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Buffalo Bulls hire Andy Kotelnicki from Wisconsin Whitewater

Among the four coaches coming to Buffalo from UW Whitewater is Andy Kotelnicki. He has served as the Warhawks offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator for the past two seaons.

The Offense:

"Part of the reason I’m here is because philosophically me and Coach Leipold are very much on the same page with what we believe will be successful moving the football.

We want to be multiple; we want to make sure our personnel dictate what we do. It you have four receivers on the field doesn’t mean you can’t be a great running team. If you have two tight ends, a fullback and a running back on the field doesn’t mean doesn’t mean you can’t be a great passing team."

-- Coach Kotelnicki to "Voice's Eye on Football"

When hiring a DIII coach there is not a lot of resources available breaking down how they run an offense. The quote above gives the impression that Kotelinicki and Leipold's offense will be built around the returning talent at UB. They seem to run mostly out of the pro set but what they do is tied to the players, not a scheme.

I did find some videos of their offense this year and I took a look at their stat books for the past couple of seasons. Here are my observations based on the research.

The Warhawks most often line up in either a one back pro set offense or with two backs, one of them being an H-Back.

When it's not an obvious passing play typically you will see Matt Behrendt, the Whitewater Quarterback, come in under center. On third down or long seconds they do come out in a lot of shotgun formations.

The offense leans very heavily on the running game. UW runs the ball 60 percent of the time and their success on the ground makes play action a huge part of their passing game.

One interesting thing I saw quite a bit of on passing plays was the use of an H-back rather than a tight end. Sometimes this H-Back is the blocking back and other times he will go out leaving blitz protection to the running backs.

One thing I did not see a lot of is read options or designed runs, though often the quarterbacks would roll out of a play action setup before throwing. This is supported by Behrendt running the ball just 25 times for 100 yards. That's two carries per game, more or less.

Speaking of the running game...

The days of one UB back carrying the ball 35 times a game while his teammates get less than a tenth of that work load might be coming to an end. I went back to 2012 and never found a season where the feature back carried the ball more than 60% of the time. Most years they averaged around 40-50% of the carries.

Expect Anthone and Jordan Johnson to share the work load far more often. Heck maybe Johnson ends up as an H back again.

The Resume:

Years School Role
2001-03 UW - River Falls C
2004 UW - River Falls GA
2004 W. Illinois OL
2005 W. Illinois TE / ST
2006 UW - River Falls DB
2007-10 UW - River Falls OC
2011-12 University of Mary OC
2013 UW - Whitewater QB
2013-14 UW - Whitewater OC

Kotelnicki started as a center for longtime University of Wisconsin River Falls coach John O'Grady.  He played from 2001-2003, and was the team's captain during his senior season. While he continued his education Kotelnicki began his coaching career as a student assistant offensive line coach in 2003.

After graduating in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance he moved on to Western Illinois. While he was earning a master's in kinesiology he worked as an assistant offensive line coach for the Leathernecks. He became an assistant special teams coach and tight ends coach for WIU in 2005 and 2006.

He returned to River Falls in 2007 for his only stint coaching on the defensive side of the ball.

One year later he took over the role of Offensive Coordinator and added the title of assistant head coach in 2010. While charged with the offense his team set 24 school records.

In his first year as the coordinator at River Falls the team improved passing their yards at per game from 89.4 to 234.3, and the total offense from 262.2 yards per game to 403.3 yards per game.

His final stop before joining Coach Leipold in Whitewater was at Division II University of Mary. He spent two seasons in Bismarck working as the Marauders offensive coordinator. In his first season he upped the scoring offense by more than 10 points per game more over the previous season.

Leipold hired on Kotelnicki at Whitewater in 2013 as a quarterbacks coach but when Leipold's offensive, Steve Dinkel, chose to pursue opportunities away from football in the off season Kotelnicki was promoted to coordinator.

Side Notes:

While at WIU he was also an assistant strength and conditioning coach from 2004-05 and the interim strength and conditioning coach in 2006.