San Jose State made it a priority to hire a football coach that would continue the legacy of academic success and character development that was built by outgoing head coach Dick Tomey over his five seasons at San Jose State. The seven person search committee that was tasked with finding the new head coach included not only members of the athletic staff, but also members of the faculty and Academic Senate. So, it was not surprising that the committee reached a unanimous decision when they recommended Duke University Defensive Coordinator Mike MacIntyre, who was introduced today as the 29th head coach at San Jose State during a press conference in the Simpkins Stadium Center.
"We believe we have found the right man at the right time for San Jose State" said Athletic Director Tom Bowen during his opening statement. "Mike MacIntyre brings the core values that are absolutely necessary for this football program to continue to build on the legacy that Dick Tomey created."
MacIntyre, who was recently named (FBS) Assistant Coach Of The Year by the American Football Coaches Association, has spent the past two seasons as Duke's defensive coordinator after having been an NFL assistant for four seasons for both the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets. He impressed the search committee with his knowledge and understanding of the Academic Progress Report, which measures graduation rates and plays a key role in each school's athletic scholarship allotment. He also impressed Tom Bowen with his passion to win, and his determination to not allow any limitations or roadblocks that may exist at San Jose State to get in the way of success.
MacIntyre was clearly moved during the 28 minute ceremony, showing emotion on several occasions. He was especially moved when he spoke of his father, former Vanderbilt head coach George MacIntyre, who has lived with Multiple Sclerosis for the past 10 years. "This is a great honor" said MacIntyre. "Today is a great, great moment for me." Like his predecessor Dick Tomey, MacIntyre has a passion for coaching and mentoring young athletes. "My passion for young people is why I coach college football" said MacIntyre. "I love mentoring young people. I love seeing them come in as, really, kind of snotty nose, cocky little brats at 18 years old and blow out of here as 22-23 year old men that are going to be very successful."
After being contacted by the San Jose State search committee approximately 2 ½ weeks ago, MacIntyre talked to several former California recruits from his past in order to get a feel for the school's football program. What he was told by them was the school had a new passion for football, thanks in large part to Dick Tomey, and that both Bowen and President Jon Whitmore were committed to making the school's football program succeed. He admitted that three other search firms contacted him recently about openings at other schools, but he declined to pursue those opportunities, choosing instead to focus on San Jose State. "I just hoped that they would keep calling me back" said MacIntyre about San Jose State.
MacIntyre intends to build upon what Tomey has done the past five years. "The way we're going to run this program is discipline and conditioning" said MacIntyre. "We get those two cornerstones built, and we have that understood, (then) our offense, our defense, our special teams will all fall into place. We've got to build on those two things from the very beginning and take it to another level."
Giving an indication of what his team's motto might be, MacIntyre emphasized the phrase "Every Play, Every Day" "You compete every play, every day" he said. "You're either getting better, or you're getting worse. Nothing stays the same."
While at Duke, MacIntyre ran a 4-3 defense (four down lineman and three linebackers), and utilized both man-to-man and zone pass coverage. Though they were not known to blitz very often, he expects his Spartans to have what he called an "attacking style of defense." He also indicated that he plans to run the same offense that Duke head coach David Cutcliffe has ran at both Duke and at Mississippi, which is a passing offense that features a single back, three wide receivers and a tight end. In 2009, Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis threw for over 3300 yards.
MacIntyre may have eased the concerns of a few fans regarding his supposed lack of experience recruiting in California. As he pointed out, over his career he estimates that he has successfully recruited 35 players from the State of California. He also compared the current situation at San Jose State with that of his first year at Temple University. After arriving from Tennessee, he recruited 10 players from the Philadelphia area, three of whom went on to play in the NFL. MacIntyre intends to target most of his recruiting efforts within a two hour distance from San Jose. "We're going to saturate this area of California" said MacIntyre. "Saturate with our coaches." He feels that his staff can convince local prospects to stay close to home. "We want to get young men to stay at home and play. Don't go to Nevada. Don't go to Boise, where you'll freeze to death" he said with a smile. He also sees the university and its location as a tremendous selling point. "This is a great university, and there are a lot of job opportunities here. You play here, and you graduate from here, you make a lot of contacts, which helps you infiltrate into the business world quickly."
MacIntyre indicated he will recruit mainly high school kids, but will consider junior college recruits if they are a quality player and can fill an immediate need. He also hopes to redshirt most players." I think there's a big difference in a fourth year junior or fifth year senior" said MacIntyre. "When you standing out there and 40% of your team are fourth year juniors or fifth year seniors, you've got men out there playing."
MacIntyre will meet with the San Jose State coaching staff tomorrow, and then determine whether any will remain on staff. The assistant coaches will know where they stand in that regard within the next 3-4 days. In all likelihood, a few members of the staff will be retained, especially those that play a large role in recruiting. MacIntyre has already made some contacts with other outside coaches regarding their coming to San Jose State.
It won't be known for sometime whether or not San Jose State has indeed hired the right man at the right time. What can be surmised from today's press conference is that San Jose State has hired a well regarded, high energy, and driven coach; one that shares many of the same passions and philosophies as his predecessor Dick Tomey. MacIntyre does not appear to be daunted by the task before him, and has already rolled up his sleeves and begun to work. He has already won over the search committee and athletic staff at San Jose State; and is off to a good start winning over the fans.
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Mike Morgan is a Senior Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Mike with any questions, comments, or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org
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