Who is the most vilified assistant football coach in recent memory

Submitted by PA_Blue on January 10th, 2019 at 12:54 PM

With all of the criticism directed at Pep and Drevno the last two years it got me wondering if they are the most vilified assistant coaches in recent memory or if it just seems that way because of recency bias.  Certainly guys like Al Borges, Darrell Funk and GERG received their fair share of criticism but not at this level.

I've been a fan since the late '70's and for me the most frustrating assistants were during the Carr years with the Mike Debord/Terry Malone/Stan Parrish offenses.  I always felt they had a ton of talent that never reached their full potential.  Those teams were stacked with the likes of Brady/Henson, A-Train, David Terrell and Marquise Walker but I thought the scheme and play calling was way too conservative.  Going back even further, I remember people bitching about Cam Cameron quite a bit as well.

I'm sure I missed some, but these are the coaches that come first to mind.  My question is, who of these offensive masterminds would you prefer?  Would you rather have Pep or Debord?  Is Drevno < Borges?      



January 10th, 2019 at 1:37 PM ^

Don't blame OSU for wanting to hire a good coach.  Blame the guy that's been near-lifelong friends with the entire Harbaugh family and has worked for Michigan for over a decade.  Complete with all of the love and admiration that comes with it, coupled with a detailed knowledge of the rivalry and an often commented-on respect for what the school is and what it stands for.

Blame Mattison.  He is the only person to blame.


January 10th, 2019 at 2:22 PM ^

At Michigan's bitter rival, one that is beyond focused on fucking with the team and program he spent a ton of years on and will now be trying to tear the heart out of those players and people he claimed to care for.  AND for good measure made his "good family friends" in the Harbaugh's deal with yet more rounds of bad media coverage.  Oh, and there's also the question of what he knew and when he knew it when he visited Zaxh Harrison.  He may have his reasons, but we're still allowed to think he's a complete asshole for this bullshit.

Laser Wolf

January 10th, 2019 at 2:34 PM ^

You get angry about very silly things.

It’s a JOB. I know it’s hard not to get emotional about these things as a fan but coaching football is his profession. He took a better title for better pay at a school with a better football team. The guy only has so many paydays left.

Let me know when everybody calls you an asshole if you change jobs and move to a competitor in the same industry. Bet it probably doesn’t happen nor should it. 


January 10th, 2019 at 5:02 PM ^

Not so fast...

I flipped to the competition in a situation where we had offices in the same building and I was a pariah.  When I was spoken to, it was "what's up Benedict [Arnold]?" or conversations between a few dudes with a line projected for me to hear like "Y'know, I've never effed my team over but I know someone who HAS... maybe we should ask him?!"  and the like. 

I gave a 30 day notice, left my job better than I found it, and did nothing wrong except take a promotion and a bigger check AFTER telling my boss about the offer and giving them the opportunity to counter.  It was business.  Smart move, too.

No, it shouldn't happen.  But if you do it and you cross paths with those you left behind, I bet there is some element of "asshole" vibe.


January 11th, 2019 at 9:36 AM ^

Again, it's not going to another job, it's going directly to Ohio Fucking State.  If you really can't see why there's a difference I don't know what to tell you.  It would be like me leaving a client relationship team, going to the most direct competitor for a couple of clients and then using my knowledge of the sales process to directly win over those clients.  One, there are non-compete clauses to make sure things like that don't happen in the real world and two, you bet your ass I would be called an asshole and would have burned bridges.

See, I can analogy too.


January 11th, 2019 at 9:44 AM ^

You are absolutely correct, although I think it was more 62-39 led to a huge increase in the pressure from friends and family to not pick Michigan, and in all likelihood this is a conspiracy theory that's bullshit and of course you send the primary Ohio recruiter and the D-Line coach on the last in-home visit.  

Everything makes sense in isolation, but it's really hard not to squint and see something weird there.

Brian Griese

January 10th, 2019 at 1:30 PM ^

Sexy Al has to be one of the most interesting OC's Michigan has ever had.

