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February 12, 2013
Where UT sits in the recruiting arms race
1. According to USA Today, Texas athletics turned a record $25 million profit in 2011-12.
And it turns out Alabama has a football office of 39 outside of Nick Saban's coaching staff - nearly three times as big as UT's - including nine "football analysts" who appear to assist in everything from breaking down opponent film to evaluating recruits.
Texas has a football office of 15 outside of Mack Brown's coaching staff. But five of those are administrative assistants or secretaries.
Alabama's massive football office includes a director of player personnel in charge of recruiting who is not on the coaching staff; two directors of player development in addition to a director of football operations.
As Geoff Ketchum of Orangebloods.com pointed out on Sunday night, Texas does not have any other point person on recruiting other than tight ends coach Bruce Chambers, who serves as recruiting coordinator.
Even Oklahoma added an "On-Campus Recruiting Coordinator" in Reed Case in 2011 to assist OU running backs coach Cale Gundy, who serves as OU's recruiting coordinator. But more on that in a minute.
Bama's massive football staff is gaining attention because of the NCAA's recent deregulation of recruiting rules.
Starting in 2013, schools will be allowed to have unlimited contact with student-athletes the summer after recruits' sophomore years in high school.
And anyone in a school's football office will be allowed to call, email, text, Facebook, send tweets or Skype with recruits, meaning Alabama is in prime position to take advantage of the new rules.
It became clear last Wednesday, during his national signing day press conference, Mack Brown was trying to figure out what Texas needed to do to take advantage of the new rules, considering the Longhorns had more football revenue than any school in Division I.
For those who missed it, Mack Brown last Wednesday announced a fact-finding mission on the subject:
"We're all over the place right now, all of us are," Brown stated. "We have to talk to athletic directors, coaches, leagues.
"Everybody has to figure out how we put some sense into this. None of us have been home. Now we'll have to sit down.
"I've asked the offensive staff and the defensive staff to give me a proposal of what they think based on what other people are doing out there. I've asked (Associate Athletics Director for Football Operations) Arthur Johnson and that staff outside of coaches to give me a proposal, see what they think.
"I'm putting together thoughts that I feel are very important. Then we're going to have to go to (Athletics Director) Deloss (Dodds)."
Brown was still thinking out loud when he went on to add:
"If you hire new people, then in one year is the rule going to change and you have to fire everybody? It's a tough time right now to try to figure out where we're all headed. I don't know. Really, I'm honest," Brown continued.
"We met this morning and said, 'Arthur, you and Deloss and (Deputy Director) Butch (Worley) have to help us.'
"I think right now probably the athletic directors are trying to put some sense into this and talk to each other and say where we're headed and can we all get on the same page, and the coaches have been so busy that we haven't been home.
"Now a lot of people are going to start looking at this to see what we do. It's the biggest change in my coaching career as far as across the board in recruiting."
2. The bottom line is schools have been expanding their football offices the last five years, while Texas has remained the same at a time when the Longhorns needed every advantage their financial edge could buy.
Alabama grew from "six analysts" in 2011 to "nine analysts" in 2012. One of those analysts, Kelvin Sigler, a former high school coach in Alabama, was just hired as the defensive backs coach at Northern Illinois.
A quick look at the resumes of Alabama's analysts shows extensive experience in breaking down opponents' film on offense, defense and special teams.
So not only is Alabama's football office taking some of the load off its coaching staff in recruiting, but also in breaking down opponents as well. And these are full-time analysts. All of its legal as long as none of them coach Alabama players on the field.
Alabama has five offensive analysts, three defensive analysts and one special teams analyst in addition to two graduate assistant coaches.
3. Alabama brought in a "director of player personnel" in 2009 when it hired Ed Marynowitz, who had been a scouting assistant for the Miami Dolphins under Jeff Ireland and Bill Parcells.
Marynowitz spent three years at Alabama - 2009-11 - before being hired by the Philadelphia Eagles.
According to those familiar with the situation, Marynowitz, whose job title at Alabama was to "direct Alabama's recruiting efforts," brought an NFL-style approach to the evaluation players.
Even though receivers coach Mike Groh was the "recruiting coordinator," Marynowitz did most of the player evaluations on tape and in camps before helping Saban narrow the list of recruits and assigning assistant coaches to handle the recruitments.
"This was not a bunch of assistant coaches with recruiting territories going and talking to high school coaches about which players can play," one source close to the situation told Orangebloods.com. "This was an NFL-style evaluation that was largely handled by Marynowitz and Saban before the assistant coaches were then assigned players to recruit."
Marynowitz was replaced before the 2012 season as Alabama's director of player personnel by Paul Gonnella, who has extensive experience directing recruiting efforts previously at Purdue, Memphis, Miami, Tennessee and North Carolina.
The results under Marynowitz would have to be considered a success. In the 2012 NFL Draft, the first full class of recruits brought in by Marynowitz, Alabama had 7 draft picks, including four in the first round.
Texas hasn't had four first-round NFL Draft picks in the last five years.
The Crimson Tide have also won back-to-back national titles and three in the last four years.
4. Oklahoma has a smaller football office outside of Bob Stoops' coaching staff than Texas. But the Sooners hired Reed Case as their "on-campus recruiting coordinator" before the 2011 season.
Case's job description at OU:
"Oversees the daily recruiting operations of the Sooner program. Creates and maintains prospect correspondence."
Like other programs, an assistant coach holds the title of recruiting coordinator (at OU it's running backs coach Cale Gundy), but Case appears to take a lot off of Gundy's plate.
5. Florida coach Will Muschamp added director of on-campus recruiting Brendan Donovan and director of player personnel Jon Haskins before the 2012 season after not having those staff members in 2011.
Haskins was Jim Harbaugh's director of player personnel at Stanford for three seasons beginning in the spring of 2007.
Haskins played a key role in Stanford landing quarterback Andrew Luck, offensive linemen David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin and tight end Coby Fleener in the Cardinal's 2008 recruiting class (all of whom were high-round picks in last year's NFL Draft).
In December, Muschamp hired former Kentucky coach Joker Phillips as receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, replacing Aubrey Hill, who resigned.
The Gators feel like the hires of Donovan, Haskins and Phillips have paid off immediately as their 2013 class was ranked No. 4 nationally by Rivals.com.
6. Florida State's Jimbo Fisher, a Nick Saban disciple, has five staff members dedicated to recruiting, including tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Billy Napier and player personnel director Bob Lacivita.
Lacivita was hired at FSU by Bobby Bowden in 2007 to "oversee all administrative duties related to recruiting."
Even Bowden was dialed into this movement five years ago.
7. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has director of player personnel Mark Pantoni coordinate all recruiting efforts and also has Greg Gillum as director of high school relations.
Those two are intimately involved in the team's recruiting efforts.
8. Every school in the Big 12 except for Texas and TCU have either an "on-campus recruiting coordinator" or "director of player personnel."
Let that sink in for a moment.
9. Even Iowa State and Baylor, the two smallest athletic department budgets in the Big 12, have either found a director of operations in charge of recruiting (Iowa State) or a director of player personnel (Baylor).
Let that sink in for a moment.
10. Stanford and Florida State hired a director of player personnel back in 2007. Nick Saban added that position at Alabama in 2009 and has since added reinforcements.
Will Muschamp filled that position last year at Florida. So have OU, Oklahoma State and every other Big 12 school not named Texas and TCU.
Mack Brown is having Arthur Johnson, his director of football operations, research what the Longhorns should do.
The good news is when you have a $25 million profit in your athletic department, it won't take long to add those positions if that's what Texas so chooses.
(And based on the urgency to improve at UT, it had better so choose.)