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Frank Castle

UMD - Coach Announced - CLEMSEN

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Great hire, IMO. 

One of my wrestlers (and unofficial foster kid) wrestled for Clemsen at Oregon State.  I was always impressed with the way Alex conducted himself and provided leadership for the wrestlers in his area of responsibility. He has a sharp mind, not only the sport, but the psychology of wrestlers.  It was a loss to Oregon State when Clemsen moved on.  I figured he would end up as a D1 head coach. 

Reviving a team at the bottom of the Big 10 is a tough job for your first head coaching gig, but I think Alex is up to the task.

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16 hours ago, drag it said:

Me neither but that mirrors the amount we hear about Missouri and its head coach as well, and they've put together exactly the kind of program that Maryland would love to have, so the fact that he's not well known doesn't seem to me to be by itself particularly problematic. 

I was in grade school when Brian Smith took over the Missouri program so I don't know how everyone reacted to it, but the impression I get is that he wasn't a "big star hire." I've actually heard he got the job because he was the cheapest option for the university. Seems like he's doing just fine with what he has, and I'm sure Clemsen has learned a few things from Smith. Hopefully he can turn Maryland around like Smith turned around Mizzou

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17 minutes ago, Griff the BullRam said:

I was in grade school when Brian Smith took over the Missouri program so I don't know how everyone reacted to it, but the impression I get is that he wasn't a "big star hire." I've actually heard he got the job because he was the cheapest option for the university. Seems like he's doing just fine with what he has, and I'm sure Clemsen has learned a few things from Smith. Hopefully he can turn Maryland around like Smith turned around Mizzou

I can tell you that there was not much positive reaction.  The message boards lit up with negative comments when he got the job.  "Who in the heck is Brian Smith" was about the normal statement.  This was in part because Terry Brands was rumored to be a candidate. I never heard it confirmed he was, but I do know that was the talk.  I was just getting started in my coaching career in Missouri about the time Smith went to Missouri.  I can also tell you I was one of maybe a handful of people who said give it time.  Because I had known of Smith before he went to Missouri I was confident he would turn the program around and make it a consistent top 20 and occasional top 10 team.  He has surpassed that.   As negative as it was when he came in it was even worse when he booted Scott Barker, the defending national runner-up, 2 years into the job.  A lot of people went ballistic.  However, there was a core of fans and coaches that respected how he was insistent at changing the culture.  About 2-years after that the rest is history.  He began producing a few All-Americans, then a national champ in Askren and so on.  Not only did he change the culture at Mizzou, but I believe he had a hand in changing the culture of wrestling in Missouri as a state.  He was great with PR.  He got involved with people at the State High School Association and began connecting with coaches.  He advocated for the sport with the High School Association and got involved with wrestling at all levels in the state.  Camp numbers exploded, teams from all over the state were going to the camps, and some of the state rules for high school started to shift and loosen up a little with how coaches could work with kids in FS/GR and teams traveling during season.  He was not responsible for it, but I do think his involvement helped with shift and changes.  Missouri is now producing several nationally ranked kids, and having success at the D1 level.  

The one thing that the good coaches who turn programs around have in common is that they can change the culture.  Sure it is a little easier at a powerhouse program.  However, look at Lock Haven, Wyoming, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Iowa State as of recent, and even Northern Colorado, Tom Ryan when he was at Hofstra.  Yes, a few have bigger college wrestling names, but in the end, all of them were able to shift the culture.  Heck, Dresser has done it twice.  Nothing can change in a down program unless you change the culture.  If Clemson does that at MD they will be a top 20 team within 4 years.  Maybe sooner.  Once that happens you can build into a top 10. 

