New Head Coach search.

51,132 Views | 458 Replies | Last: 6 mo ago by corleycl
SFA_03
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I figured it's time to bring this up again since Byrd and the rest of the staff are almost certainly gone after this season.
If you were Ryan Ivey and had to make a list of potential candidates who would you pick and why?
MasterAxe
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I hate to see someone(s) fail on the job, but I see no circumstance where Byrd or any of his staff retain their job.

If only a miracle we win 5-6 games that I think this possible.

In terms of names, it it going to be difficult to hire a D1 assistant from a major program, specifically because of money. Most big time program assistants make much more than we can offer at HC.

So, I think we look for a younger HC in the D2 ranks or FCS ranks that sees SFA as an upgrade. If Sam Houston can siphon KC Keeler from Delaware, we can find a similar situation.

I can't think of any names specifically, but I know I'd be pouring down the staff at North Texas to see what Seth Littrell has going on, in terms of assistants on his staff. Those guys can coach and are proving it.
OldSchool
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Well I didn't start this thread but since its is started I'm going to put in my two cents.

We still have a lot of football to play this year and right now I'm sticking with present coach for this year I think we owe him a one season interview. Not off to a good start with a loss to a team last week that no doubt we should have beat, but we didn't. Believe it just shows what I have been saying all along, past coach couldn't bring the right kids to the program for lots of reasons that aren't even worth discussing because it is in the past and cant look back.
Not sure if interim coach and staff can do much better. We need to bring in new head coach that has very strong ties to Texas and SFA. The only guy I know right now is Curtis Luper. He has coached at a very high level in college at Oklahoma St and present TCU and has very involved in the recruiting for both of those programs and has close ties to high school coaches across the state. He know were the best kids are and how to bring them in to help the program. Granted he doesn't have head coach experience but I'm pretty sure he will bring all the right X and O coaches he would need to give our kids the best opportunity to be competitive in our conference. Good chance he might hang on to some of the present staff if he felt that would be the best for the program.

Right now its about getting the right athletes to the program to rebuild so we can climb back to top tier of conference and out of the bottom.

I'm sure this conversation will continue to grow as we go through the season. Please don't see this as negativity towards our kids or present coaching staff. Just giving my opinion on what needs to be done to get the program back on track.
nacluth
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At the beginning of the year, I thought 6-5 gave Byrd a decent chance at being rehired. I'm going to for the sake of argument include Tarleton as one of those wins. That means 5-5 for the year. It's hard to say he can reach that mark with at least four really tough games ahead, but I don't think we're sunk...yet. 6 losses and a losing season, I'll be ready to chip in.
Jacks4460
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I agree with OldSchool 100%.. We need to give the current staff a one season interview before giving them the boot after game 2. It is gonna take a great relationship with our Texas HS coaches to get those athletes that can put us back in the upper echelon of the SLC. When I played in 89-93 our roster was loaded with East Texas talent.. No reason why we shouldn't be able to get who we want out of East Texas (unless they were being recruited by Power 5 schools).. Whomever the new coach is better be able to recruit and have strong ties to the high school coaches in Texas..
TallTexan
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nacluth said:

At the beginning of the year, I thought 6-5 gave Byrd a decent chance at being rehired. I'm going to for the sake of argument include Tarleton as one of those wins. That means 5-5 for the year. It's hard to say he can reach that mark with at least four really tough games ahead, but I don't think we're sunk...yet. 6 losses and a losing season, I'll be ready to chip in.


Agreed. I don't have anything against Byrd, though he had a hard enough hill to climb as it was.

I'm all for considering new coaches, but don't want to dump on the team & our current staff for being in a situation with little chance of success. We not only lost our HC, but our OC as well. Essentially, our guys are on their third offense in 12 months, plus our DC is now our HC. Total Fubar (NSFW acronym warning) right now.

