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Brad Rock: Aggies could go back to future with John L.

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  • Jeff
    Sept. 14, 2008 9:07 a.m.

    John L. would be great, but at this point I would take a good little league coach :)

  • wow
    Sept. 14, 2008 9:10 a.m.

    What a boost that would be to the football program.... thats what we need to get things rolling again in the right direction.

  • missing the point
    Sept. 14, 2008 10:05 a.m.

    The biggest thing the Aggies need to find in a coach, is someone with ties to Logan or at least to Utah, and who wants to stay in Logan, even after mild success. John L, only had modest success at USU, and was still able to leverage that into moving on. Don't bring him back. Find someone IN the state of Utah with ties to the state. Try getting a JC Head Coach or Assistant at BYU or UofU.
    THEN:
    1) Use the LDS Missionary program to the
    Advantage of Logan, too;
    2)Quit "overscheduling" with your nonconference games; and alternate playing BYU OR UofU each year (not both---you are not a rival, you are an easy "W")
    3) Focus on local: Become a program where kids from Utah want to stay, who maybe weren't recruited by Utah or BYU, but who still have the heart to play.

  • Brian
    Sept. 14, 2008 10:31 a.m.

    Please let this rumor be true! Missing the point you are missing the point! USU football is terrible, pathetic, ridiculous...there aren't enough adjectives. The Stew Morrill model won't necessarily work in football. It's time to bring in a coach that can elevate the program...even if he eventually moves on. The point is to get rid of a terrible coach in Brent Guy, bring in someone who can win and start opening booster wallets and then hope that the momentum can continue once he leaves. Who's to say Smith wouldn't stay. He has some Utah roots. USU can't get rid of Brent Guy soon enough.

  • Salt Lake Aggie
    Sept. 14, 2008 10:34 a.m.

    Bring in former Aggie QB and offensive guru- Mike (Chico) Canales. I guarantee the wins would come.

  • Mike Johnson Fallon NV
    Sept. 14, 2008 10:40 a.m.

    An interesting trend in terms of who is playing at Utah State can be seen. Utah, BYU, Weber State, and Southern Utah, all have about 40-45% of their rosters from Utah (with California second, at give 20-30%). Dixie State has an even higher percentage from Utah. But, USU has the opposite of the other four Division I schools, with about 40% from California and 20% of the kids from Utah. I wonder why USU gets so many kids from California and not that many from Utah.

    Utah: 43.4% from Utah; 29.2% from California
    BYU: 41.3% from Utah; 19.2% from California
    Utah State: 43.9% from California; 19.4% from Utah
    Weber State: 39.5% from Utah; 26.7% from California
    Southern Utah: 45.2% from Utah; 18.3% from California
    Dixie State: 65.2% from Utah; 8.0% from Idaho; 6.1% from California

  • Re: Missing the Point
    Sept. 14, 2008 10:44 a.m.

    You are right on! John L skipped town once already, why wouldn't he do it again?
    There are plenty of high quality coaches in the state of Utah. What USU needs is a young energetic staff that already has ties to Utah. Either a high school coach or heck, why not Snow College. They already have a pretty good recruiting system in Utah, and before you say "That's JC and not a 4-year school" recruiting is recruiting. They have a relationship built up with the state high school coaches that I'm sure would make the transition pretty easily. On the other hand USU isn't going to change with just Utah players. They need to recruit out of state as well.

    The biggest thing that has to change is the culture. Once a team gets used to winning there is no turning it around. USU needs to change it's culture and the first way to change that is to get a new coach. I say do something daring like hire a HS or JC coach. Besides, what have you got to lose?!

  • Idaho Aggie
    Sept. 14, 2008 11:05 a.m.

    John L returned to the University of Idaho and quit on the team half way through the season. Talk to Vandal fans,he would be the worst thing to happen to Aggie football. Brent Guy may be lacking in some things but at least he is an honorable man, John L. not so much

  • Football
    Sept. 14, 2008 11:32 a.m.

    They play football in Logan?

  • QB
    Sept. 14, 2008 12:07 p.m.

    I hope they are looking for a new head Coach and I hope they have a deal in the works because it can't happen soon enough. They could even fire Guy and Dickey today and let the assistants take over for the rest of the season. Anything to shake things up. I am sure they could do better or no worse than Guy.

  • Bob 2
    Sept. 14, 2008 12:39 p.m.

