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March 2, 2011

Dienhart: All-star staffs by conference

On Tuesday, we unveiled our all-star group of assistant coaches nationally.

Today, we pick all-star staffs in each of the Big Six leagues, as well as an all-star staff from the non-Big Six schools.

Coordinator: Mike O'Cain, Virginia Tech. He will assume coordinator duties this season, but he's already a proven commodity. O'Cain, 56, was coordinator at North Carolina in 2000 and head coach of N.C. State from 1993-99. O'Cain, also a former Clemson assistant, has vast experience coaching quarterbacks.
Quarterbacks: Kevin Rogers, Boston College. He brings a wealth of experience to the Heights, having served as quarterbacks coach the past five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. Rogers, 59, also has coached quarterbacks at Virginia Tech and has been offensive coordinator at Notre Dame and Syracuse.
Running backs: Ken Browning, North Carolina. He has coached for 17 seasons at North Carolina in a variety of spots, making a big impression as running backs coach in recent seasons. Browning, who turns 65 Wednesday, is a stickler for details.
Receivers: Lee Hull, Maryland. An underrated assistant, Hull's first prized prospect was Oregon State's Mike Hass, who won the 2005 Biletnikoff Award. At Maryland, Hull, 45, continued to do excellent work and groomed Darrius Heyward-Bey into a first-round draft pick. He also oversaw Torrey Smith's rise to stardom in the ACC.
Tight ends: Danny Pearman, Clemson. Pearman, 46, knows the ACC, having coached at North Carolina, Duke and Maryland in addition to Clemson. Pearman a former Clemson tight end who also coaches offensive tackles, made Michael Palmer an All-ACC tight end in 2009, when Clemson tight ends combined for 54 catches -- the most for the position in school history.
Line: Rick Trickett, Florida State. The former Marine and Vietnam vet is as tough as a truck-stop steak. The diminutive Trickett's take-no-prisoners style endears him to his pupils. He's an excellent teacher and motivator who understands line games better than anyone. No coach gets more out of his players than the Harley-riding Trickett, who turns 63 on March 23.
Coordinator: Bud Foster, Virginia Tech. He's widely considered one of the nation's premier coordinators, playing a huge role in helping Frank Beamer build a national power in Blacksburg. Foster, 51, is renowned for drawing up effective blitz packages, and his players feed off his energy.
Line: Andy McCollum, Georgia Tech. A 30-year coaching veteran, the personable McCollum, 51, is a bright mind who knows how to motivate. He's also a leader, having served as head coach at Middle Tennessee State from 1999-2005.
Linebackers: Greg Hudson, Florida State. The fiery Hudson, 44, was one of the country's most underrated defensive coordinators while at East Carolina. At Florida State, he's grooming some of the country's top linebackers while also helping coordinator Mark Stoops run the defense.
Defensive backs: Torrian Gray, Virginia Tech. He has made a big impact in five seasons at his alma mater, grooming the likes of Kam Chancellor, Victor "Macho" Harris and Brandon Flowers, among others. Gray, who played for three seasons in the NFL, also has two years' experience as an assistant secondary coach with the Chicago Bears. Gray turns 37 on March 18.
Coordinator: Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia. He brings his high-scoring, one-back scheme from Oklahoma State to Morgantown, where Holgorsen will serve as coach-in-waiting in 2011 before taking over the program. A man in motion who always is thinking and scheming, Holgorsen -- who turns 40 in June -- learned at the feet of Mike Leach and is taking the one-back offense to another level.
Quarterbacks: Shawn Watson, Louisville. Watson, 51, brings a wealth of experience to Derby City, having most recently served as offensive coordinator at Nebraska. Watson, a passing-game guru, also has coordinated the offense at Colorado and was head coach at FCS member Southern Illinois.
Running backs: Kenny Carter, Louisville. He made a name for himself at Florida, working with Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey. Last season, Carter earned plaudits for developing Bilal Powell into an All-Big East running back. Carter, 42, also has been an assistant at LSU, Vanderbilt, Penn State and Pittsburgh.
Receivers: P.J. Fleck, Rutgers. One of the sport's rising stars, Fleck interviewed for the head-coaching job at Northern Illinois, his alma mater. after the 2010 season. The charismatic Fleck, 30, is a good communicator and teacher whose credibility is enhanced by the fact he played in the NFL.
