Pac-12: Pete Alamar

So, if the Beers beat Detroit and Denver beats Atlanta in the American Southwestern Division East Northern, then Milwaukee goes to the Denslow Cup, unless Baltimore can upset Buffalo and Charlotte ties Toronto, then Oakland would play L.A. and Pittsburgh in a blind-choice round-robin. And if no clear winner emerges from all of this, the two-man sack race will be held on consecutive Sundays until a champion can be crowned.
Stanford head coach David Shaw is going to spend this week looking.

  • Looking for a new quarterback.
  • Looking to fill holes on his offensive line.
  • Looking for a couple of new safeties.
  • Looking to fill out his coaching staff with a linebackers coach.
[+] EnlargeDavid Shaw
Kyle Terada/US PresswireCoach David Shaw says Stanford enters its upcoming practices with several unanswered questions.
But he's also looking for something that trumps all of the above: Stanford's identity.

"I need to see what we're becoming," Shaw said. "I need to see what Stanford football in 2012 is going to look like. We're not going to have all of the answers. But hopefully we'll have a better idea of where we're headed on both sides of the ball."

The Cardinal kick off the first of two spring sessions today, and Shaw said he hopes that by the end of the week he'll be able to make an announcement on a new inside linebackers coach. Last week, he named Pete Alamar the new special teams coordinator. Alamar replaces Brian Polian, who left for Texas A&M last month. The new linebackers coach will replace Jason Tarver, who also served as co-defensive coordinator before leaving this month to be defensive coordinator of the Oakland Raiders.

Shaw said that Derek Mason -- who was co-defensive coordinator with Tarver -- will oversee the defense as the sole coordinator next season. While he'd like to have a linebackers coach in place this week, he said it's not an immediate priority.

"I'm in no hurry," Shaw said. "We have seven practices this session, and if we get it filled, great. If not, I'm fine. The most important thing is that I get the right guy that fits us and fits what we want to do."

Naturally, quarterback will be hot debate throughout the offseason as the Cardinal take the field for the first time in three years without Andrew Luck leading the offense. This first session of practices will focus mainly on the base offense and defense, and third downs. The second session will involve more situational practice.

Shaw said he expects all of the position battles to be hotly contested. The practices will be high-energy, full contact (though the NCAA limits how many days you can go in full pads during the spring) and he wants to see which players are going to separate themselves. Only then will he have a better idea of what his team is going to look like next season.

"Where are we at the safety positions could dictate what we do coverage-wise," Shaw said. "What we do on the offensive line will dictate what we do in protection and the running game. Who has the edge at QB leaving spring? It won't be decided, but whoever has the edge, we might know a little bit more what we want to do scheme-wise. They won't be final answers. But they'll be clues as to where Stanford football in 2012 is going to go."
On Thursday, Stanford head coach David Shaw said he would name his new special teams coach on Monday. Apparently, the news couldn't wait.

Shaw annouced Friday that Pete Alamar, a Pac-12 veteran of Cal and Arizona, would be Stanford's new special teams coordinator.

"Pete came highly recommended by people who I respect in the coaching profession," Shaw said in a statement. "He is one of those rare coaches who can coach not only scheme, but also the technique of snapping, punting and kicking."

Alamar replaces Brian Polian, who left Stanford last month to join Kevin Sumlin's staff at Texas A&M.

Alamar was the special teams coach at Cal from 2003-09. He was on staff at Arizona in 1993 and again from 1995-99. He spent the past two years coordinating special teams and coaching the tight ends at Fresno State. He has also worked as a running backs coach, on the offensive line and was the offensive coordinator at Eastern Michigan from 2000-02.

Stanford was neither bad nor great at special teams last year. Within the Pac-12, the Cardinal ranked 10th in punting, fourth in kickoff coverage, third in punt returns, fifth in field goals and seventh in PAT kicking.

There are some holes on the special teams units to fill. Punter David Green is gone, as is long-snapper Andrew Fowler. Kicker Jordan Williamson was second-team All-Pac-12 as a freshman. Ty Montgomery emerged as a solid kick returner and Drew Terrell, who was All-Pac-12 honorable mention, will likely continue punt return duties.

The hiring leaves Shaw with one vacancy on the staff. He said yesterday that he expects to name an inside linebackers coach sometime next week. He added that the new coach would not serve as co-defensive coordinator, as was the case with former coach Jason Tarver, who left earlier this month to be the defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders. Derek Mason will have full defensive coordinator responsibilities next season.

The Cardinal open the first of two spring football sessions on Monday.

Opening camp: California

August, 7, 2010
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California opens preseason camp today. Here's a quick look.

Who's back: Eight starters on offense, six on defense and both specialists.

Big names: RB Shane Vereen, LB Mike Mohamed, DE Cameron Jordan, P Bryan Anger

What's new: Bob Gregory, who had been Jeff Tedford's defensive coordinator since 2002, left for Boise State, and NFL veteran Clancy Pendergast replaced him. Pendergast is expected to bring a more aggressive approach that emphasizes pressure on the quarterback. Also, Jeff Genyk replaced Pete Alamar as special teams coach. Genyk will also coach tight ends.

Key competition: Three spots in the secondary beside safety Sean Cattouse are wide open, though Bryant Nnabuife and Darian Hagan are listed first at the corners and Chris Conte is No. 1 at safety. Things also are unclear at outside linebacker, left offensive guard and a pecking order at tailback behind Vereen must be established. Will any young receivers step up?

Breaking out: Is Marvin Jones ready to become a go-to receivers? And will touted freshman receiver Keenan Allen make an immediate impact and perhaps also play in the secondary? Kendrick Payne and Deandre Coleman figure to provide some quality depth on what could be a very good defensive line.

Quote: Tedford on quarterback Kevin Riley: "We are going to have great competition at the quarterback position, but Kevin is the guy who takes the first snaps. Kevin is the active leader in the Pac-10 in wins, touchdown passes and starts. We are really hoping that his experience will really help us and translate to more success on the football field. The team has a lot of confidence in him. He has worked very, very hard and he feels that this is his team."

Notes: Two key recruits won't be on the team this fall, one permanently. Linebacker Cecil Whiteside will grayshirt due to academic issues; he won't enroll until January. Defensive end Chris Martin was released from his letter of intent and opted to sign with Florida ... Because of the renovation of Memorial Stadium, the team is using temporary locker rooms. Practices also have been moved to the morning instead of the afternoon ... Cal was picked seventh in the preseason media poll.

Cal cuts loose special teams coach Alamar

December, 28, 2009
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California won't renew the contract of special teams and tight ends coach Pete Alamar, coach Jeff Tedford announced Monday evening.

Cal struggled in the kicking game much of the season. The Bears ranked last in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage, seventh in kick returns and ninth in kickoff coverage.

Alamar has been with the Bears since 2003.

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