Steve Addazio Vs. Dave Doeren: Which New ACC Head Coach Has The Brighter Future?

Jonathan Daniel

Which new ACC coach do you see having more success in the Atlantic Division over the next 1-2 seasons? Does the answer change if you look further out? Say 4-5 years?

Brian: The coaching carousel has likely stopped spinning this offseason in the ACC Atlantic. N.C. State moved first, hiring Northern Illinois' Dave Doeren who went 23-4 in two seasons in DeKalb. Boston College followed with the hire of Temple head coach Steve Addazio, 13-11 in two seasons at Temple.

The two "MAC" coaches followed similar paths to the ACC. Doeren was a defensive coordinator at both Kansas and Wisconsin before taking his first head coaching job at NIU. Addazio, 12 years Doeren's senior, served as offensive coordinator at Indiana and Florida. Both lasted only two years at their first head coaching stop before finding their way into the ACC Atlantic.

The two coaches didn't face each other in 2011, but it was Doeren that enjoyed much more success over the past two seasons in the form of back-to-back MAC conference titles.

Given that Addazio and Doeren were hired during the same offseason, replace former BC coaches in Spaz and Tom O'Brien, respectively and play in the same ACC division, the two coaches tenures at their current stops will seemingly be linked together.

The question is, right now, which coach do you see having more success in the ACC Atlantic over the next 1-2 seasons? Does the answer change if you look further out? Say 4-5 years? Your thoughts?

Jeff: Success is measured in wins so I most certainly think that Doeren will have more wins through his first two seasons than Addazio will. NC State won seven games this season and there's no talent void in Raleigh nor any other reason that the Wolfpack cannot repeat that win total again next season. Meanwhile, if Addazio wins seven games in his first season, that will be a small miracle because there are some talent issues with the Eagles right now.

Looking further down the road though, I really think that Addazio is in a better place to be successful. TOB is the perfect example that winning might be easier in Chestnut Hill than it is in Raleigh in football. Boston College is the top dog in its region in college football and also has had more success historically than N.C. State has had. I don't know if NC State competing with all the other North Carolina ACC schools, plus Clemson, Virginia Tech, Virginia and nearby SEC programs for recruits is the main reason that they cannot get over the hump to be more of a factor in the ACC. Maybe it's another internal issue that the Pack are dealing with. Either way, I think Doeren will have to prove to be a significantly better coach to win more games at N.C. State than the Eagles win over the next five years.

Addazio might not be the hire that a lot of people wanted or hoped for but I don't think the Eagles new HC has much potential downside. We are still close enough to a long stretch of being a top 25 type football team year after year that I'd be surprised if he doesn't get us back to where we were quickly.

Brian: The glass half-full approach. I like.

I think one thing you didn't bring up is each coach's respective recruiting wheelhouse. Doeren is, for all intents and purposes, a Midwest guy. The former Drake tight end grew up in Kansas, played in Iowa and made coaching stops at his alma mater Drake, Kansas, Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. As one would expect with a program like NIU, two-thirds of the current Huskies roster is from three states -- Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri. While certainly not prohibitive to any sort of recruiting success, it's unclear whether Doeren has any experience or relationships with high schools in the Southeast. Taking time to build up those relationships and learn to recruit a new area of the country will likely take time.

Addazio, on the other hand, is a Northeast guy who has coached in the Northeast, recruited heavily in the Northeast and Florida and made career stops at schools similar to Boston College (Notre Dame, Syracuse). As you mentioned, Boston College also enjoys significantly less competition for Northeast recruits than N.C. State does in the Carolinas and the Southeast. Looking at these two hires from purely a recruiting angle, Boston College seems to have found the better fit.

The other thing I would point to is the schedule. It remains to be seen what Bates' philosophy is towards the non-conference portion of the schedule, but N.C. State under O'Brien has been notorious for soft scheduling. N.C. State has played four "I-AA" programs in two seasons -- yes, I know South Alabama counted as a I-A program this year -- and only finished the regular season 7-5 both years. Over the next three years, State has these powerhouse football programs on the non-conference schedule -- Louisiana Tech, Central Michigan x2, East Carolina, Richmond, South Florida, Presbyterian and South Alabama -- to the trend of soft scheduling / scheduling for a bowl will continue in Raleigh. Advantage: Doeren.

When comparing Addazio to a guy like Doeren, I'm starting to come around to the idea of Addazio as coach. Even though Addazio wasn't as flashy a hire as a Doeren or a Darrell Hazell, he seems to fit with what Boston College football needs right now. Time will tell whether he can be as or more successful as Doeren at N.C. State.

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