Jerry Kill’s retirement means a lot. For starters, we hope that the man is okay. Kill has had his health issues - and scares - before. Including this past season. And there comes a time in everyone’s life when you have to say, “I’m done.” That time has come for Jerry Kill. I, for one, thank him for being with Rutgers and giving this team his all.
But that means....No. 9....No. 9....No. 9.....
And that means Chris Ash has what might be his most significant decision in his short time at Rutgers, as our Aaron Breitman wrote earlier. Pressure’s on, coach.
Ryan Dunleavy laid out his own view on this in his story today. In it, he pointed out that when Chris Ash was looking for a replacement for Drew Mehringer, the Rutgers head coach talked to some pretty significant people. "We talked to several coaches around the country that had outstanding resumes," Ash said when naming Kill as the successor to Drew Mehringer. "They are in really good jobs right now."
But can Ash bring to Rutgers a top tier guy, a P5 offensive coordinator? Rutgers got Ralph Friedgen and then Jerry Kill. But both of them -former head coaches - were revamping their careers and were likely short-timers at Rutgers. Little did we know....
We have our own short list. We only looked at current offensive coordinators who have been successful. I wanted someone who has been in that chair. As for how successful, we looked at offensive rankings from 2017 and then considered who might come to RU. In all honesty, the guys who were at top schools weren’t always considered. And the OC at Penn State, Joe Moorhead, is now the head coach at Mississippi State. But we threw in a few big names for conversation.
It has been confirmed by NJ Advance Media that Ash has already talked with Phil Longo from Ole Miss, Dan Enos, the former Arkansas OC, and Noel Mazzone who is likely out at Texas A&M with the staff changing.
So, here goes - in alphabetical order. Give us your take in the comments.
Tim Albin, OC, Ohio University
Not as prolific as the other coordinator’s offenses, Albin still had an explosive offense that scored touchdowns (58) and ate up yards (430 pg). He was with Bobcats head coach Frank Solich for four years at Nebraska and has been in Athens as OC since 2005. On the downside - perhaps - is his age, 52.
Kendal Briles, OC, Florida Atlantic
A bit controversial if you want to look at history. He was the OC at Baylor when dad, Art Briles, was running the high powered offense. But scandal hit and the Bears cleaned house. He’s now with Lane Kiffin (he of the new 10-year contract extension) at FAU where he led the 14th best offense in the country. He can bring in talent, too: in 2013 he was named the "Big 12 Recruiter of the Year" by Scout/FOXSportsNet and a national "Top 50 Recruiter" by 247Sports. The Owls had 66 offensive touchdowns and piled up over 490 yards per game. Briles is only 35 and may have higher aspirations, but being in the Big Ten can’t hurt.
Warren Ruggiero, OC, Wake Forest
Another “older” coach at 51, Ruggiero is a Delaware grad. In his first season as OC, the Wake Forest offense was the most improved in the nation, gaining 117 yards more total offense per game over 2014. His offenses have finished in the top 10 in the country in either total offense or scoring offense at all six of his previous OC stops. Past stops: Bowling Green, K-State, Elon, Hofstra
Jake Spavital, OC, West Virginia
Young (32) and aggressive, Spavital has nine years of collegiate coaching experience coaching quarterbacks and four years as an offensive coordinator. His WVU squad was the 16th best in FBS with 54 TDs and just under 500 yards per game; in the Big 12 that’s a necessity. He’s already coached Johnny Manziel, Geno Smith, Brandon Weeden, and Case Keenum Past stops: California (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks); Texas A&M (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks); West Virginia (quarterbacks)
Brian Wright, OC, Toledo
My one name in common with Dunleavy. The Rockets came in at No. 8 on offense among FBS schools, scoring 60 TDs and putting up pinball game numbers for yards per game (509.9). He was a nominee for the Broyles Award in 2017, which honors the top assistant coach in FBS. Past stops: Florida Atlantic, four seasons as offensive coordinator; two seasons at Montana State as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach; nine years at FCS power Youngstown State as quarterbacks coach, and offensive coordinator from 2005-09. Wright is 45.
And now for something completely different.....
Scott Brisson, OC, Lehigh
Yes, Lehigh. The Mountain Hawks were only 5-7 in 2017 in the Patriot League, but they covered ground and scored points as the sixth best offense in FCS. With 60 TDs and over 470 yards of offense per game, Brisson is worth a look. He recruits South Jersey (as well as parts of Florida) for Lehigh so he knows the area. He’s only in his early 30s.
Sean Gleason, OC, Princeton
Again, not a great record for the Tigers (5-5), but Gleason’s offenses are prolific. He had the fourth best offense in FCS with 50 touchdowns and 483 yards per game. Another young coach, he probably wouldn’t even have to move!