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Get to Know The Defensive Coordinator Candidates: Dan McCarney

Get to Know: Dan McCarney

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

By Eric Hoffses


77-78 Iowa (Graduate Assistant)

79-89 Iowa Defensive Coordinator

90-94 Wisconsin Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach

95-06 Iowa State Head Coach

07      South Florida Assistant Head Coach/ Defensive Line Coach

08-10 Florida Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach

11-14 North Texas Head Coach

Why McCarney:

Perhaps the best thing about McCarney’s resume is that he brings 15 years of head coaching experience with him and had success at some traditionally basement dwelling programs. Although not the same situation as BC in regards to academics and location, he did win more with less at Iowa State in his ten year tenure. McCarney had five winning seasons in Ames and took the team to as many bowls. To put that run in perspective, ISU has been to three bowl games in the nine years since McCarney was let go.

The coach was not as successful at North Texas, but did inherit a 3-9 program that he took to a bowl game within three years of his hire. In that 2013 season the Mean Green allowed only 17.8 points per game, which was the 8th nationally. The defense was 15th in rushing defense and caused the 4th highest amount of turnovers nationally.

McCarney would fill the role of what some BC fans are clamoring for which is to get a proven head coach on the coaching staff to help with clock management issues and such. Also, after being fired from North Texas two months ago McCarney isn’t in a position to take another head coaching job at a lower level program so he would be more attainable than a coach like Al Golden or Randy Edsall.

Why not McCarney:

For all of McCarney’s success that he’s had you can’t overlook how bad his defense was at North Texas this season. The defense allowed 66 points to FCS opponent Portland State, which is the most points a FBS school has ever allowed to a FCS school. McCarney’s team was allowing 45 points per game before he was let go.

In terms of recruiting, McCarney doesn’t seem on the surface to be someone that would move the meter up from Don Brown. McCarney has been credited with recruiting a handful of four star recruits to Florida, but I couldn’t find any names of note to mention on that list. In 2014, Rivals ranked North Texas as the worst recruiting class in the nation and last year they were 90th.

The Bottom Line:

McCarney has a National Championship, Big Ten Title, SEC Title and Big 12 Coach of the Year on his resume and has won at a lot of different places which shows he can coach. The only issue with him is that when he hasn’t had the talent he has had some really, really bad defenses which suggests that he isn’t a guy that can scheme has way to success without much talent like some defensive coordinators at BC have done. McCarney can be successful with the unit he inherits next year but what happens if he has a lean year down the road?

Eric Hoffses is a contributor for BCI. Follow him on Twitter at @EAHoffses

Eric can also be reached at