OT-Narduzzi HC Potential

Submitted by Ziff72 on September 30th, 2013 at 10:28 AM

With his name surfacing again as some coaches got the quick axe I was wondering if he is overrated or not?  I don't have any inside info but I've wondered about this the last few years as the MSU defense has emerged.  Dantonio was a defensive guru.  He lead some of Tressel's best defenses.  Is Narduzzi just benefitting from his mentor?   He may be great but if I was a big time program I would have that doubt in the back of my mind.   I'm not sure how much Dantonio is involved with the D but I would think he's very involved.   It reminds me a little of the Rich Rod/Calvin Mcgee dynamic.  I'm not trusting Calvin until he proves it by himself.   what do you guys think and does anyone have a more intimate knowlege of how much of this is Narduzzi's defense. 



September 30th, 2013 at 10:36 AM ^

with 6 seniors leaving this year and MSU avoiding both Wiscy and OSU this year, he is either going to go take a shot as a HC at a school of Cincy's level (where Brian Kelly and Dantonio were before) or..... is content to, in his late 40s, wait 7-10 years for Dantonio to retire.  His stock will never be higher.  As if he is overrated or underrated no one knows - lots of great assistants are just that, and are not head coach material.  Others excel.  You have to go and do it to see. Worst case I would think he would get offered a DC at much higher pay at a Texas or USC if other coaches view him as "guru" material. 


September 30th, 2013 at 10:37 AM ^

Why is a Michigan State assistant coach a thread topic? I'm not trolling or trying to be a jerk, I just don't know why we have to give this one particular asst. coach his own thread on possibly becoming a head coach. To me it makes us look afraid of him and can't wait for the day when he leaves. Who cares.


September 30th, 2013 at 10:51 AM ^

I'm not saying he's not a good coach, he is, his defenses have proven it on the field. But Michigan has faced other great coordinators over the years too. I'm just saying if he was the DC at Iowa as opposed to MSU, he wouldn't get a thread topic. And I'm pretty sure this isn't the first one either. It just makes us look scared and obsessed....like we're frightened children under our blankets waiting for the boogeyman to leave.


September 30th, 2013 at 11:06 AM ^

At least regarding MSU and their coaches.  I am however interested in USC's current situation as a college football fan and have wondered who they'll go after.  Narduzzi is an interesting choice and worth talking about.  I also wondered about Fitzgerald and if he would be someone they would go after.  Regardless, it sounds like you're insecure because you refuse to talk about something our fanbase has a closer relationship with than most.  Don't sweat it.  Narduzzi is nationally recognized as being a great defensive coach and his name has been thrown around quite a bit the last few years regarding a HC job.  I think this is a perfect place to discuss this.  

Also, the earth is not flat.   


September 30th, 2013 at 11:19 AM ^

It's one of the top coaches of our biggest instate competition for recruiting and one of our biggest rivals (yes, MSU is a rival, not OSU or ND but they are). It'd be interesting to see what ramfications this has for Michigan and for the college football landscape at large. If you don't like it, don't read it. Stop living up to your signature line.


September 30th, 2013 at 11:29 AM ^

Did you read where I said I wasn't trolling or trying to come off as a jerk (because that's what most internet posters think when there is an opposing view or two). I was asking a question. So stop trying to act like the thread tough guy and telling people with an opposing view on validity of the thread topic what to do or not.


September 30th, 2013 at 11:36 AM ^

When you have to preface what you're saying with "Not trying to be a jerk...", "not trying to be a racist/sexist/whatever..." it's probably a good idea not to say what you're going to say because you're going to come off as that.

I'm just sick and tired of whenever I go to read a thread, having to wade through comments discussing the title, whether or not it's OT, or if it should exist. If you don't like it or don't think it's valid don't read it. Simple as that. 


September 30th, 2013 at 12:47 PM ^

Since it's just one game, there's no essential difference between Iowa and MSU?

By that logic, Auburn doesn't mean anything more to an Alabama fan than Ole Miss does, since it's just one game.

All that aside, a single bye-week thread about a coaching vacancy that may or may not be filled by an opponent's DC hardly constitutes "obsession." Some people find it an interesting topic to contemplate during the off-week; you don't. Is this topic any less worthwhile than what people are drinking on Friday night, or Breaking Bad, or Slippery Rock?


