|COLLEGE FB PACKAGE: Rookie coaches at Miami, Boston College ready to make their debuts|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 29 August 2007 13:06|
Boston College's Jeff Jagodzinski can't wait for the first kickoff of his head coaching career. Miami's Randy Shannon is trying to keep cool - if only for a short while longer.|
It's finally game week for the two rookie coaches in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and the newcomers are approaching their debuts differently.
``It's not so much being nervous, it's being anxious,'' Jagodzinski said Wednesday. ``Everything I've done up to this point in my career has led me to this ball game, so I'm really excited about it, and I'm excited about getting out there and playing a football game.''
Jagodzinski, 43, spent 22 years as an assistant with five college teams and Atlanta and Green Bay of the NFL, leaving the Packers to take over at BC when Tom O'Brien left for North Carolina State.
The 41-year-old Shannon was an assistant for 16 seasons - all in south Florida with the Hurricanes and NFL's Miami Dolphins - before he was promoted to replace the fired Larry Coker.
``I've been kind of mellowed out a little bit - now talk to me Friday night before the game or Saturday morning, I'll be nervous, jittery with butterflies,'' Shannon said. ``Right now you've got to stay calm, and go through the process, make sure you cover all your bases.''
Jagodzinski has good reason for anxiety. His tenure at BC starts with three straight conference games, including the opener against defending champion Wake Forest.
``If we're going to open up with somebody, I'm glad we're opening up with the conference champions,'' Jagodzinski said. ``I told our guys, 'If you want to be the best, you've got to beat the best, and right now Wake Forest is the best team in the ACC.'''
STAFF INFUSION: Florida State's offense may not look much different after a shake-up of its coaching staff.
``Most people are similar,'' coach Bobby Bowden said. ``You watch Clemson, you watch so and so ... it seems like maybe 70 percent of their offenses are the same. Somebody makes a little bit of difference there. ... It'll be similar, but I hope the results are different.''
The Seminoles finished last season unranked for the first time in 20 years, fell to fifth in the Atlantic Division and were 3-5 in ACC play.
To reverse that slide, Bowden hired offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher from LSU and offensive line coach Rick Trickett from West Virginia, and brought back former assistant and ex-North Carolina State coach Chuck Amato to lead the linebackers.
``Every coach is different, and I like the way these guys coach,'' Bowden said. ``The one thing I do believe is that we'll have a good system and our kids will have a pretty good grasp of it. We really don't have the total grasp that I wish we had. That will come with time, but we're almost out of time.''
N.C. TIES: Wake Forest's opener at Boston College gives coach Jim Grobe a chance to match wits with former cross-state contemporary Steve Logan.
The ex-East Carolina coach is the Eagles' new offensive coordinator, and Grobe expects a few tricks from him, given his reputation as a gambler who relied on big plays during 11 seasons with the Pirates.
East Carolina's winningest coach led the program to five bowl games before his 2002 dismissal.
Logan then was an assistant in NFL Europe and hosted a radio show in Raleigh, N.C., before Jagodzinski - a former East Carolina assistant - helped him return to college football.
``Home runs are the thing that scare you to death,'' Grobe said. ``Steve's a guy that really is after 30-yard-plus plays. That's always been his makeup. He feels like your success on offense is tied to plays over 30 yards in a game, so everything he does, he's trying to set you up for the home run. ... Steve's always been dynamite offensively.''
Grobe is 2-2 against Logan, with his wins coming at Wake Forest by a combined seven points, including a 21-19 victory over the Pirates in his 2001 debut with the Demon Deacons and a five-point win the following year, Logan's last at East Carolina. Grobe's two losses came in the 1990s when he coached at Ohio.
RUMBLINGS ALREADY?: Talk of Tommy Bowden's future at Clemson comes up every few seasons.
``Every third year I seem to be in the hot seat,'' Bowden said.
Bowden, who starts his ninth season Monday against No. 19 Florida State, twice has won nine games and has an overall record of 60-38 with the Tigers despite regularly dealing with fan frustration.
The most serious threat to Bowden's job security came during the 2003 season after Clemson lost at Wake Forest 45-17 and fell to 5-4. However, the Tigers closed that season with four straight victories - including wins over No. 3 Florida State, rival South Carolina by a 63-17 score and No. 6 Tennessee in the Peach Bowl. He then was rewarded with a longterm contract extension that tied him to the Tigers through 2010.
And it looked like that would pay off last season for the Tigers, who opened 7-1 and had the inside track to the ACC title game. Instead, Clemson lost four out of its final five - and revived the talk of Bowden's future at the school.
``You know it's coming, just be ready for it,'' Bowden said.
AP Sports Writer Pete Iacobelli in Clemson, S.C., contributed to this report.
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