Friday, October 22, 2010

Poll Is Closed- Coach Harper Is the Overwhelming Choice

In an poll posted earlier, I asked if Ferrum should choose its next head coach from the ranks of it's assistants, or should they pick an outside candidate. The response was 78% in favor of hiring from within the ranks of the the assistants. Logically the next poll I posted about this subject was in essence, which assistant should it be?
Of the 39 votes cast, 31, or 79% were cast for Coach David Harper. In second place was Coach Pete Shaw. with 10%
The College is currently advertising for the head coaching job, and I expect they will be making a decision on the next head coach fairly soon after the season is over. There is a committee in place, and they will be tasked with making a recommendation of who the best qualified candidate is. This will be a huge undertaking as I would expect that there will be many applications...probably from all over the country. This is a good thing as the object is to find a candidate that will not only fulfill the duties of the job and represent the college with dignity, but be able to teach and mold the players while taking the program to a place of prominence in not only the conference, but in the nation as well.
The choice of Coach Harper was not unexpected by me. Coach Harper has been successful as a player, and a coach, and has been a model of consistency for Ferrum. I look for him to be a strong contender for the position.
I have no clear cut information as to when the next coach will be named. For now it is important to focus on the remainder of the season. Improving in practice, and winning on the field. Get ready for Shenandoah...that is the important thing for now.


  1. Wow really Coach Harper head coach Ferrum needs to hire a coach who doesn't run the triple option offense.
    That offense is terrible Ferrum has good size at the skill positions. Most colleges are running the spread offense to move the ball.
    Also, that defense 4-2-5 lets try switching it up to a 3-4 or 4-3 to keep teams on their heels.

  2. First of all Ferrum needs to recruit a quarterback with size & a strong arm.
    #24 is an hell of an athlete but not a pure passer i would use him in a wildcat package.
    Please throw the ball to the TE poor Vince how many catches he has this year ?
    Thats the only way Ferrum will be a true D3 football power house.
    Example Mount Union or UW-Whitewater.

  3. I agree Ferrum needs size at the LB position who runs the nickel defense the entire game who does that ?
    Ferrum next head coach needs to install different defenses from 3-4or 4-3.
    Take a look at the D3 football power houses build your team like theirs to be successful.

  4. Ferrum has to open up their wallets lets go after OC's or DC's from top tier schools like UM-Whiterwater or Mount Union. If we can get a coach from a winning program at Ferrum maybe we can be mention as a top D3 football powerhouse & start making the playoffs who cares about the USA SOUTH lets win a national championshi !!!!!

  5. Hummmmmm....Don't know if I agree with the offensive assessment. There are times that I feel that the triple option is ineffective, but the truth is that most every year, Ferrum's rushing offense is one of the top ten in the country. If taught correctly, and with the right personnel, it is a difficult offense to stop. I do think that diversity may benefit the Panthers, but the spread offense calls for a dominant offensive line. You can get the triple option working with a smaller O- line, that can master blocking techniques, and is not so reliant on size.
    Statistically, the rushing offense is down this year as compared to years past, and this is due to many factors, not the least of which are injuries. They may not finish in the top ten this year, but I bet they will be close.
    Defense is another story. I have seen where Ferrum will from time to time line up with three down linemen as you suggest, but the concern I have is in the secondary. There are waaaaaay too many yards being given up through the air.
    So if Harper is the head coach, wouldn't it stand to reason that there would be a new offensive coordinator to replace him? Also, it is important to look at the success that Harper has had at Ferrum. Before he was offensive coordinator, he was the defensive coordinator. During his tenure in that position, Ferrum's defense was one of the best in the country.

    Nonetheless, I appreciate your sharing your opinion, and reading the blog.

  6. I agree lets bring in a hard nose coach with a championship background. Who on Ferrum staff has won a national championship as a coach ?
    Here are some keys to Ferrum success:
    Hire a successful coach.
    Recruit players outside of VA.
    Switch up the offensive & defensive play calling.
    Use the TE more.

  7. Football is a what have you done for me lately business. Did Coach Harper defense bring Ferrum a playoff run we are talking about the present. Lets recruit players with size to take up space on both sides of the football. Who cares about being top ten in rushing did Ferrum go to the playoffs, win a national championship ?
    People we have to stop thinking small lets think big playoffs,national championships & D3 FOOTBALL POWERHOUSE !!!!

  8. I agree Ferrum defensive backfield is TERRIBLE where's the size ?
    What are the defensive coaches thinking 4-2-5 defense. Who runs that lets try 4-3 or 3-4.
    My opinion lets get rid of the entire staff start over with new coaches & a winning attitude.
    Change is always better !!!!!

  9. Wow! So many comments- As they are all from Anonymous, I will have a hard time addressing each comment individually but I will try-

    I agree Mayo is a very gifted athlete, As for a pure passer, it is not really an emphasis of the Ferrum offense,but he has the best arm I have seen in a while....probably as good as Pitts.

    I agree with the suggestion of modeling a proven winning program- Why re-invent the wheel?

    The suggestion of the budget necessity for paying a proven coach(opening their wallets) is a real issue. I do not have the information available as to what coaches make at the D3 level, but I can understand your concern that Ferrum may not ante up as fast as other schools. This however is speculation, and without insight as to what Ferrum's salary range is, I have no way to speak to this.

    You are right, Football is a what have you done for me lately sport, and I also absolutely love your D3 Powerhouse attitude. I am fine with the best candidate getting the job. I do not think Ferrum will sway Nick Saban from Alabama, but why not go after a UWW, or Mt. Union assistant? Heck it cannot hurt to try. Salary issues may be an obstacle, but I could be wrong on that. I don't know what Ferrum can or will do in that regard.