Tight ends: George DeLeone, Connecticut. He is one of the best in the business, working in the pro and college ranks for 25 years. DeLeone, 62, spent the past three seasons coaching the Miami Dolphins' tight ends. In addition to grooming tight ends, DeLeone will coordinate UConn's offense for new coach Paul Pasqualoni, who also has been in the NFL for the past few seasons.
Line: Bill Bedenbaugh, West Virginia. He is a rising force, coming to West Virginia from Arizona to work with old college teammate Dana Holgorsen (both attended Iowa Wesleyan, where Mike Leach was coach). In addition to coaching the line in Tucson, Bedenbaugh, 38, also served as run-game coordinator and co-offensive coordinator. He's a smart coach and an excellent teacher.
Coordinator: Jeff Casteel, West Virginia. One of the nation's most underrated defensive minds, Casteel is a master of the 3-3-5 set. He may have done his best coaching job yet last season, when the Mountaineers' defense led the Big East and ranked third in the nation (261.1 ypg). Casteel's defense gave up just three rushing TDs this season, which ties the fewest allowed this century. No one gets more out of less.
Line: Paul Randolph, Pittsburgh. A smart tactician and motivator, Randolph has a diversified resume that has seen him work at places such as West Virginia, Alabama, Rice, Tulsa and now Pitt. Players love playing for the passionate Randolph, 44, who went to Pitt from Tulsa with new coach Todd Graham.
Linebackers: Mark Snyder, USF. Snyder, a former head coach at Marshall, doubles as the Bulls' defensive coordinator. Snyder, 46, cut his teeth as assistant at Ohio State, helping the Buckeyes win a national title in 2002 and developing players such as A.J. Hawk and Matt Wilhelm. He also has coached at Youngstown State, UCF and Minnesota.
Defensive backs: David Lockwood, West Virginia. He has more than 20 years of coaching experience, and he has helped the Mountaineers develop into one of the nation's top defensive teams. Lockwood also has worked at Kentucky, Minnesota, Notre Dame and Memphis, among other stops. Lockwood, 44, is a WVU alum.
Coordinator: Paul Chryst, Wisconsin. He pushed the buttons on one of the greatest offenses in Big Ten history last season. Over the course of the Big Ten season, the Badgers averaged 45.2 points, the second-highest total in conference history. That only added to his allure. A few years ago, the Dallas Cowboys wooed him. This offseason, Chryst, 45, was offered Texas' offensive coordinator job but opted to stay in Madison.
Quarterbacks: Jay Paterno, Penn State. He just finished his 16th season on staff and 11th grooming quarterbacks. Paterno has done a great job developing the likes of Daryll Clark and Michael Robinson, who each won Big Ten MVP honors despite not being mega-recruits. Paterno, 42, now has his hands full trying to develop a competent quarterback for the Nittany Lions.
Running backs: Dick Tressel, Ohio State. The older brother of Buckeyes boss man Jim Tressel, Dick Tressel, 62, keeps churning out top-shelf running backs. He has been on his brother's staff for 10 years, coaching running backs the past seven.
Tight ends: Joe Rudolph, Wisconsin. Rudolph, a former Wisconsin guard, coached Lance Kendricks, a Mackey Award finalist last season who led the Badgers in catches and also was a top blocker. In 2009, Badgers tight ends accounted for 86 catches, 1,014 yards and 10 touchdowns. The group was led by first-team All-Big Ten selection Garrett Graham. In his first season as an assistant in 2008, Rudolph, 39, coached a talented group that was decimated by injuries throughout the season but still was a productive unit.
Receivers: Kevin Johns, Indiana. One of the game's underrated coaches, Johns was receivers coach at Northwestern the past five seasons before moving to Bloomington to work with new Hoosiers coach Kevin Wilson. Johns spent the past three seasons as passing game coordinator for the Wildcats, a title he also holds at Indiana. Johns, 34, consistently took overlooked wide receivers and turned them into some of the Big Ten's most productive pass catchers: Eric Peterman, Zeke Markshausen, Jeremy Ebert, Ross Lane and Andrew Brewer among them.
