News, Notes & Quotes - Feb. 8

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday February 08, 2017


- A quote from Steve Sarkisian back at national championship media day proved even more noteworthy than we thought at the time.

Last August, Sark visited the Falcons, Bucs, Florida and Alabama to learn. He ended up landing a job at Alabama, but the Falcons visit made an impact. Now he’s the new Falcons offensive coordinator.

“My first stop was Atlanta, and it took one practice. As soon as I got out on that field with Dan Quinn, that staff, I knew this is where I need to be, this is where I want to be,” Sarkisian said. “This is what I love doing. Football’s in my blood. I knew right away. Man, I love being around it. I don’t know if I want to be wearing a suit-and-tie sitting in a booth calling a game. I love being on the field.”

Sark meant that he needed to be on the football field, but now he’s gone from out of work to TV analyst to Alabama analyst to Alabama OC to Falcons OC in a few months. He only has one year of NFL experience under his belt, but the NFL experience is often much more appealing than college, with recruiting, and working for Nick Saban is always a grind.

- Alabama’s 2017 opener against Florida State will make three straight games with three different offensive coordinators for the Tide.

Saban has several options for the job. He could promote from within with Mike Locksley, the former Maryland offensive coordinator who was also promoted from analyst to full-time assistant. Could Billy Napier or Mario Cristobal, who just became OCs at Arizona State and Oregon, be lured back?

If he goes outside, some names to watch could include George Godsey, Mark Helfrich, Derek Dooley or… Chip Kelly?

Kelly has visited Alabama in the past, and Saban has proven open to different ideas, but that much? It could also be seen as a rental, as Kelly will certainly get a ton of head coaching interest next offseason. There are several ways Saban could go with two offensive openings, and it could have effects across the country.

- Bill Davis had very high praise for the organization Urban Meyer instills in his staff.

Davis was an off-field coach for the Buckeyes in 2016, but the longtime NFL assistant was promoted to linebackers coach when Luke Fickell left. Last year left an impression, and now Davis is more involved.

“One thing that jumped out at me was, in the leadership role of any team, the group of coaches — offensive group, defensive group, special teams, led by the head coach – they start the leadership piece,” Davis said on Meyer’s radio show, per 247Sports. “And what a great room they had here last year where they were really on the same page and they worked so well together, and the communication line right down to the players was so clean.

“It is a very well-organized and solid and time-tested system. That’s what jumped out at me. The accountability piece is very, very high here, and that starts with Coach Meyer holding everybody accountable, including himself first. And you just see that in every aspect, and it was very refreshing. Because I’ve been with 11 different NFL teams and every place is different, and I’ve never seen one this tight and linear and really organized.”

- Ed Orgeron reportedly has himself an issue with New Orleans high school coaches.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s LSU site, New Orleans high school coaches are not happy that former running backs coach Jabbar Juluke was demoted to an off-field role after Signing Day, and the high school coaches are considering a “boycott” of LSU.

Juluke was a high school coach from 2003-12. Orgeron hired LA Tech assistant Mickey Joseph, who has long and deep ties to New Orleans, and both have reportedly been in touch with the New Orleans coaches ahead of the Thursday meeting. Those local recruiting relationships are always vital, and can include some drama.

- Major Applewhite cited the support of Texas high school coaches as a factor in landing the Houston head coaching job, and the e-mails show it.

Through a FOIA request, SB Nation obtained emails from several of the top high school coaches in the state, including Todd Dodge, Gary Joseph, Richard Carson and others.

“Two years ago I wrote a similar letter to recommend Tom Herman because I felt very strong that he was the best person for the job. I feel just as strong that Major is the right man today,” Carson wrote. “I have known Major for all of his coaching career. He is a great football coach and a great leader of young men. … I have a good knowledge of how the coaches of the greater Houston area feel about Major. They know that he is a great recruiter and has built a lasting relationships over the years. He is a guy that has helped me find places for kids to play even if was not recruiting them. He is a guy that we can go to X and O question. Even during his season when he is busy. He has always made time for High School coaches. I know that you will have many great candidates, but I hope you strongly consider Major.”

- Army confirmed it was involved in WakeyLeaks.

Defensive coordinator Jay Bateman and former assistant Ray McCartney received information from Wake radio analyst Tommy Elrod and concealed it, the school announced after an investigation. Army joins Louisville and Virginia Tech among schools to admit it received information.

Bateman was an assistant under Dave Clawson at Richmond in 2004. He has been fined $25,000, suspended for two weeks and will attend an ethics training program.

"Although no NCAA rules were violated, these actions do not represent our values," athletic director Boo Corrigan said in a statement. "We appreciate Wake Forest bringing this matter to our attention, and I want to apologize to the Wake Forest administration and to the West Point community."

- Here’s a lesson from Bo Ryan on how you coach to the rules and make it clear in practice.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 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 chris@coachingsearch.com.