Tuesday, November 27, 2007

SF Chronicle: Cal assistants candidates for WSU job

Rusty Simmons

Creating a wake that most likely will be felt in Strawberry Canyon soon, Washington State officials announced Monday that coach Bill Doba will not return next season.  The search for Doba's replacement is expected to include Cal coordinators Bob Gregory and Jim Michalczik. Washington State athletic director Jim Sterk identified only one person, former Cougars and current Texas-El Paso coach Mike Price, when discussing his "not very short" list of candidates.

Some of the other logical choices are Washington State offensive coordinator Mike Levenseller, Eastern Washington coach Paul Wulff and Montana coach Bobby Hauck, but many consider Gregory the front-runner. "I would never, ever hold a coach back from looking into an opportunity that they feel could better their career," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. A Spokane native and Washington State graduate, Gregory, 44, went to Gonzaga Prep in Spokane and earned a degree in English at WSU. "It's flattering to be considered. I appreciate it," Gregory said. "Can we talk about Stanford now?"

In 2004, Gregory was a finalist for the Frank Boyles Award, which is given to the nation's top assistant coach, after leading a defense that ranked among the nation's top 25 in three categories. Before coming to Cal in 2002, Gregory was the defensive coordinator at Boise State, the defensive backs coach at Oregon and the defensive coordinator at Willamette in Salem, Ore.Michalczik, 41, is in his first year as offensive coordinator after five flourishing seasons as the Cal offensive line coach. The Bears are one of five teams to rank in the top 25 in both points scored and total yards in each of the last five years. "I want to beat Stanford," Michalczik said. "Those other things will take care of themselves. I kind of nice to be thought of in those terms, but we've got other things to worry about." Michalczik graduated from Port Angeles (Wash.) High and Washington State, where he was an all-conference guard. He was defensive line coach for national champion Miami in 1991. Pritchard will accept role: Stanford quarterback Tavita Pritchard has been saying it all along, ever since he became the starter back in early October: He'll prepare no differently this week, whether he's the Big Game starter or the back-up to senior T.C. Ostrander, a decision to be made by coach Jim Harbaugh before week's end.

"I'm a competitor and I want to be out there just as much as anybody," Pritchard said. "I'd love to be out there for the opening play come Saturday, but I also have a lot of trust in coach Harbaugh ... a lot of faith in T.C. too." Pritchard said he will be supportive of Ostrander if the fifth-year senior gets the final start of his career. "Mark my words, if T.C. is out there Saturday, I will be his ... biggest supporter, I'll be right in his ear when he gets to the sidelines to tell him what I'm seeing," Pritchard said. "I just want to see us win this game. ... I know what it can do for this program."

Pritchard left Saturday's game against Notre Dame with after a violent helmet-to-helmet collision with Notre Dame's Terrail Lambert. He returned for one series, and then was removed again. Briefly: Sticking with tradition, Cal's scout-team players had white tape on their helmets to look more like Stanford's. Some helmets were completely white, others were adorned with the Stanford S or the tree. ... Stanford practiced with blank jerseys - no numbers and no names. Harbaugh said the gesture represents, "selflessness." ... Cal senior linebackers Greg Van Hoesen and Justin Moye and senior cornerback Brandon Hampton moved into the starting lineup, according to Gregory. "Those guys deserve to start. We didn't play very well, and we had to change something." Stanford receivers Evan Moore and Mark Bradford have accepted invitations to the Hula Bowl. ... Gregory expects defensive end Rulon Davis (knee) to play. ... Neither Stanford center Tim Mattran (ankle) nor tailback Anthony Kimble (shoulder) practiced.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How Gregory could be considered for any head coaching job after the disaster at UW and most of this season is a mystery to me.