There will be plenty of new faces on the sideline for non-AQ teams this season. Today I will take a look at the new coaches who have been hired and how they rate.
First up: MAC
Ball State: Pete Lembo.
Rating: Questionable. The Cardinals went off the grid and hired Lembo, who spent the past five seasons at FCS Elon. Before that, he was at FCS Lehigh. In fact, Lembo has never been a head coach or assistant on the FBS level and has no ties to the area in recruiting. The program is not exactly in the best shape, either, though Brady Hoke proved the right coach can win there. Lembo was a winner at Elon and Lehigh, but there are questions about whether he can win on this level without any experience.
Kent State: Darrell Hazell.
Rating: Love it. Hazell has done a terrific job as an assistant at Ohio State and has deep recruiting ties here. That should help, along with his outgoing personality and reputation among players who love playing for him. The Golden Flashes only have one bowl appearance in their history, but Hazell could be the man to change all that. His former players love him, too. Anthony Gonzalez called him an "unbelievable coach" and Ted Ginn said in an Akron Beacon-Journal column that he was "like my everything."
Miami (Ohio): Don Treadwell
Rating: Love it. Treadwell did just fine when he filled in for Mark Dantonio at Michigan State this past season, coaching from the sideline in four wins. It was his performance in those games while Dantonio recovered from a heart attack that helped land him the job. Treadwell is a graduate of Miami, so he understands the tradition. Given his background and knowledge, he should be able to keep the RedHawks in contention in the MAC.
Northern Illinois: Dave Doeren
Rating: Like it. Doeren has spent the past five seasons at Wisconsin and has had stints on the high school, FCS and FBS level. He has done a good job with the Badgers' defense, but nobody would call his unit this past season "lights out." However, his defensive mentality fits right in at Northern Illinois. Jerry Kill did a great job in his three seasons there, leaving Doeren a program that is in good shape. Doeren should be familiar with the area, which will help in recruiting.
Temple: Steve Addazio
Rating: Questionable. I am not sure what to make of this hire, to be honest. I am very familiar with the Gators' program, and was never impressed with Addazio as offensive coordinator in Gainesville (I know fans were not, either). Even with Tim Tebow leading the offense in 2009, Addazio seemed unsure of himself in his play calling, and relied way too heavily on his Heisman Trophy winner. The question I keep coming back to is whether his mediocre performance as offensive coordinator at Florida will impact how he does as a head coach. He clearly has the passion and the energy to be a head coach and has varied ties to recruiting in the Northeast. But how will he manage a game and an entire program?