Stanford adds Hart and "EUTM" to the DL!
The Cardinal has just received another heavy dose of EUTM ("Enthusiasm Unknown to Mankind"). Former UW assistant Randy Hart, 61, who spent last season in South Bend under Charlie Weis, is heading back to the Pac-10 where he belongs. He has already been introduced to the players as the new DL coach. Some of our contacted sources admittedly are biased heavily in his favor, but from all accounts, our new assistant coach (whose focus has traditionally been on interior d-line) is one of the consummate professionals in college football).
The native of Cleveland, OH has been called "a gem", an "old-school, tough SOB", a relentless "grinder" who will further toughen the Stanford defensive front. "Kids may occasionally hate him at practice, but they love him when they are all done!"
Having just hired former Irish assistant Brian Polian as the Cardinal's new special teams coach, one can imagine that Stanford Head Coach Jim Harbaugh must have received a serious thumbs-up regarding Hart's ability to make the Cardinal defense decidedly more stout. Always good to have someone already on staff that knows the "behind-the-scenes" story on a coaching candidate.
Hart played offensive guard for Ohio State's legendary Woody Hayes and was a member of the Buckeyes' undefeated 1968 national championship team that defeated USC in the 1969 Rose Bowl. He coached at UW for twenty years under Don James and Jim Lambright, overseeing the dominating Huskies defensive line when Washington won a national title in 1991 and superstar Steve Emtman won the Outland Trophy. In all, Hart has been part of 22 bowl teams in his coaching career, including six Rose Bowls. Nice!
It would appear we are getting more than just a football coach., but rather a molder of young men. USC's Lane Kiffin is not what one might call a "sports educator", Randy Hart is. He cares about the whole package of a college football player. "With Randy, you don't have a ‘choice', but to get to meetings on time. There is no ‘choice' involved, you work your (tail) off!" No, there won't be much room for slacking under Hart. He is a tough guy, a no-nonsense coach with high expectations. He is more of a "knock-down" coach, than a "pick-up" coach. Vocal, but not a negative yeller (see Tom Freeman), with formidable "energy and intensity." Apparently we will have fun watching him at practice - an old-school ball coach.
It is difficult to assess Hart's his most recent experience and performance at Notre Dame. After all, the Cardinal rolled over the Irish in our November meeting, producing 280 rushing yards and 45 points against the beleaguered bead-stringers. ("Lucy, you got some ‘splaining to do!"). In his defense, the Luck-led Cardinal offense, with its high-peaking Tunnel Workers Union, was making mince-meat of just about everybody down the stretch this past season. We are focusing more on Hart's career body of work and we see a lot of success on the field.
How is this all shaking out for the remaining pieces of our coaching staff puzzle? Not sure. The Cardinal defensive staff is still very much in the process of assembly at the moment. Hart is definitely a position coach, not a coordinator. He does have some experience directing an entire defense – he was coordinator at UW for two years, after one of which, the staff was fired. Not really a "press box" kind of guy, Hart belongs down on the sidelines, on the field of battle, working side-by-side with his troops.
At 61, Coach Hart may not be a spring chicken, but is famously "fiery" on game day. Says one former colleague, "No one outworks him on sideline, he is still chock-full of piss & vinegar, with flames coming out of his ears and eyes!"
The veteran coach should be pretty effective in recruiting since he already knows the process so well. Hart has never been an NFL guy, which in some respects is helpful. Coaches who come from the NFL sometimes have difficulty adjusting to that sometimes challenging and frustrating aspect of the college job. We understand that while at Notre Dame he was responsible for recruiting Washington and Oregon and it would probably make sense to have him remain active in those geographical areas. After decades in the Northwest, he "knows everybody" in the high school coaching circles.
Another great advantage could be his intimate familiarity with the Pac-10 conference, not only from his twenty years at UW, but from the fact that his Notre Dame team played four Pac-10 teams during the 2009 season, albeit with mixed success. His d-line in a sense won the game this past year vs. UW with a couple of critical goal-line stands. The Irish team awarded him the game ball, which must have been a little bittersweet for the formerly hard-core Husky.
The Bootleg welcomes
Coach Hart and his wife Linda and looks forward to seeing his iron sharpen
Additional Material: To augment our view of Randy Hart, here are two niece pieces from former Hart colleague Dick Baird, a friend of The Bootleg who writes regular columns for Dawgman.com, Scout's UW affiliate. Must reading.
"Washington Loses its Hart"
"He Gave His Heart to Husky Football"
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