    Hire me. I absolutely destroy my sons in Madden 2000 and I have strong connections to the Cache Valley region. I love Utah State for it's ice cream and I always stop there for groceries before heading up to Bear Lake.

  • To Idaho Aggie
    Sept. 14, 2008 12:54 p.m.

    That comment is absolutely ridiculous. John L. was at Idaho for one stint, and he won, and won championships............He has 180+ wins in Div. I football. Don't spread rumors u can't back up.

  • John L
    Sept. 14, 2008 1:02 p.m.

    What would be the point of hiring someone who left your program before. Wouldn't that be taking a step backward? Let's try to relive the old glory day. Maybe after Bronco retires BYU will bring back Lavell too!

    For a program like USU, brining back a previous coach would be a huge mistake. They need new blood, new ideas, a new culture. The athletic department needs to make a change.

  • Great Point
    Sept. 14, 2008 1:10 p.m.

    Things that need to change to make USU respectable

    1) Coach Continuity - When kids are being recruited, they need to know that the Coach they are committing to, is also committing to them, and is gonna be there for them, and not gonna leave for greener pastures. So yes, I think the Stew Morril model is a necessity.

    2) Recruitment - This is a staggering problem. Yes, only 20% of the team is from Utah, and I bet a good portion were actually just walk-ons. As a recent former Aggie Athlete, who interacted with many of the football players on a daily basis. I noticed the ones with no ties to Utah, hated being in Logan, and only went there because they had no other options, and are not invested in the team whatsoever, as long as school and everything else is being paid for, might as well just go through the motions.

  • How about Sky View's Coach???
    Sept. 14, 2008 1:12 p.m.

    Why not hire Sky View's Coach. He took the Sky View program from near death to a powerhouse this year. I saw them play Fremont. They didn't have the best talent, but work together as a team. And he's allready living in Cache Valley so the University could save on moving expenses. Logan's high school coach is pretty good too, but Logan plays 3A with a 4A population and there's the whole Riley Nelson thing that can make any coach look good.

    Or they could hire the head coaches of all the cache valley high schools. Sky View (offense) Logan (head) and Mountain Crest (deffense)

  • Great Point (continued)
    Sept. 14, 2008 1:24 p.m.

    2) (continued) - It is obvious that other teams at USU who are extremely competitive in their respective sports, have a strong recruiting base in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.
    If anyone has been tracking the local prep teams, and how they have fared against powerhouse teams from Ohio, Texas, Hawaii and California. It is apparent Utah football is on par, and shows there is talent in the state. Obviously, the Y and the U, will get the cream of the crop in state, but what's wrong with recruiting the kid who is the 3rd, 4th, 5th, best athlete on a state championship team? The kid loves football, wants to play, give him a shot. At least he will have an investment into the team and show some heart. Heart goes a long way in sports!

    3) Culture - It makes no sense to try to change the culture of the team, when you ask them to go into conference play with an 0-3 record. Winning promotes winning, and losing promotes losing. Yeah, its nice to get $500,000 check to show up to lose, but is the loss of confidence really worth it.

  • Great Point (continued)
    Sept. 14, 2008 1:35 p.m.

    3) Scheduling - This tends to be synonymous with Culture, but instead of going to Nebraska, Alabama, and Oregon. Why not bring Weber State, Idaho State, and such in. Yes, you lose the BIG payday, but you save on travel costs, and most likely an increase in ticket sales, because the team is no longer 0-3, but 3-0. Which can make the local following want to support the team, and a home game actually becomes a home game, and it's not an empty stadium at the end of the year, which has become common place.

    I honestly feel, if these things are taken care of, the program will become great and exciting for Aggies. If Boise State, and Fresno State can do it, we can too.

  • hsfootball fan
    Sept. 14, 2008 6:45 p.m.

    To: How about Sky View's coach?,

    The kids that have been winning the past two years and this year at SV have ALWAYS won since they were 8 years old. That is the best four year group in a row they have ever had. The groups coming up are another story all together. Anyone can win with good kids. The kids brought this program back.

  • Wasatch
    Sept. 14, 2008 8:29 p.m.

    Brent Guy is a fine man and a solid coach. Yes, the game yesterday was brutal for Aggie fans, but before we cast stones just three games into the season, let's see how the rest of the season fares. I believe Brent is doing all he can to restore some pride to Cache Valley. Let's get behind him, his assistants and especially the players for the remaining of the year and then we can start talking about change if needed. Personally, I would like to see Coach Guy in Logan for many years to come assuming they can win 3-4 games this year and then build from there.