Also, let's just hire Keeler and kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
SFAJack_76
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Jeff Traylor is a name that, understandably, is brought up by many. Here is his contract at Arkansas.

https://www.arktimes.com/media/pdf/jeff_traylor_employment_agreement_executed_redacted.pdf

I am guessing he is not counting on any post season incentive compensation after Saturday.
SFA_03
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A name I've tossed around that I think would be interesting is Graham Harrell. His offense at UNT is very good, basically a mirror of the Mike Leach offense that consistently puts up monster numbers. And it's so similar to what Jeremy Moses ran while he played I think Jeremy would be a natural choice to be the OC or at least QB coach. It's also a system that doesn't need necessarily great players and can be run with pretty much any QB and still be effective.
Defensively we'd still be a mess though.

I like the idea of a NDSU assistant or maybe trying to poach a head coach from the MVFC.

And then obviously the Austin Peay Head Coach. I'm sure he's #1 on Ivey's list right now.
cboothe09
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I feel like Harrell is the next man up at UNT. Unless we see some big changes in Lubbock, I think Kingsbury is out and Littrell will be making his way west after this season ends...The win over Houston is nice, but they need to do something in B12 play if he wants to keep his job. Recruiting is beginning to suffer....
SFA_03
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cboothe09 said:

I feel like Harrell is the next man up at UNT. Unless we see some big changes in Lubbock, I think Kingsbury is out and Littrell will be making his way west after this season ends...The win over Houston is nice, but they need to do something in B12 play if he wants to keep his job. Recruiting is beginning to suffer....


No argument there. The kingsbury era has been a sad one in Lubbock.
BigJack85
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I believe the salary range for SFA football is between $150,000-$200,000. That's going to bounce a few guys right off. I still think our best bet is a strong D2 coach.
Axe 'Em Jacks - Class of 85'
SFA_03
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You know who could bring excitement and knowledge? Tony Romo. Former FCS QB who could be convinced to coach "for the love of the game" and would bring instant exposure to our program. Imagine the QBs who'd kill to play for Romo???
nacluth
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Sounds great. The $1.5M he's reportedly making at CBS pales in comparison to the glory he could find here.
SFA_03
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nacluth said:

Sounds great. The $1.5M he's reportedly making at CBS pales in comparison to the glory he could find here.


Like I said. "Love for the game"
TallTexan
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nacluth said:

Sounds great. The $1.5M he's reportedly making at CBS pales in comparison to the glory he could find here.


I mean, we can just move the entire marketing budget to match that. He'd pay for himself in fundraising alone.
TallTexan
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BigJack85 said:

I believe the salary range for SFA football is between $150,000-$200,000. That's going to bounce a few guys right off. I still think our best bet is a strong D2 coach.


I wonder how much flexibility Ivey's got in that number.

FWIW,that'd likely be a raise for Carthel.
BigJack85
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Probably is. I'd like to think we're an attractive job. Btw I looked up a couple of the MVFC salaries. We ain't in the hunt unless one of the better ones wants to take a $100,000 pay cut.

Also , with what we pay for BBall we probably don't have the flexibility.
Axe 'Em Jacks - Class of 85'
TallTexan
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Did some researching this morning, since we hired Conque 5 years ago, top FBS HC salaries have went up 33%. I'd say that likely means their assistants salaries went up around the same amount.

Which could be important if we're looking to hire Luper or Traylor. I think Luper would have taken the job if offered last time, and like now, it'd have likely been a paycut. If we use the same increase on our salary, we're looking at paying around 250k or so for one of those guys.

Being an HC has intangible benefits that being a position coach just doesn't have. FWIW, Pelini took a 213k base to come back to Youngstown in 2015.

One name to keep an eye on might be Kansas OC Doug Meecham. He's a top level coach that's worked at TCU, Houston and now Kansas who may very well be available this fall.

I'd also take a look at recently fired staffs to see if there are any diamonds in the rough. Bret Beliema is available, but his OC Dan Enos might be a more likely haul, currently serving as Alabama QB coach.

Brady Hoke appears to be available and had good success prior to Michigan.

Todd Graham has coached in Texas at both the HS and college level.

Tony Levine, future Houston HC is available and I've heard he's an awesome recruiter. However, it appears that he left coaching after last season and owns a Chick Fil A.

