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Out with the old, in with the new (Coaches)

With the entirety of the UB coaching staff set (according to UB athletics), I thought I would put together a quick bullet point comparison between what we will have in 2010 and what we had in 2009. Between Turner Gill cherry picking the coaches he wants from the UB Staff (Stamn, Wimberly) and Quinn having his own ideas about who he wanted the turn over was huge.
I'm also going to present my SWAG estimate on how UB did at each position on two scales of one to five. The first measurement is of the quality over or under the previous person who held that job, the second measure is for the quality of hire given UB's situation.
Quality above or below the person who held the job in 2009: Kind of speaks for itself, if you could have coach A or coach B who would yon want based on their histories?
  • 1 - Serious Downgrade: What we had in 2009 far exceeds what we had in 2010. These are hires that, at least on paper, boggle the mind.
  • 2 - Noticeable Downgrade: The body of work by someone with a two is measurably blow that of the person they are replacing, the candidate is nearly as solid but has not proven themselves in some key way.
  • 3 - Push: The person coming in is, in terms of experience, is on par with the person they are replacing.
  • 4 - Noticeable Upgrade: The body of work by someone with a four is measurably above the person they are replacing.
  • 5 - Major Upgrade: What we had in 2009 is far below the person who will hold that job in 2008
Quality of the Hire by the University at Buffalo: It's unfair to base how good of a hire a coach is strictly on their resume, especially for a mid major like Buffalo. Many good coaches have come through the MAC and when they move on it's because they have ascended to a level above the pay grades and prestige of a MAC school, you can't expect to hire at that level.
  • 1 - A candidate receiving a one is a hire that baffles the mind, this is a "what were they thinking hire". If UB reached down to a local high school and hired their head coach to be our offensive coordinator, or if they hired on a grad assistant to be a positions coach a one is an applicable grade.
  • 2 - The university probably could have done better but there is enough history between the coach and the rest of the staff to trust that they have some idea what they are doing. This could also mean that someone else was passed up who could have better done the job.
  • 3 - This is the kind of hire you would expect a mid major to make for this position, a decent coordinator to a head coach, a position coach from an AQ school to a coordinator, a position coach from an FCS school to a position coach, etc...
  • 4 - Good hire, the person is exactly what you would expect a mid major to hire plus they have something special on their resume. This can also mean they are the kind of hire you would make skill set wise but they have some special tie into the institution, area, or new staff.
  • 5 - The hire is way above what you would expect a mid major to pull in. If UB had brought in Urban Meyer (or Brian Kelly) , that's a five.

Head Coach
2010 2009
Jeff Quinn Turner Gill
  • OC, Cincinnati 07-09
  • OC, CMU 2006
  • OL, CMU 04-05
  • AC, GVSU 89-03

  • HC, Buffalo 06-09
  • Player Dev, GB 2005
  • WR, Nebraska 2004
  • AC, Nebraska 2003
  • QB, Nebraska, 92-02
  • WR, SMU 1991
While I think we lost more in Gill than we are getting in Quinn I don't think UB could have done much better with the hire this season, its the nature of being a mid major that you seldom trade an experienced head coach for anything more than a coordinator. Quinn in December 09 is a better hire than Gill in December 05, at least from an experience and prestige perspective.

Quality of the Candidate versus 2009: 2.5 / 5
Quality of the Hire by Buffalo: 4.5 / 5

Offensive Coordinator
2010 2009
Greg Forest Danny Barrett
  • QB, Cincinatti 07-09
  • RB, CMU 04-06
  • AC, GVSU 93-03

  • OC, Buffalo 09
  • QB, Buffalo 07-08
  • HC, SK (CFL) 00-06
  • QB, BC (CFL) 98-99
  • QB. CAL (CFL) 97

I'm not entirely sold on this change, Danny Barrett's offence did have serious turnover issues this year but they also set school records for yards while breaking in a new quarterback (and after losing their star half back). Forest has done a solid job as the Quarterback coach with Cincinnati and has had career success with Running backs (CMU) and wide outs (GVSU).

With Quinn calling the plays the Offensive Coordinator role at UB takes a step back to where it was in 2008 when Turner Gill was calling the plays. Also hiring a successful position coach from an AQ school to a coordinator position is about what could expect from a mid-major.