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1 hour ago, scramble said:

I can tell you that there was not much positive reaction.  The message boards lit up with negative comments when he got the job.  "Who in the heck is Brian Smith" was about the normal statement.  This was in part because Terry Brands was rumored to be a candidate. I never heard it confirmed he was, but I do know that was the talk.  I was just getting started in my coaching career in Missouri about the time Smith went to Missouri.  I can also tell you I was one of maybe a handful of people who said give it time.  Because I had known of Smith before he went to Missouri I was confident he would turn the program around and make it a consistent top 20 and occasional top 10 team.  He has surpassed that.   As negative as it was when he came in it was even worse when he booted Scott Barker, the defending national runner-up, 2 years into the job.  A lot of people went ballistic.  However, there was a core of fans and coaches that respected how he was insistent at changing the culture.  About 2-years after that the rest is history.  He began producing a few All-Americans, then a national champ in Askren and so on.  Not only did he change the culture at Mizzou, but I believe he had a hand in changing the culture of wrestling in Missouri as a state.  He was great with PR.  He got involved with people at the State High School Association and began connecting with coaches.  He advocated for the sport with the High School Association and got involved with wrestling at all levels in the state.  Camp numbers exploded, teams from all over the state were going to the camps, and some of the state rules for high school started to shift and loosen up a little with how coaches could work with kids in FS/GR and teams traveling during season.  He was not responsible for it, but I do think his involvement helped with shift and changes.  Missouri is now producing several nationally ranked kids, and having success at the D1 level.  

The one thing that the good coaches who turn programs around have in common is that they can change the culture.  Sure it is a little easier at a powerhouse program.  However, look at Lock Haven, Wyoming, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Iowa State as of recent, and even Northern Colorado, Tom Ryan when he was at Hofstra.  Yes, a few have bigger college wrestling names, but in the end, all of them were able to shift the culture.  Heck, Dresser has done it twice.  Nothing can change in a down program unless you change the culture.  If Clemson does that at MD they will be a top 20 team within 4 years.  Maybe sooner.  Once that happens you can build into a top 10. 

That's a good description of the bottom line here -- Missouri hired a wrestling coach, not a name or a reputation, and the guy they hired ended up being a great D1 head wrestling coach.  

Lots of people with great names end up being great wrestling coaches, but in the end it isn't primarily because of their name, but because the reputation they developed was a result of their great affinity for wrestling and because of their incredible drive to be the best, which are necessary but not sufficient traits for being a great wrestling coach.  Smith had both those traits and also great organizational, promotional, and other skills that benefited his employer greatly. 

It sounds like Clemsen is a good candidate to do the same, but, like big names who get hired -- some who end up being great head wrestling coaches and some who don't -- we won't really know if he's a great head wrestling coach until he is in that job for a few years.  

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13 hours ago, scramble said:

I can tell you that there was not much positive reaction.  The message boards lit up with negative comments when he got the job.  "Who in the heck is Brian Smith" was about the normal statement.  This was in part because Terry Brands was rumored to be a candidate. I never heard it confirmed he was, but I do know that was the talk.  I was just getting started in my coaching career in Missouri about the time Smith went to Missouri.  I can also tell you I was one of maybe a handful of people who said give it time.  Because I had known of Smith before he went to Missouri I was confident he would turn the program around and make it a consistent top 20 and occasional top 10 team.  He has surpassed that.   As negative as it was when he came in it was even worse when he booted Scott Barker, the defending national runner-up, 2 years into the job.  A lot of people went ballistic.  However, there was a core of fans and coaches that respected how he was insistent at changing the culture.  About 2-years after that the rest is history.  He began producing a few All-Americans, then a national champ in Askren and so on.  Not only did he change the culture at Mizzou, but I believe he had a hand in changing the culture of wrestling in Missouri as a state.  He was great with PR.  He got involved with people at the State High School Association and began connecting with coaches.  He advocated for the sport with the High School Association and got involved with wrestling at all levels in the state.  Camp numbers exploded, teams from all over the state were going to the camps, and some of the state rules for high school started to shift and loosen up a little with how coaches could work with kids in FS/GR and teams traveling during season.  He was not responsible for it, but I do think his involvement helped with shift and changes.  Missouri is now producing several nationally ranked kids, and having success at the D1 level.  

