Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday--December 30, 2013

The holiday week has pretty much stalled any press news about the coaching search. There are a number of columns by various sports writers bashing the football program and UMass. I'm not going to link to those.

Changing coaches breaks the verbals for recruits on both ends. The recruits (which are not final anyway until they sign on LOI Day) can look elsewhere and so can the school. So, there is no point doing any recruiting posts until we hear what the new coach has to say about his system and his style of coaching.

One point might be Coach Molnar's spread offense. That might not have been the best choice for a start up program in a cold climate. In addition, we didn't have the players to run it. UMass' killer OOC schedule was another problem for the spread offense. We could potentially out-quick Eastern Michigan, but it was not a good plan against Wisconsin. The Badgers were not going to get tired covering us. A spread offense three-and-out means your defense is back on the field in short order.

All the service academies run a form of the option offense. The Academies are always out-athleted (to coin a phrase) and out scholarshiped, just like UMass currently is. Navy has been very successful with it. The virtue of the option is that it eats the clock and is difficult to defense.

Mike Hodges used it at UMass when he didn't have any scholarships after Jimmie Reid left.

At the very least, a pro-set offense would probably be better choice as the Minutemen have a number of talented running backs. We'll have to see what the new coach has to say.


ESPN Boston has an article about Molnar's firing that manages to cover the story without snark. The article says the UMass players were concerned about keeping the UMass strength and conditioning program. I think Mike Golden was popular with the players and hopefully he'll be kept by the new head coach.


Mrs Blog and I went to the UMass-Providence game Saturday. Nice to see the place packed like the old days. We were talking about walking across campus in the cold to some of those midnight ESPN games when Calipari was trying to get the program going.

I was listening to a number of people around us at the game. Apparently it was the first trip to Mullins for more than a few. Winning is the only thing that matters to most sports "fans".



Anonymous said...

What we are now overlooking is McCutcheon's culpability in all of this mess. He hired Molnar after ignoring the warning signs and the whispers of some about Molnar's true status at ND. He also refused to listen to anyone that attempted to speak up until he knew his lack of leadership and responsibility overseeing the program was now being exposed. A multi- million dollar mess.

Mark Sanford said...

You detail the problems experienced by the program perfectly. The scheduling was as much the reason of the poor performance as the ill-suited, if not poorly conceived, offense. In hindsight, it's easy to discern, but the problems became increasingly obvious at the end of 2012. The real problem, as I see it, is that little if anything was done to address the problems at the end of the first season of the MAC. Very well put, Frank.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Navy, Ivin Jasper is a coach UMass should be looking at. He would, presumably, have to take a pay cut, but he looks like he may be ready for a HC position.

He has spent 12 yrs as a QB coach at Navy and 6 yrs as an OC. Coached for many years under Paul Johnson, as well as played QB for him at Hawaii when Johnson was OC. Followed him to Navy, then Georgia Southern and Navy again, where Jasper has been since.

His personal story as a kid from Watts in Los Angeles and 14yrs at Navy would probably be a big bonus for parents looking for a role model in a coach.

Downside for almost every fan and school, he would likely run the triple option.

Anonymous said...


I agree with your assessment.
On the field, Coach Molnar seemed to be trying to stuff his players into his offense rather than creating an offense to suit the talent available.
Off the field he apparently alienated his team although winning might have solved that.