Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Report Card: Coach Mangurian

During the season, I took time out to post pieces on how I felt Pete Mangurian was doing in his first year on the job.

They're all available in the archives and free to all to check out.

Now that the season is over, I have to say the jury is still out. It's not because we don't have enough information, it's just that so much of the information is contradictory.

The most important stat is wins, and we got two more of those, including one over a Yale team Columbia had not defeated since 2001 and another against a Cornell squad that looked like it could roll up 50+ points easily on the Lions just a few days before.

Going from one win to three is encouraging, even if it only met most of our most sober expectations. 

But there was also a statistical dropoff on offense that was truly disappointing, the trio of lost games that could/should have been wins, and that gut-wrenching 69-0 loss at Harvard.

There were great strides in communication with Coach Mangurian's blog and Facebook/Twitter posts, but there were also bizarre interviews on WKCR and a terrible performance at the news conference after the Dartmouth game that made everyone in the room feel like they might want to call a shrink.

The simple fact is, as much as this will anger his biggest supporters and detractors, Pete Mangurian as a a Head Coach at Columbia is still a work in progress. No one can really say whether he'll work out or not. 

Here's what was good:

-Morning practices

-Good assistant coach hires, especially DC Kevin Lempa

-Improved running game

-Better discipline

-Willingness to change despite words to the contrary. Columbia's offensive schemes DID change as the season went on, mostly for the better. 

Here's what wasn't good:

-Crazy experiment on the offensive line that didn't have to be as crazy as it was. I guess we'll never know why Scott Ward wasn't even invited to training camp, let alone not given the leadership role the team needed him to take. 

-Two losses after grabbing late leads against Ivy foes. The Penn loss should haunt this coaching staff for years to come. The Dartmouth loss should too. The loss to Fordham was also a result of coaching lapses, especially on offense.

-Jekyl & Hyde like behavior. Great comments and enthusiasm online, berating fans/parents in person. 

Mangurian faces a tough series of tests in year 2. The schedule will be tougher with just five home games and there are no cupcakes on the slate. Of course he had our support and we will always come to the games and cheer the team... ALWAYS. 

But in the meantime, we also want to see improvement and won't stay quiet in the offseason like the athletic department wants. 

This is all about accountability.

Overall Grade: C 


Anonymous said...

Not sure that morning practices are a postive

Anonymous said...

The morning practices were a definite negative. The young men did not get enough sleep and were often just worn out because of it. The morning practices may also affect on the drop out rate. When team members leave, do they have an exit interview with the AD? It would be interesting if Jake or one of the bloggers did some.

Anonymous said...

Early morning practices definitely a negative for current recruits.

oldlion said...

One of our best players told me at lunch after the season that the morning practices were a great improvement, and that we should have started doing it years ago. No missed practices because of labs and classes. Entire team can work without missing players. More time for schoolwork. No longer,getting back from Baker Field at 9 or later,to start schoolwork.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous above, i am not sure where you are getting your info about early morning practices being a negative. Are you a parent of a player? I am and my son never complained about it. He practiced in the am and had afternoon classes. He studied in the evening and was usually in bed by 9:30. It was good discipline for him . It has helped him organize his schedule and live by it. Not sure if you are the regular anonymous poster that is always"ragging" on Coach Mangurian and usually pretty negative, I find you to be way off. I think he has been a positive for the team.I

Anonymous said...

The Good:

Upon entry, he hit the right notes.

One week after the Harvard debacle, he beat Cornell in a display of strong coaching.

He's building for the near term future.

The Questions:

How much available team talent was dismissed & misused in the name of "the system?"

Given this year and given the league, can he recruit more and better talent than his coaching peers and CU predecessors?

Can he motivate, retain & develop the players he has and the players he recruits to win 19-24 games over the next 3 years?


WOF said...

Good questions Leon, anxious to see how the answers play out...

I think the morning practice thing is an example about kids either buying in or not. M believes in it and has every right to enforce it. He also had to know that this would be a pretty extreme decision and it might make or break his success at CU. But he was willing to live with that risk. I was very interested (and impressed) that he already is on record saying he felt it was a success and it will continue next year.

Maybe a talented Jr or Sr feels that he is nuts and they fight it and complain to anyone that will listen how tired they are and how this is crazy and not fair. But there are also going to be other players, maybe even a little less talented, who are hungry enough to buy in and use this as a tool to improve and get more playing time.

There will most definitely be recruits who choose not to go to Columbia because they don't want AM practices. M only wants kids committed to doing things his way.

And trust me if M has success in the next few years there will be plenty of copycats.

One other thing. It is totally reasonable that a CU football player, by end of his Jr year, is tired of all the BS and the losing and the half-assed admin and student support. When the new coach comes in with all these crazy demands, is it really that crazy for some of them to figure, screw it, I am tired of the BS and now I am going to focus on graduating and starting my career at this point.

Of course some will say M is nuts and unfair as their excuse, but the reality is they were no longer willing to make the commitment of the coach because they all realize that the NFL is a rarity for any Ivy League player and the career is the most important thing.

WOF said...