The one thing that the good coaches who turn programs around have in common is that they can change the culture.  Sure it is a little easier at a powerhouse program.  However, look at Lock Haven, Wyoming, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Iowa State as of recent, and even Northern Colorado, Tom Ryan when he was at Hofstra.  Yes, a few have bigger college wrestling names, but in the end, all of them were able to shift the culture.  Heck, Dresser has done it twice.  Nothing can change in a down program unless you change the culture.  If Clemson does that at MD they will be a top 20 team within 4 years.  Maybe sooner.  Once that happens you can build into a top 10. 

When Smith became the coach is about the time I really started getting into wrestling, including following Mizzou wrestling. I remember when he kicked Barker off the team. It sounded like Barker had been a cancer in the room (for lack of better team) and didn't want to do thing Smith's way. I may have been fairly young at the time, but I remember thinking to myself that this new coach has the same standards for everyone, regardless of how good of a wrestler they are, and there's a reason he did this. A few years ago after Lavallee made the NCAA finals, he said in a press conference that he kicked Lavallee off the team just the year before for not doing things the right way, and made him make a list of 10 things to change if he wanted to come back on the team. Living in St. Louis, I used to go to Mizzou's first dual of the year against Illinois every year, until Mizzou beat Illinois and "coincidentally" they stopped dualing. There's no doubt whatsoever that Smith completely changed the culture at Mizzou, and if Clemsen has learned even a shred of what Smith has done, it could be fun to see him do to Maryland what Smith did to Mizzou. 

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15 hours ago, littlepun said:

Great hire, IMO.

Reviving a team at the bottom of the Big 10 is a tough job for your first head coaching gig, but I think Alex is up to the task.

Two years ago Michigan State, last year Indiana, this year Maryland. It's a race!

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17 hours ago, Griff the BullRam said:

I was in grade school when Brian Smith took over the Missouri program so I don't know how everyone reacted to it, but the impression I get is that he wasn't a "big star hire." I've actually heard he got the job because he was the cheapest option for the university. Seems like he's doing just fine with what he has, and I'm sure Clemsen has learned a few things from Smith. Hopefully he can turn Maryland around like Smith turned around Mizzou

I wouldn't be surprised at all if cost was one of the primary factors in Smith getting the job. Mizzou was awful in the Wes Roper era and I don't think the University cared at all about turning the program in to a winning program, let alone a perennial top 10. They got lucky that he turned out to be an outstanding coach. Turning around Maryland is a tougher job than Mizzou was, but not by a lot.

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1 hour ago, Crotalus said:

I wouldn't be surprised at all if cost was one of the primary factors in Smith getting the job. Mizzou was awful in the Wes Roper era and I don't think the University cared at all about turning the program in to a winning program, let alone a perennial top 10. They got lucky that he turned out to be an outstanding coach. Turning around Maryland is a tougher job than Mizzou was, but not by a lot.

I had always heard that Mizzou was considering ending the program because of not being competetive. Not sure if that is true. 

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18 hours ago, scramble said:

