Jeff Casteel – 2014 Linebackers Coach of the Year
Jeff Casteel, University of Arizona
FootballScoop is proud to announce that Jeff Casteel (Arizona) is the 2014 FootballScoop Linebackers of the Year presented by ProGrass.
Before we discuss Jeff Casteel’s linebackers, we must first recognize that Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o turned 113 tackles, seven interceptions, 5.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, four pass breakups and 1.5 sacks into a runner-up bid for the 2012 Heisman Trophy.
With that understood, now consider that Wildcat linebacker Scooby Wright recorded 153 tackles (third nationally), 28 tackles for loss (first), 14 sacks (third), six forced fumbles (first), one fumble recovery and one fumble recovery in 2014. And he’s a sophomore.
Wright didn’t garner an invitation to the Heisman Trophy ceremony, but he did parlay the best season by a linebacker in recent memory into the Nagurski Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award as college football’s top defensive player, the Lombardi Award as college football’s best lineman or linebacker, the CBS Sports Defensive Player of the Year award, a berth on every All-America team known to man, and became the first sophomore to ever win the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.
As a whole, Arizona finished 10-3 this season, won its first Pac-12 South championship and earned a berth in the Fiesta Bowl. The Wildcats turned in one of the best defensive performances of the season, holding Pac-12 champion and College Football Playoff semifinalist Oregon to season lows of 446 total yards, 6.03 yards per play and 24 points in a 31-24 Wildcats win at Autzen Stadium on Oct. 2.
“Coach Casteel is one of the best coordinators and linebackers coaches in the country. He is all about the development and progression of every player on defense.” Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez told FootballScoop.
Casteel is in his third season at Arizona and tenth working under Rodriguez. A native of Paden City, W. Va., Casteel played at California (Pa.) and broke into coaching as a graduate assistant at his alma mater from 1984-86. After a year working in the Miami high school ranks, Casteel spent a dozen years at Shepherd (W. Va.) University. After a one-year sojourn coaching defensive ends at UTEP, Casteel was hired to coach defensive ends at West Virginia in 2001. He moved to linebackers and added a co-defensive coordinator title in 2002 and was elevated to the Mountaineers’ sole defensive coordinator in 2003, a position he maintained until joining Rodriguez in Tucson in 2012.
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by ProGrass are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Bob Gregory [Washington], Brent Pry [Penn State] and Casteel) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year’s winner.
Casteel will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Linebackers Coach of the Year award are Bill McGovern (Boston College, 2008), Bob Fraser (Rutgers, 2009), Luke Fickell (Ohio State, 2010), Dave Huxtable (Wisconsin, 2011), Bob Gregory (Boise State, 2012) and Jim Reid and LeVar Woods (Iowa, 2013).
3rd Nationally – Tackles (Wright) 1st Nationally – Forced Fumbles (Wright) 1st Nationally – TFL (Wright) 3rd Nationally – Sacks (Wright)
Mike Bobo reportedly close to becoming Colorado State’s next head coach
Colorado State is closing in on a deal to name Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo as its next head coach, according to a report from the Denver Post on Monday afternoon. The Post reports that a deal is imminent but not done at this time.
5:26 p.m. ET update: Matt Stephens of the Coloradoan reports the deal is done.
The deal is done. Colorado State has finalized hiring Georgia OC Mike Bobo as its next football coach. #csurams
— Matt L. Stephens (@MattStephens) December 22, 2014
The Post also reported that Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost was contacted about the job, but chose to remain in Eugene.
Should the deal be consummated, Bobo would be the second straight SEC offensive coordinator hired away to serve as Colorado State’s head coach. The Rams made Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain their head coach following the 2011 season, and he led a program that had posted three straight 3-9 season to an 18-8 mark over the past two seasons. McElwain parlayed that success into the Florida job, which led Colorado State to Bobo.
The main difference between the two, however, is experience – and, specifically, experience west of the Rocky Mountains. McElwain was 49 when Colorado State made him a first-time head coach, a Montana native and possessed more than 15 years experience in the Big Sky Conference in addition to stops at Louisville, Michigan State, Fresno State and with the Oakland Raiders before arriving in Tuscaloosa.
