Big Ten: Anthony Midget

Non-Minnesota fans might have missed Friday's official announcement that Mike Sherels has been promoted to Gophers linebackers coach after serving on the team's recruiting staff. Sherels is the first new assistant Jerry Kill has hired in his Minnesota tenure, but the move likely signified -- likely being the operative word -- something bigger for the Big Ten.

The end of the coaching carousel for 2014.

This post always includes a reminder that additional coaching changes still can happen, even though most of the Big Ten has started spring practice. It's the nature of the business.

Despite two new teams in the Big Ten, the number of overall changes in the league dropped for the second consecutive year, going from 32 in 2013 to 27 this year. There was only one complete staff overhaul, at Penn State, and four programs -- Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State and Northwestern -- kept all of their coaches from last season. After replacing more than half of his staff in the last offseason, Illinois' Tim Beckman hopes continuity pays off in what likely will be a make-or-break 2014 campaign. Iowa is back to its stable self after two years of coaching flux, while Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald hasn't made a staff change since after the 2010 season. Michigan State made a major commitment to Mark Dantonio and his assistants after the Spartans' Rose Bowl win, but it's still impressive that Dantonio retained the entire staff after such a great season.

Both Rutgers and Maryland have some new faces on staff before their inaugural season of Big Ten play. Rutgers has two new coordinators (one outside hire, one promotion), while Maryland has new assistants overseeing both lines.

[+] EnlargeLarry Johnson
Michael R. Sisak/Icon SMILongtime Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson moved to Ohio State this offseason after James Franklin was hired as the Nittany Lions' head coach.
Other than Penn State, Indiana and Rutgers are the only teams featuring two new coordinators in 2014. Although IU assistant Kevin Johns previously held the co-offensive coordinator title, he'll be the main man, as he takes over for Seth Littrell.

For the most part, the coaches leaving Big Ten programs did so voluntarily and for potentially better positions. Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien took the same role with the Houston Texans, while two assistants -- Ohio State's Everett Withers and Maryland's Greg Gattuso -- left to become FCS head coaches at James Madison and Albany, respectively. The Big Ten lost several assistants to the NFL, as O'Brien brought four assistants with him from Penn State (John Butler, Stan Hixon, Charles London and Anthony Midget) and swiped another from Ohio State's staff (Mike Vrabel). Wisconsin also lost running backs coach Thomas Hammock to the Baltimore Ravens.

Arguably the most interesting move took place within the league, as longtime Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson replaced Vrabel at Ohio State.

OK, let's get to it already.

Here's the rundown of coaching changes (head coach and full-time assistants only; number of new coaches in parentheses):

INDIANA (3)

Who's gone?

Doug Mallory, defensive coordinator/safeties
Seth Littrell, offensive coordinator/QBs
Jon Fabris, defensive line

Who's in?

Brian Knorr, defensive coordinator/defensive ends/outside linebackers
Larry McDaniel, defensive line
Noah Joseph, safeties


Other moves

Promoted Kevin Johns to main offensive coordinator. Johns also now coaches quarterbacks in addition to wide receivers.
Moved James Patton from assistant defensive line/special teams to tight ends and fullbacks

MARYLAND (3)

Who's gone?

Tom Brattan, offensive line
Lee Hull, wide receivers
Greg Gattuso, defensive line

Who's in?

Greg Studwara, offensive line
Keenan McCardell, wide receivers
Chad Wilt, defensive line

MICHIGAN (1)

Who's gone?

Al Borges, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks

Who's in?

Doug Nussmeier, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks

Other moves

Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison is overseeing linebackers instead of defensive linemen
Mark Smith moves from linebackers to defensive line
Roy Manning moves from outside linebackers to cornerbacks
Curt Mallory will coach only safeties rather than the entire secondary

MINNESOTA (1)

Who's gone?

Bill Miller, linebackers/assistant head coach

Who's in?

Mike Sherels, linebackers (promoted from recruiting staff)

Other moves

Pat Poore moves from wide receivers to running backs
Brian Anderson moves from running backs to wide receivers


NEBRASKA (1)

Who's gone?

Terry Joseph, secondary

Who's in?

Charlton Warren, secondary

OHIO STATE (2)

Who's gone?

Everett Withers, co-defensive coordinator/safeties
Mike Vrabel, defensive line

Who's in?

Chris Ash, co-defensive coordinator/safeties
Larry Johnson, defensive line/assistant head coach

PENN STATE (10)

Who's gone?

