When offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf decided to leave Corvallis to join the New York Giants organization, Mike Riley had a big hole to fill on his staff. Coming off a season where the Beavers ranked in the top 30 in scoring offense (27th) and passing offense (3rd) Riley had no shortage of candidates blowing up his phone to vie for the position.
During a recent sit down with Mike Parker, the voice of the Beavers, Riley explained how he conducted the search and why it was different than most coordinator hires that programs make.
"When Danny makes a decision like that to leave, then the wheels start turning, and frankly you always have thoughts about what you might do. But then you really have to examine them closely when the reality comes and then you've got to go for it."
"Through some thoughts that I already had, and through some names that came in, but primarily in this case, through a phone call that I got that was really a reminder about a guy, just in case I hadn't thought of him...which is what keyed this whole thing with John Garrett."
Garrett spent the 2013 season as the receivers coach with the Tampa Bay Bucs, and the two seasons prior to that with the Dallas Cowboys as the pass game coordinator and tight ends coach.
"What I made clear immediately with everyone that I talked to, was this was not going to be one of those cases where you hire an offensive coordinator, and they come in and put in their own system, and own language and we all kind of start over again. That was not going to be the case."
Riley goes on to explain that Garrett was his first phone call, and the first candidate that he brought in and that he ultimately offered him the job because he seemed to understand the system already in place, and had some good ideas on how to tweak and improve it. Then Riley explained one criteria that made Garrett stand out that had nothing to do with football.
"The other thing that had to be there was that he had to understand the vision that we have for the overall development of young people. There are certain ways that we treat people, respect young people, and respect the position that we have in their overall growth, not just about what we teach football-wise, but how we want these guys to develop as young men."