There are likely many other coaches, these are just some of the high level guys no longer coaching.

On another note, there are a ton of high level coaches who seemingly coached at Arkansas State at some point. They're like the Kent State of the South. Two names to keep an eye on Joe Cauthen, their DC coached at SFA in 1999. And their OC, Buster Faulkner has a history of working with prolific offenses.

Just some food for thought.
TallTexan
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I know we've talked about Healy a few times but he just signed a new contract with Peay in December. Buyout is 150k. He was 29 when Ivey hired him, incidentally the same age as Graham Harrell is now. If he doesn't get the UNT job, he might be a heck of a hire.

I still get the feeling that Carthel might be the best bet though.
ACUCattitude
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As you know, ACU went through a similar situation just a couple of years ago. Sadly it takes a while to regroup from a toxic situation like we had and you seem to have had.

Thought I'd give you a couple of insights:

1. Dorrel got $250k two years ago so a proven head coach will likely cost more than $150-200 and P5 assistants are looking at $400-500k to move to FCS.
2. Graham Harrel has family ties to ACU so I was told that he was contacted early in the hiring process. He told us that his career path is FBS and he had no interest at dropping to FCS at any price. Plus, I think his assistant salary is in the range of what we were willing to pay so we couldn't buy him.
3. It prolly surprises Jacks fans but ACU was seen as a premier HC destination thanks to big time investment and support for the program. I can't see why SFA wouldn't be as good or better so I think if Byrd doesn't work out, you will have a lot of good choices.

SFA is a cornerstone program for the SLC so we need you to be good. Good luck, starting next Sunday, of course.

PS we also talked to Carthel but way too much baggage for ACU.
TallTexan
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ACUCattitude said:

As you know, ACU went through a similar situation just a couple of years ago. Sadly it takes a while to regroup from a toxic situation like we had and you seem to have had.

Thought I'd give you a couple of insights:

1. Dorrel got $250k two years ago so a proven head coach will likely cost more than $150-200 and P5 assistants are looking at $400-500k to move to FCS.
2. Graham Harrel has family ties to ACU so I was told that he was contacted early in the hiring process. He told us that his career path is FBS and he had no interest at dropping to FCS at any price. Plus, I think his assistant salary is in the range of what we were willing to pay so we couldn't buy him.
3. It prolly surprises Jacks fans but ACU was seen as a premier HC destination thanks to big time investment and support for the program. I can't see why SFA wouldn't be as good or better so I think if Byrd doesn't work out, you will have a lot of good choices.

SFA is a cornerstone program for the SLC so we need you to be good. Good luck, starting next Sunday, of course.

PS we also talked to Carthel but way too much baggage for ACU.



Glad we all agree Dorrel is the man for the job and now we know how much to pay him. Sounds like we're going to have to pay the next coach significantly more. I didn't know the D2 to FCS pipeline had gotten more expensive.

I haven't been to an ACU game so can't speak to the crowd/atmosphere, but that's an awesome stadium you guys built. That kind of dedication to improving facilities means a lot to coaches.

Bummer that Harrell appears to be out, but I hope we kick the tires anyway. I wonder if there are any other Leach Tree guys out there who'd be a fit for us. Nobody has an offensive coaching tree like the Pirate.

I think despite our lack of historical success, we can land a coach who can right the ship. Our fans are better than most of FCS & Nac is a nice place for families. And Ivey's 2 for 2 on hiring winning football coaches,so I hope that streak continues.

What's the baggage with Carthel?
Jacks4460
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TallTexan said:




I haven't been to an ACU game so can't speak to the crowd/atmosphere, but that's an awesome stadium you guys built. That kind of dedication to improving facilities means a lot to coaches.




Think that was built by one family with a great big heart for ACU.. I heard they made a huge huge donation to the stadium.. We don't have anyone that would do that... They could if they wanted but for some reason will not.. Maybe now with Ryan Ivey at the lead he will be able to show those types of wealthy donors that facilities do draw the better coaches and players..
cboothe09
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I assume this is what he is talking about...

