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Get To Know The Defensive Coordinator Candidates: Iowa LB Coach Jim Reid

A former head coach at UMass and Richmond, could the defensive coordinator of the 1994 Boston College Eagles be primed to make a return to Chestnut Hill?

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports


1970-1972: Player, University of Maine

1973-1974: University of Massachusetts (Graduate Assistant)
1975-1985: University of Massachusetts (Assistant Coach)
1986-1991: University of Massachusetts (Head Coach)
1991-1993: University of Richmond (Defensive Coordinator)
1994: Boston College (Defensive Coordinator)
1995-2003: University of Richmond (Head Coach)
2004: Syracuse University (Defensive Line)
2005: Bucknell University (Defensive Line)
2006-2007: Virginia Military Institute (Head Coach)
2008-2009: Miami Dolphins (Outside Linebackers)
2010-2012: University of Virginia (Associate head coach/Defensive Coordinator)
2013-Present: University of Iowa (Linebackers)

Why Reid:

Jim Reid's name surfaced this week when a report by Mark Blaudschun said Steve Addazio was focusing his search on the Iowa Hawkeyes' defensive position coach. Blauds even went so far as to say that a decision and announcement is expected in the coming days.

Whether or not that's true is determined on if you believe the report. I'm choosing to stay out of the speculation business and instead analyze Reid from a name perspective.

Let's start with who Reid is. He's a well-respected coach of over 40 years; his first year as a graduate assistant was either the first or second year that UMass was known as the Minutemen, and he's coached at every level. He's ultra-familiar with the Massachusetts and New England region, bringing forward the same type of name recognition as Don Brown.

He's also been incredibly successful. He won three Yankee Conference titles with UMass, then won two Atlantic-10 titles with Richmond. He was named conference coach of the year five times. As the associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Virginia, he helped the Cavaliers to an 8-5 record in his second year, a year in which they finished second in the Coastal Division and went to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl (the same bowl that's now part of the New Year's Six).

As a position coach with the Miami Dolphins, he helped win an AFC East division championship in 2008—the only championship since 2003 that a team other than the New England Patriots won. That season, for what it's worth, is the Dolphins' only .500 or better season since 2005 and it's the only time they've been to the playoffs since Tom Brady has been the Week One starter for the Patriots (the 11-5 Dolphins finished second in 2001 and went to the playoffs, but Drew Bledsoe was the Week One starter for New England).

Bringing in Reid is to bring in the same type of guy that you got with Don Brown, which makes sense. He's 65 years old, which makes him something of the same elder statesman as the 60-year old Brown, and he's a local guy with local ties. You're getting a guy who grew up in Medford, went to Maine, coached at UMass, coached at BC. There's something about having to do more with less when you do that, and that's exactly the type of guy you want.

Oh and by the way, Iowa didn't exactly play that poorly this year.

Why Not Reid:

I have no idea how to get a feed on this guy. When you look at his resume, there's virtually no rhyme or reason to where he went. Most guys have some type of career arc, but Reid doesn't. That makes him something of a coaching vagabond.

You have a guy who worked his way up the ranks of UMass, then left to go to Richmond as the defensive coordinator after winning three conference championships in five years. He leaves Richmond to come up to Chestnut Hill, only to go back to Richmond after one season to become head coach again. Then he left Richmond after '03 to go become a position coach at the Division 1-A level, then left after the Diamond Ferri game and Champs Sports Bowl to go to Bucknell, which is in the Patriot League. Then he bounces to VMI (SoCon, FCS) for a couple of years, heads to the NFL for a couple of years, comes back to Virginia, then winds up as a position coach for Iowa.

None of that makes any sense to me, but I might just be missing something. I'm willing to admit that.

I don't know that Steve Addazio can bank on having a coordinator last one or two seasons, and Reid is a guy who hasn't spent more than a couple of years with anybody since he last left the Spiders in 2003.

Then there's the aspect of the source the report is coming from. As I mentioned, I'm not here to degrade a reporter or his sources, but literally nobody besides Blauds is reporting this as happening. BC Interruption's Eric Hoffses reached out to sources and couldn't confirm anything. As of Saturday night, Reid was still actively recruiting for Iowa.

So unless Blaudschun knows something literally every other person covering college football doesn't (which, again, is entirely possible), this would be a hire out of left field.

The Bottom Line:

Regardless of whether you believe the reports or not, let's talk about if Reid would be a good fit. I think he's a good coach. I know he recruited a couple of guys out of my hometown back in the day (he was at Richmond at the time), and he had great rapport with the local area coaches. He's earned a lot of respect from a substantial amount of people throughout a 40-year career.

In speaking with a number of ACC people throughout the season, none of Virginia's problems under Mike London were related to recruiting. In fact, they believed he was a great recruiter, and Reid was an important cog of that machine. Moving over to Iowa three seasons ago, it's hard to argue what the Hawkeyes achieved under Kirk Ferentz.

For that reason, I find Jim Reid to be an intriguing hire if BC goes after him. I fear the resume a little bit because I don't understand the bouncing between school to school; that's something substantially different from Don Brown, who worked his way up to successful FCS head coach before jumping to FBS coordinator—and now climbing to the top of the mountain with Michigan.

Is he the next defensive coordinator? It's tough to tell. But there's an element of the unknown that makes Jim Reid intriguing.