Baylor officially confirmed the hire that we discussed this morning of former UNC head coach Larry Fedora as the offensive coordinator and QB coach for Dave Aranda a few minutes ago. This hire brings Fedora back to Baylor, where he began his college coaching career nearly 30 years ago under Grant Teaff, and I’ve pulled Aranda’s quote about the hire to the right below the tweet with the link to Baylor’s press release.
I think the “former head coach” part is important here because Aranda now has two of them as his coordinators, and that’s not an accident. He’s a first-time head coach that will now be backed up by two respected, experienced coordinators with tremendous experience. These guys know how to run a program, and Aranda can lean on them as he figures out how to run ours. It’s a great arrangement if everyone involved is willing to fill their role and work together to be successful, which I have no doubt they are. Fedora, for his part, said the following about coming back to Baylor after spending the last year as an offensive analyst in Austin: “I am thrilled to back in Waco and working with Coach Aranda,” Fedora said. “Baylor is a special place and I have many fond memories of my time here working under Coach Teaff and Coach Reedy. I look forward to meeting the players, getting to work and building one of the top offenses in the Big 12.”
As expected Fedora has been announced as both the OC and the QB coach, since coaching QBs has been and is his specialty. He will work with Passing-Game Coordinator and WR coach Jorge Munoz to develop Baylor’s offense, which should look something like a meld of what you saw LSU run this season and what Fedora has run in the past as discussed in the video below:
As noted in the video, one of the things I love most about Fedora is his analytical slant. He’s been on the forefront of offensive analytics for years, long before most really embraced it at the college level, and the pairing with Aranda should work well. This is an opportunity for Fedora to rehabilitate his image at the college level since his dismissal from UNC two years ago and eventually earn his way back into a HC job where he probably belongs.
Fedora’s hire and assignment as OC/QB coach probably leaves two offensive slots open at this time for RBs and the OL, since I doubt Shawn Bell returns in that role. Regarding the latter, speculation about a potential hire has centered on Joe Wickline, who I discussed a little bit earlier today. SicEm365 has even reported that Baylor is finalizing negotiations with Wickline, but that hasn’t been confirmed by any national sources just yet. We don’t know much about RB coach other than that Jeff Nixon has been removed from the Baylor website. Stay tuned for that.
I’m thrilled with this hire and how the coaching staff has come together so far. Like I said on Twitter earlier today, if you had told me going into this process that we would emerge with Aranda and Fedora running the defense and offense, respectively, backed up by someone like Munoz fresh off a record-breaking national championship offensive run at LSU and a defensive guru like Ron Roberts, I’d have been thrilled. Throw in retaining Joey McGuire and stealing at least one (and possibly more with spots still open) elite SEC recruiter, and we’re in rarefied air. I don’t see how you can really complain about this so far.
Give me your thoughts in the comments, and maybe go follow our newest OC, @CoachFedora, on Twitter.
Welcome back to Baylor, Coach Fedora!
UPDATES 1/2: I’ve been keeping a running tab of our confirmed and reported hires as they are made or it’s announced that guys are staying. Here’s where we are right now with the information Baylor just released:
I’m leaving Wickline off until it is confirmed somewhere else.
HC: Aranda (@CoachDaveAranda)
DC/ILBs: Roberts (@CoachRonRoberts)
AHC/(OLBs): McGuire (@CoachMcGuire_BU)
DL: Johnson (@CoachDJ_)
OC/QBs: Fedora (@CoachFedora)
PGC/WR: Munoz (@CoachMunoz13)
TEs: Bell (@CoachShawnBell)
That’s 7 out of 11 spots filled.