USC head coach Clay Helton may not have to worry about finding a new offensive coordinator for the second striaght offseason. USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell is expected to stay with the Trojans after interviewing for a job in the NFL, according to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic (via Twitter).
It was reported last week the Philadelphia Eagles were set to interview Harrell about their vacancy at offensive coordinator. Whether the Eagles or Harrell decided the fit wasn’t right is unknown at this time, but it is good news for USC either way.
Last year, USC lost offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury to a head coaching opportunity with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. Kingsbury’s stay in USC was brief, as he took the job as an offensive coordinator after being let go as head coach at Texas Tech earlier in the offseason. USC replaced Kingsbury with the hiring of Harell from North Texas. Last month, USC locked in Harrell to a multi-year extension in hopes of keeping Harrell from accepting any other position with another program. Texas reportedly had been interested in adding Harrell to its coaching staff in Austin.
Now that Clay Helton is sticking around as head coach of the USC Trojans, the next order of business for the program was to keep offensive coordinator Graham Harrell happy. That seems to have been accomplished.
Harrell has been signed to a multi-year contract extension to remain the offensive coordinator of the Trojans, it was announced on Monday evening.
USC hired Harrell to be the offensive coordinator of the Trojans last year following the departure of Kliff Kingsbury. Kingsbury, who joined the USC program shortly after being removed as head coach at Texas Tech, abruptly left USC for an opportunity to coach the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL.
Harrell’s contract extension at USC puts to rest any possibility of him leaving to take on a role at another program. Texas had been one of the biggest potential suitors for Harrell, but that ship seemed to sail as it became more likely Harrell would be sticking with USC once it was confirmed Helton would not be removed as head coach. Being signed to a multi-year contract is notable for an offensive coordinator, especially at a program where the head coach could still be on a bit of a hot seat in 2020. If things do hit a boiling point for Helton in 2020 (or 2021), Harrell could be in a position to take over the helm and prove himself worthy of a chance to lead the program. It would be the first time as a head coach, but that no longer seems to be as much of a concern for some programs given the recent rise of Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma and Ryan Day at Ohio State.
But for now, Harrell will continue to get time to expand the USC offensive attack.
College football’s award season is coming quickly with semifinalists and finalists for various awards coming in the next few weeks. Among the awards is the Broyles Award, which recognizes the top assistant coach in college football. Today, the Frank & Barbara Broyles Foundation released its list of nominees for this year’s award. All 56 of them, which is sure to keep more SIDs busy this time of year.
No school has more than one assistant nominated for the award and previous winners of the award from the past five seasons are not eligible. Clemson’s Brent Venables won the award last year, for example, so he is not eligible this season. This list of nominees will be trimmed to 15 semifinalists later this season, and that list will be cut down to five finalists for the award.
The Broyles Award was first awarded in 2010 to Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. Malzahn is currently the head coach of the Tigers. In total, five Broyles Award winners have gone on to be a head coach, with four of those currently holding head coaching positions. Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi (2013, Michigan State defensive coordinator), Texas head coach Tom Herman (2014, Ohio State offensive coordinator), and Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley (2015, Oklahoma offensive coordinator) currently hold head coaching jobs. Bob Diaco, who won the award in 2012 while at Notre Dame, went on to be named the head coach at UConn and currently is an assistant with Nebraska.
