The rules of college football can get so confusing that even the refs sometimes need extra time on the field to sort things out.
Back in April, the NCAA had some new rules to ratify, resulting in refs everywhere chomping down on their nails in terror at the new confusions they'd have to wrap their heads around. But today, we're discussing a new rule that's so easy, even the Pac-12 refs can understand it.
The NCAA is expanding the number of assistant coaches from nine to ten, effective January 9, 2018.
(I guess it's possible those refs would have trouble remembering the date.)
This means schools can get a tenth assistant coach to work with the players on the field and recruit; the head coach does not count. To make sure we're all on the same page, here are the nine assistant coaches for the 2017 California Golden Bears (with their full, glorious titles):
2017 Cal coaches
|Beau Baldwin||Offensive coordinator, running backs, assistant head coach|
|Tim DeRuyter||Defensive coordinator, inside linebackers|
|Gerald Alexander||Defensive backs|
|Jerry Azzinaro||Defensive line|
|Nicholas Edwards||Wide receivers|
|Steve Greatwood||Offensive line|
|Charlie Ragle||Special teams coordinator, tight ends|
|Marques Tuiasosopo||Recruiting coordinator, quarterbacks, passing game coordinator|
|Tony Tuioti||Outside linebackers|
So without having seen one minute of the 2017 staff's on-field product in an actual game, I decided it would be a great use of our time to speculate on our 2018 coaches and where we should add that tenth coach. I think this will be the best investment of my time for CGB since I wrote a profile on Ron English as a potential DC candidate about a week before Dykes got fired and we suddenly had bigger stories.
Unless we try to do something totally radical (like having one coach for Wide Receivers Who Are Winter and Fall Colors and another for Wide Receivers Who Wear Spring and Summer), common strategies employed by other schools (including past Cal teams) would identify the following potential expansions:
- Splitting OC and RB coach
- Splitting DC and ILB coach
- Splitting CB and safeties coaches
- Splitting DE and DT coaches
- Splitting special teams coordinator and TE coach
- There's speculation that some teams will hire a 10th coach to exclusively focus on recruiting
Right off the bat, I'm tempted to get separate coaches for tight ends and special teams coordinator, purely due to the importance of special teams and field position. However, I can't think of any school that employs a dedicated special teams coordinator and it seems like the structure of practice would result in a lot of free time for that coach. You can't just sit there and draw up crazy new coverage schemes or fakes or something?
If that's the case, then I'd lean towards splitting the players in the secondary. One of the benefits that's been stated for having all our defensive backs under the purview of Gerald Alexander is that they're all in the same room, building chemistry and learning together—which will build a more cohesive unit. However, given the propensity for spread offensives and since we live in the conference of quarterbacks (How many more clichés can I cram in here?), I think hiring a second coach here and getting more focus and attention on the players will pay dividends in their technique and growth.
We may not agree on what the tenth coach should handle, but I think we can all agree that this is a useless exercise. Kind of like unweighted sit-ups.