Guy faces challenges this spring

After his head coaching gig at Utah State ended following the 2008 season, Brent Guy came east looking for a fresh start. Guy initially came to Louisville to coach the linebackers under Bill Miller but got an unexpected promotion shortly after arriving from Logan, UT.

"When I took the job I was the linebacker coach and Bill (Miller) was going to coordinate," Guy said last week. "And then when Bill left, Steve interviewed each one of us (Ken Delgado and Larry Slade) about what we'd like to do and then he made a decision."

So there he was, less than two weeks after being hired to coach the Louisville linebackers – a group that returns three starters – Guy was being elevated to defensive coordinator to replace Miller, who left unexpectedly for Kansas.

Guy has considerable experience as a defensive coach, coordinating at Boise State (1998-2000) and Arizona State (2001-2004) before becoming the head coach at Utah State. Guy played college football at Oklahoma State in the early 1980's where he learned under the tutelage of Super Bowl champion coach Jimmy Johnson.

Now, Guy faces a sizable challenge as Louisville's defensive coordinator, taking the reins of a defense that surrendered 63 points in the season-finale against Rutgers. Guy must find replacements for three starters on the defensive line while rebuilding a secondary that lost three starters and gave up seven touchdown passes to the Scarlet Knights in their last outing of the 2008 season.

"I've been a four-man front guy all my career," Guy said. "I did some 4-2-5 stuff but have ventured back to more of a 4-3 base because of one-back sets. I like the four-man front simply because there's less adjustments to make for your linebackers and back end people."

Johnny Patrick returns in the secondary.

That means Louisville's returning defenders have a lot to learn this spring under their fourth defensive coordinator since Steve Kragthorpe's arrival two years ago.

"They did not base out of a four-man front last year," Guy said. "They based out of what is commonly known as an under-front. So that's the first thing that changes. We'll try to carry over as much as we can.

"There are a lot of defensive terms that carry over no matter where you are. Cover 3 is pretty much Cover 3. Cover 4 is pretty much Cover 4. But I will put a little bit of my stamp on it as far as the four-man front that we'll base out of that and then we'll expand to other things from that. That's a little bit opposite from what they were doing last year."

One of Guy's biggest philosophies is creating confusion for the offense. How he teaches his troops the art of deception will be an interesting development this spring.

"If you give that (quarterback) a pre-snap read and they know what you're in you're in trouble," Guy said. "We have to have looks that carry over, meaning a zone base look, a zone blitz look and a man or zero look. It all has to carry over so we don't give the quarterback a pre-snap look. That's what we'll be working on a lot this spring."

As a head coach at Utah State, Guy went 9-38 in four seasons. He says he's looking forward to coaching and coordinating a defense for the first time since 2004.

"I tended to be more of an administrator than a coach (at Utah State) so I'm real excited to be back in a position room with a group of guys talking football every day and trying to put out the fires at the head coaches office," Guy said. "I'm just excited to be back in the mix."

Guy believes he and Kragthorpe will work well together. While Kragthorpe calls the offensive plays this season, Guy will be in charge of the defense.

"I'll be coaching the defense while he's coaching the offense," Guy said. "We'll communicate when we need to – if we're trying to hold field position, or a fourth down situation or even a two-point play. He'll be on there talking to us."

Guy said he'll coordinate from the field instead of the press box next season.

"I plan on coaching from the field," he said. "I've done both but I do like being down on the field and being able to look at those guys right in the eyes and talking to them."

This spring, Guy wants to build trust with his new players.

"You have to have trust," said Guy. "That's the first thing we have to do in these 15 practices because we are new to these kids that have been here. We've got to get their trust in what we're teaching and coaching them."

Guy Soundbites
Brent Guy on defensive line coach Ken Delgado: "He's on the cutting edge of techniques."

Brent Guy on cornerback coach Larry Slade: "His experience is second to none. His knowledge and experience will be invaluable and I'll lean on him."

Brent Guy on Antonio Goss: "I know he is a great communicator just watching him in recruiting and around the kids."

Guy on JUCO transfers
Brent Guy will have two new junior college additions at his disposal during spring practice – defensive end Malcolm Tatum and tackle Joseph Townsend.

"About the third game into their senior years it's like ‘wow he's got it and now I wish he had another year,'" Guy said. "Hopefully we can speed that up and get more impact, especially with these big d-linemen and Preston Pace, a corner that we think can maybe go in there and play some safety. But there is a learning curve.

"A lot of these junior college don't lift weights. The first thing they've got to do is come in here and go through weight training much less the football part of it. There is a learning curve but we're going to have to speed it up."

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