I can tell you that there was not much positive reaction.  The message boards lit up with negative comments when he got the job.  "Who in the heck is Brian Smith" was about the normal statement.  This was in part because Terry Brands was rumored to be a candidate. I never heard it confirmed he was, but I do know that was the talk.  I was just getting started in my coaching career in Missouri about the time Smith went to Missouri.  I can also tell you I was one of maybe a handful of people who said give it time.  Because I had known of Smith before he went to Missouri I was confident he would turn the program around and make it a consistent top 20 and occasional top 10 team.  He has surpassed that.   As negative as it was when he came in it was even worse when he booted Scott Barker, the defending national runner-up, 2 years into the job.  A lot of people went ballistic.  However, there was a core of fans and coaches that respected how he was insistent at changing the culture.  About 2-years after that the rest is history.  He began producing a few All-Americans, then a national champ in Askren and so on.  Not only did he change the culture at Mizzou, but I believe he had a hand in changing the culture of wrestling in Missouri as a state.  He was great with PR.  He got involved with people at the State High School Association and began connecting with coaches.  He advocated for the sport with the High School Association and got involved with wrestling at all levels in the state.  Camp numbers exploded, teams from all over the state were going to the camps, and some of the state rules for high school started to shift and loosen up a little with how coaches could work with kids in FS/GR and teams traveling during season.  He was not responsible for it, but I do think his involvement helped with shift and changes.  Missouri is now producing several nationally ranked kids, and having success at the D1 level.  

The one thing that the good coaches who turn programs around have in common is that they can change the culture.  Sure it is a little easier at a powerhouse program.  However, look at Lock Haven, Wyoming, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Iowa State as of recent, and even Northern Colorado, Tom Ryan when he was at Hofstra.  Yes, a few have bigger college wrestling names, but in the end, all of them were able to shift the culture.  Heck, Dresser has done it twice.  Nothing can change in a down program unless you change the culture.  If Clemson does that at MD they will be a top 20 team within 4 years.  Maybe sooner.  Once that happens you can build into a top 10. 

I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but state rules have not loosened up for coaches being able to work with kids in FS/GR. It has been and is still illegal for coaches to have contact with their athletes out of the school season during the school year

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12 minutes ago, Missourimatman said:

I agree with a lot of what you are saying, but state rules have not loosened up for coaches being able to work with kids in FS/GR. It has been and is still illegal for coaches to have contact with their athletes out of the school season during the school year

What? I guess I never knew there were rules against this. So kids that are training FS/GR with highschool coaches are breaking state rules? If that is the case, there must be a ton of rule breaking going on (or at least there was when I was wrestling).

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1 hour ago, Crotalus said:

What? I guess I never knew there were rules against this. So kids that are training FS/GR with highschool coaches are breaking state rules? If that is the case, there must be a ton of rule breaking going on (or at least there was when I was wrestling).

Yes, high school coaches are not allowed to coach their own kids in any style of wrestling outside of the season in Missouri, other than 20 contact days during the summer. As you allude to, there is a lot of cheating.

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7 hours ago, Missourimatman said:

Yes, high school coaches are not allowed to coach their own kids in any style of wrestling outside of the season in Missouri, other than 20 contact days during the summer. As you allude to, there is a lot of cheating.

Every coach of every good HS program in Missouri coaches their kids during the off-season.  There are a lot of backwards-ass rules that MSHSAA has that would put us behind many other states if the coaches were actually foolish enough to follow them.  So to all of the coaches who piss on these ridiculous rules, more power to you.

And any 'fan' who thinks the Clemsen hire was terrible (CoachWrestling), do your homework before making ignorant statements.

(I fixed the typo SHP!)

Edited by KCMO2

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14 minutes ago, KCMO2 said:

Every coach of every good HS program in Missouri coaches their kids during the off-season.  There are a lot of backwards-ass rules that MSHSAA has that would put us behind many other states if the coaches were actually foolish enough to follow them.  So to all of the coaches who piss on these ridiculous rules, more power to you.

And any 'fan' who thinks the Clemson hire was terrible (CoachWrestling), do your homework before making idiotic statements.

The Clemson hire was a bad hire, especially given that they haven't hired anybody in the last 24 years. The Clemsen hire, on the other hand, was a great hire. (the first part was tongue-in-cheek, of course)

Edited by SetonHallPirate

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On 4/25/2019 at 7:11 PM, KCMO2 said:

Every coach of every good HS program in Missouri coaches their kids during the off-season.  There are a lot of backwards-ass rules that MSHSAA has that would put us behind many other states if the coaches were actually foolish enough to follow them.  So to all of the coaches who piss on these ridiculous rules, more power to you.

