What, Me Worry?

As we get farther into the coaching search to replace Defensive Coordinator Kalani Sitake, who recently took the head coaching job at BYU, every day seems to be excruciatingly long. The only news that has been made public is that Oregon State interviewed Utah State Defensive Coordinator Kevin Clune (per the fantastic site Football Scoop). While this move is at least something, it isn’t necessarily set-the-world on fire news. Clune may well be an amazing hire, but in the last 18 months, we have been used to giant splash hires like ripping the DC out of the hands of conference foe Utah. Pulling in a DC who has never coached in a Power 5 conference before is not the same.

But does it matter? Because Clune is the name we know has been interviewed, a quick google search of him shows that he was a Defensive Coordinator at Weber State from 2005 – 2008 and then again at Hawaii in 2014, and most recently, Utah State in 2015. He was a Graduate Assistant at Utah when Gary Andersen was there and was the Linebackers Coach when Andersen was at Utah State. Clune has improved the defenses everywhere he has been, and for all intents and purposes, seems like a solid if not spectacular coach. Should he be our next Defensive Coordinator, it would be his third such position in as many years. So it is not like Clune isn’t a known commodity, and apparently is a bit of a rising star in coaching circles.

So why am I not more excited?  Because I really want Wisconsin DC Dave Aranda. He would be the big splash hire we are getting used to here in Beaver Territory. I know that it is wishful thinking that we could steal another star coach from the Badgers, but it was my hope. Heck, I really hope we can get him and then get Clune as linebacker coach. What is wrong with that scenario?

Well, to be honest, I am putting OSU in to the type of coaching position that the big boys are in.  I am thinking that like an Alabama or USC or LSU, the Beavers can just poach whoever from wherever. Because we have amazing, nationally relevant coaches like Pat Casey, Scott Rueck, Wayne Tinkle, and Andersen that we can just grab whoever. The reality is that the OSU job has a lot of risk. I thought we would get six wins this year based on Andersen and his staff alone. We ended up with two. I thought this offseason would be a great one with our coaches getting a very impressive recruiting class rolling and positive feelings from the second half of the Civil War that this offense had signs of life in it carrying over. It felt like 2013. Remember that year?  Strong finish in the Civil War, with a stop or scoring a few seconds later, being the difference in that game. Where we went and beat Boise State in our bowl game, and had reason to hope for an even better season the next year?

Then our Offensive Coordinator left. Then our star receiver and defensive end declared for the NFL draft. Then our new OC was a disaster.Then our coaches lost the team and a slew of injuries hit… pushing us to a bowl-less season and giving us as much hope as a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest (thanks for that metaphor Coach Speck!) has. Then our coach left and we hired someone amazing — and hope began to spring eternal!

Until now.

If I am honest, right now is excruciating. While every topic on my favorite Beaver fan sites are a combo of doom, gloom, and infighting, I just want some news that will get us all excited and show that we are ready to pick up where we left off and dominate another offseason.

So whoever we hire, I am sure they will be good. Or at least a good interview. I am sure that it will help us pull in a few more recruits and solidify the staff. I am sure it will be someone Andersen really respects and thinks can take the next step in Beaver 2.0. You will just have to excuse me if I want something big. It won’t mean we will go out and win 10 games next year, but it will get my and other people’s attention. That would be nice after a rough year as a member of Beaver Nation.

What do you think? Am I crazy?

Go Beavs! (PRO)

4 thoughts on “What, Me Worry?

  1. Building the Dam (@BuildingTheDam)

    Keep in mind that a lot of the splash hires for assistant coach positions are employed by teams with imminent big bowl games. Like Dave Aranda (and Inoke Breckterfield), who will be quite busy dealing with USC tonight. I expect there have been several phone calls that went something like “Thanks for the call, Gary, and, yes, I’d love to talk to you more about your situation. We kind of have our hands full right now with the Trojans (or whomever), but can I call you back after we get done with that?”

    Clune was able to come up because his team has finished their bowl, but a lot more will be done by the end of the week. There are 17 bowl games in the next 4 days, and that’s a LOT of the assistants from a LOT of the better programs in the country (which is why they are playing in the next 4 days).

    I’d expect we will see some more discussions taking place as soon as teams wrap up their games. And I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if some news interrupts our game watching over those 4 days.

    1. Peter Riley Osborne Post author

      I agree, and per Eggers article this morning, we are probably going to have a hire by the weekend. I also think that they may have had even more than just a quick conversation. I think the opportunity at OSU is risky for current DC’s at P5 schools. It is a rebuild, it is a team that really struggled last year, it is a team with some talent deficiencies on the defensive line and on defense in general. So to leave a job like Wisconsin, where he has had two straight top 10 defenses would say a lot about his desire to work with Gary. He is my top choice for sure, but I just cannot bring myself to do more than hold a glimmer of hope for that hire. If he is the guy, I will probably renew my belief that OSU will be the premier football program in the Pac-12 North under Gary Andersen in the next three years.

      1. Building the Dam (@BuildingTheDam)

        It might take at least that long, no matter who is in charge, because, as we saw this past year, it will take a LOT of recruiting to assemble the depth of quality required, and right now, about all OSU has to sell is immediate playing time. 2 bowls in 6 years, with little likelihood of getting there next year, and only 1 “quality” bowl since the last Sun Bowl trip isn’t going to impress any objective recruit, as a player or a coach/employee, and is also a good illustration of the depth of the hole the Beavers have dug themselves into, and have to climb out of.

        It’s going to take both patience, and a plan/approach that realizes incremental improvements that can be built on, not a quick fix.

        1. Building the Dam (@BuildingTheDam)

          And before anyone jumps up and down about being too negative on OSU, I thought I’d clarify the context of the competition the Beavers are routinely facing. This year, they faced 11 teams that either posted a winning season and/or went to the post-season. When a multi-win Power-5 Colorado team is your “creampuff”, you have a tough schedule, and right now, Oregon State is attempting to play that kind of competition with middle of the Mt. West level and quantity of talent.

          Next year, the only game the Beavers will be favored in will be Idaho State, unless its later in the year, and the Beavers have significantly exceeded reasonable expectations and stayed much healthier than they did this year in doing so, AND some opponent has had their season go off the rails, due to injuries and such. And they will still be one of the least experienced teams in the country, because several recruits, transfers, and red-shirts are going to be smack in the middle of the depth chart.


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