TwistNHook: Let's take a closer look and get people's thoughts on new WR Coach Wes Chandler. From Wikipedia (it's up today!):
Hey, look at that, we're already listed on there! Two things:
1. The fact that they hired Chandler so quickly and are still working on a DLine coach leads me to believe that they had more knowledge that Kiaseu was going to leave. They had a new WR coach 1 day after the old one left. They must have known that Kiaseu was going to head to UW.
2. He has not spent more than 3 years in any one location. Is that disconcerting to anybody? Coach Marshall's resume was very similar and we cried for many years about it. I'm not saying that Chandler sucks, because he's jumped around a lot. I know that that is part of the coaching lifestyle. However, I wanted to get people's thoughts on it.
Berkelium97: I was also worried about the fact that he did not stay at any of his destinations very long. If it makes you feel any better, his jobs at Dallas, Minnesota, and Cleveland all came to an end when the head coach was fired. It is not as if Chandler was canned due to poor coaching (though one could make the argument that if he were a stellar coach, he would have had a strong enough resume to stay put despite the turnover).
I don't know much about how good of a coach he is, but I am encouraged by his hall-of-fame-worthy NFL career. His accomplishments and experience on the field should resonate with recruits and their parents. He may not play xbox with the kids, but he will have plenty to tell them about how to excel at the next level.
Overall, I do not have strong opinions either way on this hire. I'll wait until I see the results on the field.
OhioBear: His short stints in the World League and the UFL don't appear to be of concern either. He spent only one year with the Frankfurt Galaxy as an assistant, but he left for a head coaching gig with the Berlin Thunder. (Sidebar: Former Cal QB Pat Barnes played for Frankfurt when Chandler was an assistant there.) Chandler then understandably bolted for the Dallas Cowboys.
Chandler's stint with the New York Sentinels in the UFL was short (1 season). He was on the staff of head coach Ted Cottrell, who was fired after the 2009 season.
On coaching at the college level:
You never waver from the basic fundamentals of teaching the game. You have to have patience with these players. They have have to be academically eligible to participate. When I was athletic director not one of the sports programs was allowed to pick up a ball until they had a one-hour tutorial. Today’s athletes have to study history or they become history.
On communicating with athletes in the age of Twitter and Facebook:
"The digital age of communication with people is huge. We see it in politics and, more importantly, we see it in football. At the end of the day, it’s about being able to sit down in front of a young man and his family and talk about the game of life. Not do it on the phone, not text him `Hello.’ Let them hear that come out of your mouth instead of reading it. There’s a tremendous difference. I can respect (social media). But the people who take advantage of the key recruiting aspects, they do it in person."
Chandler is definitely an old school guy and so far I like what I'm hearing from him. He's committed to developing the players as scholars and as young men, something more important than their development on the football field.
Kodiak: I'm loving this hire.
This is the quote that I liked,
""First of all, all great players don’t make good coaches. Because you played the game at a high level and you were successful does not necessarily mean you can be a teacher. For me, I was a student of the game. I wanted to know everything about the position, the offense, the pattern, why it was going to be successful and what my role was in that particular play.
"When I started coaching — teaching for me is a better term — you look at each player differently, individually. They learn differently, have different skill sets. You want them to come together. The communication aspect is a major part of it. I expect to be able to talk to them and have feedback. It’s different when you coach it than when you played it. When you’re on that field it’s a different animal because players move, they’re not pawns. You have to translate what’s going on on the field.""
He sounds thoughtful, grounded in his approach, and mentor as well as a teacher. Sure, we still have to see the results born out on the field, but I feel good about him representing our university and being a leader for our players.
Recruiting-wise, I don't think you have to be young and "relatable" to be a good recruiter. Everyone has a different style. Considering that the Cal brand has become synonymous with honesty, loyalty, academics, and family, I think that he could do very well. Also, just because a player is a four or five star guy doesn't mean that he is a good fit for Cal. It's a bit of a dual relationship when you recruit and coach. I'm more comfortable with someone who can help our young players develop as good students and good men than someone who the players love because he's like their frat buddy. Chris Martin is perhaps the most obvious example of a successful recruitment, but bad fit.
A couple of other points that might be a bit under the radar. With his maturity, I see Coach Chandler as a good fit chemistry-wise with the rest of the coaching staff. Considering that Coach Pendergast, Ambrose, and Michalczik all have NFL experience, I would hope that there would be plenty of common ground. I also wonder if his experience makes him a good sounding board for Coach Tedford. You would think that someone who is as knowledgeable and established as Coach Chandler wouldn't be afraid to speak up as needed. I really think that Coach Tedford would benefit more from someone who is strong enough to command mutual respect instead of a yes-man.
Atomsareenough: I'm pretty satisfied with the Wes Chandler hire. He looks to be an upgrade from what I can tell. His playing career is really impressive, and his coaching and life credentials seem pretty solid. If I were a player and Chandler told me something, I'd take him seriously for sure. I think it's interesting that Tedford went with more established, mature guys, further along in their lives, secure in their roles as position coaches, and not obviously looking to hop up to the next step in their careers. They seem passionate and dedicated, just maybe not as personally ambitious as the guys they replaced. Think maybe Tedford's had enough adolescent drama this offseason that he doesn't want to deal with any more for the time being?
OhioBear: Coach Chandler has credibility and I'd like to think that will help him on the recruiting trail. His credentials as a player and assistant coach at the NFL level speak for themselves.
I think atoms has a good point about the direction Tedford went with this hire. (And the same can be said with Todd Howard's hire as defensive line coach.) Tedford went with a veteran coach who seems dedicated to the teaching aspect of coaching.