September 30th, 2013 at 12:58 PM ^

Since Iowa and MSU are inter-divisional rivals, games against them really count as two in the standings.  Narduzzi gets a lot of attention because he sticks out as the only elite coaching talent on the MSU staff.  Were he to leave, the MSU game becomes much easier to pencil in as a victory season-to-season. 


September 30th, 2013 at 8:26 PM ^

This delusion that Michigan State is "just another team" to Michigan is really pathetic. I know Sparty is a very troll-able fanbase and they lose it when UM fans say this, but unless you are a snooty out-of-state alum who spent less than five years in the state of Michigan, it simply isn't true.

MSU is our second biggest football rivalry (I don't care if ND is a bigger program, MSU is the much more heated rivalry) and our biggest rival in basketball, hockey and competition for local media coverage. Sorry, but that means something a lot deeper than what a program like Iowa is to Michigan.


September 30th, 2013 at 12:09 PM ^

Why is Narduzzi a thread topic?  He coaches for a rival and the coaching dominoes are starting to fall early.  He has a realistic chance of being offered a DC job at a school that pays more or a HC job at a school that wants to play tough defense.  

I detest the way they do things at MSU, but the current regime has given them the best results they have had since Nick Saban was there.  I am still waiting for regression to the mean to occur now that Michigan doesn't have anyone sabotaging recruiting and Sparty isn't getting the players they were a few years ago, but in the meantime the results speak for themselves; Narduzzi has a record that should result in a better job by the end of the year.

He looks like a career assistant for whom a promotion to HC would be the Peter Principle in action, but he deserves a chance and will get it in today's market.


September 30th, 2013 at 2:34 PM ^

that the OP decided he wanted to discuss. Narduzzi has succeeded ably at MSU, including against us. And he is openly spoken of for HC positions. He has also antagonized a lot of M fans with this team's sometimes-dirty playing. Why the h shouldn't we talk about him? Go start your own thread--you're welcome to any subject relating to UM football that you like!

What ails this place?


September 30th, 2013 at 10:42 AM ^

He's the best MSU has, and the Lions would have nabbed a DC while at the same time gimping MSU. As others have said, this year would definitely be an opportune time for him to leave if he does have any head coaching ambitions.

Space Coyote

September 30th, 2013 at 10:51 AM ^

I do not believe he is an NFL DC. Great college football DC and potential good college HC, but his system doesn't translate well to the NFL. Relies to much on a single coverage that dares QBs to hit receivers deep against single coverage. NFL QBs and WRs can do that. Also uses extremely physical CBs, which isn't allowed after 5 yards in the NFL.

While I'm sure he could adapt somewhat, there are better people that fit the NFL schemes than Narduzzi. Those people might not be as good of CFB DCs, but make for better NFL DCs.


September 30th, 2013 at 11:39 AM ^

 The seahawks run primarily the same defense and their pretty good by NFL standards. Whats considered a good defense from college to the NFL tho is completely different.. There are no shut down defenses in the NFL because it's a pass happy league. I'm waiting for the term prostyle offense to refer to offenses like Oklahoma state rather than Alabama.


September 30th, 2013 at 11:52 AM ^

But MSU definitely takes advantage of the 5-yard rule in college, and the talent level as SpaceCoyote says.  Taking it even further, they probably take advantage of poor QBs and WRs in the B1G over the last several years.

Sparty coaches their DBs to be rough and have contact on press coverage.  And they extend it beyond that with tugging/pulling/bumping to keep close to receivers, knowing some of that is allowed.  They're playing the gray line with officials and have won so far.

I'm not so sure the ND game didn't change that.  Kelly want all-in with deep balls (that's what she said) over and over, challenging this.  He knew he was going to get some PI's, and some catches.  It will be interesting to see if other coaches follow this model, or at least work the officials accordingly when they do take a shot.

Space Coyote

September 30th, 2013 at 10:46 AM ^

I think he has a very good understanding of defense himself and is a good coach in his own right. I also think MSU, while they will probably take a marginal step back on defense next year regardless of what happens with Narduzzi, will still be a solid defensive team as long as Dantonio is there. One thing that has looked good for them is the position coaching, as each position group on defense has continued to look strong.

Now, I think Narduzzi is at his peak right now. But I also think too many people jump at early offers and marginalize their careers because of it. As much as most peope don't like Ron English, his career trajectory could have lead to a better HC gig than Eastern Michigan, which is an auto dead end.