  • MAFU
    Sept. 14, 2008 8:31 p.m.

    I think if USU can get John L. Smith, they should. He's a proven winner and recruiter. USU's programs has nowhere to go but up anyway, so what's the difference.

    Ron McBride turned the Utes from a conference doormat to a conference contender, and Weber St. has shown a lot of improvement. He loves the area, and would be a good pick too. He's definitely the least likely of the two to be shopping around for another big-time BCS program.

  • Recruit more in state athletes
    Sept. 14, 2008 10:01 p.m.

    I know so many legit athletes from utah who love football and would die to play somewhere but get looked at by nobody and just give up on the dream. Why cant utah state pick up these players and offer them a scholorship?

  • Agfan
    Sept. 14, 2008 10:10 p.m.

    John L is the right choice. He picked up scraps at USU the first time and built a competitive program. He beat Utah his last two years and he played eye to eye with BYU before he left. He picked up a Louisville team that was 1-10 and we all know where he took them. He was Big-10 coach of the year his first year at Michigan State with an 8-5 record, a school that's lacked tradition for many years. Granted he stumbled, but unfortunately for him, BCS programs have the knife to your throat when they hire you. John L. is dynamic, he will run a very successful Aggie program. It won't be long until USU is throwing some fear at the likes of Utah, BYU, Boise State and Fresno State. The young cubs from local programs may be good coaches, but where we're at we need somebody that can sell hot chocolate to people at the beach. John L. is the man.

  • agblue
    Sept. 14, 2008 11:07 p.m.

    I have preached patience for this football coaching staff for 3 years. Guy has tried to build with freshmen and not quick JUCO fixes, I appreciate the effort but enough is enough. The football program is an embarassment, and something has to give. I'd take John L. Smith, Joseph Smith, Emmitt Smith, Tubby Smith, even Smith and Edwards just make a move. It wasn't that long ago that a game against Boise St. was an easy win, they turned their program around and we can too.

  • Coaching and Scheduling
    Sept. 15, 2008 8:59 a.m.

    Four years with no sign of it getting better is too long! By now we should have seen some signs of improvement. I mean, I know it will be no overnight turn around but fans need to see improvement each year. As part of their re-build I think the Aggies need new coaches and start doing different things with the schedule.

    For me the jury is still out on who will be the best coach to replace Guy. But I think USU needs to take a hiatus from playing BYU and the U all together for 3 to 5 years as the new coach starts to rebuild. Getting both BYU and the U off the schedule opens up the schedule tremendously. I'd recommend striking a deal with Weber St. for an in-state game then scheduling a weaker division 1 school also. This will give USU opportunities to get wins before conference play begins. Once, the 3 to 5 years is over then I'd bring back BYU and the U into our schedule.


  • Judy
    Sept. 15, 2008 10:41 a.m.

    Idaho Aggie....I think you have the wrong coach...that was Dennis Erickson, not John L. Smith!

    I love JLS....he was an AWESOME coach at Idaho...hated to see him leave here when he went to USU, but totally understood why he left Idaho. He's awesome....USU would be lucky to have him back!

  • ArkansasAggie
    Sept. 15, 2008 11:38 a.m.

    My first choice would be Tulsa OC Guz Malzahn if we could get him. Ask BYU about his ability as an offensive coach. USU does not have Utah players for two reasons: USU needs help now not two years after they return from their mission, if they return from their mission, and USU is number three in Utah so we get what BYU and Utah have already picked over in terms of D-1 talent.

    I don't think USU has a chance at Malzahn because I think he will end up at a Pac-10 school after this season (can you say Washington or WSU). The one thing that we must have is someone who understands offense.

    A coach with Utah ties is not what is needed, a coach who knows how to win and recruit is. Iowa tried many coaches from Iowa and the midwest in the 70s Finally, in 1979 they hired Hayden Fry away from North Texas (had been at SMU) and the rest is history.

  • Anybody But Guy
    Sept. 15, 2008 12:42 p.m.

    USU needs better athletes if they expect to improve. A coach with Guy's legacy of loosing can't recruit them. I think the recent QB situation speaks volumes. One potential QB starter defects to BYU and another quits football altogether rather than play for Guy.

    This is the prime recruiting season for the next generation of players. If USU wants to have a chance at them, Guy needs to be fired NOW!!! USU can't afford to wait until the end of the season.

