Note: We don’t have an image of a green-and-gold clad Larry Fedora in the image editor and apparently never will.
What began with the hope that Larry Fedora, longtime successful college offensive coordinator at multiple stops, could fit his scheme with returning players like Charlie Brewer, Trestan Ebner, and Tyquan Thornton has now apparently ended, as David Smoak from SicEm365.com is reporting that Baylor and Fedora have agreed to part ways. Fedora spent one season at Baylor as the offensive coordinator. This is part of what Smoak describes as a “shakeup” of the offensive staff, something we all probably expected to see happen this season following several of the worst offensive performances in Baylor history, on the whole, including the worst since 2002 in terms of yards/play, and could be an indication that Aranda is taking some of the steps KK talked about in deciding who and what he wants his Bears to be on offense.
This news shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone given how the season went and who was most likely to get the blame. All season long there were indications that the marriage of Fedora and passing-game coordinator Jorge Munoz was not going well simply because the two want to do such wildly different things, and I continue to believe that friction was part of the reason Baylor struggled so much in the first half of games before realizing that what they were trying to do wasn’t working and just dumbing things down as much as possible in the second half. All indications are that Munoz wanted to run a style of offense much more akin to what they did at LSU with the Joes Brady and Burrow, while Fedora understandably wanted to stick with what got him where he’s been as a play-caller. And the hope before the season was that those two things could be married successfully. I was in favor of the Fedora hire when it happened, and maybe with a true offseason, more time to coalesce, and a more successful year that wouldn’t have put pressure on Aranda to make a change, we might have seen whatever vision they actually had come to pass. But we didn’t, and Fedora is the first domino to fall. Considering how Smoaky phrased the “shakeup” portion of his tweet, I’d expect he won’t be the last.
UPDATE: Fedora was not the last. Smoaky and others have now confirmed that Jorge Munoz, WR coach and Passing-Game Coordinator, is also on the way out. There may be more to come.
Aside from whether this affects any other player decisions that may yet be unknown (Thornton, perhaps), the biggest question now will be
whether Aranda just elevates Munoz to the OC spot (NOPE), where he spent just one season (as far as I can tell) at ULaLa in 2016 before making the jump to LSU, or tries to bring in someone else to work with Munoz, who probably isn’t going anywhere. (COULDN’T HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG). If I were a betting man—and I want to make clear that this is with no inside information about other potential moves— I’d bet on Munoz sliding directly into the OC/QB coach role vacated by Fedora (WRONG, WOULD HAVE LOST A LOT OF MONEY), Wickline moving on (since Fedora is about the only reason he’s here in the first place) (STILL POSSIBLE), and Baylor either hiring new WR and OL coaches or promoting from within at those spots (OR HIRING ALL NEW EVERYTHING). As I’ve told others before, if I was Joey McGuire (and I’m not, clearly), I’d be doing everything I can to get into that OL spot considering it has become one of the best gigs in CFB if you want to make a lot of money and eventually become a head coach. And whoever you get at WR coach needs to be an offensive recruiting machine. I’ll try to come up with some names for that spot that would be good hires.
So this is a tricky situation now because when I originally posted this article, it was Fedora with the possibility of more. I didn’t expect Munoz to be among them; rather, I expected him to be elevated based on his relationship with Aranda. But that wasn’t enough to save him, apparently, and he’s out. So now we have no OC, not passing-game coordinator, and possibly other vacancies on offense, as well.
Stay tuned, this one is getting wild.
Baylor confirms that OC Larry Fedora is out along with Passing Game Coordinator Jorge Munoz.— Colt Barber (@Colt_Barber) December 22, 2020
OL coach Joe Wickline, RB coach Justin Johnson and TE coach Shawn Bell remain on staff.