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InTheZone

Rank Akron's FBS Head Coaches

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Fun little exercise for the offseason as we head into yet another first season under a new regime.

 

My rankings:

1. Terry Bowden - Like my #2 choice, inherited an absolute disaster, turned it around, and was let go a year too soon.  Was able to bring together a stellar defensive staff and reestablish a steady stream of NFL prospects similar to the late Owens and early Brookhart years. Only coach to take the Zips to two bowl games.  I think a couple more years at the helm could've allowed him to establish our program as a MAC powerhouse.

 

2. Lee Owens-  I'm not sure some people realize how bad things were when Owens took over in 1995.  It took him a bit to right the ship and make the team competitive, but given the terrible facilities and administrative support he was dealt, the fact that he was able to develop as much talent as he was and have some winning seasons was nearly a miracle. 2003 should've been a banner year, but the ball bounced the wrong way in three games that year and the team could've very easily been 10-2 with an upset over powerhouse Wisconsin. Defense was the achilles heel of his later teams. It's my firm belief that had his staff remained in place a MAC Championship would've been won in 2004 and 2005.  Owens has been a consistent success in everyother head coaching position he's ever held, albeit at lower levels.

 

3. JD Brookhart- Like my #4 choice, inherited a very good team and shiny brand-spanking new facilities and support that his predecessors never had.  Must receive credit for winning the school's only MAC Championship, but did so with a team full of his predecessor's recruits.  Was finally able to solve some of the team's defensive woes, but despite his background never developed a high powered offensive attack.  He swung for the fences in recruiting and took too many chances on high risk/high reward guys that never panned out.  

 

4. Gerry Faust- Led an exciting transition to FBS (1-A at that time) but his later years were an unmitigated disaster.  Discipline and talent were complete bottom of the barrell in 1-A by the time he was fired. Still love seeing him around the Zips program after all these years though.

 

5. Rob Ianello- This needs no explanation.

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6 hours ago, InTheZone said:

Fun little exercise for the offseason as we head into yet another first season under a new regime.

 

My rankings:

1. Terry Bowden - Like my #2 choice, inherited an absolute disaster, turned it around, and was let go a year too soon.  Was able to bring together a stellar defensive staff and reestablish a steady stream of NFL prospects similar to the late Owens and early Brookhart years. Only coach to take the Zips to two bowl games.  I think a couple more years at the helm could've allowed him to establish our program as a MAC powerhouse.

 

2. Lee Owens-  I'm not sure some people realize how bad things were when Owens took over in 1995.  It took him a bit to right the ship and make the team competitive, but given the terrible facilities and administrative support he was dealt, the fact that he was able to develop as much talent as he was and have some winning seasons was nearly a miracle. 2003 should've been a banner year, but the ball bounced the wrong way in three games that year and the team could've very easily been 10-2 with an upset over powerhouse Wisconsin. Defense was the achilles heel of his later teams. It's my firm belief that had his staff remained in place a MAC Championship would've been won in 2004 and 2005.  Owens has been a consistent success in everyother head coaching position he's ever held, albeit at lower levels.

 

3. JD Brookhart- Like my #4 choice, inherited a very good team and shiny brand-spanking new facilities and support that his predecessors never had.  Must receive credit for winning the school's only MAC Championship, but did so with a team full of his predecessor's recruits.  Was finally able to solve some of the team's defensive woes, but despite his background never developed a high powered offensive attack.  He swung for the fences in recruiting and took too many chances on high risk/high reward guys that never panned out.  

 

4. Gerry Faust- Led an exciting transition to FBS (1-A at that time) but his later years were an unmitigated disaster.  Discipline and talent were complete bottom of the barrell in 1-A by the time he was fired. Still love seeing him around the Zips program after all these years though.

 

5. Rob Ianello- This needs no explanation.

The best FBS coaches. Glad you limited it to FBS because those are not the best coaches who have been at Akron. Not gonna numerically rank 'em. But, Owens RECRUITED some really good talent. Hixon,Blackburn, Fry,Smith and more. Couldn't turn it in to a MAC Championship. Brookhart,took that talent,added some of his and won a MAC Championship. Actually I think the weakness in those 2006 and 2007 teams was defense. AND,Brookhart admitted it himself that he brought in some kids,David Harvey just one who were not college students but self centered athletes. Don't have a lot of love for Faust. Always thought Dennison should have at least been given a shot. But,the AD at the time thought he was smarter than everyone else. IMHO,that set this program back far more than fans realize.

Thank goodness thats over now.

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I was too young for Faust, so I can only grade the 3 Akron coaches I have legitimate experience with - Brookhart & Bowden. 

 

1) Bowden. Restored a program on the verge of becoming a middle-of-the-road FCS team. 2 bowl appearances including the program's only bowl victory. 1 MAC title game appearance.

 

2) Brookhart. Had the program's only MAC Championship, and delivered it in style. The '05 title game is one of the greatest sports memories I have, especially when my dad wanted to leave and I told him I wanted to watch until the end. However, he won that game with Owens' guys, and proved to be average at best during the rest of his tenure. 

 

3) Owens. Heck of a recruiter - Frye, Blackburn, Hixon, etc. Lackluster results in the end on the field. Frye for Heisman, though!

Edited by Let'sGoZips94
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On 3/14/2019 at 8:23 PM, Let'sGoZips94 said:

I was too young for Faust,

 

Get off my lawn!!!!  :lol:

  • Haha 1

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I rooted for and supported every coach that led the Zips, but if I had to rank them, my list is as follows:

 

1. Coach Arth

 

Based on the results, I do not see that anyone else deserves to be on the list.

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