Now, the million dollar question, what offense is Walsh going to run at West Point. Here's a hint: It ain't the option, which should have some Army grads and former players steaming. Walsh will run a multiple pro-style offense a la Portland State.
"I think this team has been extremely well-coached in watching them perform on film last year," Walsh said. "If I can help them clean up some aspects of the game and put in some of the things that I believe in, mixed with what they've had here in the past, I think we can continue to improve and make some strides. The offensive part of the game is supposed to be fun. I know coach Brock is one to put his hand into the dirt and get dirty, and we're going to do that. We've been very successful running multiple pro-style offenses at Portland State and we're hoping to be able to do the same thing at Army."
Walsh takes over an offense with several question marks. For starters, Army couldn't move the ball the second half of last season. Junior quarterback David Pevoto flopped and freshman Carson Williams was rushed into service. He fared only a little better.
But not good enough for Army to avoid a six-game losing streak to end the year, a blowout loss to Air Force and a fifth straight loss to rival Navy. Sophomore running back Wesley McMahand is still developing, as is freshman Tony Moore, and Jeremy Trimble is the only legit go-to-guy at wide receiver. The Black Knights' offensive line could be a concern.
However, Williams and Pevoto appear to be in better hands with Walsh, rather than old school Eddie Wilson. If one of those guys can get it going, that will open it up for the rest of the offense. Let's hope so.
But all that falls on to the shoulders of Brock and Walsh.
"Tim has the ability and the knowledge to spread things out and open it up a bit on offense," Brock said. "Our offense will still basically be a pro-set, and it will be a 50-50 run-to-pass ratio. But we will also have the ability to see different things from different angles. There will be some new elements, and we'll also polish some of the things that we've worked on here in the past."
Walsh is the longest tenured and winningest coach in Portland State's history and led the Vikings' to four NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearances. In 18 years as a collegiate head coach overall (he spent four years as head coach at Sonoma State University before accepting the head job at PSU), Walsh has built a 117-82 overall coaching record (.588).
Portland State finished 7-4 last year, playing its most difficult schedule in school history. The challenging slate of opponents featured New Mexico, California and Oregon, marking the first time that Portland State's entire non-conference slate consisted of Division I-A opponents (two of which were ranked nationally).
"I've admired West Point since 1999 when I had the opportunity to spend five days prior to the Army-Navy game back at the Academy," Walsh said. "When I arrived back home in Portland at the time, I told my wife, ‘If I ever get the opportunity to coach at West Point, I'd probably do it.' I said, ‘If you have the opportunity to see what I just saw, you'd fall in love with the entire place, the entire environment; feeling the history and all the things that surround West Point.' On her two-day visit to the Academy earlier this week, she felt the exact same way. From an emotional aspect, there is no doubt that it is the place that I'd love to be."
A touching story, indeed, but let's hope he can jump start Army's offense.