NCAA Punishes WT football for conduct violations
ACUCattitude
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Our stadium and associated other facility improvements was in the range of $50-55 million. One family gave $30 million of that. There were a number of other $1 million + donors and us little guys filled in the blanks. The stadium atmosphere is very good. Our students are buying in which has been a problem in the past.

It's always possible that Harrell may respond to you differently than he did to us. Harrell is young and ambitious as he should be. Worth a shot.

Given his success, Dorrel may have been a bit more expensive at the time. The other finalist (rumored) was a P5 assistant who wanted his own program and wanted a smaller, more family friendly environment and was willing to take a $100k pay cut.

As for Carthel, the NCAA thing was the biggest part of it but there were other attributes that were problematic in a faith-based university. Plus he does not have a history of academic excellence as Dorrel did. D1 academic standards will mean he can't recruit with the D2 formula that has worked at WT and Commerce. He has won with transfer players who for the most part aren't D1 eligible. (So did ACU at one time, btw) I know some ACU people wondered if he could recruit high school and develop players along with bringing in transfers with strong academics. SFA cares about those kind of things as well.

Will Wagner at Angelo State is a branch off the NWMST coaching tree. Worked with Dorrel under Mel Tjerdsma.
TallTexan
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ACUCattitude said:

Our stadium and associated other facility improvements was in the range of $50-55 million. One family gave $30 million of that. There were a number of other $1 million + donors and us little guys filled in the blanks. The stadium atmosphere is very good. Our students are buying in which has been a problem in the past.

It's always possible that Harrell may respond to you differently than he did to us. Harrell is young and ambitious as he should be. Worth a shot.

Given his success, Dorrel may have been a bit more expensive at the time. The other finalist (rumored) was a P5 assistant who wanted his own program and wanted a smaller, more family friendly environment and was willing to take a $100k pay cut.

As for Carthel, the NCAA thing was the biggest part of it but there were other attributes that were problematic in a faith-based university. Plus he does not have a history of academic excellence as Dorrel did. D1 academic standards will mean he can't recruit with the D2 formula that has worked at WT and Commerce. He has won with transfer players who for the most part aren't D1 eligible. (So did ACU at one time, btw) I know some ACU people wondered if he could recruit high school and develop players along with bringing in transfers with strong academics. SFA cares about those kind of things as well.

Will Wagner at Angelo State is a branch off the NWMST coaching tree. Worked with Dorrel under Mel Tjerdsma.



All great points. I'm excited to see who we end up with and hope it's someone who knows how to build an FCS program.

Speaking of Harrell, there might be a Graham Harrell of the FCS who we could lure to East Texas. Phil Longo made the jump from Sam OC to Ole Miss OC.

Let's find that guy and snag him before he blows up. You know, now that I think of it, put Keller on the search committee.
ACUCattitude
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It's probably Wildcat Heresy but I hope you get a great coach. Best of luck.

Hope to be in Nac on Saturday.

Keller on the search committee. Hahaha. Just got it. Kinda slow.
aquavelvis
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BigJack85 said:

...Also , with what we pay for BBall we probably don't have the flexibility.
I'm fine with whatever it is we pay for BBall. Excellent bang for the buck and SFA got some good exposure to national audiences from Big Dance appearances. Unfortunately maybe 50 people in the entire world remember who won the FCS title game 2 years ago. Whoever that was.
Scott Taylor
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BigJack85
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Aqua makes the point well. FCS has such a low profile. Sometimes I'd rather see us try to be regional soccer power. Homer Bryce would be an excellent field given some modifications

The regional schools of note that play D1 soccer include SMU, Tulsa, Memphis, Vanderbilt etc.
Axe 'Em Jacks - Class of 85'
TallTexan
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BigJack85 said:

Aqua makes the point well. FCS has such a low profile. Sometimes I'd rather see us try to be regional soccer power. Homer Bryce would be an excellent field given some modifications

The regional schools of note that play D1 soccer include SMU, Tulsa, Memphis, Vanderbilt etc.
I don't disagree with Aqua, FCS football doesn't move the needle on anything except fall saturdays on Campus. Doesn't do much at all for marketing.

