Division III Finlandia University (MI) announces plan to launch football
For those of you searching for a Division III head coaching opportunity, a new job is on the market.
As part of its plan to sponsor seven new sports over the next seven years, Division III Finlandia University in the upper peninsula town of Hancock, Mich., is in search of a head football coach to lead its brand-new program. The Lions are currently unaffiliated with any conference, but hope to join the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.
"As we've worked with the UMAC Conference Officers over the last several years in efforts to gain general conference affiliation, the Conference more recently has identified their own strategic plans which will allow Finlandia to strategically align our new sport offerings to that of the Conference's membership criterion. Our long term planning and now execution of, and in concert with the UMAC's growth model, presents the perfect opportunity for us to become a viable member of the regional conference," said Finlandia athletics director Chris Salani.
The school is taking applications as you read this, with preference given to those who apply by March 24. Finlandia would like to have a coach hired by mid-April and have a team on the field in time for the 2015 season.
Video: Utah closes winter conditioning with a team-wide dance-off
Utah held "Red Zone Friday" to close winter workouts today, and the day ended in a tie. And how did the football gods decree that a tie be broken all those years ago?
A team wide dance-off, of course.
Photo: This is the new age of football helmets
Over the past several years, helmets have changed a bit here and there to become more safe, but for the large part have remained unchanged...until now.
According to this tweet from Clemson's football account, it looks like Schutt is adding built in cameras to helmets designed for quarterbacks. The days of seeing GoPro cameras strapped to helmets may be dwindling, and this a great addition.
The next logical question is what program is going to be the first to utilize the video, and create a scoop-worthy video with the footage?
Go inside Notre Dame's spring preparation like you've never seen before
Here's an extended, inside look at Notre Dame's spring preparation that you simply can't get anywhere else. While it is from the 2013 spring season (they waited to release it until yesterday) and some of the names have changed (Chuck Martin to Miami, OH and Bob Diaco to UConn) there is still a ton of great content in here.
Notre Dame's "Strong and True" installments have always provided a great look behind the curtains of Brian Kelly's program, but this one reaches a whole new level. It starts with the end of winter workouts and runs right through outgoing players on campus pro day.
At the end of one of the workout segments, titled "Camp Kelly", coach Kelly wrapped up the workout by noting two things; #1 that they didn't need to coach effort, which is a good thing, and #2 that he hadn't handed off the team to the seniors yet, because they haven't proven that they're ready to take it. That caught my attention, and Kelly explained his philosophy a little later.
"I think that everyone assumes that when you're a senior, now it's de facto "it's our team." But I turn the team over to you when you show me that you're ready to lead. We're working towards that, but we're not there yet."
The rest of the video covers everything else surrounding the program in the spring, from the preparation from the coaches, to the strength and conditioning perspective, to how they approach academics, to the spiritual approach and how they develop players off the field.
I highly recommend carving out a few minutes here and there throughout your weekend to take a look at how coach Kelly has structured his program, and take a closer look at the people that touch the lives of his players in South Bend. In Kelly's program, no detail is overlooked, and this video provides a great look at that approach.
The NCAA could be close to bringing an early signing period to football
Maybe we'll remember this week when the NCAA finally got it together. Okay, probably not. But college sports' bureaucratic power has taken three steps in the proper direction this week. After axing the 10-second rule before it came to a vote and removing the silliness from the targeting rule, the NCAA is reportedly discussing adding an early signing period for football.
"I think everyone wants an early signing period," NCAA associate director of operations Susan Peal told ESPN.com. "It's just trying to nail down what's the appropriate date for that."
In the snake-like fashion of the organizational flowchart, the Conference Commissioners Association - a gathering of all 32 Division I conference commissioners - controls the national letter of intent program. The CCA is set to discuss the issue at its annual meeting in June.
According to an NCAA survey, most coaches are in support of an early signing period, but finding a consensus as to where to place it on the calendar has proven elusive. However, the majority can agree an early signing period would end the resource-wasting process of re-recruiting a committed prospect for months on end while waiting for the first Wednesday in February to arrive. The majority, but not all.
"I know the [Southeastern Conference] coaches are not in favor of changing the recruiting calendar," Kentucky's Mark Stoops said in January. "If things start moving up, it changes the way we've been doing things for a long time."
Former Giants OC Gilbride: 'I retired because I couldn't be a HC'
One quick glance over Kevin Gilbride's coaching resume that spans nearly 40 years, will show just two head coaching stops. Five years at his Southern Connecticut State, where he went 35-14-2, and two seasons as the head coach with the San Diego Chargers (1997-1998).
