Saturday, December 30, 2006

Assistant Quartaro resigns


Nick Quartaro has resigned from Kansas University's football coaching staff, it was announced Friday afternoon.

KU's offensive coordinator for the past five seasons, Quartaro said in a statement that he plans to leave coaching, though no specifics were given. He was unavailable for comment Friday evening.

"After 30 years of football being the central point of my work, I look forward to utilizing a lot of the same skills and attributes to help me in a new career path," Quartaro said in a press release.

In charge of the offense in general and the quarterback in particular, Quartaro's success at Kansas came and went. The Jayhawks had a potent offense in 2002 and 2003 behind quarterback Bill Whittemore, struggled in 2004 and part of 2005 with a seemingly weekly quarterback controversy, then reacquired some success in 2006 despite personnel issues at the quarterback position.

Three different quarterbacks - Kerry Meier, Adam Barmann and Todd Reesing - saw significant action in '06 with mixed results. Still, Kansas averaged 29 points per game this season in finishing 6-6. Seven times, the Jayhawks broke the 30-point plateau.

If Quartaro does indeed leave coaching, it will cap a 30-year career that started at Hobart College in New York in 1977. Quartaro was a kicker at Iowa before that, and his coaching ascension progressed in the 1980s with stops at Northwestern, Drake and Kansas State. He later became head coach at Fordham before his final two stops as an assistant at Iowa State and Kansas.

At K-State, Quartaro was working as an assistant when head coach Bill Snyder hired an unknown aide named Mark Mangino. When Mangino became KU's head coach in 2002, he hired Quartaro away from Iowa State and made him offensive coordinator.

Along with defensive coordinator Bill Young - also hired in 2002 - the top three rungs of KU's coaching ladder stayed in tact until Friday's announcement. Now, only three members of Mangino's original coaching staff at KU remain - Young, tight-ends coach Brandon Blaney and co-defensive coordinator Clint Bowen, who actually preceded Mangino at KU.

"Nick has been a dedicated and important member of our coaching staff since his arrival at Kansas," Mangino said in the release. "He's played a key role in the development of our program."

No word yet on potential replacements, though the process could be quick with recruiting season heating up and current players returning from winter break in about two weeks. Spring practices will start in March.

"The respect for the Jayhawk football program among the Big 12 schools, as well as on a national level, has grown tremendously," Quartaro said in the release. "With the leadership in place and facility improvements in the works, the program will continue to climb to greater heights."


Roy Scherff 13 years ago

What about Bill Whitmore? He's not doing much these days.

JBurtin 13 years ago

I hate to admit it but this is a good move. Quartaro looked pretty good when Whittemore was around, but who couldn't score points with Bill throwing to great recievers like Simmons and Gordon. Obviously we've had some quarterback issues over the last couple of years, but the playcalling has been very predictable and way too conservative. On many occasions we would get a second and one situation where you have a great chance to catch the defense with a shot downfield. Invariably, Quartaro would call a simple run play up the gut and waste our chance at a big gain.

Unfortunately, it is always Mangino who ends up taking the heat for this weak playcalling. Some have even nicknamed him "Mangina" because of the way the offense always plays "not to lose" instead of playing to win. In truth, Mangino is one of the best offensive playcallers in the nation. Fans often seem to forget that he orchestrated a national championship offense while at Oklahoma. In fact, in the last couple of years the only time the offense has played consistently was the end of 2005 when Mangino was forced to take over some of the offensive duties because Quartaro simply wasn't getting the job done. If you'll recall, all the fans were happy when Jason Swanson returned to the line-up for the Colorado game and were disappointed when we still didn't muster much offense. Mangino took over for the rest of the year and we won four of our last five games.

The big question is, who will replace Quartaro and what kind of offense are we looking to run. One possibility is to find someone from the Texas Tech or Boise State trees. Running an offense that airs the ball out insures that you can always recruit quality quarterbacks and recievers. It is also extremely handy at the end of the game to have an offense that can put up points and mount a comeback quickly if you happen to be playing from behind (ala the comeback from a 38 to 7 deficit that Tech was able to come back from in their bowl game). Another great place to look is at mid-major schools that have come on fast such as Wake Forest and Rutgers. Still a third intriguing possibility is to pull in a big name guy, namely Jeff Bowden. He recently resigned from Florida State to relieve his dad from the pressure of having to defend him for a couple of lackluster offensive years, but I find it hard to believe that someone from the Bowden family wouldn't know a thing or two about the game of football. It also wouldn't hurt recruiting to have someone with the name Bowden going out on recruiting visits . . . just a thought. Anyone else have any suggestions?

beebe1 13 years ago

The defensive area was the worst of the two. Some time back I suggested that we take $400,00 off of Mangino's huge contract and add about $200,000 each to the coordinators -- and go get the absolute best. Cover two is an outmoded philosophy, it doesn't even work well in the pro's. One of the best coaches ever went from Northwestern to Notre Dame. He finally got burnt out and gave up coaching, and Notre Dame went down hill from then on. It would be well to get a couple of guys that are really top notch coaches -- then keep them! You have to change phliosophy as time goes on -- maybe even stay ahead of it. Now is a good time, but do it right. Get the right skills, and pay for it!

beebe1 13 years ago

Didn't see your note till I wrote a brief one. I like your thinking. My name=memory is fading -- can't think of the coach above. But he was outstanding. He perfected the ND defense against the multuiple runner offense that made it big on laterals, etc. There must be more guys out there that think football big time. There is a device that works against anything if you scheme it enough.

Brett Gaul 13 years ago

I think this is great. Quartaro's play calling sucked. We had the best running back in the Big XII and he never gave him the ball. And don't even get me started on those damn wide receiver screens that we threw every other play. I wouldn't mind seeing Jeff Bowden calling the plays next year. As long as they open up the offense and let the ball fly.

daddax98 13 years ago

"Anyone else have any suggestions"

might i suggest shorter posts

seattlehawk_78 13 years ago

No suggestions but I couldn't help notice that Glen Mason's team blew a huge lead in yesterday's bowl game. Apparently he's had quite a few games over the last two seasons where he just couldn't hold onto the lead. There have got to be a lot of angry Gophers in Minnesota right now probably demanding his resignation. I'll have to remember this next time I read an anti-Mangino post who thought Glen was a better coach.

FlaHawk 13 years ago

Maybe I read it wrong but Quartaro was a kicker at Iowa! Between nepotism and kicking background, I would say ole Nick lasted a lot longer than most would expect from his humble background.

Coaching at Hobart and Fordham are not real choice positions in the college ranks!

KU had some interesting play calling, but the defense was the problem last year. Scoring almost 30 points a game is nice for the offense, but not when pass defense can give up almost 30 points in a quarter of action.

KU needs to shake up more of the coaches so Mangino is aware of the need for change!

Alan Halvorsen 13 years ago

I'm just glad that we can look forward to a new style of offense for 2007!

beebe1 13 years ago

Hey, Boise State beat Oklahoma. Boise looked good in the beginning and came thru in the end.

How about looking toward them for co-ordinators!

Alan Halvorsen 13 years ago

Don't you think Whittimore is a little young/inexperienced for such a High position?

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