Could new Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck have most of his offensive coaching staff ready to announce? It’s starting to look that way. While Ohio State offensive coordinator Ed Warinner’s likely move to offensive line coach at Minnesota stole most of the thunder yesterday, several other likely coaching changes came into focus as well.
GoAUpher update: Please see update at the bottom of the post for more confirmed details from Joe C for staff positions beyond the OC
As reported by Joe C at the STrib, Fleck could be close to hiring his offensive coordinator as well:
P.J. Fleck plans to stick with what has worked for him on offense. The new Gophers football coach will bring Western Michigan’s Kirk Ciarrocca with him to Minnesota as the team’s next offensive coordinator, a source told the Star Tribune.
Ciarrocca, 51, spent the past four years as Fleck’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Western Michigan. The Broncos ranked ninth in the nation in scoring offense this past season, averaging 41.6 points per game.
While there haven’t been any press reports to substantiate it yet, there are several other offensive hires that seem possible at this point (seriously though, this is all speculation without any #sources):
- Matt Simon: coached wide receivers at WMU
- Brian Callahan: coached offensive line at WMU
Why our suspicions that these guys might be coming to MN? At the same time Ciarrocca was being reported as offensive coordinator by Joe C his bio disappeared from the WMU website (the same thing happened to Fleck’s bio just before he was officially announced as Minnesota’s new HC). Two other offensive coaches had their bios disappear at the same time as Ciarrocca’s...Matt Simon and Brian Callahan.
Of the two, Simon makes the most sense and is the guy I’m really assuming will come to Minnesota. He’s a Minnesota native who was an assistant coach at St. Thomas early in his career. He also played at NIU and coached with Fleck at Rutgers. He’s a “Fleck guy” who is also “one of us” and his bio left the WMU webpage at the same time as the expected new OC? Yea, I’m going to say he’s coming.
Brian Callahan feels like a guy who would come with too, but my gut feeling there is based only on his bio dropping off at the same time as Simon’s and Ciarrocca’s. Obviously he wouldn’t be the OL coach with Warinner coming in, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t coach another position. At this point though I have nothing beyond the bio to work with.
Coach Fleck has said he really wanted to have his staff in place by tomorrow or the end of the week, so we should expect official announcements pretty quickly.
UPDATE 1/11 4:20pm CT:
#Gophers source confirms that Western Michigan's Matt Simon, Brian Callahan and Rob Wenger are joining P.J. Fleck's staff at Minnesota.— JoeChristensen (@JoeCStrib) January 11, 2017
Hey the TDG gut feels look like they’re right! Also, ALL OF THE BLOCKING COACHING-UPPER GUYS!
Multiple OL coaches of the year added to the staff. That's ok I guess. https://t.co/WTwXiqVc39— Elite Zubaz (@GoAUpher) January 11, 2017
New #Gophers coach @Callybrian was @FootballScoop's OL coach of the year in 2016, so that's pretty neat. https://t.co/cbFuHqfPV4 https://t.co/lwO3EJKEHM— Ryan Burns (@RyanBurnsMN) January 11, 2017