Insider Look: Larry Fedora

As various college teams try and fill their current head coaching vacancies, Larry Fedora is emerging as one the hottest candidates for those positions and is also garnering a serious look from Arizona State. Fedora is a relative unknown to Sun Devil fans, which is why we invited Drew White, the Publisher of GoldenEaglePride.com to shed some light on one of ASU's primary head coach targets.

Larry Fedora had led Southern Mississippi to a current 10-2 record, as they face the University of Houston on Saturday in the Conference USA Championship Game. Needless to say that White echoes the Golden Eagle fan base's sentiments as he heaps praise on the team's skipper who has an overall 32-19 record with his team.

"Southern Miss is his first head coaching job and he has done some great things here in his four years," White said. "What makes him such a good coach is that he is such a hard worker. He's very passionate and enthusiastic and he has brought a lot of excitement to the program. This is Southern Mississippi's first 10-win season since 1952.

"It seems like every season that he has been here we have broken a new offensive record, so he does run a very good system. Defense started out slow when he first got here but it did get better. He's an outstanding recruiter and he isn't afraid to go after big time recruits and he landed some great players from the Southeast."

When first hired, Fedora promised the fans that he would bring an attacking style on both offense and defense, and White stated that the Golden Eagle coach has undoubtedly delivered on that pledge.

"He runs the spread, no-huddle attacking offense," White described. "But even though it's very vertical he does have a good balance with the run game. It's usually a 50-50 play ratio between the two. Every week, you will always see something you have never seen before in a Larry Fedora offense. Each week there are new plays and new packages. It's not uncommon to see ten different receivers catching the ball in a game.

"On defense, Southern Miss got a new defensive coordinator last year from Illinois (Dan Disch) and he really attacks you with a 4-2-5 scheme that is very aggressive and built to defend the spread. The defense consistently shows you different looks because the linebackers move around a lot and the defense brings pressure from different angles. Because the defense has improved so much that it was has made a difference this year winning ten games."

According to White, the 49-year old Fedora is a tough disciplinarian who won't hesitate to bench players or even dismiss them from the team if needed.

"I like how he doesn't talk about it and just keeps it in-house," White commented. "He takes care of things if they happen right away. The team has very few off the field incidents because Fedora recruits high quality players."

White added that Fedora's recruiting style is very endearing to the prospects he targets.

"He's always honest and upfront with the recruits," White described. "Every recruit we talk to mentions the strong family atmosphere they feel at the school and that starts at the top. He's a players' coach that works out with them in the off-season and the players respect that and trust him.

"All this helps him land some very good recruits in SEC country that we probably didn't expect to get. Even if we don't land a top name we are always on that player's radar."

White doesn't believe that it is a foregone conclusion that Fedora will leave Hattiesburg at season's end, a town that he and his family are very fond of. At the same time it would obviously not shock White to see the Southern Miss skipper depart.

"It seems as if every job opening in the country has his name at the top of the list," White remarked. "Ole Miss, Kansas, Arizona State have all been rumored as places he could go to. I don't have a feel where he will go to and he's not talking about it because he has a big game to prepare for."

Ironically this Saturday, Fedora will face another top ASU coaching candidate, Kevin Sumlin, who is another coach White holds in very high regard.

"Sumlin is doing things right," White acknowledged. "I think he is an outstanding coach and he consistently has Houston in the Conference USA Championship Game. He's another offensive genius who is extremely innovative on that side of the ball. He's a high character guy who is very enthusiastic and his players love him.

"Year in and year out since he has been there they have beaten good teams. They play very fast paced and I compare their style to the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980's. It's a relentless, fast break offense and Southern Miss is going to have to find a way to stop it.

"I think Sumlin is a very attractive option to a lot of teams out there."


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