His schemes against ND in 13 and OSU in 11 and 13 were probably the three best offensive games Michigan (Considering the strength of the opponent)  played from the Florida Bowl Game in 07/08 up through probably Harbaugh's first season.

But gosh, the NW and MSU games in 13 were two of the absolute worst things I have ever watched, and there plenty of other garbage moments and games as well.  


January 10th, 2019 at 1:51 PM ^

The 2013 Michigan vs. Ohio State offensive performance was one of the most inexplicable I've ever seen. 

The four games prior to that:

Michigan State: 168 yards of offense, -48 rushing yards, 29-6 loss.

Nebraska: 175 yards of offense, -21 rushing yards, 17-13 loss.

Northwestern: The team won 27-19, but scored 9 points in regulation and needed a walk-off field goal to get there. Under 300 yards in regulation.

Iowa: 158 yards of offense, 98 yards passing, 24-21 loss (7 points scored by the defense). 

I'm not sure there has ever been a worse 4 game offensive stretch in the history of the program. And then....

Ohio State: 41 points, 31 first downs, 451 passing yards, 7.33 YPP. 


January 10th, 2019 at 3:49 PM ^

"I'm not sure there has ever been a worse 4 game offensive stretch in the history of the program."

In that 4-game stretch in 2013 that was so awful, we scored 67 points. Sure, not good.

But worst 4-game stretch in our history? Not even close.

The 1934 team went 1-7. During that season, these four games happened in a row:

Illinois: Michigan lost 7-6

Minnesota: Michigan lost 34-0

Wisconsin: Michigan lost 10-0

Ohio State: Michigan lost 34-0

That wasn't all during that season: in the remaining four games, we were shut out twice more and scored 9 and 6 points.

The 9 points came in our only victory, the famous game against Georgia Tech.

Those who claim that the 3-9 team in 2008 was our worst ever are simply uninformed—it was 1934, when we played eight games and were shut out in five of them.



January 10th, 2019 at 1:47 PM ^

You accidentally typed "may" in your post.  Borges "wins" the worst assistant prize based solely on his criminal misuse of Denard.  The most frustrating thing was that he seemed to have it worked out for a game or two, but then would promptly forget what made Denard a unique talent.


January 10th, 2019 at 2:26 PM ^

Al would have an absolute brainfart one week and then put up a great gameplan the next. I have yet to see Pep put together a good gameplan. We had a decent short passing game with Denard with receivers not near the caliber of what we have now. We've struggled to even pass the ball on tomato cans two years in a row. At least Debord knew we had NFL receivers and actually knew how to get them the ball, just not enough. 


January 10th, 2019 at 1:00 PM ^

Debord lit us up, as well as IU can against a much better Michigan, this year. Put Pep on that IU team and just imagine the shit show. 


January 10th, 2019 at 1:05 PM ^

Debord was in a much different time. Both Drevno and Pep Hamilton have not been coveted by other programs to be coordinators so that answers your question. Drevno is a position coach now. Big difference in Mattison's situation where he has been a decent DC and WON a national championship with Urban. Drevno and Pep are BOTh Harbaugh puppets that he can control. Harbaugh is NOT going to hire an offensive coach who can challenge his philosophy which is his leadership flaw. How many of his coaches have gone on to be good at other places? Look at Taggert and ask FSU how they feel about their hire? 

Clarence Boddicker

January 10th, 2019 at 1:33 PM ^

This post is full of poor assumptions and nonsense. Hamilton could well walk away with an NFL coordinating position since they haven't finished hiring yet. Stanford is pretty happy with Shaw. And Taggert was very successful at USF, so lets give him more than, um, one season to flush out Fisher's bums. I want Harbaugh to give up the reigns of the offense too but why spout bullshit?

Michigan Arrogance

January 10th, 2019 at 1:14 PM ^

Debate about how recent but Jim Herman I think retired from coaching within 5 years of being run out of town back in 03(?).  


Dude had the best D of the decade in his 1st year as a coord. And was flat run out of town after that minn game. Maybe that was 05?