    John L. Smith would be a great choice because he's a good coach with a history of success and he's available now. I think it's a foregone conclusion that this is Guy's last season at USU. The longer Guy is retained, the more difficult it will be for USU to improve in the foreseeable future

  • CachedOut
    Sept. 15, 2008 4:54 p.m.

    John L. would bring some much needed energy into the USU program, but is it worth it? Unless a HUGE buy-out clause is inserted into the contract, I wouldn't take the chance of him ditching the program (just like he did as USU was playing in its last bowl game).

    USU needs continuity, and it doesn't need a coach who is simply looking at filling a gap in his resume. Idaho enjoyed Erickson's homecoming, but ask many of them if it was worth it now? The bad PR that followed his departure overshadowed much of what he brought in the first place.

    There are some dang good coaches out there. I'd find one who has an eye on USU football for the next 10 years. Not one who's looking at next year's coaching vacancies.

  • question
    Sept. 15, 2008 5:33 p.m.

    Did Guy look that way the entire game or was that just the best piccture you could post? It looks like he just at a bunch of prunes. It's time for bye,bye coach guy.

  • To Arkansas Aggie
    Sept. 15, 2008 6:42 p.m.

    I am sorry, but you are wrong! If you get someone here with no Utah ties, they will leave for greener pastures as soon as they can. I agree with GREAT POINT you need continuity and if you haven't noticed, Brent Guy was considered to be a good recruiter and a great coach. I really believe you need to find a coach that wants to be in Logan, and is in it for the long haul, because if they are not, they are more likely to cut corners.
    Also, you are wrong about enough talent in the state, there is! its just that Utah State isn't willing to invest anytime or willing to coach them up to be sound football players.

  • The athletes are there
    Sept. 15, 2008 6:51 p.m.

    Utah State has the athletes, they just don't want to be there and don't care if they win or lose. Look at the recent string of athletes that go to the NFL (Chris Cooley, Jarret Bush, Ade Jimoh, etc.)

    Also, I think that John L. Smith would welcome the chance to come back as he has seen the greener pastures, and would revel in an opportunity without harsh criticism of the Big Ten.

  • It's Time!!!!
    Sept. 15, 2008 11:30 p.m.

    Bring back the glory! Let's start really recruiting and giving a da**! This is a proud/storied program. WE NEED TO CHANGE THIS CURRENT SICKENING "WHO CARES ATTITUDE". I'm so sick of getting drop kicked by BYU and even worse the Utes. We need to raise $$$ and get USU back on the map. We need to challenge BSU, Fresno St. and Hawaii. Lets' go Aggies wake up!!

  • In the know
    Sept. 16, 2008 10:22 a.m.

    I am so so tired of USU losing. The coaching and the recruiting IS the problem. I know of one kid recruited by other Universities but went to USU for the Engineering program on an academic scholarship (I know it hard to believe that there is a football player with a brain but it does happen) - he was dropped in their lap and all they did was give him a couple of quick running drillings and said sorry we just recruited a couple of kids out of California for that position and we will stick with them - I was amazed but given their success all the pieces fit - they are losers and need to go. This University is too good to support a program that does not strive for excellence. I would also recommend getting someone with ties to Utah or the intermountain west. We deserve better and the State of Utah deserves better. USU football is a joke right now - get a new coach the sooner the better!
    Should not wait until the season ends - the BYU game is gona be ugly! What is Merlin doing these days? ha

  • ususpacecow
    Sept. 16, 2008 4:45 p.m.

    It is up to a coach to decide who will bring more to the program - a local kid of marginal D1 talent who really wants to play for USU or a California kid with 4.4 speed and size who doesn't. From what I see, Guy has managed to recruit neither. And forget about "Utah ties" being a criteria. Money talks. Even Utah can't pay enough to keep a really successful coach. Aggie fans should start contibuting to a "Successful Coach" endowment in case we ever get lucky again like we have with Stew!

  • i think...
    Sept. 16, 2008 5:10 p.m.

    lance reynolds or robert anae of the cougars would make a good head coach. remember lance wanted the head coaching job at byu.... they both have good ties here in utah and hawaii.

  • Idaho Vandal
    Sept. 18, 2008 4:18 p.m.

    We tried that favorite coach returns thing with Dennis Erickson a couple years ago. That turned out real well for us. Our program is worse off now than it was the day he arrived. We lost scholarships because we had to get rid of his thug recruits. And when he realized how bad the program was he left the first chance he got.

    We love John L, but we'd never want him to be coach again. If they can leave you once, they can leave you twice.