One other comment: How crucial was that win the week after the Harvard mess? That showed me a lot!

I would probably give a C+ but if not for that lastr win it was a solid D.

I like what he is doing and loved his last blog. Had he been more proactive with the blog and his thoughts during the season I suspect many of us would have been much more supportive.

Anonymous said...

This comment bothers me, "-Jekyl & Hyde like behavior. Great comments and enthusiasm online, berating fans/parents in person." He doesn't have to kiss anyone's butt but civility with people who are supporters of the program does not take much effort, just tact. We are not at a scholarship school and I just wonder how he treats kids. I sat behind the bench at the Harvard game and watched him berate a frosh Olineman after a series of plays in the first quarter. Nothing constructive, just belittlement. I have real questions about his interpersonal skills.

WOF said...

I question Bagnoli's interpersonal skills, too.

Great coaches use different buttons to push different players...

I think you might question the interpersonal skills of many football AND basketball coaches if you were to eavesdrop on them during games...

Anonymous said...

I wonder about the coach's willingness to be inventive and daring - and to try new offensive schemes ..there is no doubt the coach lost Penn and Dartmouth...but the year is over. can root for Columbia and the coach and hope that he becomes more open minded. If shows inflexible thinking again - I would be sure that he is suspect. Recruiting for Columbia should be relatively easy ...Columbia offers a great academic experience and NY City ....and try to walk from Harvard Square to the stadium some time...what a journey.

Anonymous said...

I wonder about the coach's willingness to be inventive and daring - and to try new offensive schemes ..there is no doubt the coach lost Penn and Dartmouth...but the year is over. can root for Columbia and the coach and hope that he becomes more open minded. If shows inflexible thinking again - I would be sure that he is suspect. Recruiting for Columbia should be relatively easy ...Columbia offers a great academic experience and NY City ....and try to walk from Harvard Square to the stadium some time...what a journey.

Anonymous said...

C? Columbia grade inflation? Would it be a D at Princeton?

WOF said...

Recruiting should he easy? Um, not exactly until we have a winning program

Anonymous said...

That awesome pic of Pete is now my desktop wallpaper. Boom.

jock/doc said...

We lost the games against Penn and Dartmouth because the defense could not make a stop late in the game. (BTW, Penn did what they did to us about three more times last season)
We need more playmaker and less second guessing by "experts" who always remain anonymous.

oldlion said...

I agree with Doc/Joc. The defense failed to come up with one last stop against Penn and Dartmouth. It redeemed itself with Waller's strip of Varga, which saved the game when the offense pulled it out. One more stop would have won the Fordham game.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching the lions since I came to grad school at CU in 1971 and have been contributing annually for several decades. I have felt and fully appreciate the frustration, exasperation, disappointments etc. over the many years. All that said, it's irrational and counterproductive to the program to direct our impatience towards Mangurian. He is not responsible for anything that preceded him. We need to hold our grading and our fire until he has had an opportunity to show what he can do. That takes several years. Recruiting is critical. To the extent that the program has a positive buzz associated with it, the better.

DOC said...

Agree with Dr V. At best, we can give Mangurian an "incomplete" for his current tenure and he deserves several years to show us more. Personally, other than Harvard, we competed in every game, we showed the ability to bounce back after adversity, and we tripled our win total from last year- so what's not to like?

oldlion said...

I think Pete deserves a B. I would have given him an A-had we competed against Harvard and held on against Penn and Dartmouth. He is a smart guy who is well organized and motivated. He has been judged much too harshly by some people on this blog. You are asking him to solve a 50 year problem overnight. Next year we will have a better product on the field. Read Pete's last blog. He has a plan.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dr. V. When my son visited Columbia as a recruit someone told him about the blog. Our entire family started to read the blog after that weekend. Let's keep our comments positive.

I also agree with old lion. Some of the comments I've heard from players include, "The coaches work very hard." "Coach is very organized." "The coaches do everything for a reason." "The coaches make better use of our practice time." "These coaches ran a much better program this year."
I have no connection to the football office. I am sharing these comments to let people know that there have been a lot of positive changes in the program.

oldlion said...

There is a distinction between constructive criticism and destructive rants. It should be Jake's prerogative to distinguish the former form the latter, and to preclude the latter.

Anonymous said...

2 league wins is not a C, especially when you have a top 3 qb in the league to work with. He hardly had empty cupboards like many 1st year coaches have been handed here. 68 pct fg's is also not a B plus, especially when the majority of the makes were under 35 yards. Many talented kids to coach up next year. Expect progress to continue....

Anonymous said...

Morning practices are a great idea; makes drinking the night before a whole lot less viable.

Anonymous said...

Surprised nobody comments on what I feel was Coach M's major drawback -- not letting players like Brackett do what they're good at, running the ball in his case. Too much "system," too little creative utilization of talent.

Anonymous said...

Rask looked a bit shaky, but made some big saves to get
the link and play this game, Mario will race in
his boat to collect coins for points.

My blog post ... wholesale video games

Anonymous said...

The best part about the 90's mass effect 2 morality guide were the mass effect 2 morality guide itself.

Review my weblog; zaeed mass effect