Bobo, 40, is an Augusta, Ga., native, a former Bulldog quarterback, and has spent one year of his professional life outside the state of Georgia – as the quarterbacks coach at Jacksonville State in 2000. We discussed the possibility of Bobo-to-Colorado State on FootballScoop radio Sunday night.
The hirings of both McElwain at UF & Bobo at CSU show me that ADs want a leader more than they care about cultural fit.
— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) December 22, 2014
The question I’ve asked a number of coaches today was if Bobo goes does he bring Will Friend as OC. Strong possibility… — FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) December 22, 2014
To be clear, I’m not saying Will Fiend is definitely leaving UGA. A lot of coaches think it is a strong possibility; but not definite. — FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) December 22, 2014
Bobo and Friend are very close; but Richt would want to keep him too. Plus existing staff at CSU complicates matters too. Will update…
— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) December 22, 2014
Under Bobo’s direction, Georgia ranked eighth nationally in scoring offense (41.7 points per game), seventh in yards per play (6.82), ninth in passing efficiency (157.85), 13th in rushing (255 yards per game) and seventh in yards per carry (6.1).
Colorado State concluded a 10-3 season with a 45-10 loss to Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday. Georgia (9-3) faces Louisville in the Belk Bowl on Dec. 30.
Should the hire be completed, Michigan and Pittsburgh would be the only remaining open jobs in FBS.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.
Doug Meacham and Rusty Burns – Wide Receivers Coaches of the Year
Doug Meacham and Rusty Burns, Texas Christian University
FootballScoop is proud to announce that Doug Meacham and Rusty Burns (TCU) are the 2014 FootballScoop Wide Receivers Coaches of the Year presented by ProGrass.
TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin drew the praise and postseason honors for the Horned Frogs’ seven-win turnaround from 2013 to 2014, but it was Doug Meacham and Rusty Burns’ deep group of wideouts that made the team’s Big 12 co-championship possible.
The Frogs’ passing offense averaged jumped more than 100 yards per game – improving from 73rd to seventh nationally – thanks to one of the deepest wide receiver corps in college football. By the end of TCU’s Peach Bowl date with Ole Miss, five separate wide receivers will have hauled in at least 30 passes and, equally important, all five took turns serving as Boykin’s primary target at separate points this season.
Josh Doctson led the way with 59 grabs for 959 yards and nine touchdowns (including a monster seven catches for 225 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-9 win over Oklahoma State), while Kolby Listenbee caught 38 balls for 709 yards and three scores, Deante’ Gray nabbed 34 passes for 564 yards and eight scores, David Porter secured 36 receptions for 377 yards and three touchdowns, and Ty Slanina hauled in 29 grabs for 367 yards and two touchdowns. Additionally, eight total wideouts caught at least 10 passes this season.
Overall, TCU threw for an average of 332.8 yards per game and an average of 13.4 yards on its 298 completions – most of any team in college football with at least 290 completions – with 33 total touchdowns, which ranks 12th nationally.
The Frogs also ranked among the top 15 in completions of 10-, 20-, 30-, 40- and 50-plus yards.
“Their relationship is awesome,” head coach Gary Patterson said of his assistants this spring. “I think the whole group has meshed real well. They’ve brought a lot of energy and new ideas.”
Meacham is in his first season as the Frogs’ co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach. He spent the 2013 season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Houston, and prior to that spent eight seasons coaching wide receivers at Oklahoma State. An Oklahoma State graduate, Meacham has also coordinated offenses at Samford, Henderson State, Jacksonville State and Georgia Military. Burns has completed six seasons on the TCU staff, and prior to that spent four seasons across the Metroplex as the offensive coordinator at SMU. A Springfield College graduate, Burns also has coordinator experience at Cincinnati, Wyoming, Memphis and Connecticut.
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by ProGrass are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (David Beaty [Texas A&M], Kendall Briles [Baylor], Donnie Kirkpatrick and Dave Nichol [East Carolina], Billy Napier [Alabama] and Meacham and Burns) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year’s winner.
