Jeremy Pruitt - A Look At Possibly One Of The Best Candidates Available

Submitted by MJ14 on September 28th, 2014 at 5:15 PM

I've heard someone else mention the Georgia defensive coordinator. I'd also love to see him become the coach. He's probably right below Smart and Narduzzi in my mind and he's a young guy. Secondary coach at Alabama for two national championships, Florida State's defensive coordinator for their championship win, and now the coordinator for a good SEC team. I think he'd command a big salary, because I guarantee there are some southern teams wanting him.
He's only 40 and he has familiarity with Nuss. I think he'd keep Nuss on board, which I'd like to see. Bring in a new RB coach(steal Georgia's coach please), a new o-line coach, a new defensive coodinator, and he would run a similar style to Michigans.

The only problem I have at all with hiring him is in 5 years, when he's been successful, I could easily see him leaving for an SEC or successful southern school. Saban will begin looking at retiring by then and who knows how long people in Georgia are going to put up with Richt. I think Michigan has the money and resources to keep him though. If he is successful, I think he will want to stick with the program he has helped rebuild. Especially since Michigan can offer him the resources and money that anyone else could.

Pruitt makes a lot of sense to me. I'd rather Michigan take Pruitt and keep Nuss since they have worked together. If I'm Michigan, I offer Pruitt a 5 year, 25-30 million deal. Money isn't an issue and it seems like Pruitt is fine with moving around. He should at least be good at recruiting with all his championships, Peppers would love him, he's familiar with Nuss, and he has a load of southern ties. He is also young and someone is going to get a fantastic coach in him.



September 28th, 2014 at 5:23 PM ^

we need an offensive minded head coach, or a head coach who has had good offenses and knowns how to accomplish that if not by himself.  the transition will be so much worse if we get a defensive minded head coach.  the defense is good already.


September 28th, 2014 at 5:59 PM ^

with all three phrases of the game. 

Great coaches win because their teams do everything well.Look at Spurrier. An offensive mind at UF he has turned to defense as his bedrock at South Carolina. Meyer's best teams featured ferocious defenses.  You need both. RichRod never understood that.


No more RichRods or Brady Hokes. We need a Meyer or Spurrier. Coaches who understand that great teams win with offense, defense and special teams in harmony.


September 28th, 2014 at 6:14 PM ^

and he's done okay. Same with Pete Carroll at USC. Urban and Spurrier are primarily offensive-minded guys.

I don't think there are many coaches who don't have more expertise on one side of the ball than on the other. They need to combine that expertise with an ability to be a good manager of talent and assistant coaches. To me that was Rich Rod's failing -- he couldn't coordinate or manage the coaches on the defensive side of the ball. And it's Hoke's failing too (on the offensive side).


September 29th, 2014 at 3:59 AM ^

Urban Meyer learned offense from Rich Rod's playbook.  Rich Rod is as good a coach as Meyer.  He just wasn't allowed to show it here.  Did you pay any attention to what happened?  Did you read Bacon's book?  Do you have any idea the obstacles he was working against, most of them put there by people who called themselves "Michigan Men?"

Rich Rod is 4-0 right now at Arizona.  Urban Meyer is 3-1 at Ohio State, with incredibly better personnel.  Spurrier is 3-2 right now.  Brady Hoke was unproven, with a 47-50 record before being hired. Rich Rod was 103-54-2 when hired at Michigan.  Meyer has had the privilege of coaching at two of the top eight schools in the country for amassing talent. 

Sorry, but Michigan's treatment of Rich Rod forever tainted David Brandon and no elite coach is going to sign up at Michigan as long as he is here.  

The "Michigan Men" who sabotaged Rich Rod's teams may have also tainted the entire program.  I am guessing any elite coach is going to think for a long time before jumping to a school where he is at the mercy of a good ol boy network that places their own agenda over the success of the football program.





September 29th, 2014 at 12:32 AM ^

Please not this.  We've got a team with good (no, not "elite" but definitely good) defense, and total, absolute, epic failure of an offense.  So should fire the DC and keep the offensive coordinator?  Sometime I read the board and can't help but wonder if we are rooting for the same team.


September 28th, 2014 at 5:25 PM ^

He has no connection to the Midwest either.


He would be a candidate for DC, but no way in hell is he a candidate at Michigan or any other traditionally powerful program. His first job will be at a mid or lower level Power 5 program.

Chris S

September 28th, 2014 at 5:28 PM ^

I was actually thinking yesterday about what it could possibly take to get Mark Rickt over here. But I like the idea from a defensive perspective. From an offensive side, I was thinking about a Kliff Kingsbury.

