As some of the better bloggers out there reflect on last football season there continues to be a lot of Tom O’Brien news to make sure we don’t ignore over the last day or so.
I think that Pack Pride has been doing a good job of breaking down certain aspects of the TOB hiring. One topic that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention (because there is little to be said right now) is the potential composition of TOB’s staff in Raleigh. ACCNow tackles the topic in this blog entry today.
The feeling in Boston is that if former Massachusetts coach Mark Whipple, now the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks coach, is named the BC coach, O’Brien’s staff may move en masse to Raleigh. If it’s not Whipple, certain assistants could elect to stay at BC depending on the new coach.
BC defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani has been named interim head coach for the bowl game. Should Spaziani later get the head job, it’s expected some of the defensive assistants probably would stay with him.
While we are talking about TOB’s staff, SFN would love to see the name of Steve Logan appear on the radar as TOB’s Offensive Coordinator. Evidently, Logan and O’Brien have a relationship of mutual respect and knowledge of with each other. Ignoring for a moment Logan’s obvious offensive genius and ability to groom quarterbacks, his relationships and familiarity within North Carolina High School Football would be a huge boon to TOB’s program in Raleigh.
Logan seems to be holding out for a fat pay check to get back into the college game. Between Tom O’Brien AND Sidney Lowe NC State is getting a relative bargain with coaching salaries – shelling out only (approximately) $2 million for BOTH after reportedly being prepared to offer as much as $2 million to a single basketball coach in the spring. Point is – State should be able to pay Logan’s asking price (rumored to be between $300k and $500k) if we deemed it necessary.
Similarly, the N&O ran a great article on Friday morning discussing TOB and his staff’s shrewd ability to evaluate talent.
O’Brien and his staff earned a reputation as shrewd recruiters in the past 10 years, said Tom Lemming, national football recruiting editor for CSTV.com.
“I had them rated the No. 1 talent evaluating staff in the country last year,” Lemming said. “There is limited talent in the Northeast, and Boston College’s academic standards are high, but they were able to quickly evaluate talent, start recruiting and sign kids.”
Lemming said that after the Eagles beat Notre Dame four straight times, from 2001 to 2004, the Notre Dame staff under former coach Tyrone Willingham closely monitored BC’s recruiting.
“Notre Dame seemed to target BC recruits and then zoom in about December,” Lemming said. “It was like, ‘Those BC coaches know what they’re doing.’ It was a compliment to BC’s recruiting.”
Allen Wallace, national recruiting editor for Scout.com and publisher of SuperPrep magazine, said O’Brien and his assistants “get off the dime fast” in recruiting, identifying who can play, who best fits their system, then making a quick move on them.
“Sometimes, Boston College was offering California kids before the Pac-10 schools even showed up,” Wallace said.
Additionally, Dave Glenn shared some insight in “Why O’Brien Picked Pack, Part One”
Fan Base — This was one topic O’Brien could safely address at his press conference. As a general rule of thumb, large state universities such as N.C. State have more alumni and thus more populous fan bases than small, private schools such as Boston College. When the Eagles have a home sellout in football, 44,500 people fill Alumni Stadium. Against Buffalo this fall, in a nasty storm, only 14,682 showed up. Even during a 3-9 season, Wolfpack fans mostly filled Carter-Finley Stadium, with crowds ranging from roughly 54,000 to 58,000 at seven home games, whether the opponent was Akron or Florida State. The fans also have made a lot of noise in recent years, sometimes even approaching a level normally the domain of traditional football powers Clemson, Florida State and Virginia Tech.
“Just to walk into (Carter-Finley Stadium), and the enthusiasm in the stadium here, is incredible,” O’Brien said. “I’ve taken teams to State College and beaten Penn State there in front of 100,000 people. I’ve taken a team to Notre Dame when they were No. 4 in the country and came out in the green jerseys. The excitement that fateful night I was here in September (for the BC-NCSU game) was as good as any place I’ve ever been.”
Lastly, The Daily Press wrote an article that we didn’t much care for due to its’ demeaning view of NC State.