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Griz Football Coaches: What Now?


Head Coach Mick Delaney has already replaced his Offensive Coordinator in the off-season, will he be making more changes?

The college football regular season may be over…but movement amongst football coaches is just starting to heat up. While the BCS level schools will get the majority of headlines, there is still plenty of
movement at the FCS level.

While Jeff Eberle (host of The Bobcat Sports Report) will have more on
the potential shuffle around Bobcat coaches, I'll keep it strictly
Grizzly related today.

The off-season started quickly with the news last years Offensive
Coordinator Timm Rosenbach had left to join his former Washington
State teammate Jody Sears, as the offensive coordinator at Weber

To many, it seemed like a lateral move at best for Coach Rosey, going
from a perennial powerhouse in UM to an under-performing football
program with the Wildcats. However when you take a closer look at the
current affairs of the Griz, it makes more sense. With head coach
Mick Delaney only on contract for one more season, there is only one
year's salary guaranteed to his assistants. Weber State offered a
three-year contract, which means more stability for his Rosenbach's
family, not to mention he gets to join his former teammate who he has
already coached with at their alma mater for a period of time in
Pullman. Keep in mind, he was a Pflugrad hire, not a Delaney one.

However that's not to say the sky is falling with a mass exodus of
other assistants. Coach Delaney came into the situation knowing he
was not the long-term solution in Missoula. It's been his job to hold
players accountable, and distance the program from the off-the-field
transgressions that led into the 2012 campaign. His assistants knew
that going in as well. As far as PAST next year, from the outside
looking in, it does appear new Co-Offensive coordinator Scott Gragg is
being groomed to be the next Grizzly head coach, while Kefense Hynson looks to be on a fast-track to being the sole OC once that potential transition happens. That is all 100% speculation, so take it with a huge grain of salt, but Montana has a history of hiring from within, and on paper that move makes sense. Gragg went from associate head coach in 2012 (not to mention a finalist as the interim head coach) to co-offensive coordinator in 2013. Not to mention he had a very successful pro career as an offensive lineman in the NFL after graduating from UM. If he does well in his ‘trial' year leading
players from the sideline (Hynson will be calling the plays from the
box, confirmed by coach Delaney) reason would suggest he could be the head man come 2014.

But back to the coaching carousel, while the university won't confirm,
it also appears two assistant coaches off this years team will no
longer be with the program in the coming year. Safeties coach Leon
Burtnett, who was a Robin Pflugrad hire, is expected to be gone, so is
receivers coach (and UM Alum) Shalon Baker. Again, this is not
confirmed by the university, however I haven't seen Burtnett since the
season ended anywhere around the athletic offices, and I've heard
rumors that Baker is now working for a local business in Missoula
(something I doubt he would be doing if he was still on the UM payroll
for 2013.)

So lets assume for a minute, both those coaches are done with their
coaching careers. If that's the case, the 2013-2014 staff looks like

Head Coach: Mick Delaney
Offensive Coordinator(s)-Scott Gragg, Kefense Hynson
Defense Coordinator- Ty Gregorak
Running-Backs-Justin Green
Offensive-Line- Gragg
Wide Receivers-OPEN
Defensive Line- Lawrence (Legi) Suiaunoa
Linebackers- Gregorak
Corners- Aric Williams
Safeties- OPEN

A couple thoughts, coach Delaney has referred to Hynson as a
tremendous ‘football-mind,' jack-of-all-trades sort of coach. So in
theory he could coach the quarterbacks as well, however with
Rosenbach's departure, I feel that's a coaching position they'll look
to fill…while Hynson would focus more on the receivers, with the
tight-ends being ‘co-coached' by both Hynson and Gragg. The question is…who is the right man for the job?

Coach Delaney has said many times that with every opening on his
staff, he gets a LOT of interest from prospective candidates. Montana
has grown to be a marquee program at the FCS level, and proven to be a springboard for coaches into the FBS ranks (see Bobby Hauck/Brent
Pease) and higher paying contracts.

However with only one year left on Delaney's contract, he flat-out
cannot guarantee the potential coaches they will be here longer than a
season. Delaney is a straight shooter, and doesn't sugar coat much,
this I've learned from my many dealings with him doing the Grizzly
Sports Report throughout this season. Coaches know going in it's a
one-year deal, because that's the first thing Delaney tells them. Do
they feel it could turn into a longer deal if a coach from within
(like Gragg) is named head man in 2014? Maybe, but there are no
guarantees with ANY contracts these days. Without a winning record,
coaches are fired two years into their 5-year contract, it seems like
commonplace anymore.

Again, I need to stress, As of right now (early January), the only
confirmed departure from the Grizzly staff is Timm Rosenbach, who was only calling plays for one season with the Griz. I've heard multiple
rumors that another two are on their way out, and fully believe there
will be two new members of the Grizzly coaching staff by the time
spring-ball comes up, but we won't know that until the Griz hire those
two assistants (It is University of Montana policy to not comment on
any coaching changes unless they are new hires.)

2013 will be a measuring stick. I think if the Griz build off their
disappointing 2012 campaign, the majority of the coaching staff will
remain in tact, however if they once again fail to meet the
notoriously high expectations of Griz Nation, massive changes could be in order.

As in with all things in life, only time will tell.

Until next time,


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