Meacham and Burns will receive their award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Wide Receivers Coach of the Year award are Bobby Kennedy (Texas, 2008), Zach Azzanni (Central Michigan, 2009), Brent Pease (Boise State, 2010), Ted Gilmore (USC, 2011), Matt Lubick (Duke, 2012) and Lawrence Dawsey (Florida State, 2013).
1st Nationally – Yards Per Comp., 290+ Completions 5 receivers caught at least 29+ passes, 8 caught 10+ passes 7th Nationally – Passing Offense 3rd Nationally – Completions of 40+ Yards
Bryan McClendon – 2014 Running Backs Coach of the Year
Bryan McClendon, University of Georgia
FootballScoop is proud to announce that Bryan McClendon (Georgia) is the 2014 FootballScoop Running Backs Coach of the Year presented by ProGrass.
Bryan McClendon started this season with a Heisman Trophy contender and two capable back-ups. He ended it with a true freshman, and Georgia was able to run the ball just the same.
Todd Gurley carried the Bulldogs for the first half of the season and looked every bit like the best player in the nation, ripping off 15 carries for 198 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Clemson, 131 against South Carolina, 208 and two touchdowns against Tennessee and 163 and two touchdowns in a blowout of Vanderbilt. Then Gurley was suspended for four games, and freshman Nick Chubb came on like a freight train.
Chubb’s first start came in a 34-0 drubbing of SEC East champion Missouri, rushing 38 times for 143 yards and a touchdown. He followed that up with 202 yards and two scores in a win over Arkansas. In seven starts, Chubb never rushed for less than 113 yards (and that came on just nine carries in a 55-9 win over Charleston Southern) and scored at least one touchdown in all of them.
Despite not starting a game until mid-October, Chubb finished second in the SEC with 1,281 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on 186 carries – good for 6.89 yards per carry, half a yard better than any other SEC rusher with at least 170 carries. And despite playing in only one game after the midpoint of the season, Gurley finished ninth in the SEC with 911 yards and nine touchdowns on 123 carries – good for 7.41 yards per carry, second best among all runners in the conference.
As a unit, Georgia ran the ball 502 times for 3,060 yards (255 per game, 13th nationally), 35 touchdowns (11th) and 6.1 yards per carry (seventh). The Dogs also ripped off 30 rushes of 20 yards and 20 rushes of 30 yards or more, both of which rank among the top 10 nationally.
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo told FootballScoop, “Coach McClendon gets young guys ready to play better than anybody I’ve ever been around. He has done it 4 years in a row and his guys keep producing. He is a big reason for the success that we have had at UGA.”
A former Bulldogs wide receiver, McClendon is in his eighth year as a member of Mark Richt’s coaching staff – two as a graduate assistant, and the last six as running backs coach. He was also added to recruiting coordinator duties in 2014. McClendon is a native of Chicago, Ill.
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by ProGrass are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Deland McCullough [Indiana], Cale Gundy [Oklahoma] and McClendon) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year’s winner.
McClendon will receive his award and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Running Backs Coach of the Year award are Burton Burns (Alabama, 2008), Willie Taggart (Stanford, 2009), Jim Mastro (Nevada, 2010), Frank Wilson (LSU, 2011), Calvin Magee (Arizona, 2012) and Jeff Lebby (Baylor, 2013).
2 running backs with at least 900 yards 11th Nationally – Rushing Touchdowns 7th Nationally – Yards Per Carry 13th Nationally – Rushing Offense
FootballScoop radio: Updates on Michigan, Pitt, Georgia, Florida and more
Quick four minute segment from last night.
Topics: Michigan’s search, an update at Pitt, Georgia’s new strength hire (with a great back story about him), Florida’s “search” for OC…and how that impacts Alabama and what Dana Holgorsen plans to do to fill the open slot at WVU.
FootballScoop radio, every Sunday night, available on ESPN radio originating out of 104.5 ESPN in Baton Rouge.