News, Notes & Quotes - Feb. 22

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday February 22, 2017

- Colorado opens spring practice today.

The Buffs are coming off a Pac-12 South title, but still have a defensive staff opening. CU’s spring game is scheduled for March 18.

Northwestern also opened spring ball on Tuesday. Pat Fitzgerald brings back the entire full-time coaching staff for the seventh straight season. Northwestern's spring game will be April 8.

- Here are the top 15 schools with the most Combine participants since it began in 1982, per Gil Brandt:

Florida State: 226
Florida: 224
Miami: 224
USC: 220
Ohio State: 216
Nebraska: 195
LSU: 200
Oklahoma: 189
Tennessee: 192
Alabama: 191
Penn State: 178
Texas A&M: 171
Michigan: 168
Auburn: 164
Georgia: 158

- New Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin is one of the few athletic directors who is active and personal on Twitter, and there’s a purpose to it.

“If you’re going to have a Twitter account, some ADs I think make — I think it’s a mistake — they just tweet out official party line stuff,” Stricklin told the Orlando Sentinel. “They don’t share their own thoughts or their own humor or anything on it. I think that’s a bit of a mistake because I don’t think it seems genuine or authentic. It seems just kind of pretty benign.

“I tweet out some stuff from our official accounts, retweet some stuff, but I think you have to put enough of your own personality to give it value.”

- Speaking of AD’s using Twitter, Kansas State’s John Currie tweeted a photo of his new favorite T-shirt, after K-State went 5-0 against the state of Texas last year.

- Mike Riley admitted dismissing longtime defensive coordinator Mark Banker over the phone right before recruiting wasn’t the best way, but the change was sudden.

"Mark is correct," Riley told the Portland Tribune. "That's not the ideal way to do it, but I got stuck."

On dismissing Banker and special teams coordinator Bruce Read, Riley said, "Mark and Bruce are great people. I appreciate all the years we were together. Your families are together. They were a big part of the fabric of what we built at Oregon State and hoped to continue here. (The dismissals) were really hard to do — two of the toughest decisions I've to make in coaching.

"But sometimes change is important and necessary. As hard as it was, it felt like it was necessary."

- Tommy Tuberville is considering running for governor of Alabama, because why not?

CBS Sports first reported the news, and Tuberville told 247Sports that his camp is polling 50,000 people to see if it’d be something he could do.

He moved back to Alabama after he resigned as Cincinnati head coach. He’s looking at media or possibility staying in athletics. Or maybe the poll results convince him he can get votes from Tide fans.

"Let’s test the wind and see what people think and then we’ll make a decision some time in April," Tuberville said.

- Bret Bielema was willing to wait out to hire Chad Walker as outside linebackers coach, and Walker jumped at the opportunity.

Bielema had to keep waiting as the Falcons advanced all the way to the Super Bowl. After the Falcons lost, Bielema jumped in.

“It was extremely quick,” Walker said Tuesday. “I left the Super Bowl and flew back and there was a whole mix of emotions there. It was really tough and you find out what kind of competitor you are in terms of getting over that thing fast.

“So we flew back and I drove home that night and Coach B had given me a call. That was the first time. I wasn’t even considering moving. I never even thought about it. But when an opportunity arises like this, that is something you definitely have to pursue.”

- Here’s a look at the construction progress of Minnesota’s athletics village.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to