But in reality, I doubt any good coach would come here while Dave Brandon was still in office.


September 28th, 2014 at 6:01 PM ^

I haven't heard anyone mention Greg Roman, from San Fran (Jim Harbaugh). Connection to M is through Jim, Offensive Minded, he's a hot-commodity right now. Kids would love the NFL roots. Could work...

M might only be a stepping stone to the NFL, like for Harbaugh, but he may leave behind another David Shaw-type like Harbaugh did.


September 28th, 2014 at 6:04 PM ^

The surest way to disaster is to hire a guy with no head coaching experience. People need to stop suggesting guys with no head coach experience. It is neither realistic nor desirable to hire someone who has never been a head coach. UM does not have the time for someone to learn on the job.


September 28th, 2014 at 6:20 PM ^

I think it's fair game to suggest coordinators, because there will be no hot-commodity HC's up for grabs after this season. I haven't heard anyone suggest one that will be a sure slam-dunk hire. So unless something unexpected comes along, a up and coming coordinator will be the only choice, or pull from the FCS/D-II levels.


September 28th, 2014 at 6:25 PM ^

That just isn't going to happen.  WHomever they hire will have previoys head coaching experience. Who that is remains to be seen. But UM is not going to hire a coordinator.

Look at Muschamp at UF for why you don't hire coordinators. Dude's terrible. He took a national power and turned it into a swamp of mediocrity.


September 28th, 2014 at 6:39 PM ^

You're so sure, so do you have a REALISTIC name you think warrants a Michigan hiring? I see possible up-and-coming HC's around, but none who have won BCS games or anything meaningful becoming available. Petersen is at UW, Franklin at PSU, Cutliffe (sp.) is 60 years old, Miles is 60 years old, Hudspeth is a Sun Belt Coach. I don't see anything worth the risk at the HC level, but someone like Roman, IMO, warrants a good, long look: success as OC at highest level of college and the pros, learning from a good coach, etc. I'd take my chances on Roman before getting someone in the twilight of their career or have only proven themselves on a Sun Belt/MAC/WAC/etc. level.


September 28th, 2014 at 6:46 PM ^

I'd much prefer to look at highly successful coaches at the FCS level(Tressel) or the MAC(Meyer).


Just naming off names because they sound good is silly. Do some research. Look at the smaller schools. That's where the great coaches are found. Tressel, Saban, Meyer,Dantonio, Kelly...all coached smaller conferences.


September 28th, 2014 at 7:00 PM ^

If you are going to go the coordinator you'll need a guy who grew into the job(Jimbo Fisher was Bowden's OC in his final three years. Same for Shaw at Stanford) Bringing in a coordinator from the outside is a recipe for disaster.(Muschamp)

I suppose I have to amend my previous statement. An coordinator can succeed, but they have to have extensive experience of being part of the program. Such is not the case for any of the candidates that have been mentioned.


September 28th, 2014 at 7:07 PM ^

Don't need to research, I can tell you what these guys all did:

Meyer - Undefeated at Utah, 12-0 and BCS win.

Tressel - 4 National Championships at Yougntown State

Kelly- 2 National Championships at Grand Valley State

Dantonio- Wasn't amazing at Cincinatti, he's an exception.


Whomever Michigan grabs, has to be a home-run this time if they get a current-HC. A coordinator gives you an out if they don't succeed. I think it will be far more damaging to take 3 HC's in a row that failed than trying to get a hot Coordinator.


September 28th, 2014 at 7:17 PM ^

FCS coaches. No, it is not more damaging to hire three previously HCs in a row to fail. It is equally damaging regardless of the experience of the next guy.I don't see how there is a "out" because it was a coordinator. That makes absolutely zero sense. Failure is failure.


Outside of Bob Stoops all of the coordinator hires who have had success coached previously at their respective schools. Basically, you are hoping and praying that you'll uncover Bob Stoops II. But even then Stoops had coached in the Big 12.(at Kansas State as DC) So he at least was familiar with the conference.

If it's a coordinator it will have to meet certain criteria:Midwestern roots, outstanding track record of player development and onfield success, and an engaging personality. This last one is especially important because of the poisonous atmosphere we currently are seeing. UM can't afford anymore curmudgeons.


September 29th, 2014 at 7:44 AM ^

Funny - I think you were describing Narduzzi.  One possible exception could be the engaging personality.  I'm not familiar enough with him to know if he has an engaging personality or not.  

In my experience, though, winning tends to shine a different light on someone's personality than losing does.  

