The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on December 23, 2007 · Page 24
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 24

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Page 24
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COLLEGE FOOTBALL Page 4C Sunday, December 23, 2007 The Des Moines Register ST COACHING NEWS DRAKE COACHING CAROUSELS UCLA's Walker just one of six temps leading teams into the bowl season By RALPH D. RUSSO ASSOCIATED PRESS DeWayne Walker has been in charge of a bowl-bound team this month. Sounds like a good gig, except by next week he could be out of job. UCLA's interim coach says he's trying not to worry about his unsettled situation while he goes about the business of preparing the Bruins to play BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday night. "I figured out through all of my experience with things like this, it's still all about the work," Walker said earlier this week. "I think the work brings good karma and at the end of the day, everyone will find out what is at stake for them. I don't want to think about it. I just want to work." Walker, who was fired coach Karl Dorrell's defensive coordinator, is one of six coaches acting as caretaker for a team playing in the postseason. There are also temps in place at Texas A&M (defensive coordinator Gary Darnell), Arkansas (defensive coordinator Reggie Herring), Houston (secondary coach Chris Thurmond), Georgia Tech (defensive coordinator John Tenuta) and, most recently, at West Virginia (associate head coach Bill Stewart). Texas A&M At College Station, Darnell is bridging the gap between the ousted Dennis Franchione and the incoming Mike Sherman, who is mostly tied up with his job as Houston Texans offensive coordinator until the NFL season ends. The Aggies play Penn State in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29. The 60-year-old Darnell has been at 11 schools during a college coaching career that began in 1972. Having spent most of his adult life in a profession that provides virtually no stability, Darnell is unfazed by the prospect of another job search. "My future is not uncertain," he said. "I know whatever it is, it's going to be exciting." Darnell said Texas A&M's recruiting class for 2008 has been locked up for a while, so that hasn't been a problem. Not having Sherman around much has helped keep the attention on the immediate future instead of the next regime. "It's unique how positive it is because we come to work E 2003 CHRYSLER ''SAVEUPTO ' . EB3 I lumf Mir II wm w -m" ttfetftps v-mmms c(BjsT w ' . ' - I- f x . . v ' UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker is just one of a number of coaches filling in temporarily as head coaches of their schools' football programs. every day and our job is to maintain this program until the next guy gets here," Darnell said. Georgia Tech New Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson left his old team, Navy, in the hands of former assistant Ken Niumatalolo, who was elevated to head coach and led the Midshipmen in their 35-32 Poinsettia Bowl loss to Utah on Thursday night. That's left Johnson time to check out the Yellow Jackets as they prepare for the Humanitarian Bowl against Fresno State. He was at practice earlier this week and Tenuta didn't even realize it. x. ... -v , -J it o"m a i w u y i , DEAN HAREASSOCIATED PRESS "He's not in the way," said Tenuta, who interviewed for the Georgia Tech job. "Obviously, he's got to see what he's got. He knows numbers and faces but he's got to evaluate guys live and in color, not just off film. That's only fair to him." Tenuta has enjoyed the opportunity to get involved with the offense for a change. "You get to see things from a different side for once," said Tenuta, who could also be looking for work soon. Darnell knows a bowl victory looks good on a resume. "The easiest way to find a job is play well. Do a good coaching job," he said. Part of that job is creating a business-as-usual atmosphere r 2 Ai if -r t 1 1 for the players. "For me to say it's not weird (not having Franchione around), I would be lying to you because he's been the head coach for so long," Aggies senior offensive lineman Kirk Elder said. "But we haven't lost a step." Houston and Arkansas Like A&M and Georgia Tech, Houston and Arkansas also have a permanent coach waiting in the wings. Oklahoma assistant Kevin Sumlin was hired by the Cougars and Bobby Petrino was lured back to college from the NFL by Arkansas. UCLA had yet to hire a permanent coach to replace Dorrell by Friday. Walker was a candidate for the job, though not considered the front-runner. Bruins defensive end Bruce Davis said it's a waste of time and effort for players to get caught up in a coaching search. "As far as I'm concerned, the only thing that is going on with this team is what is between the hash marks," he said. "We know there is nothing we can do about what is going on in the administrative offices." West Virginia West Virginia seems to be moving quickly to replace Rich Rodriguez, who was hired by Michigan. The Mountaineers' situation was made even more complicated because Rodriguez had offensive coordinator Calvin Magee and recruiting coordinator and secondary coach Tony Gibson in Ann Arbor, Mich., with him when he was introduced as Wolverines coach. Magee would have been a logical successor to Rodriguez, at least on an interim basis. Stewart, a longtime college assistant who has been with West Virginia since 2000, ended up getting the interim tag as the team prepares to play Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3. "I don't see it as any adversity, but I do think that these young men are finding out that sometimes there are things in life that change," Stewart said. "They are not life shattering. "(The players are) waiting to see what happens. Once the unknown has been solved, and the dust settles, it won't be a problem. Young people are so resilient." 