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|Assistants play big role in success|
Dale Brown was at his best when he had very capable assistant coaches around him. On his runs to the Final Four in 1981 and 1986, Brown had Ron Abernathy, Art Tolis and Rick Huckaby surrounding him.
By the way, Abernathy is now head coach at Lane College in Jackson, Tn. Abernathy spent two years as head coach at Tennessee State before returning to Louisiana to work for former Gov. Edwin Edwards. He then went back into coaching at the high school level in Florida. Huckaby passed away three years ago at the age of 60, losing his fight with cancer.
Tolis' son, Joe, was recently hired as head boys basketball coach at Northshore High School in Slidell. As those assistants moved on and Brown was not able to bring in solid replacements, his coaching deficiencies showed.
Now you could not find many better recruiters or motivators around than Daddy Dale Brown.
Which brings us to Les Miles.
Miles is a great recruiter and motivator. It's just that X's and O's part he apparently has a little problem with.
When Miles led LSU to the national championship in 2007, he had Bo Pelini running the defense and a much more creative and imaginative Gary Crowton running the offense.
Miles assistant coaching staff the last couple of years has had such stalwarts as D.J. McCarthy, Josh Henson, Bradley Dale Peveto, Doug Mallory, Earl Lane and Joe Robinson.
But that appears to be changing for 2010.
Miles' recent hiring of Frank Wilson away from Tennessee and Billy Gonzales away from Florida gives him as good a coaching staff as he has had since 2007.
Wilson, 36, was hired away from Tennessee by LSU as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator.
Wilson's ties to the New Orleans area and Louisiana make him the perfect answer to losing running backs coach Larry Porter, who is now head coach at Memphis.
Porter is coaching LSU in the bowl game and I certainly understand wanting to hang around for extra money provided by a bonus the bowl game will bring. But Porter's decision forces Gonzales to miss coaching for the Penn State game because of NCAA rules that restrict how many coaches can serve as instructors. In his role as passing coordinator.
The extra time would be great for Gonzales and I would think Porter would want to concentrate on recruiting for Memphis.
Wilson was a high school assistant three years at Karr and head coach at O. Perry Walker for three more.
After a year as New Orleans Public School's athletic director, he spent three years at Ole Miss under Ed Orgeron and one each at Southern Mississippi and Tennessee.
Wilson made a huge impression on John Curtis Coach J.T. Curtis, whose loyalty to LSU has never been at the top of Curtis' priority list.
Gonzales will join the staff as the receivers coach and passing game coordinator, replacing D.J. McCarthy, who resigned earlier this week.
A member of Florida coach Urban Meyer's coaching staffs since Meyer landed his first head-coaching job at Bowling Green in 2001, the 36-year-old Gonzales is also regarded as a top-notch recruiter and will team with fellow new hire Frank Wilson to oversee LSU's efforts in that area.
Gonzales will work with Crowton on developing strategies for LSU's passing attack. That's what the press release said. I didn't realize LSU actually had some sort of passing attack this past season.
Just do Tiger fans a favor and hand over the clipboard, Gary.
Miles knows he cannot afford another season with three or more losses. He took a big step in that direction with his recent coaching hires. Now just step aside and let these guys do what they do best on the sideline. It worked for Daddy Dale.
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