    One comment mentions recruiting outside of Virginia. Ferrum has a lot working against it when it comes to recruiting. First is it's location in proximity to an urban setting. 35 miles to a mall.
    Also, Nightlife, and recreational would be a very kind description. Lastly is the tuition of the school. 32K a year is going to add to the difficulty. So while these issues are ones that make recruiting players difficult, just think how it will impact the search for a coach.

  10. Does Ferrum have a strength,speed, and conditioning coach?

  11. I am not sure, but I would think so. If so, I do not know who it is. When I was there, it was a strong emphasis. John Zernhelt, now with the Tennessee Titans, ran a very strong program. If anyone knows the answer, please chime in.

  12. In todays game of football, teams can not be 1 dimensional!!! Ferrum is exactly 1 dimensional!!!! I have been silently following Ferrum's football blogs and i must say i enjoy them, keep Ferrum up to date football wise. But lets all be honest here, Ferrum college is TOO TRADITIONAL! All they want to do is run the ball!! You talk about Ferrum being top in the country when it comes to rushing, but lets be serious. If all teams ran an average of 70 plays a game and 85-90% of them were running plays, they too would be at the top of the country. They have athletes to be a balance team, but i feel it's coaches and how they want to be loyal to Ferrums tradition!!! But in my eyes, who is going to be complaining if there is a "W" at the end of every game?!?! Have you notice every year Ferrum is in the same predicament, when it comes to winning conference?!?! Ferrum can beat any team in conference, but i feel it needs a new coaching staff. Cant have your eyes set on playoffs or National Championships, if you cant when conference. It's time to roll the dice!!

  13. Coach Harper is the right man for the job- he is going to be a great head coach.

    Get rid of the 4-2-5 defense. Enough already, it's not working and too easy to exploit by a quality coach/team.

    The problem with Ferrum is they are rebuilding every year- which leads to losing a couple of games(if not more) every year to inexperience and lack of depth. Re-evaluate the type of student athletes you are bring into the program. I know it's competitive out there but recruiting has to be more than a numbers game.

    With Coach Harper at the helm, and getting kids into the program for 2, 3 and 4 years- Ferrum will again be a powerhouse. USA South is weak and Ferrum should be getting an automatic birth every year- yes I said every year.

  14. I dont agree on Coach Harper being the new head coach. Ferrum needs to hire a coach who can evaluate talent,size & speed. My son was recruited to play LB he has good size 6'2 220lbs. 4.6 40 speed.
    The coaches moved him to TE Coach Harper told me your son will get playing time he hasn't got on the field except for the JV games.The LB's they have on the field are smaller than my son.
    The defensive backfield also, doesn't have any size we are getting destroyed by teams.

  15. News flash!!!!!! All Coach Harper can recruit is running backs!!!!!! As a former player, i have seen the ins and outs of Ferrum Football. Everybody wants Harper to be head coach, but it's funny that Harper is the same coach that calls the offensive plays. Oh yes, he is the offensive coordinator, who will run for 1000 yards in a game on teams he know he can easily run on. Only time he passes is when it's third down or Ferrum is down and the teams know he is going to throw the ball!! Ferrums offensive style + Harper = "Predictable!" He runs the same plays over and over; yes, if it is not broken why fix it, but i figure eventually you have to keep the other teams on their toes! Oh, and that 4-2-5 defense, only works if you bring in the talent. It's so easy to have your way with that defense, it's called SCHEMING!!!! So, the blueprint for that needs to be done with.
    As far as Ferrum being in a rebuilding year every year, of course it's going to be like that when you bring in 100 plus freshman telling them they are going to play a certain position an don't. Or how about telling them they are going to get playtime, and never touch the field. I've seen guys that were very talented throw in the towel on their passion for football, because Ferrum didn't even give them a chance to showcase their talent. Who said D1 caliber size kids cant play the same role in D3?!?! Just because its D3 doesn't mean we cant have a mind set of a D1 school!! Even the Franklin County kids dont want to come play at Ferrum, that speaks alot!!!!! YOU CANT GET VALUABLE TALENT IF YOU ARE RUNNING A TRIPLE OPTION OFFENSE/4-2-5 DEFENSE!!!!
    I agree the conference is weak, but it just makes Ferrum even weaker if you cant win in a weak conference. They were crowed champions of the conference twice, only to have to split it with another school, and Ferrum getting the automatic bid. You have to down right win the conference to make a statement about being a powerhouse. Here's another thought and I'm done; most kids leave Ferrum because each yr they raise cost $2000. Look back at 2006 and see how much Ferrum cost, and look at how much it cost now!!!! Why should players/parents be in debt just because a football coach wants numbers on his team????? It's one thing if you are a winning tradition, but Ferrums not!!! Stop looking back in the Coach Norton days, and look at the present...time doesn't go backwards, it moves forward!!!!

  16. I as well know the ins and outs of Ferrum football as a former player- but unlike you i'm not a disgruntled former player. I agree with some of the things you are saying (tuition) but there are 2 points I want to make- 1) Every school that recruits you or anyone else is giving you a sales pitch- it's up to you to decide if Ferrum is a fit NOT only athletically but academically- no one is forcing you to go to Ferrum. If you don't like the schools location, the offense/defense it runs, the majors it offers, etc, before you even get there- then it's not going to work out and that's part of making an educated decision in choosing a college. 2) It's nothing personal but if you aren't playing or getting a chance to play it's because you're not good enough. The coaches (at any school) are going to play whoever gives them the best chance to win. Some kids get discouraged and leave- others put in the hard work and become starters/contributors in their 2nd 3rd or 4th year. The kids who put in the hard work are who you build your team around not the guys expecting something handed to them on a silver spoon because they were all district in high school. If you show up at Ferrum and expect something handed to you on the football field you've definitely chosen the wrong school.