary for a good coordinator.

  20. wolfpacker420 01/10/2007 at 7:26 PM #

    What an impressive staff for such a top notch coach! Can’t wait to get to the Motor City Bowl next year. Buy tickets now before they’re gone!

  21. Dan 01/11/2007 at 11:32 AM #

    Archer’s UK squad beat Clemson this year. Although Clemson scored 20 in both games. Clemson put up 387 yards on us last season, and they put 402 yards against Kentucky.

    Yeah, Kentucky doesnt have Tank Tyler type players, but I think Mike Archer has something to prove. I think that can be a good thing too. Puts a nice chip on their shoulder.

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