Bill O'Brien, head coach/offensive playcaller
John Butler, defensive coordinator/cornerbacks
Charlie Fisher, quarterbacks
Stan Hixon, wide receivers/assistant head coach
Larry Johnson, defensive line
Charles London, running backs
Mac McWhorter, offensive line
Ron Vanderlinden, linebackers
John Strollo, tight ends
Anthony Midget, safeties

Who's in?

James Franklin, head coach
John Donovan, offensive coordinator/tight ends
Bob Shoop, defensive coordinator/safeties
Charles Huff, running backs/special teams
Brett Pry, co-defensive coordinator/linebackers
Josh Gattis, wide receivers/assistant special teams
Herb Hand, offensive line
Ricky Rahne, quarterbacks
Sean Spencer, defensive line
Terry Smith, cornerbacks

PURDUE (1)

Who's gone?

Jon Heacock, defensive backs

Who's in?

Taver Johnson, defensive backs

RUTGERS (4)

Who's gone?

Dave Cohen, defensive coordinator/linebackers
Ron Prince, offensive coordinator
Rob Spence, quarterbacks
Damian Wroblewski, offensive line

Who's in?

Ralph Friedgen, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
Bob Fraser, linebackers/special teams
Mitch Browning, offensive line
Ben McDaniels, wide receivers

Other moves

Promoted special teams coordinator Joe Rossi to defensive coordinator
Anthony Campanile is coaching only tight ends after overseeing both tight ends and wide receivers

WISCONSIN (1)

Who's gone?

Thomas Hammock, running backs/assistant head coach

Who's in?

Thomas Brown, running backs

8 staff members leaving Penn State

January, 6, 2014
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Eight Penn State staff members submitted their resignations Monday, and now only three coaches remain on staff.

Among those who left include defensive coordinator John Butler, running backs coach Charles London, wide receivers coach Stan Hixon, safeties coach Anthony Midget and strength coach Craig Fitzgerald.

With the announcement of a new head coach possibly just days away, the movement wasn't considered much of a surprise. Many of those assistants followed former coach Bill O'Brien to Happy Valley, and there was no guarantee they would've kept their jobs had they stayed at Penn State anyway.

Hixon and London were seen as locks to join O'Brien, and O'Brien was forced to defend Butler at several points during the season from "Fire him" criticism. But there was one staff member here whom players most hoped to see back, and one departure that hurt the most -- Fitzgerald, the strength coach.

For those unfamiliar with the Nittany Lions' program, that might come as a surprise. But likely not to PSU fans. Former and current players lamented the loss on Twitter.
He was a fan favorite who wore his trademark shorts and T-shirt during snow squalls and below-freezing temperatures. He'd perform the worm during pregame routines and once, players said, licked the gym floor to fire his team up. So, yeah, maybe the guy was a bit crazy. But in a good way. He was beloved by the team, and he helped improve a weight room that was widely believed to be in need of a makeover. He also aided tight end Garry Gilliam in transitioning to right tackle, as he gained about 40 pounds in seven months' time.

 

Larry Johnson is the interim head coach now, and he's guiding a bare-bones staff of just two others: TE coach John Strollo and OL coach Mac McWhorter. They'll be charged with keeping this recruiting class together until a new head coach comes along.

This staff could have a whole new look in a week's time; it just received its first official change since O'Brien's departure on Monday afternoon.

Big Ten lunchtime links

July, 1, 2013
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I don't know about you, but I partied a little too hard last night for Fiscal New Year's Eve.

Big Ten lunchtime links

April, 3, 2013
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Links, Hump Day edition.
Penn State has filled its lone coaching staff vacancy with Marshall assistant Anthony Midget, according to multiple reports.

Marshall head coach Doc Holliday on Wednesday confirmed Midget is leaving the Thundering Herd to take a position on Bill O'Brien's staff. Penn State lost defensive coordinator Ted Roof to Georgia Tech last month and promoted secondary coach John Butler to the coordinator post. Midget, named to Marshall's staff Jan. 28, likely will coach defensive backs with the Nittany Lions. He spent the 2012 season serving as defensive coordinator for FCS Georgia State. He has coached Georgia State's defensive backs and served as the team's special teams coordinator since 2008. Butler held those two duties for Penn State in 2012, so Midget also could oversee the special teams units in Happy Valley.

Midget earned All-America honors as a defensive back at Virginia Tech and was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 2000.

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