Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Coaching Candidate: Steve Addazio

Steve Addazio
Steve Addazio
Current position: Boston College head coach
Head coaching experience: 14-11 at Boston College (2013-present), 13-11 at Temple (2011-2012), 27-24 overall
History: Addazio was born in Connecticut and played football at Central Connecticut. After some time coaching at a small college and in high school, he got a job with Syracuse in 1995. He then worked at Notre Dame under Bob Davie, Indiana under Gerry DiNardo, and Florida under Urban Meyer, all coaching the offensive line (and occasionally tight ends) through 2008. When Florida offensive coordinator Dan Mullen left to take the head coaching job at Mississippi State, Addazio was promoted to his spot. The Gators went 21-6 in Addazio's two years as offensive coordinator, where he worked with Tim Tebow in 2009 and John Brantley in 2010. Tebow was spectacular, while Brantley threw 9 touchdowns and 10 picks. When Urban Meyer "retired" after the 2010 season, Addazio took the head coaching job at Temple. The Owls went 9-4 in the MAC that first year, ranking #1 in the conference in total defense and #7 in offense. When Temple moved to the Big East in 2012, they were last in defense and second-worst in offense on the way to a 4-7 record. Somehow that earned him a promotion to Boston College. His first team saw running back Andre Williams rush for 2,177 yards, but they still finished #11 in the ACC in offense and #14 in total defense. That defense jumped to #3 in the conference in 2014, but the Eagles were still #10 in defense. Senior quarterback Tyler Murphy eked out 1,000 yards rushing on the ground to lead the team, while freshman running back Jon Hilliman managed just 3.83 yards/carry. Both seasons in Boston College have resulted in 7 wins (with a chance to get to 8 this year).
My thoughts: I am thoroughly unimpressed with Addazio's resume. Addazio's teams are wildly inconsistent, and the individual successes - Tim Tebow in 2009, Andre Williams in 2013, Tyler Murphy in 2014 - are odd and unreliable, too. Aside from Tebow that first year, the quarterback play has been subpar with his guys totaling 61 touchdowns and 40 interceptions. From what I gather, Addazio is an upstanding guy whose personality would fit in very well with what Michigan wants. That's the scary part. His record is slightly above .500, which is frighteningly close to Brady Hoke's 47-50 job before arriving in Ann Arbor. Unfortunately, that comes without the ingrained affinity for the Wolverines and the upward trajectory that Hoke's Ball State and San Diego State's teams had. This would be an underwhelming hire, and recruiting would suffer, particularly in the short term.
Likelihood of coming to Michigan: Addazio is getting too many mentions in the media and the Michigan blogosphere to ignore. Likely because of his cultural fit and desire to run the ball, he seems to be on the list. I would assume that athletic director Jim Hackett realizes how disappointing this hire would be, so Addazio seems like an emergency possibility in case Harbaugh, Stoops, Miles, and probably others fall through. Regardless, his name terrifies me and would seem to assure mediocrity for Michigan.

My wish list:
1. Jim Harbaugh
2. Bob Stoops
3. Dan Mullen
4. Jim Mora, Jr.
5. Les Miles
6. Greg Schiano
7. Tom Herman
8. Pat Narduzzi
9. Mike Shanahan
10. Steve Addazio


  1. What about Sean Payton?

    1. He's on my list of guys to profile.

    2. Dude. Save your keystrokes. Isn't Payton the highest paid football coach on the planet? You're seriously better of profiling Saban because we know that guy is a mercenary -- and he has coached in Michigan before!

  2. Wow, this is very low. I'm not enamored with Addazio or anything, but I honestly think he's as likely as anybody else right now and this is about where Michigan fans should put their expectations. I would prefer we took a chance on somebody like Herman but I'm not going to get fired and publicly embarrassed if the football program fails. The AD and, to a lesser extent, the President are.

    It seems to me that Hackett has 3 criteria that the public is underrating. 1. desire for a pro-style-friendly offense (to minimize transition costs) 2. proven ability as a head coach 3. cultural fit 4. availability/interest

    The last one is the most important for obvious reasons. He is an experienced proven pro-style coach who would (presumably) leave for Michigan. OK -- not a lot of guys like this exist.

