Under-The-Radar Candidates

Josh Newkirk discussed some other notable Michigan coaching candidates with Scout.com's National Recruiting Analyst Jamie Newburg.

Michigan is still searching for its next football coach. And while everyone seems to think Jim Harbaugh or Les Miles is the next hire, U-M might go in a different direction. Josh Newkirk talked with Scout.com National Recruiting Analyst Jamie Newberg, and got some of his insight on some other possible coaching options for the Wolverines.

Josh Newkirk: Another prominent name out there is a former defensive coordinator out of Coral Gables, Fla.. Coached in the NFL, coached at Rutgers and helped turnaround that program. I’m talking about Greg Schiano. He is sort of an under-the-radar guy. I don’t if he would necessarily get a lot of applause or the fan base would get excited. But he is a guy with a proven track record, at least in college anyways. He runs a disciplined program. He runs the pro-style offense that Michigan likes to run. What’s sort of your thoughts in Schiano and how he would fit up in Ann Arbor?

Jamie Newberg:“I do know this, I know he is very interested in the job. If given the opportunity again, I think he would jump all over it. But then again, he is unemployed. I look at it in two different ways. I look at when he was a college coach and what he did at Rutgers was absolutely phenomenal. He took a bottom feeder of college football and made them a program that turns out NFL type players. They were also a very competitive football team, year in and year out. He did an outstanding job turning around everything at Rutgers – phenomenal job.

“Second, living right outside St. Petersburg, Fla., or Tampa, being a [Tampa Bay Buccaneers] fan I had an opportunity to watch him a few years. And they struggled. Obviously, all the inner working went out on him in Tampa and in a few years he was gone. It just didn’t work. Perhaps his game is more suited for the college game. I think he would be workout up at Michigan. For all the reasons you mentioned leading up to the question. I think it’s definitely a viable option for Michigan. And while it may not be that big splash hire. To be me I always laugh at that phrase. It’s not about winning the press conference. It’s about the right guy for your program for the long-term. I think Greg Schiano at Michigan would probably work out pretty darn well.”

Josh Newkirk: Another guy you had your list I find pretty intriguing and I think he’s a pretty good coach. He is another under-the-radar type guy. He might be better known for his speech. He’s had some success there at Oklahoma State, Mike Gundy. Tell us your overall thoughts in Gundy, and why you think he might be a good fit at Michigan?

Jamie Newberg:“He’s an offensive guy. He’s done well. I think he’s a great track record at an up and coming program like Oklahoma State. It seems like they are l always good. I think this year was like a speed bump for them, cause I know they are young in Stillwater, Okla. That’s going to happen time for time for these programs. I certainly think he is a younger guy who can X and O with the best of them. They have always recruited very well. I’m looking at a guy like Gundy, [Dan Mullen], I know we’re going to talk about [Kevin] Sumlin. I don’t know how familiar they are with the Big Ten region as terms of networking needed to succeed in recruiting. Saying all that, it’s all about the people you surround yourself with. You’re only going to be as good as your staff. I think all those guys would be about the same. It would be interesting if he went 10-2 this year where his stock would be compared to where they finished up. It certainly would be a lot higher.”

Josh Newkirk: You mentioned Kevin Sumlin. He threw the ball a lot at Houston. He transitioned that over to the SEC with Texas A&M and obviously his most high profiled player was Johnny Manziel. He’s a guy, first off we know he can recruit. They had a down year, his defense struggled. He’s an offensive mind. He’s obviously more tied to the south and Texas. But he’s sort of an outside guy you hear some rumblings about. What do you know about Kevin Sumlin? Do you think his style could fit up here in the Big Ten game?

Jamie Newberg:“I don’t know coach Sumlin, I know people that work with him that just praise him. He’s really got a great coaching mind. And he’s perfect in that role. Some guys aren’t meant to be head coaches, they are meant to be coordinators. We’ve all heard that before. People that know Kevin Sumlin know that this is his thing. Having said that, it’s obvious what he can do offensively and what he can coach offensively. He’s been phenomenal. I’ll admit it, I was one of those guys who thought A&M would have a hard transition to the SEC. He’s been able to light up the scoreboard, but like you said he’s been unable to stop anybody. To me there lies their problem, they need to correct that this off-season and hire a good offensive coordinator. And that’s just going to be a problem for the Kevin Sumlin’s of the world. The Gus Malzahn’s of the world. They run these high powered, high paced, up tempo offenses, where they on and off the field so quickly, it put an awful lot of pressure on the defense. And it kind of puts a stigma on those guys. So I don’t know if it is bad as it seems. I think it’s more of product of the system the run offensively. I think that has something to do with it too. So will see what happens. I certainly think there will be a lot bigger programs than A&M that will make runs at Kevin Sumlin, including the National Football League, that’s how highly I think of him. So will just have to wait and see. If Michigan were to make a serious run at him, I think he could do wonders at a school like Michigan. You just don’t know if they have the immediate personal to be competitive out of the gate.”

Josh Newkirk: And lastly, is there a guy we haven’t talked about who is under-the-radar who you think Michigan should be looking at? A guy that hasn’t been mentioned that Michigan should be talking to?

Jamie Newberg:“It’s probably going to come from nobody we just talked about. Just like nobody saw Mike Riley to Nebraska. I mean nobody mentioned him with the Cornhuskers. I think there is three guys you look at that could fit that bill. Kyle Whittingham would be one. He’s done a tremendous job at Utah. Troy Calhoun at Air Force. Rocky Mendenhall at BYU. Those are couple guys worth reading about. But more from a standpoint, if it’s not [Les] Miles and not [Jim] Harbaugh or couple other guys. Here is a couple sleepers to keep an eye on. Those would be three that come to mind. I will say with Mike Riley leaving Oregon State for Nebraska and Bronco Mendenhall being an Oregon State alumni, I would imagine he has a decent shot of getting in the mix for that job. But those are some guys I would keep an eye out for.”

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