Blue in Yarmouth

September 30th, 2014 at 1:06 PM ^

The new AD? HOnestly, you speak with such authority on this you must be someone who will actually make the decision. You know who fits the criterea you just mentioned to a tee? Brady Hoke, that's who. A lower level head coach (coached in the MAC and MWC) Successful in those stops (won coach of the year in each of them). Let's be clear, you don't know the formula any better than anyone else.

The other posters are being realistic while your plugging your ears, spinning around singing "la, la, la, I can't heear you". You can keep your head in the clouds if you want, but the bottom line is there is a pretty good chance that there isn't a really good quality HC out there that has the experience you say is essential and willing to leave his current job for this one. 

This is why people are throwing coordinators names out there. Because in the absence of an HC with a proven track record of success, the next set of candidates should be highly successful coordinators. You don't simply write them off the list because they aren't HC's. 

In your world you do that and move to the unsucessful HC's as the next potential candidates to fill the job....that's some brilliant strategy. Remind me not to call you next time I'm in need of a head hunter for a position I need filled. 

Mr Miggle

September 28th, 2014 at 6:02 PM ^

that showed coaching hires with no connections to the region were riskier than one might expect. While some worked out well, there was a negative correlation to success.



September 28th, 2014 at 6:08 PM ^

I think a coordinator is too risky right now. There's a big difference in skillsets required to go from a coordinator to a HC. Some guys make the leap, some fail miserably, and it's really hard to tell the difference beforehand. Michigan needs a known entity, we can't afford to be someone's audition or first foray into head coaching.


September 28th, 2014 at 6:56 PM ^

I just don't know anymore.  I've admittedly stated that Harbaugh isn't coming here, and he probably isn't, but outside of him I don' t know of anyone else who can take the program back to where it was w/o 2-3 years of rebuilding, at minimum.

Also I think the defense has done relatively well this season, especially considering how many times the offense is turning the ball over.  Honestly I wouldn't want to see Mattison go.

I have work to do and I can't focus, can't stay off MgoBlog.  2-10 looms large in my mind.  No Harbaugh, no future.


September 28th, 2014 at 9:21 PM ^

Has John Harbaugh ever commented on the UM job? He would likely keep Matison. I see him as the very best option out there. I assume his wife is not hating on the Midwest like Jim's. He seems to be more level headed. To me, he is by far the best fit. I assume the Brandon May have some level of relationship with him.


September 28th, 2014 at 9:22 PM ^

Has John Harbaugh ever commented on the UM job? He would likely keep Matison. I see him as the very best option out there. I assume his wife is not hating on the Midwest like Jim's. He seems to be more level headed. To me, he is by far the best fit. I assume the Brandon May have some level of relationship with him.


September 28th, 2014 at 7:04 PM ^

I think we also need to concentrate on HC with experience as either defensive or offensive coordinator. Hoke was a HC with several years of experience when we hired him, but he'd never been a coordinator at any level, and I think it's showing.


September 28th, 2014 at 7:22 PM ^

Bill Snyder, Lloyd Carr, and Gary Moeller*. The list of guys who went from coordinator to HC and succeeded is more impressive than I thought. However, there is a common denominator for all except Stoops--they had experience in coaching at those schools.

*Moeller was previously a HC at Illinois in the late 70's.


September 28th, 2014 at 7:41 PM ^

You're being irrational beyond belief. Yes Will has failed, that's all you keep saying. Pruitt is a different guy. He's succeeded on three different teams and two of those have been at the highest level. He's competed in and against the best league in college football. Not all coaches are made to be head coaches, I get that. But one example of a guy who failed in a tough league doesn't mean a lot. Pruitt and Will are not the same guy. No two coaches are the same. 


September 28th, 2014 at 7:47 PM ^

A logical minds sees that hiring a man who has no connections to the Midwest AND who has no head coaching experience is utterly ridiculous.  

As noted the data shows that coordinators who have succeeded either have previous coaching experience at the school or inside the conference/region. Pruitt has neither.


Blue Ninja

September 28th, 2014 at 9:29 PM ^

If you want HC experience one of the better possible candidates out there IMO is Dan Mullen. Has some background in Midwest, GA at Notre Dame and QB coach at Bowling Green. ALso was an OC at Florida under Meyer. He has a .588 winning record at Mississippi State and has been recruiting really well. Also is 3-1 in bowl games. Probably need to do a bit more research but just off hand seems like a very good candidate.

He's also another example of former OC who has become a good HC. The DC/OC's cannot be hired to become HC because of Muschamp seems like a farce. Like most positions I'm sure there are some who are succesful and some who are not. Many HC's were at one time DC/OC's and at some point a school somewhere had to take a chance on them.