Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yale Finds a Coach

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                                         Tony Reno

It's Reno

Yale has hired Tony Reno to be its new head coach after a big time fumble with Don Brown earlier this week.

Reno spent a few years as the secondary coach at Yale before bolting to Harvard after Jack Siedlecki was let go.

That departure to Cambridge left a lot of Yalies feeling betrayed.

Also, Reno was never even been a coordinator above the D-III level and has NEVER been a head coach.

Sound familiar?

A LOT of Yale alums have contacted me to vent their displeasure over the hire. They're convinced Brown rejected the Eli offer because Yale low-balled him on total compensation.

I hate to make fun of an Ivy opponent... okay, I really love this continuing mess of a coaching situation at Yale right now.

And here I was, worrying that the Elis would lure Tom Gilmore away from Holy Cross! At one point, I think they would have taken one of the priests from Holy Cross!

The scenario was almost like a train wreck. Yale's key Walter Camp, recruits on campus, weekend begins in less than 48 hours and there may be no other coaching staff members even named by then!

Where's Pete?

If you live in Morningside Heights and you haven't seen new Head Coach Pete Mangurian around, don't be surprised.

Mangurian has been doing a lot of travelling lately, making sure he gets as much personal face time as possible with recruits and already committed players.

It's a very good strategy that probably played a key role in sewing up incoming frosh Daren Napier earlier this month.

The #1 thing you hear from "committed" incoming freshmen players who change their minds after a new coach takes over a program is: "After the new coaches came in, I NEVER HEARD ANYTHING FROM THEM."

It sure looks like Magurian isn't making that mistake.

BUT, watch your mailbox and/or email inbox very carefully right now and look for one of these:

This is the invite to the welcoming dinner for Coach Mangurian on January 31st. Call the athletic department if you don't get the invite promptly.

Schedule Change Explained

The schedule change that has created a second consecutive home game against Yale this coming season was done mostly to help Dartmouth!

The Big Green have a murderous road schedule in even-numbered years that forces them to make the two longest trips in the Ivies in the same season.

So instead of going to Penn this year, Dartmouth will get a second straight home game against the Quakers... and that change created a ripple effect across the rest of the league.

The result? Columbia gets another home game against the Elis. But the Lions STILL have to make two of the longest road trips in the Ivies, (at Dartmouth and at Cornell), in the same season in odd-numbered years!

But I guess there is no pleasing everyone.

Double UN-Covered?

Perhaps the one unit where Columbia faces the most challenges this coming season will be the secondary.

That's because not only have the defensive backs been hit hard by graduation, but they've also lost the outstanding John Gutekunst as position coach.

The good news is that defensive coordinator Kevin Lempa, a HUGE hire for Mangurian in a positive way, is going to be overseeing the secondary personally. There will be no separate position coach for the
DB's as of now.

The Lions players lose to graduation may not have been the biggest names you know, but you should have.

A.J. Maddox may have been Columbia's true MVP last season. When he was 100%, he made a huge impact.

Neil Schuster stepped up his already excellent game for his senior season and was a force at safety. He led the team in tackles.

Ross Morand put in an incredible effort all of his years with the varsity, was the team's #4 tackler in 2011, and probably had the best single play of the season with his big pick six against Collier
Winters and Harvard.

Kalasi Huggins was another quiet force at corner.

5th year senior Mike Murphy made the most of his added season with several key plays in the defensive backfield.

So that's five starters/impact players going all at once what does Columbia have coming back?

The cupboard is not completely bare; there were a few impact players you may have missed that will return and should improve.

I'll start with a player you might have missed last season: Marquel Carter. Carter played in all 10 games, was the #6 tackler on the team with 47, and had two forced fumbles. He did all that as a sophomore.

More familiar to the Lions fans are returning seniors Steven Grassa and Brian DeVeau, who both battled injuries last year but played well when they did get on the field. I expect the two of them to either start or come close to starting most games this season.

Another pair of potential impact players from the rising junior class are Jeremy Mingo and Chris Alston, who both got on the field a lot last season.

And did you know rising sophomore Malcom Thaxton, a true speedster, also saw playing time with the varsity in the fall too?  You should, because I have a feeling you'll be seeing more of him come September.

I like all the above players, but there's no denying that Lempa and company have a major job of their hands rebuilding a unit that was already smarting from the graduations of Calvin Otis and Adam Mehrer
in 2011 and Andy Shalbrack the year before.


Anonymous said...

Jake do you know if the FootBall Team will be attending the welcome reception for Coach Mangurian?

WOF said...

Wow, as far as football goes, maybe Yale will be the CU of this century...

What a mess. I can't log onto Voyforums, either. I wonder if that board is melting....

Old Lion said...

Was AJ considering a fifth year ? What about Fraser?

Anonymous said...

Jake, do you know if the football team will be attending the reception for Coach Mangurian ?

RedTiger61 said...

I saw a note on the Lehigh Sports Forum that referenced Voy Frorums posting about scholarships for the Patriot League for 2013 ... Is that accurate ?

Unknown said...

Jake- the scheduling change was also made to accommodate Penn, who was facing similiar unbalanced travel issues as Dartmouth.

Pantone278 said...

And the most important coach is. . .

Does anyone know if the HC at CU gets to hire his own strength coach?