Wofford Coaching Search

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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby youngterrier on Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:48 pm

I think we'll see one of these departed assistants in 5-10 as a head coaching prospect, just wait. I recognize why former players are upset by this. Wofford's a close-knit family, especially among athletes, and the decision the administration made has lead to its partial disolution.

I like the principle of promoting in-staff if you have a system that's working for you. Having said that, I also think it's good to bring in new blood. Having a consistent nucleus of guys is great, but when you have the same nucleus for decades that can be problematic because it can lead to some group think, blinding you to systemic problems in strategy.

In my opinion, over the last 5 years or so, in spite of the success of the last 2 year, I think we had a lot of group think. Was it bad enough that we couldn't win the Socon and make the playoffs? Certainly not! But let's remember how grim things were in 2013-2015. We made some changes in the aftermath of one of those seasons (brought in Coach Riase, starting playing freshmen, brought in receivers oriented to catch footballs instead of blocking, probably recruited different athletes and other stuff). Still, I think you could still see some group-think in the way the games were managed on the coaching level.

You can disagree with my hypothesis as to why that was the case, but I think there's ample evidence that we didn't improve that much from 2016 to 2017. We won more games, sure, but we had just as many (or close enough) in the margin of error as before. It's not indefensible to say we got lucky. You may say "Socon is tough" and I would agree with you, but if you want to improve the program to where one day we get to the level of NDSU or JMU, you have to be critical of what differentiates us. What halts our progress? And so on.

I don't believe that the barriers we had to progress were any one coach's fault, or even that having such a tight-nit group of coaches was a problem in and of itself. But I do think groupthink, for better or worse, was problematic. You break that by getting habituated to new coaches/coordinators coming in and out every few years.

So, as I've said before, I'm concerned about Wofford changing things up and losing coaches like this for financial and pragmatic reasons (can we afford it? can we win in this model? etc). But there were good reasons for this to have to happen eventually. Winning will be the ultimate standard by which we judge this decision. If we come out and finish 3-8 over the next 2-3 years, I'd say we made a mistake, but I think that's just as likely or even less likely than us winning 10+ games.

Maybe the above is just a convoluted way for me to maintain hope that what's happening isn't bad. Maybe I'm 100% right. It's likely somewhere in between. Change sucks, but we weren't going to be a D1 start up forever. We need to continue to make moves to grow as a program and at this point wins will be the measure of whether or not we made the right decisions.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby OlRB#3 on Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:28 pm

I think to say former players are upset by hire is inaccurate. Speaking for this former player, I have no problem with the hire. I’ve also spoke to more former players from my generation who like the hire as well. I think to say all “former players” have a problem is inaccurate. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and realize that there aren’t any more Mike Ayers out there. He gave us 30 years! We won’t have that again. Other than than the national search for a baseball hire, I would say that our AD has done a pretty good job hiring successful coaches across other sports. I think their success speaks to that. If you think that Wofford Guys are going to come off the street and coach at a very high FCS level, you are delusional. We are a perennial top 10 program on a national level. The fact that we attracted a coordinator from a power 5 conference speaks to our success as a program. So, get excited Spring Ball is coming and I think we will all be happy with the product.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby Eric Deutsch on Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:14 pm

crabbyterrier wrote:I feel like I slept through part of a movie and am confused at the part I woke up in! What happened over the last day or so or what info has surfaced in the last day or so to cause this eruption of negativity???
Confused.

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That's probably my fault. I've kept quiet with my opinions since the announcements and changes until last night when I voiced my unhappiness with the situation. I will still be a Wofford fan, but the personal connection I've had with the program since I signed my letter of intent in 2000 is pretty much gone at this point. Coach Ayers was a great mentor and impacted my life in many different positive ways. I played with Nash, I played for Nash, and he is my friend. He is a Terrier through and through. Intelligent, hard working, honest, loyal, and fiercely competitive. After 15 years he was given the boot. I understand the business of college football and why he was let go but personally I am not as invested in Wofford football now as I was even 3 weeks ago.

I don't fault anyone for being excited for the new coach coming in and the future potential the team may have with him at the helm but to me it's only slightly above just another college football program now. Like any other wound this will eventually heal as well but it takes time.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby WocoSix on Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:06 pm

Riase out
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby youngterrier on Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:04 pm

yikes.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby SmallTownTerrier on Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:07 pm

Riase to GT... Joins Wood and Woody... Gas at Appy... Nash out... Half gone... Half back... Migration of new ideas into program... Good stuff... Would think JC has a lot of great options out there for assistants... Take your time... Place the right fit.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby Eric Deutsch on Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:40 pm

I expect the turnover is not done, nothing has been announced about who is being kept or added yet. These things are usually kept under wraps until replacements are named unless the incumbent finds a new job or news leaks.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby youngterrier on Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:48 pm

Yeah. At this point I just want to see some replacements hired. The administration +CJC are not sitting on their hands here, but we need some announcement hires or I fear it will effect recruiting.