2017 Broyles Award Nominees
- Alabama – Brian Daboll, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
- Arizona – Rod Smith, Co–Offensive Coordinator
- Arizona State – Phil Bennett, Defensive Coordinator
- Arkansas State – Brian Early, Defensive Line Coach
- Auburn – Kevin Steele, Defensive Coordinator
- Boise State – Andy Avalos, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Bowling Green State – Matt Brock, Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
- California – Beau Baldwin, Offensive Coordinator
- Central Florida – Troy Walters, Offensive Coordinator
- Clemson – Tony Elliot, Co–Offensive Coordinator, Running Backs
- Eastern Michigan – Neal Neathery, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
- FAU – Chris Kiffin, Defensive Coordinator
- FIU – Brent Guy, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Fresno State – Orlondo Steinauer, Defensive Coordinator
- Georgia – Mel Tucker, Defensive Coordinator
- Georgia State – Nate Fuqua, Defensive Coordinator/Outside Linebackers
- Iowa State – Jon Heacock, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
- Kansas State – Sean Snyder, Special Teams Coordinator
- LSU – Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator
- Memphis – Joe Lorig, Special Teams Coordinator; – Outside Linebackers
- Miami – Manny Diaz, Defensive Coordinator
- Michigan – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Michigan State – Harlon Barnett, Co–Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach
- Mississippi State – Todd Grantham, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Missouri – Josh Heupel, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
- NC State – Dwayne Ledford, Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator
- North Texas – Graham Harrell, Offensive Coordinator
- Northwestern – Mike Hankwitz, Defensive Coordinator
- Notre Dame – Mike Elko, Defensive Coordinator
- Ohio State – Larry Johnson, Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach
- Oklahoma – Bill Bedenbaugh, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
- Oklahoma State – Mike Yurcich, Offensive Coordinator/QBs
- Ole Miss – Derrick Nix, Running Backs Coach
- Oregon – Jim Leavitt, Defensive Coordinator
- Penn State – Brent Pry, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
- San José State – Bojay Filimoeatu, Linebackers Coach
- SMU – Joe Craddock, Offensive Coordinator
- South Carolina – Coleman Hutzler, Special Teams Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
- Southern Miss – Tony Pecoraro, Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
- Stanford – Mike Bloomgren, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
- Syracuse – Brian Ward, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
- TCU – Chad Glasgow, Defensive Coordinator
- Temple – Jim Panagos, Defensive Line
- Texas – Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Toledo – Brian Wright, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
- Troy – Vic Koenning, Defensive Coordinator
- U.S. Military Academy – Brent Davis, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
- USC – Tee Martin, Offensive Coordinator/WR Coach
- Utah State – Mark Tommerdahl, Special Teams Coordinator/Running Backs
- Virginia Tech – Bud Foster, Defensive Coordinator
- Wake Forest – Warren Ruggiero, Offensive Coordinator
- Washington – Pete Kwiatkowski, Defensive Coordinator
- Washington State – Alex Grinch, Defensive Coordinator / Secondary
- West Virginia – Tony Gibson, Associate Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
- Western Kentucky – Clayton White, Defensive Coordinator
- Wisconsin – Jim Leonhard, Defensive Coordinator
Mike Leach is turning Pullman into Lubbock Northwest in more than just scheme.
Upon his arrival in 2012, Leach employed former Texas Tech wide receiver Eric Morris and wide receivers coach Dennis Simmons to coach the Cougars wideouts. Morris left a year later for the South Plains, and Simmons was hired earlier this month at Oklahoma. So what’d Leach do? Backfill from his roster of former Red Raiders, of course.
Leach promoted former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell from an offensive analyst role to inside receivers coach a week ago, and now he’s filled that spot by hiring former Red Raiders wide receiver Joel Filani as an offensive quality control assistant, which was announced Wednesday.
Filani caught 175 career passes for 2,626 yards and 23 touchdowns, snagging passes from current TCU co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Sonny Cumbie and his new co-worker, Harrell. He earned All-Big 12 honors in 2005 and 2006.
A sixth-round selection in the 2007 NFL Draft, Filani spent time with the Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He had spent the past two years as a graduate assistant at Boise State before his appointment in Pullman.
After being a player under Mike Leach, Graham Harrell is now a member of his nine-man coaching staff.
Following up on speculation that had surfaced earlier in the day, Washington State announced that Harrell has been promoted to outside wide receivers coach. Harrell had spent the 2014 season as an offensive analyst at Wazzu.
Harrell was a record-breaking quarterback at Texas Tech from 2004-08, with Leach as his head coach directing the same Air Raid offense that the pirate-loving coach brought to Pullman. After his Red Raider days, Harrell spent one season in the CFL (2009) and three with the Green Bay Packers (2010-12) before reuniting with Leach in April of last year.
This marks Harrell’s first job as an assistant coach at any level.
“Graham Harrell is a tremendous young coach and uniquely qualified to fill the role of outside receivers coach at Washington State,” said Leach in a statement. “He has command of the offense from all aspects, is a great teacher and evaluator of talent, and will be a great addition to our staff.”
(Photo credit: Texas Tech athletics)