The North is Lucky
There is no doubt that the Pac-12 is rich with great coaches. From experienced veterans such as Mike Riley (Oregon State Beavers) to the new guys such as Rich Rodgriguez (Arizona Wildcats) and Mike Leach (Washington State Cougars), the Pac-12 has received an influx of great coaches as of late.
And yet, despite all of the talent at the coaching position, few would argue that there is a region of better coaches in the Pac-12 than those located in the northwest. The coaches that make up this region are Chip Kelly (Oregon Ducks), Steve Sarkisian (Washington Huskies,), and the aforementioned Mike Leach and Mike Riley.
Three of them have been in the Pac-12 for a considerable amount of time, with Leach being the only newcomer to the region this season.
All have demonstrated the capability to take their teams from good to great.
Whether it is Riley’s consistent coaching at Oregon State, Kelly’s innovative offense at Oregon, Sarkisians ability to resurrect a program from the dead, or Leach’s all-out air assault, each of these coaches have certain characteristics that make them some of the best in college football.
Let’s explore them.
Steve Sarkisian – Washington Huskies
There is no doubting the fact that Sarkisian has completely turned around the University of Washington football program.
He has exceled in revitalizing a football program that was not to long ago an 0-12 team that many believed could be kicked out of the Pac-10 despite a rich history in the sport.
A former quarterback for BYU, Sarkisian excels in coaching his quarterbacks and really putting in the right talent to succeed on the offensive side of the ball. He has shown how he can take a quarterback to the next level and has received the undivided attention from his players.
Off the field Sarkisian is one of the best recruiters in the nation.
He has found a way to sell the Huskies to numerous recruits around the nation and brought in a great talent base for the Huskies to build from.
Mike Riley – Oregon State Beavers
While the Beavers may have had a few tough years as of late, Mike Riley is that one coach in the northwest that everybody looks up to.
He is the more seasoned of all the coaches and has already demonstrated countless times that he knows what he is doing.
Implementing a pro style offense at Oregon State, Riley has also had his fair share of success in producing NFL caliber wide receivers and quarterbacks.
He is one of the most respected coaches in the nation and always knows what is best for the program.
Mike Leach – Washington State Cougars
Leach will be leading the Cougars in 2012 in what will be his first season as head coach of their football program.
After taking time off following his departure form Texas Tech, Leach is more than ready to implement his air it out style of offense with a Washington State team that is trying to revitalize itself.
Just like the Huskies, the Cougars have been in the dumps as of late but Leach is looking to turn that around.
He has a great quarterback competition brewing and the receivers to make his offense shine once again.
While his defense may be a bit questionable at times, there is no doubt that the Cougar offense will be very exciting to watch with Leach directing the field.
Chip Kelly – Oregon Ducks
Chip Kelly is an innovative and offensive guru.
Since he took the title of head coach at Oregon, Kelly has taken the Ducks to three straight Conference Titles and BCS Bowl Games, most recently winning a thrilling Rose Bowl Game that secured the Ducks’ first Rose Bowl since 1917.
Kelly’s insane tempo combined with his “Win the Day” mantra is all that is has taken to elevate the Oregon Ducks into the elite ranks of college football. Well, that and a great coaching staff to compliment him.
Kelly is not only a great coach because of the offense he implements on the field but also because of how he recruits players to fit the needs of his offense.
Though they may not be the 5-star athletes, Chip has consistently shown the ability to fit the players he recruits into his system and make them great by doing so.
What would the Northwest Pac-12 ” Supercoach” Look like?
Combining Kelly, Leach, Sarkisian, and Riley would result in one scary coach.
Taking the best trait from each coach, you would have a coach who could bring in the top recruits (Sarkisian), have some of the best knowledge in the game (Riley), have one of the best air attacks in the nation (Leach), while also having the best offense in the league complimented by an outstanding rushing attack (Kelly).
All in all, this coach would be one of the best in college football history.
But until all these coaches decide to come together, we’ll just have to watch them slug it out on the field.
Here’s to a brand new college football season!