But I'd add the following two thoughts: One, I don't think we're canceling football anytime soon(I wouldn't be opposed), so if we're going to sponsor football, we might as well win. I'm not 100% sure of our football expense, though I'd bet we spend a couple million. So an extra 100k above our current salary levels for a better coach is not that big of an ask IMO.

Two, while Basketball is our ladder to nationwide prestige, football could be a factor in moving conferences one day, so let's build a good program while we can. If we competed on Sam's level in football & our level in basketball, with our great fanbase, I think we'd be a target for a G5 level conference looking to expand.

Basketball is our bread, butter, & dessert, but football might add a little garnish to the meal.
TallTexan
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ACUCattitude said:

It's probably Wildcat Heresy but I hope you get a great coach. Best of luck.

Hope to be in Nac on Saturday.

Keller on the search committee. Hahaha. Just got it. Kinda slow.
I don't want to speak for the whole Sawmill community, but I know you guys are well liked around here. Definitely the favorites out of the expansion schools.

Saturday will be "interesting", in one way or another.
SFA_03
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TallTexan said:

BigJack85 said:

Aqua makes the point well. FCS has such a low profile. Sometimes I'd rather see us try to be regional soccer power. Homer Bryce would be an excellent field given some modifications

The regional schools of note that play D1 soccer include SMU, Tulsa, Memphis, Vanderbilt etc.
I don't disagree with Aqua, FCS football doesn't move the needle on anything except fall saturdays on Campus. Doesn't do much at all for marketing.

But I'd add the following two thoughts: One, I don't think we're canceling football anytime soon(I wouldn't be opposed), so if we're going to sponsor football, we might as well win. I'm not 100% sure of our football expense, though I'd bet we spend a couple million. So an extra 100k above our current salary levels for a better coach is not that big of an ask IMO.

Two, while Basketball is our ladder to nationwide prestige, football could be a factor in moving conferences one day, so let's build a good program while we can. If we competed on Sam's level in football & our level in basketball, with our great fanbase, I think we'd be a target for a G5 level conference looking to expand.

Basketball is our bread, butter, & dessert, but football might add a little garnish to the meal.


Exactly this. We want a chance to move out of the Southland one day, and having a football team, even a bad one, makes your stock so much higher than a school that doesn't have one.
BigJack85
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I think that a new higher profile conference is unlikely at this time The only scenario I see where SFA moves up is a major reshuffle when the TV contracts for the BCS come up for renegotiation in 2025. The other scenario that is slightly plausible is several (6-7) SLC schools making the move to FBS in unison. Think Sam , Lamar, McNeese, SE La, SFA and Abilene All remote possibilities.... we can dream big ....
Axe 'Em Jacks - Class of 85'
TallTexan
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BigJack85 said:

I think that a new higher profile conference is unlikely at this time The only scenario I see where SFA moves up is a major reshuffle when the TV contracts for the BCS come up for renegotiation in 2025. The other scenario that is slightly plausible is several (6-7) SLC schools making the move to FBS in unison. Think Sam , Lamar, McNeese, SE La, SFA and Abilene All remote possibilities.... we can dream big ....


I'm totally aware that we're not moving up today. But that 2025 date is rapidly approaching, and at the very least, I think the Big 12 will set off some dominoes by adding two members, which is likely to cascade down into the G5 conferences.

I've also heard talk of a Sunbelt/CUSA reshuffle to be more regionally based conferences. They got hit hard by the madness in 2013,so I'd expect them to be a bit more proactive this time. That could be a winner for SFA.

Whether we stay in the SLC long term or want to move up in the next decade, pairing a winning football team with our basketball team is the right move.
TallTexan
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One guy we should keep an eye on is Matt Moore at Troy. He's an OC/OLine coach and worked under Leach. Currently making 175k.

Troy has been on a romp recently. They knocked off Nebraska last week.
TallTexan
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I know we've mentioned him on prior threads, but thoughts on Shannon Dawson?
 
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