And any 'fan' who thinks the Clemsen hire was terrible (CoachWrestling), do your homework before making ignorant statements.

(I fixed the typo SHP!)

Pritzlaff and Moore both would have been leagues above a better hire 

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Pritzlaff and Moore both would have been leagues above a better hire 


No, they wouldn’t, based on the simple fact they turned the job down. Hey, let’s hire a guy who doesn’t want the job.

Sound logic. Clemsen will do just fine. He’s in for the long play here. It’s going to take some time.

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2 minutes ago, JasonBryant said:

 


No, they wouldn’t, based on the simple fact they turned the job down. Hey, let’s hire a guy who doesn’t want the job.

Sound logic. Clemsen will do just fine. He’s in for the long play here. It’s going to take some time.

 

Do you ever post anything besides trying to one up someone or correct people in your typical condescending way? 

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12 minutes ago, CoachWrestling said:

Do you ever post anything besides trying to one up someone or correct people in your typical condescending way? 

It's not always important to, "correct" people, but sometimes it's necessary.

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22 minutes ago, JasonBryant said:

 


No, they wouldn’t, based on the simple fact they turned the job down. Hey, let’s hire a guy who doesn’t want the job.

Sound logic. Clemsen will do just fine. He’s in for the long play here. It’s going to take some time.

 

Totally agree that Clemsen will do fine, and for the reason(s) you cite:  It's going to take a builder,; he comes from a program that did exactly that; he seems to have the right qualities.

Can't say I agree with the flat our assertion that, for the simple reason that a guy turned down the job, he couldn't possibly have been a better hire. There can be all kinds of reasons that someone turns down a job that don't have anything to do with whether he was enthusiastic about it and would have been committed to it if he had taken it.  

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Lets put it this way, Maryland was a bottom feeder, ala Indiana and Michigan State, in the BIG for several years. You dont get there in one year so you wont be a top feeder in one year, no matter who the hire is. But the fact is, these schools direly needed a cultural shift in direction, after dereliction of duty by previous long term coaches. Hats off to the AD for stopping and changing a pathetic situation, and securing what seems to be the best coach they could get with the resources they had. The three schools I mentioned may not ever get to the top, but for the time being this sure beats them floundering every year and knowing they had no chance in hell of competing. 

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On 4/28/2019 at 11:32 PM, JasonBryant said:

 


No, they wouldn’t, based on the simple fact they turned the job down. Hey, let’s hire a guy who doesn’t want the job.

Sound logic. Clemsen will do just fine. He’s in for the long play here. It’s going to take some time.

 

If it is a fact that they were offered the job, it would prove that the Maryland wanted them before Clemsen, thus making them a better hire in Maryland's eyes.

If they interviewed for the job and turned it down, it is telling in that they did not like what they saw when they took a peak behind the curtain.

By all accounts, Clemsen has been a very good assistant but no one can predict how he will do as a head coach. However, whoever took this job knew that they would be at a competitive disadvantage in terms of administration support and facilities when you look at the commitment the top tier schools in the conference have made to wrestling.

 

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8 minutes ago, Greatdane67 said:

If it is a fact that they were offered the job, it would prove that the Maryland wanted them before Clemsen, thus making them a better hire in Maryland's eyes.

If they interviewed for the job and turned it down, it is telling in that they did not like what they saw when they took a peak behind the curtain.

By all accounts, Clemsen has been a very good assistant but no one can predict how he will do as a head coach. However, whoever took this job knew that they would be at a competitive disadvantage in terms of administration support and facilities when you look at the commitment the top tier schools in the conference have made to wrestling.

 

It's not that they didn't like what they saw behind the curtain it's that they like the situation they're in better.They offered more money then the coaches were currently making but the area is expensive and the schools aren't the greatest.Way more to it then just wrestling

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