But you get this a lot with HC that were great coordinators before, and how much will teams really trust the coordinators under them to be the brains behind the curtain? I don't think UConn is either a great or terrible place for a guy in Narduzzi's spot. But I think he'd be wise to explore his options a little more after the season than just immediately jumping at that level of position. 


September 30th, 2013 at 10:52 AM ^

I seem to recall several interviews in the past where Mark Dantonio has essentially said that he fully expects Pat Narduzzi to leave one day for a head coaching position, but that he appreciates the loyalty to the Spartans program that Narduzzi has shown by turning down the offers he has already received in the past few years. That being said, I believe Dantonio also made Narduzzi the assistant head coach this spring and that the school gave him a raise last year, so MSU is definitely not looking forward to the prospect of filling the DC position should they have to do it in the next few years. 

Space Coyote

September 30th, 2013 at 10:57 AM ^

Plus, in all honesty, I think taking DC jobs at other schools for a moderate pay raise compared to even the pay raise he got at MSU would be a mistake on his part. He would potentially have to rebuild a defense with other personnel (remember, his defenses at MSU weren't great the first few years either, and many MSU fans were calling for his head like they did Roushar). It would just be much more of a risk than staying put for a little longer and getting a mid-level HC gig that way.

Sure, leaving and being successful may help him get a little better first HC job, but it may also delay that opportunity further and it could backfire entirely if those fans aren't immediately happy with what he's done, even if it's not his fault.


September 30th, 2013 at 11:50 AM ^

I think it depends on what the other school is.  If he's offered the DC job at a perennial Top 10-15 program (FSU, Oklahoma, Georgia, Bama, etc), I don't think that woudl be a mistake.  You go to a program like that and have success and it opens up a lot of doors.


September 30th, 2013 at 11:03 AM ^

I generally agree, but English had more questions about his coaching ability when he took the EMU job than Narduzzi does. He had overseen the defense in the Horror as well as coordinated the defense at Louisville under Kragthorpe when they took their major step backwards.

The risk of Narduzzi jumping too early for a job like UConn is that there's going to be a lot of secondary jobs opening up this off-season after USC, Texas (presumably), and other places fill their jobs.  If someone like Charlie Strong goes to USC, Narduzzi might be better off throwing his hat in the ring for the Louisville job. 

That fact actually makes this a pretty saavy firing by UConn, as they can try to make a hire before the cascading effects of the several big time hires change who's available.

MI Expat NY

September 30th, 2013 at 11:15 AM ^

There's a world of difference between Eastern Michigan and UConn, though.  I said this in the other thread, but UConn should be an attractive job for a guy like Narduzzi.  They're essentially dropping down to a lesser conference which will allow UConn to be on the higher end of school resources for the conference.  He wins there for two or three years and he can make the jump to a top-20 program.  To me that's a better position to be in than taking a job like Purdue.  

Needs, above, mentioned Louisville, which would also be a great job, but I don't see Strong leaving.  He waited too long to be given a HC shot.  I think he'll show great loyalty, and with them in the ACC next year, he may see it as an opportunity to become Frank Beamer of Louisville.  


September 30th, 2013 at 11:30 AM ^

Good point about the differences between UConn and EMU. Edsall showed that you can win at UConn. Pasquiloni was a terrible hire, but I don't think it's a dead end job (though the new conference makes it more of a MAC level job than it was previously). 

I mentioned Louisville because I don't know if Narduzzi would be competitive for jobs outside the East Coast/Midwest (say Washington if Sarkisian left for USC), just given the regional difference in recruiting. Louisville's the only one job in the Midwest or East I could imagine opening up via a coaching change. I do think you're right that he's likely reluctant to leave, given his long wait and Louisville's promotion to the ACC, but if USC or Texas came calling, he'd have to seriously consider those jobs.

MI Expat NY

September 30th, 2013 at 11:47 AM ^

It'll be better than MAC level.  Pretty equal to MWC and possibly better.  A bunch of teams with some recent serious success (Cincy, UConn, Houston, UCF, USF...).  Not a great conference, but not the MAC where each schools vacillate between good and awful every couple years.  You do well at UConn, and people will know.  You won't have to jump from UConn to power conference bottom dweller, you should be able to jump straight to either a traditional power a bit down on its luck, or replace a successful coach in a power conference.

I see your point about Louisville.  It would provide the Butch Jones track.  Yeah, I don't really see any other potential openings like that this year.  Except, perhaps, at MSU itself.  If they somehow miraculously develop an offense and win the Legends, Dantonio could be looking at a better job.