Brian has unleashed the Bob Stitt genie - so off to google I went to research the man. Here is an interesting USA Today story from 2 years ago. File for use if there is a house cleaning at end of the year. Or for those more risk averse - just marry Kevin Wilson with Stitt as his OC with Greg Mattison as his DC in 2015 and let's call it a day. (asterisk this with "we have all the wrong players for such a system blah blah" counterpoint: "begin recruiting petroleum engineers immediately")
The best offensive mind you've never heard of was home Jan. 4, watching football way past his 7-year old son's bedtime. The Orange Bowl kept going later and later, the outcome long since decided, but Bob Stitt didn't want his family to miss a single snap. West Virginia just kept scoring and scoring, but even from 2,000 miles away in suburban Denver, Stitt couldn't help but feel a connection to one of the most important games of the season.
The Mountaineers eventually put up 70 points that night, running one play over and over that Clemson just couldn't stop. Stitt recognized the play immediately. He had invented it.
But we're gonna be Alabama and stuff...?
Alabama's traditional, straightforward approach may be the gold-standard formula for winning national championships, but there is undoubtedly a philosophical shift taking place in college football. More and more coaches are ascending the ranks from nontraditional backgrounds, bringing unique ideas and changing the fabric of the sport.
Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris, the nation's highest-paid assistant, was a high school coach in Texas as recently as three years ago. It took more than a decade of setting high school records in Arkansas before Gus Malzahn got a shot on the college level, where his wide-open offense almost instantly became the toast of the SEC. Chip Kelly spent 13 years toiling in anonymity at New Hampshire, honing an up-tempo system that has produced a 42-6 career record at Oregon. Hugh Freeze, a longtime high school coach in Memphis, blazed a trail of touchdowns from Lambuth, an NAIA school, to Arkansas State to a head coaching job at Ole Miss all in the span of four years.
And if you set out to discover who that next innovator might be, you'll invariably be led to a tiny engineering school nestled in the Rocky Mountain foothills where Stitt, 48, has built a consistent winner and done things offensively that programs like West Virginia, Texas A&M, Louisiana Tech and Cincinnati have borrowed.
Stitt says he'd be willing to move up as an offensive coordinator, but only if the head coach would give him total offensive control. It's not difficult to see why he's so well-regarded in coaching circles, especially by those who run wide-open offenses. At 6-3, Stitt is closing in on his 11th winning season in 13 years. In all but a few of those years, the Orediggers, who play in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, have ranked among the top-10 in Div. II in passing offense. This season, his sophomore quarterback Matt Brown is the nation's leading passer, throwing for 3,424 yards and averaging 34.5 completions per game.
Yes but Colorado School of Mines is full of big time athletes...
And all of this is happening at a school of 5,200 of engineering majors where the average ACT score is 29. His recruiting strategy is largely built around the school's petroleum engineering program, which plays well in Texas high schools.
Just like Borges...
At a place like Mines, which has almost no recruiting advantages, offensive creativity would be paramount. He didn't have receivers who could beat press coverage, so he became an expert on the back-shoulder fade pass. His offensive line couldn't block a quick nose tackle one on one, so he ran the option out of the shotgun, and it took a year for defensive coordinators to figure it out. He put in blocking schemes intended to give defenses false reads. He saved his best plays for red zone packages, figuring that his conversion percentage in those situations would be the difference between winning and losing games.