Quality of the Candidate versus 2009: 2.0 / 5
Quality of the Hire by Buffalo: 3.0 / 5

Defensive Coordinator

2010 2009
William Inge Fred Reed
  • LB, Cincinnati 08-09
  • LB, San Diego 06-07
  • DL, Colorado 05
  • DC, N. Iowa 04
  • DL, N. Iowa 03
  • LB, N.Iowa 02

  • DC, Buffalo 2009
  • DB, Buffalo 2008
  • DB, DET(NFL) 06/07
  • CB, Ohio (MAC) 05
  • DB, UNO(FCS) 03-04
  • ST, UNO(FCS) 00-03
  • LB, MichSt 96-99
I knew, in my heart of hearts that Inge making a lateral move was too good to be true, He will be in charge of the linebackers but he will also take over the role of defensive coordinator. If Quinn really felt the need to remove Reed taking on a position coach from his former, BCS, school is the boiler plate vanilla type of move that mid majors usually see. Inge has the experience to warrant a shot at taking over the whole defensive unit but he is a downgrade from Reed (due to the fact Reed had the experience).

I am also a bit leery of having no position coach solely in charge of the linebackers. UB has a young set of linebackers with huge potential (Darius Willis is just a sophomore) and if they get the proper attention and guidance they can be a dominating unit if not in 2010, then the season after.

Quality of the Candidate versus 2009: 2.5 / 5
Quality of the Hire by Buffalo: 3.5 / 5

Offensive Line

2010 2009
Adam Shorter Aaron Stamn
  • OL, Delaware 09
  • OL, Alcorn 08

  • OL, Buffalo 09
  • ST/TE, Buf 06-08
  • AC, Nebraska 04-05
This is the first area in which, I think, we are trading down. We are still hiring above where we did in 2006 but we are giving up someone with five years of experience coaching on the offensive line for a coach with two years at the FCS level.

The up side of shorter is, perhaps, his relationship with the rest of the offensive coaching staff. As a former Bearcat he worked as a grad assistant with Forest and Quinn.

Quality of the Candidate versus 2009: 2.0 / 5
Quality of the Hire by Buffalo: 3.5 / 5

Defensive Line

2010 2009
Jappy Oliver Brian Mohnsen
  • DL, Notre Dame 05-08
  • DL, S. Carolina 03-04
  • DL, Air Force 95-02
  • LB, Vanderbilt 94
  • DL, Vanderbilt 91-93
  • ILB W. Illinois 89-90
  • DL, GVSU 88
  • DL, Navy 84-86
  • OLB, North Western 83
  • RB/WR, EMU, 81-82
  • DL, Buffalo 2009
  • DE, Buffalo 07-08
  • LB, Buffalo 2006
  • DL, Mankato 2005
  • DC, NW OK 2004
  • Scouting, Neb 92-03

When I heard that coach Moose was not being retained I was, and still am, a bit upset. He is one of the coaches on the staff who was more likely to stay with UB because of a love for the university, and the area not just because he needed a job. By all accounts Moose was very happy to be at, and to stay at Buffalo. On top of his connection to the area he has also done a good job both scouting talent (Means) and developing players (Trevor Scott).

What really would have set me off is if the OL was handed over to someone who was once a grad assistant to Kelly but had not distinguished themselves. Quinn went way above what I thought he would manage with the hire of Jappy Oliver. Oliver has 20+ years coaching experience at schools of all sizes, budgets, and levels. The only knock I have seen, anywhere, on Oliver was that he could not recruit blue chips at Notre Dame, if thats true fellow first year Buffalo coach Ernest Jones may need to help him here.

Quality of the Candidate versus 2009: 3.5 / 5
Quality of the Hire by Buffalo: 4.0 / 5

Running Backs
2010 2009
Mike Daniels Lee Chambers
  • AC, Cincinnati 09

  • RB, Buffalo 07-09
  • DL, Pikeville 05
This is another hire which is, in terms of experience, below the person he his replacing. While Lee Chambers had the benefit of James Starks in 08, the depth showed by UB running backs in 2009 (a year with four starters) shows just how solid of a position coach he was.

While Daniels has been in the orbit of great coaches for sometime he has been an assistant coach for only a year. Though he did have a fair hand in recruiting at Cincinnati.

Quality of the Candidate versus 2009: 2.0 / 5
Quality of the Hire by Buffalo: 2.0 / 5 (it's fair to hire a general AC as a position coach but more than a year experience would have been nice)

2010 2009
Bill Inge Lee Chambers
  • Role will be filled by defensive coordinator William Inge
  • LB, Buffalo 09
  • LB, Liberty 04-08

Wide Receivers
2010 2009
Juan Taylor Juan Taylor
  • WR, Buffalo 06-09
  • TE, Kentucky S. 04
  • RB, Kentucky S. 03
  • WR, Kentucky S. 95-99
  • WR, Buffalo 06-09
  • TE, Kentucky S. 04
  • RB, Kentucky S. 03
  • WR, Kentucky S. 95-99
I don't think any retention was as eagerly welcomed among UB fans as Taylor, UB has some seriously big shoes to fill next season at the wide out slots and a coach with a relationship to the players is vital. Aside from familiarity with the program Taylor brings his relationship with this season recruits (as a recruiting coordinator). In the conversations I have had with several recruits his name has always come up as being a factor.

