Thursday, August 11, 2011
Meet the new coaches
By Andrea Adelson
So who are the new head coaches in the Big East? You have heard plenty about them already.
Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia. His resume speaks for itself. As offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State last season, the Cowboys finished No. 2 in passing offense (345.6 ypg) and No. 3 in total (520 ypg) and scoring offense (44.2 ppg). During his two-year tenure as Houston offensive coordinator in 2008-09, his offenses averaged 563 yards of total offense, 433.7 yards passing and 42.2 points a game. His offense ranked No. 3 in total offense in 2008 and No. 1 in 2009. Where did he learn? From former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach. So what can he do at West Virginia? Getting the Mountaineers to score more would help. West Virginia ranked No. 78 in the nation last season, averaging 25 points a game. The talent is there. Now the system is there. It almost feels like a given that this offense is going to be better, and could get people around the country to take notice.
Todd Graham, Pitt. Like Holgorsen, Graham's offense at Tulsa put up big-time numbers last season. Tulsa ranked No. 5 in the nation in total offense (505.6 ypg) and No. 6 in the nation in scoring offense (41.4 ppg). In 2007 and 2008, Tulsa led the nation in total offense as well. Tulsa's 661 points in 2008 set a school record and marked the second highest single-season total in the modern era of the NCAA (second only to Oklahoma's 2008 total of 716 points). What to expect? Certainly a departure from the smash-mouth style Pitt has been accustomed to playing. Pitt will instead roll out a hurry-up approach to its "high-octane" offense.
Paul Pasqualoni, UConn. Pasqualoni returns to the sideline as a head coach for the first time since 2004, when he was coaching at Syracuse. No question he had a good run there from 1991-2004, leading the Orange to nine bowl games. He ended his 14-year tenure as Syracuse's second-winningest coach with 107 victories. He does have a familiarity with the Big East and is quite familiar with Connecticut, so the hope is he will continue to maintain the high level UConn played at under Randy Edsall.