Sunday, December 14, 2008

Coach Michalczik to take coaching job at Washington (updated 12/15/09)

Update: It is now being reported by the CC Times, so it's official and public. Link here.

There are conflicting reports I have seen: some say he'll be o-line coach and some say offensive coordinator or co-offensive coordinator. Allegedly Sarkisian will still call the plays in all event. Likely similar to the deal he had with Tedford last season.

This initially feels like a big loss, because Coach M coaches them up at the o-line positions better than most in the college game. He's a teacher of technique above all else, and has definitely found some diamonds in the rough and turned them into special players. Exhibit A: a lightly recruited guy named Alex Mack. I am sure Sarkisian is pretty excited to get him and not to have to give him control of the offense. Essentially a lateral move for Coach M.

However, this is not totally surprising. First off, Coach M has not been shy about wanting to advance, and wanting to be considered for other coaching vacancies. He was never going to get that at Cal. Tedford made him assistant offensive coordinator, but that was as far as it was going to go. Though he's technically no further ahead in the new job, the pay is likely higher since UW will throw endless money at the football program to feed their insatiable fan base, and there may be more chance for advancement at UW if he proves he can take over playcalling. Once Cignetti got hired last year, the writing was on the wall for Michalczik's advancement at Cal.

Second, he's from Washington, and graduated from Washington State. His wife and family have roots up there as well. He was hopeful he'd be considered for the Washington State opening last year. So aside from higher pay, this makes sense for him for personal reasons.

However, despite him being a huge part of what Tedford has built at Cal, I confess I am not as upset as some about this (though I do think he's an excellent coach). First off, if there's ever a time to lose an assistant, it is when you have a good young group of linemen, which Cal does. Its RS freshman and sophomores are very talented and ready to turn the corner. That way if the recruiting stumbles a bit, you don't fall behind in your pipeline.

Second, though they have been injured a bit, I must say I think Cal's o-line has underachieved to a degree in 2006, 2007 and this year. Mack has been great, and Gibson had 1 good season. Otherwise, I think they've been good not great. His best years production-wise were 2004 and 2005. Doesn't mean he won't be missed, but I am not sure another coach won't do just as well.

Third, aside from some gems here and there, Michalczik hasn't exactly cleaned up as a recruiter.
Finally, Tedford has mostly chosen great assistants, and I suspect this will be no different. More on possible replacements later.


Bear with Fangs said...

Mm disagree a bit on your last few points, but I don't think we'll truly know how big of a loss this was until we find out who our new offensive line coach will be.

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