    Your writeup of Addazio is pretty unfair IMO. He did well with Tebow and badly with Brantley. That's not really a huge surprise. That Temple struggled it's first year after moving up in conference difficulty is not at all surprising. Do you remember how awful Temple was a decade ago? They were not even a good MAC-quality team. In 2011 they were quite good under Addazio with 3 of the 4 losses coming by 4 points or less including a 4th quarter loss to a 9-win PSU team.

    What he's done at BC is impressive. This 2014 version is ranked #18 in the country offensively (up from #58 in his first year according to FEI). That's better than Arizona, Michigan State, TCU, and Mississippi State if you're scoring at home. The problem here is the defense which is bad, but still markedly improved from the previous year (#98 in FEI). BC is 7 and 5 and went toe to toe with FSU. Is it amazing? No. Is it Brady Hoke circa 2010 impressive? Yeah.

    I get that Addazio isn't exciting. For me either. But Michigan has put itself in a position where it is pursuing A-list coaches without being an A-list job. There's a very good chance that they miss on Harbaugh and Stoops and then have start scrounging around for people that fit in a limited pool. I don't know what happens if they have to go to the next tier - take a chance on an NFL coordinator? - take a chance on a college coordinator? - go with a 'proven' guy like Addazio/Schiano?

    There are some pipe dreams out there like Dungy, Payton, Gruden, Saban, Mullen, Patterson, Cutliffe -- these guys aren't coming to Michigan unless something is going on we don't know about.

    I, like everyone else, doesn't know what Hackett and DeBord are gonna do, but if I had to bet I would guess they go with a proven guy over NFL coordinators or college guys who don't run a pro-style type offense.

    As for Les Miles, he would certainly count as proven, but I have enormous skepticism about his cultural fit despite his resume on paper. The guy is dirty. I don't think they'll go there....or at least I hope not.

    Here is my top 5, ranked by (50% attractiveness and 50% availability).

    1. Harbaugh
    2. Stoops
    3. Austin
    4. Addazio
    5. Schiano

    I'm excluding Miles for dirt, Herman for scheme, Narduzzi for culture/experience, Mora and Mullen for availability, and Shanahan because I'm sane.

    In Adazzio you have a pro-style guy who can produce a top 20 offense. That's impressive. And he did it with pretty soft talent too. He's another Hoke and there's a lot of people out there who thought Hoke deserved our patience and support. Addazio could be fine, if he hires a top notch DC and good support staff it could work. Even if you, me, and the entire fanbase sighs when we hear the news

    ... you can blame the fallout from the Rodriguez fiasco for this stuff, the hostility towards the spread and it's QBs, the hostility towards the Florida-recruiting, small-WRs, and all that stuff from 4 years ago. The bill is coming due for that stuff.

    Or, you know, cross your fingers and HARBAUGH to save us all.

    1. What you have in Addazio is a series of mediocre teams/performances. His only highly successful year as a coordinator (or higher) was with Tim Tebow, which was several years ago. Otherwise, his teams have been average or subpar. Why would we want someone who has mostly proven to be average or subpar?

      Here's my way of looking at these rankings: you either go for a proven winner (Harbaugh, Miles, Stoops), or you gamble and go for someone who might be able to replicate what they've done elsewhere as a coordinator (Herman, Narduzzi, etc.).

      Addazio is a decent football coach, but I think chances are slim that he could get Michigan back to an elite level. He's a guy who will keep us in the 7-5, 6-6, etc. range. I'm not interested in that. Go big or go home.

    2. Well, for starters, I think a lot of the guys being mentioned are not on the table so to speak. So, beyond Stoops and Harbaugh, there is a huge dropoff to the next tier, IMO.

      I believe you have to take context into consideration. You're not going to turn Temple or Boston College into national powerhouses in 2 years. It's one thing to take over at Wisconsin or Oregon or Florida State and another take over a program that stinks.

