Which New ACC Coach Will Succeed?
By Eric Russell
Two of the biggest coaching hires in the ACC this offseason were former coaches from the Mid-American Conference. Steve Addazio, Boston College’s new head coach, spent one year in the MAC coaching Temple before the team’s jump to the Big East last season. NC State’s new leader Dave Doeren was successful at Northern Illinois for two seasons as the head coach.
They are both relatively young in terms of head coaching experience and the two have tough tasks standing between them and ACC success. So which of the coaches will have the most success as an ACC head coach?
Steve Addazio’s firey demeanor was evident from the moment he was introduced as the head coach of the Eagles. That passion is what Boston College fans hope will get the program back on track.
Addazio has the tools to win games, but his most important quality may be recruiting
Detractors may argue that Addazio’s 13-11 record as a head coach isn’t impressive. However, it is worth noting that the Temple team he was leading last season was grossly overmatched in its first year in the Big East. Temple's talent wasn’t at the same level as the Big East.
The downside for Addazio is he currently finds himself in a similar situation. Boston College didn’t make too big of a splash in terms of recruiting this season and their talent is not among the top tier in the ACC. The Eagles have players like Alex Amindon and Chase Rettig, but the offense will have to adjust to Addazio’s style.
That being said, Addazio’s biggest opportunity for success will not come immediately. One of his best attributes may be the recruiting ties he has in the Northeast.
There is no blueprint for immediate success like at Addazio’s last coaching job when he took over an 8-4 Temple team. The Eagles are coming off their worst season since a winless campaign in 1978. Eagles fans may see Addazio as a savior, but BC's struggles are likely to continue in 2013. However, the future will be brighter as he has an opportunity to put his stamp on the program.
Dave Doeren has made quite the impression in his first two seasons as a head football coach. Doeren earned an impressive 23-4 record during his two-year tenure with Northern Illinois and led the Huskies to a BCS bowl game.
He now faces the task of improving NC State into a contender in the ACC. Doeren is in a better situation than Addazio. His team is coming off a season that resulted in a bowl berth.
Doeren brings a different vibe than the departed Tom O’Brien, seemingly a welcome sight in Raleigh. The younger, more aggressive Doeren has shown some of his unique coaching tactics when he held the “Wolfpack Olympics” during spring conditioning. In addition, he is a defensive head coach and the Wolfpack’s defense was often their downfall last season. The team lost every game in which it gave up 30-plus points. Doeren will look to improve NC State’s 52nd-ranked scoring defense.
The biggest question mark to Doeren’s possible success will be tied to the quarterback situation. Mike Glennon is gone and the competition for the starting spot will be on during spring practice. Pete Thomas, a transfer from Colorado State, will be in the mix but Manny Stocker is a quarterback who fits into the style of offense Doeren and offensive coordinator Matt Canada like to run. Running back Shadrach Thorton will also take some of the pressure off whoever earns the starting spot.
NC State has talented players and Doeren’s track record points to him having more immediate success than Addazio. Also, NC State’s schedule helps. The Wolfpack will only leave the state of North Carolina twice on the season and only have a total of four road games.