My hot take is that we're seeing the attrition from coaches that expected to be the head guy or had torn/less commitment to the program.

For instance, Gasparato going to App makes sense, he got his Master's there and was a GA. Riase leaving makes sense too because he wasn't originally a Wofford guy. I can't blame them.

In Wood's case, I imagine he knows how frail we pay our assistants and wants to be a coach long term, so he went the route that secured that path. Wouldn't be surprised if he left because he wanted to be the guy.

I'm more interested in the Nash dynamic and whether or not Lang will stay. We keep hearing that Nash wasn't retained, but it's unclear if he was "let go" or if he decided to go elsewhere. Unfortunately, given the way that some closer to him such as ED are reacting, it suggests the former (but again, this is all speculation, I can't say for sure). If that's true, I don't like that decision.

Meanwhile, I think Romero and Brown and Wheeler will stay
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby lawdog on Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:38 pm

I would prefer that those who left had not left.

However, it happened. When I have been in this position a time or two, I approached it as an opportunity to reorganize, hire really great people, and get better. So must we.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby PeeDeeMan on Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:20 pm

Nearly three weeks into the Conklin era. Four assistants are gone, including one where there is no official word if he found a new gig or was let go. Not a single new hire has been made. Signing day and spring practice are coming up fast and this isn’t giving me a good feeling.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby Eric Deutsch on Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:54 pm

PeeDeeMan wrote:Nearly three weeks into the Conklin era. Four assistants are gone, including one where there is no official word if he found a new gig or was let go. Not a single new hire has been made. Signing day and spring practice are coming up fast and this isn’t giving me a good feeling.


Outside of the FBS schools, this is pretty standard. The recruits are getting all the info they need from the current staff and any additions we don't know about. For smaller schools, the fans will be the last to know.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby youngterrier on Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:03 pm

One thing that reassures me, having not been through the D1 recruitment process, but knowing a few athletes while I was a student (and having family going through the recruiting process right now), is that the appeal of schools at this level is not the same as in the power 5.

Some of these players are just happy to get to play D1 football on scholarship, when many of their peers won't have that opportunity. The football stuff, and coaching personnel, etc is definitely important, but players come to and stay at Wofford because of the academic opportunities, campus culture, etc.

To put it another way: how often do you hear about players transferring between FCS schools because of a coaching change? It's not often, if ever. In marketing terms, the brands aren't as important to the target consumer/audience as they are to the power 5 recruits.

From a recruiting standpoint, I'm only worried that some of the players these coaches had an active role in recruiting (coach Raise is an example) may be kind of cut off with the transition. That could disrupt the recruiting process, but there's no way to tell on the outside looking in.

Even in the worst case scenario, I don't think it's Conklin's fault. If anything it would be the administration's fault for putting off the hire until January. Even in this worst case scenario, I'm not convinced that one bad year of recruiting will hurt us *too* much. Remember, it wasn't until Tarek Odom or so in 2011 (may he rest in peace) that we actually started playing true freshmen in the starting line up and we were still a relatively young team this year, so we aren't replacing too many players.

In my opinion, we're probably not going to see pure "Conklin football" until year 3 or 4, given all of the moving parts here.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby walliver on Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:00 pm

IF we had hired within, I suspect Gasparato and Riase would have still moved on. App pays much better than we do, and Georgia Tech is a big step up.
If we promoted Nash or Lang, or hired an outside offensive guy, Wood may have stayed - on the other hand he may still have seen Georgia Tech as a step up, possibly hoping to follow Nate Woody on his way up the ladder.
At least on defense, Nate Woody's move has been as much of a factor as MA's retirement.
On the offensive side, promoting WL would allow Nash to become OC. Hiring Nash possibly could offend WL who may or may not have been OK with being leapfrogged by a position coach.
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby WocoSix on Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:59 pm

Please welcome new assistant Sam Siefkes as inside linbackers coach. Coach Conk must had a good impression and confidence in Siefkes abilities while at FIU.

http://athletics.uwplatt.edu/sports/fba ... m?view=bio
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Re: Wofford Coaching Search

Postby lawdog on Sun Jan 21, 2018 3:51 pm

Looks good. Like his U. of Wisconsin ties. Hope we preserve our strong regional relationships too.

If I were Coach Conk, i would cultivate Coach Ayers and get his thoughts on many things, and perhaps make him an adjunct coach for awhile. It would take a big man to ask, and to agree, but Ayers still has a lot to offer and could really help, even parttime, especially in recruiting; he knows where the talent and contacts are, and can sit down in a recruit’s living room with the best of them. Perhaps Joe Lesesne could be of help too. Ayers may also have helpful thoughts on where to get other assistants/recruiters ... he has many contacts and is widely respected. He is the ultimate SHD.
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