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Report: Vanderbilt hires an OC... and a passing game coordinator

Well this is interesting.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I have to admit that, at first, this felt a little deflating.

David Raih has been the Arizona Cardinals’ wide receivers coach for the past two seasons, and prior to that, he’d worked for the Green Bay Packers — and spent a year as Texas Tech’s quarterbacks coach in 2013, after spending three years as a graduate assistant at Iowa and two years as an intern at UCLA (where, presumably, he met Clark Lea, who was on staff for the Bruins at that time.) While I generally think “hiring offensive coaches who have worked with Kliff Kingsbury” is a good idea, that’s an awfully thin resume for an SEC offensive coordinator.

That said, this news has me a little more excited.

Joey Lynch, on the other hand, has a resume befitting an SEC offensive coordinator: a successful playcaller at Ball State (Ball State’s points per game in his six years as offensive coordinator: 27.7, 23.1, 27.0, 17.9, 24.2, 34.8), followed by a single year as offensive coordinator at Colorado State. (That season where they averaged 17.9 ppg came when his starting quarterback, one Riley Neal, got hurt.)

In other words, I have mixed feelings about this: I would be fine with hiring Joey Lynch as offensive coordinator and this setup frankly sounds a lot like LSU’s with Steve Ensminger as the titular offensive coordinator while “passing game coordinator” Joe Brady was the brains behind the offense — but in this case, I can’t think of any reason why they would give Raih the title instead of just hiring him as wide receivers coach and letting Lynch be the coordinator. Maybe there’s a reason for it that I’m just not seeing (for the record, in LSU’s case, it was mostly that Ed Orgeron didn’t want to demote Ensminger.)

In any case, let’s recap who all has been hired to Clark Lea’s coaching staff thus far:

  • David Raih (offensive coordinator, presumably also wide receivers)
  • Joey Lynch (passing game coordinator, quarterbacks)
  • Norval McKenzie (running backs)
  • Justin Lustig (special teams, tight ends)
  • Peter Rossomando (offensive line — note that while there’s been no announcement that he’s been retained, he’s still listed on the roster page while most of the former staff is not)
  • Jesse Minter (defensive coordinator, probably defensive backs)
  • Inoke Breckterfield (defensive line)
  • Jovan Haye (defensive end)

That would leave two more full-time positions, and they’re probably both going to be defensive coaches what with the offense appearing to already be covered. Lea still needs to hire a linebackers coach, and I’d assume somebody else to help out in the secondary.