1 v 1 n 1 U h f r-ow. ? I ,. .. v. : Itl III ' f v. ! ; r.p -) H lititiiitocsS ;., A i sf BILL NEIBERGALLTHE REGISTER Drake's new football coach Chris Creighton signed a multi-year deal and takes over for interim coach Steve Loney. New Drake coach had big success in Div. Ill By TOM WIT0SKY REGISTER STAFF WRITER Chris Creighton thought he would stay at Wabash College, one of the NCAA Division III traditional football powers, for a long time. But that changed when he heard from Drake University in its search for a football coach. "I just concluded seven years at a very, very special place and had no intention of leaving," said Creighton, who was introduced Saturday as the Bulldogs' football coach. "But soon after the season ended, I got a call about Drake University. In those conversations, there was a growing knowing inside of me that this would be an absolute perfect fit for who I was and for what Drake football would become." Creighton, 38, succeeds interim coach Steve Loney, who directed the Bulldog program for a year following the resignation of Rob Ash, who was Drake's coach for 18 years. Drake athletic director Sandy Hatfield Clubb said Creighton signed a multiyear contract, but declined to disclose any financial terms. Hatfield Club said Creighton was selected after a national search that centered on 10 finalists four of whom participated in extensive interviews with Drake University officials and a search committee. Cole Ingle, who will return as starting quarterback next season and was a member of the search committee, said Creighton impressed him "as the coach that can get it done." "He was my choice," Ingle said. "After talking with him for about a half hour, I could tell he relates well to anyone who he talks to, and he will be a great recruiter. He will bring a new energy to the program, and for those of us who have had three coaches in three years, it brings some real closure to us." During his last three years at Wabash, Creighton's teams compiled a 30-5 record, won three straight league championships and made appearances in the 2005 and 2007 Division III playoffs. His 63-15 record at Wabash BOWL GAMES No. 20 Cincinnati picks off Southern Miss Ben Mauk shrugged off mistakes and Southern Miss defenders alike, and helped No. 20 Cincinnati make one more entry into an impressive season. Outgoing Golden Eagles coach Jeff Bower, meanwhile, couldn't put another win on his ledger. The hard-to-tackle Mauk passed for 334 yards and four touchdowns, and DeAngelo Smith intercepted three passes Saturday, leading the Bearcats to a 31-21 victory over Southern Miss in the Bowl in Birmingham, Ala. The victory gave Cincinnati (10-3) its second 10-win season and first since 1951, while virtually assuring a spot in the final rankings for the first time. "It's kind of finishing off what's TODAY: HAWAII BOWL At Honolulu: Boise State (10-2) vs. East Carolina (7-5), 7 p.m. (ESPN) ABOUT BOISE STATE: The Broncos have more weapons, though top receiver Jeremy Childs will not play after violating team rules. Quarterback Taylor Tharp will count on freshman receivers Titus Young and Austin Pettis. ABOUT EAST CAROLINA: Running back Chris Johnson is the nation's all-purpose yardage leader who can find the end zone as a runner, receiver or kick returner. The Pirates use two quarterbacks, Rob Kass and Patrick Pinkney. ill Chris Creighton AGE: 38 COLLEGE: Bachelor of Arts, Kenyon College (1991); master's degree, Concordia (III.) University (1993) HEAD COACHING CAREER: Ottawa College, NAIA, 1997-2000. Overall record: 32-9; Wabash College, NCAA Division III, 2001-2007. Overall record: 63-15. FAMILY: Married to wife, Heather, with three children: daughters Hallie, 3, Kate, 1, and son, Luke, 6 months. OFFENSIVE PHILOSOPHY: Multiple sets with motion. Wants to have a balanced run and pass ratio, but does like to put the ball in the air. DID YOU KNOW? Creighton led Kenyon College to the school's only North Coast Athletic Conference title in 1989 when he set the single-season conference record for passing yardage and touchdowns as the team's starting quarterback. also ranks him fourth in winning percentage among Division III football coaches. Hatfield Clubb said Creighton's hiring is the first major step toward beginning to develop a higher level of identity for the Bulldog football program as a member of the NCAA Football Championship Division as well as the Pioneer Football League. She said the football program will begin to center its efforts to be recognized similarly to Northern Iowa, though Drake doesn't offer athletic scholarships. "There is no real difference between Northern Iowa and Drake. Most of our players are on scholarship, just academic ones," she said. Part of that effort will be to begin compiling a better nonconference schedule that eventually could include opponents from the Ivy League, the Northeastern Conference or the Patriot League instead of NAIA or NCAA Division III schools. Jim Tressel, Ohio State football coach, was one of Creighton's references in his job application. In a statement, Tressel described Creighton as "one of the great young coaches in our nation." "Drake University is in for a wonderful experience and opportunity as Chris takes over their outstanding football program," Tressel said. been a really important season in UC football," first-year coach Brian Kelly said. "It started out with waking up a program that maybe had nodded off a little bit. It took us six wins this year to get ranked in the Top 25. 1 don't know that it will take six next year." Mauk, the game's most valuable player, completed 30 of 52 passes and overcame three interceptions to become only the third Bearcats player to have a 3,000-yard passing season. Rusty Smith threw for 336 yards and a New Orleans Bowl record five touchdowns to propel Florida Atlantic, led by 1983 national champion Miami coach Howard Schnellenberger, to a 44-27 victory over Memphis on Friday night. o

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