Dorrell Talks About <br>Coaching Changes

In a teleconference call with the press, head coach Karl Dorrell answers some questions about the coaching changes he made today...

Here are exerpts from the tele-conference this afternoon in which head coach Karl Dorrell addressed the press in regards to the coaching changes made today.

In an opening statement concerning the firing of tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Gary Bernardi and offensive line coach Mark Weber, Dorrell said: "In continuing to evaluate the program, particularly the offense, I decided to make changes today. As I continue to work through this process, my job is to put together the best way possible for us to be effective offensively. That's a process I'm going to continue to go through and evaluate."

Will there also be a new offensive coordinator?

"That's soemthing we'll have to discuss. That's part of the process, too -- what's the best direction, what other changes need to be made to re-evaluate to get to be at our best."

Did you meet with your assistants today, including offfensive coordinator Steve Axman?

"I met with most of my assistants, and met with Axman. (With Axman), we just talked about the direction of where we are and what things we need to do to get better. We'll continue to talk. Our coaches are headed to the (NCAA coaches) convention either this evening or tomorrow. So I'll talk more with my coaches both here and possibly at the convention."

Have you had a discussion with former Idaho head coach Tom Cable about the offensive line coaching position or offensive coordinator position?

"I have not had that discussion. I'm taking care of the issue now, what I have to do with the current staff."

What kind of timetable do you have for finding an offensive line coach and tight ends coach?

"I really don't have one. We almost have a full recruiting staff, which is different than it was a year ago when we were putting together a staff at this same time. We can only have seven coaches recruit at a time and we have enough to be actively recruiting."

Have you talked to any recruits about the firings?

"Not as of yet. I plan on doing that obviously today."

How do you recruit a player for a position without a coach at that position?

"You recruit on the direction you're heading as a program, on the possibilities of building our program and building a great offense."

With offensive line such a recruiting priority, it is a top priority to bring in an offensive line coach pretty quickly?

"I think so. It's always a priority, but especially given the commitments we have at that position. I don't have a timetable, but it's an issue we have to address quickly."

Why were Weber and Bernardi let go?

"There were a lot of issues offensively in which we were not very good at. To say these were the two responsible is not the case. They were part of the equation of how we struggled, and not the sole reason."

Will there only be these two changes?

"Again, I'm going to continue to think and evaluate as we go here. So we'll just see what happens. I'm still evaluating, trying to put together the best staff possible. It's somthing on my mind that Ill continue to look at."

Defensive line coach Don Johnson, in turning down the Nevada defensive coordinator position, must be safe then?

"Don Johnson has done a good job for us."

Is wide receivers coach Jon Embree a possibility as the new offensive coordinator?

"I'll have to re-evaluate everyone on what we're doing offensively. I'll continue to meet with my coaches even more and try to put together the best staff I can."

Who will function as recruiting coordinator without Gary Benardi?

Bob Lopez is our director of football operations. While he's not one of the seven coaches who can recruit, he'll be our in-house recruiting coordinator, helping to get everything orchestrated within the program."

What do you want out of your next OL and TE coaches?

"We'll try to attract coaches with a similar approach and paralllel vision of our offense. Part of it is getting people in line with our philosophy of what we're doing from an offensive standpoint. I'm sure we'll have a number of candidates that will be interested in the positions."

Have you talked to any candidates?

"No."

Will there be more coaches let go? "That's possible. It is possible. I have to continue to evaluate where we're at. We were starting preliminary talks today, and I'll continue to meet with certain individuals to see what further steps need to be made."

But these are the only changes that will be made today?

"Yes."

Have you considered taking over the responsibility of offensive coordinator yourself?

"It's part of the whole equation, to see where we're at and what kind of staff we can build. Currently we have a coordinator. We'll see what we can do to fix things with minimal changes, but if we have to make more we will."

Why didn't you make these changes after the regular season?

"It's hard to make changes if you're not sure where you're at, from a post-season standpoint. You still have to have a full complement of coaches to coach. Even at that time, at the end of the season, there were still a lot of things I was thinking about to begin this process. I don't think I was ready to make changes at the end of the regular season."


Bruin Report Online Top Stories