It's a blow to see last year's defensive line coach, Gary Emanuel, depart for Purdue. While Emanuel's tenure on the banks wasn't as long as Joe Susan's, this loss could be just as big. He was far more important as a position coach, although he didn't matter that much for recruiting purposes (I'd just as much rather have Trivers on the road in Maryland).
Why would Emanuel leave? It could be any of the following:
- Familiarity/fondness for Purdue, having spent eight years there.
- Promotion to co-defensive coordinator, a path that was blocked for him staying put.
- (Maybe) By the promotion, a higher salary.
- Less taxing hours.
Any, if not all of those could have been factors, but it still stings losing an important assistant to a program that hasn't been doing all that well of late in the Big Ten. Sometimes these things just happen though. Purdue wasn't looking for a new DL coach before Texas A&M hired theirs. Florida just lost their new defensive coordinator after only a few weeks.
Keith Sargeant mentioned assistant DL coach John Harakal as a potential replacement. Here are a few other names to consider.
Cary Godette - The former Rutgers DL coach was excellent here the first time around, before leaving to recover from some health problems. He later resurfaced with our old pal Mario at FIU. It's important to note that minus Jenkins and Emanuel, Rutgers is down two African American coaches. Not that it necessarily matters with Godette, who's superbly qualified.
Randy Melvin - Surprise! Another former Rutgers assistant is sitting right down the road at Temple. He originally left for the Browns, only to get sacked with the rest of Romeo Crennel's staff last year.
Dave Sollazzo - While not entirely realistic, this name is very intriguing. He's Ralph Friedgan's Susan, and ordinarily couldn't be swayed to leave the Fridge under any circumstances. However, Ralph's probably out the door next year, and who knows what'll happen with their coaching situation after that. Is it possible that Sollazzo could be temped by the pull of additional stability? This hire would kill two birds with one stone, as he could be installed as recruiting coordinator. Sollazzo has fought Rutgers on our home turf for years, and really had a lot of pull before their program started heading into the tank.
Derrick Jackson - Doug Marrone canned the former Syracuse coach (and GRob holdover) after one year, and that is how we found Trivers. He's a native of Long Valley, although it's impossible to gague his ability as a recruiter from his time at Syracuse. Just joined the Akron staff. For what it's worth, their defensive line did seem to play well last year.
Jerry Azzinaro - Hard to believe that the former Syracuse DL coach would leave Oregon.
Jim Panagos - UCF's DL coach. Recruits the Northeast for them; originally from Long Island and Mayland alumnus.
Dave Cohen - The former Hofstra HC is likely looking for work.
Jerry Azzinaro - Brooklyn native was a former Syracuse assistant under Paul Pasqualoni. Now coaching at Oregon.
John Palermo - Former Wisconsin assistant was an excellent New Jersey recruiter for years. Retired I think after burning out at Miami several years back.
Greg Mark - Former Miami coach (and South Jersey native) was rumored to be named after Melvin left I believe. Has been out of coaching for several years.
Jim Jeffcoat - Also was a candidate several years back. Originally from Matawan. Now DL coach at Houston, and supposedly turn down an opportunity to go with his son Jackson to Oklahoma as a package deal.
Those are the names that come to mind now. For the two remaining staff openings, it's vital that one hire be a strong New Jersey recruiter. At least one should be an African American. Those are the only two important criteria that come to mind at the moment.
Update: a poster on Rivals says that John Palermo had just been the DL coach for the Washington Redskins, and that Cohen is the new DC at Western Michigan. I admit it, I had absolutely no idea that Palermo was with the Skins. I wrote a post about him and other assistants who recruited the NJ area two years ago, and at that point the last available information was that he was out of coaching. I absolutely did write the post in haste, and am more than willing to admit that sometimes my posts have errors.
Update 2: The same poster IvyLeagueFootball, continues to beat me up on Rivals for some reason. I did in no way take my post about Ed Foley "verbatim" from what he wrote. I absolute did read all the posts on the message boards about Susan leaving. My first instincts however were absolutely Verducci and to look at local staffs like Temple, and I definitely would have seized on Ed Foley as a candidate even if no one had mentioned him. My analysis was 100% my own. I'm not sure why Ivy, who has some connection to the Tom Savage camp, is going after me so hard on these points.