Last Friday, University of Wyoming head football coach Craig Bohl made an announcement that surprised many including myself. Bohl announced that the contract for his defensive coordinator Steve Stanard would not be renewed for next year. Stanard’s future was something I questioned in a blog this last offseason. I also made a statement about his fate on Twitter during the disastrous defensive performance at New Mexico as well.
This is the type of game that gets a DC fired.
— WyoNation Blog (@WyoNationBlog) November 27, 2016
Stanard was on Bohl’s staff at North Dakota State for 2 years before coming over with him to Wyoming. I was not sure if Bohl would value production over loyalty when evaluating his defense. The just finished third-year head coach spent the bulk of his coaching career at Nebraska. The Huskers valued staff stability and that was a hallmark of the program under Tom Osborne. In the end, Bohl chose production over loyalty and that shows he is serious about winning football conference titles in Laramie.
This season, the Wyoming did show some improvement in generating turnovers and turning them into points. The Cowboys also showed improvement in getting to the quarterback, going from ten sacks a year ago to 30 sacks this season. Looking at the big picture, the Cowboy defense became progressively worse under Stanard allowing 32.8, 34.0 and 34.1 points per game. Bohl knows that conference and even division titles are hard to come by giving up that many points. Even though both Bohl and Stanard have their roots in the Nebraska football program. Bohl could not afford to be loyal and could not overlook the lack of production from the defense over the last three seasons.
Questions Going Forward
A national search for a new defensive coordinator has begun and there are numerous questions to ask:
- Will Bohl target someone he has worked with before?
- Is he looking for an up and coming first-time coordinator or someone with a track record of coordinating successful defenses?
- Is a system change coming? Will Wyoming switch to a 3-4, a 4-2-5, or will Bohl stick with his core 4-3 Cover 2 philosophy?
These above questions are all questions that should be asked. The good news is it probably will not be long before we get our answers. The better news is Bohl has shown he is willing to make tough decisions in order to move the Cowboy football program forward and that is something we should all applaud.