Gilbride is perhaps best known for his time as an offensive coordinator in the NFL, making stops with the Houston Oilers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, and most recently, the New York Giants. With a couple Super Bowl rings to his name alongside Tom Coughlin, at 62 years old, Gilbride still had aspirations of being a head coach, but after a disastrous 2013 season, he felt like his time had run out, and it was time to get out of the game
"I had told (wife) Deborah, if I didn't get a head job this year, the age is becoming a factor, so let me move out of here," Gilbride told said at a recent benefit, according to the Long Island Newsday. "Of course we had a disastrous year, so it wasn't going to happen this year. I thought maybe one more time I could have put myself in position for some of those jobs."
"Every year you go [on interviews], you look older and older to them and a less likely candidate. They don't realize that the guys who have been winning have been the older coaches."
Gilbride joined the Giants organization as the quarterbacks coach with when Coughlin was hired to lead the organization back in 2004. His name has popped up for numerous coaching vacancies through the years, but the recent influx of younger head coaches seeing success at the college and NFL ranks ultimately led Gilbride out of the coaching profession.
With guys like Eli Manning and Warren Moon on his long list of mentored quarterbacks, Gilbride has had other opportunities, but feels that at age 62, it was head coach or bust.
"I had some people ask me to coach some quarterbacks and receivers, draft-eligible guys," he said. "But I said I would have stayed coaching if I was going to do that, so I didn't want to do that."
Rack your brain for a minute or so trying to name the head coaches who have won Super Bowls after age 60? Names that come to mind are Pete Carroll, Dick Vermeil, Tom Coughlin (who has won two in his sixties). The past few seasons NFL and college teams have often pulled the trigger on a youthful, outgoing, energetic face of the program (or franchise), so it's hard to blame Gilbride for his rationale at this time.
Photos: How about these new Southern Miss helmets?
Earlier this week, we posted a look at new helmets featuring chrome decals that Southern Miss put under consideration.
A nice look, sure, but nothing that will turn heads.
These new helmets, however?
It's worth noting that these helmets were not tweeted from the official Southern Miss equipment room. But if the Eagles wanted to gain attention through apparel, this is the way to go. The only other teams to go the multicolored helmet route have been Syracuse, San Diego State.... and that's about it.
(HT Phil Hecken)
Twenty-five college football coaches could make $3 million in 2014
News of Gary Pinkel's contract extension on Thursday was (obviously) big news for him - he was extended through 2020 and will make at least $3.1 million a year - but it was also potentially a landmark point for college football.
USA Today editor Steve Berkowitz, who knows more about college coaching salaries than anyone on the planet, tweeted this on Thursday:
With Gary Pinkel getting raise to $3.1M, there could be 25 FBS head coaches making $3M+ in 2014; there were 13 in '12, 9 in '11 and 1 in '06— Steve Berkowitz (@ByBerkowitz) March 6, 2014
That first coach to cross the $3 million threshold back in 2006? Oklahoma's Bob Stoops.
By 2011, Stoops had been joined by Mack Brown, Nick Saban, Les Miles, Kirk Ferentz, Bobby Petrino (at Arkansas), Gene Chizik (at Auburn), Brady Hoke and Will Muschamp. Mark Richt, Steve Spurrier and Chip Kelly couldn't crack the $3 million barrier. Kansas paid Turner Gill $2.1 million, only $100,000 below what Texas A&M paid Mike Sherman. And this was only three years ago.
A year later, Spurrier and Kelly were bumped into the club, along with newcomers Gary Patterson, Mike Gundy and Todd Graham, while new Ohio State coach Urban Meyer replaced the ousted Petrino. Richt was still a measly $55,000 shy of $3 million.
In 2013, the $3 million club included the following: Saban, Brown, Stoops, Meyer, Miles, Hoke, Ferentz, Bret Bielema, Butch Jones, Charlie Strong, Gundy, Spurrier, Mark Richt (finally!), Bill O'Brien, Tommy Tuberville, Patterson and Kevin Sumlin.
Brown and O'Brien have exited college football, but new hires James Franklin (Penn State), Chris Petersen (Washington), Bobby Petrino (Louisville) replaced them. Along with Pinkel, Jimbo Fisher, Art Briles, Dabo Swinney received raises to north of $3 million a year.
That's 22 coaches, and it doesn't include USC's Steve Sarkisian and UCLA's Jim Mora, both of whom signed new contracts that figure to be above $3 million a year. On top of that, scheduled raises and modest incentives could easily take Bo Pelini, Bill Snyder, Will Muschamp and Dan Mullen into the $3 million club.
In just eight short years, the ratio of coaches earning $3 million a year has reduced from roughly 1-in-120 to 1-in-5.