Possible OC Prospect: Mark Whipple

Miami's search for a new offensive coordinator has been going on for a couple weeks now. Instead of speculating who might be getting interviewed, CanesTime.com instead will offer up some background information on guys we believe could be strong candidates for the job. Lets look at our next candidate, Mark Whipple.

Who he is: Mark Whipple, 50, was born in New York and played quarterback and on the baseball team at Brown. He's been an offensive coordinator in college, a head coach in college, and has worked in the NFL for the past few seasons.

What he's done: Whipple has been impressive everywhere he's been. His first major coaching job came in 1981 when he became the offensive coordinator at Union College for two seasons. He spent the 1983 season as receivers coach at Brown before spending the 84 season with the Arizona Wranglers of the USFL.

In 1986 Whipple took over as offensive coordinator at New Hampshire, where the team had averaged 241 points over the previous two seasons. In his two years there, that number increased to 279 points per year and the number dropped back off (265) in the two seasons after he left.

After serving as the head coach at New Haven from 88-93, Whipple spent four seasons as the head coach at his alma-mater. In the two years prior to Whipple's arrival at Brown, the offense averaged 173 points per season. That number increased to 256 points per season under Whipple's direction. The tremendous increase in the team's offensive successful coupled with a solid 24-16 record there gave Whipple the same job offer at UMass.

In 1997, the year before Whipple became head coach at UMass, the team scored just 149 points. In his first year there, they scored 524, an incredible 375-point (over 20 per game) increase. He was honored as the Division 1AA National Coach of the Year following that National Championship season. In Whipple's six seasons there, UMass averaged 354 points per season -- a 205-point increase over the total in the year before he arrived and a 75 points higher than the team scored the year after he left.

Bill Cowher and the Pittsburgh Steelers hired Whipple away from the college ranks to become his quarterbacks coach from 2004-2007. In those three seasons, Whipple helped develop Ben Roethlisberger. In those three seasons, including a Super Bowl title in 2005, Whipple's quarterbacks had an average passer rating of 87.6 -- one of the better ratings in the league for a quarterback. When Cowher left, so did Whipple.

After sitting out the 2007 season from coaching, he was hired by Philadelphia's Andy Reid in 2008 as an offensive assistant.

Why he should be a strong candidate: Whipple's gotten results everywhere he's been. He won a national championship in college. He won a Super Bowl in the NFL. He's been around two great players and coaches in his recent NFL years. His offensive production numbers when at UMass were outstanding. His quarterbacks have produced. His running backs have produced. He runs a fast tempo-style offense that would generate a lot of opportunity for Miami's young playmakers. He's a proven winner. He's proven he can get results. And while Whipple may have a future as an NFL offensive coordinator, he's spent the last two seasons out of football and working as an offensive assistant (not a position coach) so convincing him to become the offensive coordinator at Miami probably wouldn't be as difficult as it may seem at first.

Why he may not be: Whipple has been a college head coach before. He's been a successful NFL coach. He reportedly interviewed for the Boston College job two years ago when Jeff Jagodzinski was hired. Selling him on the idea of becoming the offensive coordinator at a college program may be difficult.

Bottom Line: He flat out gets results. He knows what championship football is all about. He would bring a winning mentality to the program. He'd bring NFL experience to the program. With Whipple running the show in Coral Gables, the Canes could absolutely become one of the nation's most explosive offenses as early as next season.

Bio: Mark Whipple-- Eagles.com

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