He wanted to stay at Buffalo, he has done a bang up job building receivers and recruiting kids. Bully to Quinn for keeping him on board!

Quality of the Candidate versus 2009: 3.5 / 5
Quality of the Hire by Buffalo: 4.5 / 5 This may seem high but I have heard that he had a lot of interest from some BCS programs when Gill did not bring him to KU, including an offer from at least one school, that and his reputation with our recruits makes this a big retention!

2010 2009
Ernest Jones Jarrod Dodson
  • Dir Player SVCS, CU 09
  • HC, Alcorn 08
  • RB, Cincinnati 07
  • RB, CMU 06
  • DB, CMU 05
  • DB, Oberlin 04
  • CB, Buffalo 09
  • DC, South Dakota 06-08
  • ST, Mich Tech 00-05

Jones, I think, may have a big upside but I am very concerned that the majority of his experience is in an offensive capacity. He replaced Jarod Dodson who was a defensive coordinator for three season and while Jones has experience as a DB coach his history indicated he is far more adepts at coaching offensive skill positions.

On the plus side he has been a head coach, in a nightmarish environment, so I don't think the administrative workload he is going to face will be at all overwhelming for him. If he got pigeon holed into coaching running backs only because of need, and not because it better suited him this may be a great hire, but right now I don't see it.

Quality of the Candidate versus 2009: 3.0/ 5
Quality of the Hire by Buffalo: 2.5 / 5

Tight Ends
2010 2009
Marty Spieler Joe Dailey
  • TE/OL, Allegheny 07
  • TE, Buffalo 09
Spieler has just one season as a coach (aside from being a Grad assistant at CU). He is replacing Joe Daily who despite having the same amount of experience showed he can recruit, and coach tight ends. Jessie Rack flourished in the one season he worked under Dailey and Daily had Buffalo Roots as a coach. I was really disappointed in this one. If Quinn wanted to replace Coach Dailey he could have easily went after he could have poached a more experienced coach for the position.

Spieler will also be tapped with special teams, which is an area that UB sorely needs to improve in.

Quality of the Candidate versus 2009: 3.0 / 5
Quality of the Hire by Buffalo: 1.0 / 5

UB Coach Hunt, 2009 Report Card Summary
Yes I grade on a Curve...

Position Change from 09 Quality of Hire Total Grade
HC (Quinn) 2.5/5 4.5/5 7.0/10 B+
OC (Forest) 2.0/5 3.0/5 5.0/10 B-
DC (Inge) 2.5 /5 3.5 /5 6.0 /10 B
OL (Shorter) 2.0/5 3.5/5 5.5/10 B-
DL (Oliver) 3.5 /5 4.0/5 7.5/10 B+
RB (Daniels) 2.0/5 2.0/5 4.0/10 C
WR (Taylor) 3.5/5 4.5/5 8.0/10 A-
DB (Jones) 3.0 /5 2.5 /5 5.5/10 B-
TE (Spieler) 3.0/5 1.0/5 4.0/10 C
Overall 24/50 28.5/50 52.5/90 B

It should be noted I graded this on a scale where a C+ is considered par for a mid major. A C can be read as a having the look of a chancy hire (but the UB staff knows more than I do, obviously, so it's not a terrible are even a very bad hire).

Gill ran with a staff of nine assistants, so it will be interesting to see if there is another hire coming down the line. Several days ago Quinn said (on the radio) that eight of his nine slots were filled so I would not be suprised if there is another coach before spring ball. In the mean time Quinn and his staff are busy contacting recruits, as it should be.

Kudos are in order to the folks over at UBfan for keeping so on top of this. The Fan base for Buffalo football has come so far in the past five years. I went back to read the thread from around the time Gill was hired and the intensity of interest between then and now is night and day.

Thank you to all the outgoing coaches for your hard work!

Turner Gill justifiably got plenty of accolades from Buffalo fans upon his departure, in the weeks that have followed the staff he left behind at Buffalo has been mostly discarded by the incoming regime. It's a normal part of football for an incoming coach to bring in his own staff but it is still a rather unfortunate thing to watch. As much as Gill had to do with turning around the program he could not have done it without the support of his assistant coaches. Thank you from UB Fans everywhere!