Over the last few seasons, football coaches have used a loop hole to get their former players that didn’t pan out in the NFL back on campus to work on their scout teams. Alabama has done it with Trent Richardson and John Parker Wilson, as well as a number of other players, and other programs have followed suit.
That leads me to Oregon’s recent run to the Final Four, which Dana Altman attributes to the make up of their scout team. But, unlike their football counterpart, it’s not exactly made up of Oregon alums who didn’t pan out in the NBA or the professional level. In fact, you could say they went in the exact opposite direction.
The LA Times points out that Oregon’s scout team is made up entirely of their coaching staff, including head coach Dana Altman, who is 58. The youngest coach on the Ducks staff is 38, a former NAIA player and Army Ranger.
With a scout team full of men from just under 40, to not quite 60, Altman felt like his staff offered his Ducks the best possible scout team and also allowed them the ability to “offer tips and reminders” while sharing the court with the starters.
For Altman, the move might leave them a little more tired and sore, but it makes a lot of sense for them. Players told the LA Times that playing against their coaches helps keep them focused, coaches know the opponent better than any scout team player could combined with their knowledge of the game plan they’re going to carry into the game, and players shared that they also step their game up because they don’t to get embarassed by one of their coaches who they’re 20 years younger than (or more in some cases).
It’s impossible for me to write this piece without letting my mind wander to college football staff’s and wondering what staff could make up the best scout team to go against their players come today?
Just off the top of my head, thinking head coaches and coordinators first (but we certainly want assistant coaches involved as well), these staffs have to be in the conversation for sure:
Clemson (Dabo Swinney, Tony Elliott, Jeff Scott, Brent Venables…)
South Florida (Charlie Strong, Sterlin Gilbert, Brian Jean-Mary…)
LSU (Ed Orgeron, Dave Aranda, and Matt Canada…)
North Carolina (Larry Fedora, Chris Kapilovic, and John Papuchis…)
FAU (Lane Kiffin, Kendal Briles, Chris Kiffin…)
Boston College (Steve Addazio, Scott Loeffler…)
Texas Tech (Kliff Kingsbury, Eric Morris, and David Gibbs…)
Illinois (Lovie Smith, Garrick McGee, and Hardy Nickerson…)
Minnesota (PJ Fleck, Kirk Ciarrocca, Robb Smith…)
Penn State (James Franklin, Joe Moorhead, Brent Pry and Tim Banks…)
Wisconsin (Paul Chryst, Joe Rudolph, and Jim Leonhard…)
North Texas (Seth Littrell, Graham Harrell, Troy Reffett…)
Western Kentucky (Mike Sanford Jr., Junior Adams, Clayton White…)
BYU (Kilani Sitake, Ty Detmer, Ilaisa Tuiaki…)
Western Michigan (Tim Lester, Kevin Johns, Jake Moreland, Tim Daoust, Lou Esposito…)
Nevada (Jay Norvell, Matt Mumme, Jeff Casteel…)
Hawaii (Nick Rolovich, Brian Smith, Legi Suiaunoa…)
Arkansas (Bret Bielema, Dan Enos, Paul Rhoads…)
Georgia (Kirby Smart, Mel Tucker…)
Ole Miss (Hugh Freeze, Phil Longo, Wes McGriff)
South Carolina (Will Muschamp, Bryan McClendon, Travaris Robinson…)
ULL (Mark Hudspeth, Will Hall, Charlie Harbison…)
UCF (Scott Frost, Troy Walters, Erik Chinader…)
What staff am I leaving out that could still ball out on a scout team against their current guys? Let me know @CoachSamz or via email at [email protected]. (I see some interesting conversations in my future…)