      Addazio made two programs significantly better pretty quickly. He also was picked by Meyer who is developing a damn impressive coaching tree, so that's a significant advantage in my book.

      In short, I don't agree that his production is mediocre. I'd call it solid and impressive, though not earth-shattering. He's not the next Kelly-Meyer-Harbaugh-Rodriguez. I'm not sure who is.

      I tend to agree with you about the coordinators...but there is a big risk there that you don't have with a proven coach. I could see Addazio taking us back to the consistent 8-10 win Lloyd Carr level and honestly, I would be pretty happy to get back there right now.

  3. This coaching search is crazy its seem like were aiming a lot at mediocre coaches obviously were not gonna get big time coaches in miles stoops or harbaugh , we kno harbaugh situation and the other 2 coaches are big time winners everyone else is mediocre and since were not gonna get a big name and were gonna settle for a coach we should have jus kept hoke there a lot that comes with Michigan hoke was the only one man enough to except the challenge and we had some down years but everyone can clearly see us getting back to Michigan football maybe its jus me but I think one more year with hoke we were gonna win the big ten

  4. I say that cause what teams scare u in the big ten nobody all the top teams are beatable minn had a lucky year but there still Minnesota Michigan st fell back so did Ohio and Wisconsin can only run the ball I think next year we had enough more than those teams to compete or even b better with maybe Ohio being the only real threat so now were gonna have a mediocre coach come in an tell everyone to b patient and wait another 3-4 years

  5. This would be an absolute nightmare.

  6. Right where he belongs -- right at the bottom of the list.

    Please hire Tom Herman or Pat Narduzzi over guaranteed-mediocrity in Addazio

  7. I don't like the sound of hiring rival coaches tom Herman is a spread offense coach we seen how that works Michigan is built for power football pat narduzzi is a defense coach we already have a good defense I say if u wanna hire a coach at Michigan your gonna have to pull him from the NFL a name I like is josh McDaniel new England patriots offensive coordinator reason y he is coaching tom Brady if u watch tom Brady u see that Michigan spirit in him every game u don't think josh loves to coach that he young and I think he can be around for a long while I even like Doug nussmire he's a proven offensive coordinator and can build a pro style QB and a strong run game he has the evidence and he's been doing it for years were looking at a bunch of nobody coaches who its hard to coach at Michigan

    1. Ohio State is built for power football. They've been running down Michigan's throats for years. Carlos Hyde, Ezekiel Elliott, etc.

      Josh McDaniel has proven nothing as a head coach, and he hasn't been in college for a long time. Also, Tom Brady was Tom Brady before McDaniel was anywhere near the picture, so I put very little stock in his work there. New England has had things rolling since the 1990's.

    2. Michigan is built for power to the diffrence is they have an established coach with championships under his belt if we had and offense that can sustain drives when our d is on the field more than our offense then u run it enough yeah at the end of the game it will show but on josh McDaniel I'm not saying he made tom Brady I'm saying coaching him u gets to understand what its like to b a Michigan football player and I'm sure he see things in tom he can bring to our team and our QB's and him coming from the pros is a plus and I know as a pro head coach he wasn't that good its harder in the NFL but college I think he'll b best at the offense he runs for new England will b perfect for Michigan hands down

  8. If they hire Addazio, I quit!!!!! I'm serious.

    I have plenty of other stuff I can be doing ...... probably ought to be doing.

  9. Would you be surprised if Les Miles is the new coach?

  10. I think everyone that is bashing Addazio is missing a few things. First off you have no idea who and what he is. He is by far one of the most passionate leaders of men I have had the pleasure of experiencing. Secondly, YOU WILL run through a wall for that man, and he will in turn, make you a man. He knows the game, and if he can surround himself with the right OC and DC, you will all forget about these reservations,because you will start to win and for a long time. Michigan fans will get something they NEVER have had,a Lombardi-esque motivator and leader, and Ive followed the Wolverines since the early 80's.. Ask Urban Meyer ,who has been spanking Michigan since he got there about all should know, Addazio kinda knows what Urban does...You should start this rebuilding by at least beating Ohio State.