Line: Bob Bostad, Wisconsin. The Badgers are coming off one of the most successful offensive seasons in school history. Part of the credit must go to Bostad, who also has the title of run game coordinator. Bostad, 43, oversaw the development of a pair of All-Americans in 2010. Gabe Carimi, the Outland Trophy winner, was a consensus All-American, while John Moffitt was first-team All-American by The Associated Press. Bostad, who has been at Wisconsin since 2006, also has worked at San Jose State and New Mexico.
Coordinator: Tom Bradley, Penn State. He has worked by Joe Paterno's side for 32 seasons with the Nittany Lions. Bradley also played for Paterno at Penn State. Bradley is a master at developing schemes and coverage packages. He also is a big-time motivator. This past offseason, Bradley, 54, was involved in coaching searches at UConn, Pitt and Temple.
Line: Jim Heacock, Ohio State. He doubles as the Buckeyes' coordinator, which often overshadows his standout work with the d-line. Heacock, 62, a former head coach at FCS member Illinois State, has sent 25 linemen to the NFL during his tenure in Columbus, which began in 1996. He also has worked at Bowling Green and Washington.
Linebackers: Ron Vanderlinden, Penn State. Vanderlinden, 55, a former Maryland head coach and Northwestern defensive coordinator, has done a remarkable job fostering Penn State's "Linebacker U" reputation. Some of his recent pupils have included Paul Posluszny, the 2005 Butkus and Bednarik Award winner, and Dan Connor, the school's career tackle leader and a Bednarik Award winner. He also was an assistant at Colorado when the Buffs shared the 1990 national title.
Defensive backs: Phil Parker, Iowa. The strength of the Hawkeyes' defense usually is the secondary. And it's because of Parker, 47, who has been in Iowa City for 12 seasons. He turned Brett Greenwood and Tyler Sash into star players in recent years while also grooming the likes of Antwan Allen, Bradley Fletcher, Bob Sanders, Sean Considine and Charles Godfrey, among others.
BIG 12
Coordinator: Dave Yost, Missouri. Yost is easy to spot on game days, as he squeezes his trademark blond mop-top into a visor. He quickly is becoming one of the sport's top minds. When Dave Christensen left to become head coach at Wyoming, Yost, 41, was promoted from his spot as quarterbacks coach and has kept the Tigers' offense humming. Yost remains MU's quarterbacks coach, developing Blaine Gabbert into a likely first-round draft pick.
Quarterbacks: Tom Herman, Iowa State. One of the sport's rising stars, Herman doubles as the Cyclones' coordinator. Herman, 35, was coordinator at Rice before moving to Ames, and his attack broke almost 50 school records during his tenure in Houston. He's a patient teacher who excels at coaching the fundamentals and devising a scheme to accentuate his quarterback's skills.
Running backs: Dana Dimel, Kansas State. He is the guy who turned former JC quarterback Daniel Thomas into one of the nation's top running backs last season. Dimel, 48, is a former head coach at Wyoming and Houston. He also serves as K-State's co-offensive coordinator and has sent 34 players to the NFL as a head coach or assistant.
Receivers: Andy Hill, Missouri. Hill is the longest-tenured assistant on the Tigers' staff; he has been at Mizzou since 1996. Hill's receivers have been the most dynamic players on some of the nation's best offenses in recent seasons. Players such as Jeremy Maclin, Danario Alexander and Justin Gage became stars under Hill, 49, a Mizzou alum who spent a few years in the business world after college before getting into coaching at age 30.
Tight ends: Bruce Chambers, Texas. He was a prep coach for 14 years before joining Texas in 1998 as running backs coach. Chambers, 50, took over tight ends in 2003 and has made Texas a tight end factory, producing David Thomas, Jermichael Finley and Bo Scaife, among others.
Line: Joe Wickline, Oklahoma State. One of the game's most respected line coaches, Wickline, 52, has helped develop a dynamic ground game in Stillwater. He also has groomed some impressive blockers over the years, including Russell Okung, Charlie Johnson, Max Starks, Everett Lindsay and Kelvin Garmon, among others.
Coordinator: Brent Venables, Oklahoma. The fiery Venables, who arrived in Norman with Bob Stoops in 1999, is the brains behind what annually is one of the nation's top defenses. Venables, 40, runs an attacking defense and has earned a reputation for being a master game-planner who knows how to counterpunch and adapt.
Line: Carl Pelini, Nebraska. He coaches with passion and fire, and it shows in his linemen. Pelini also is the Huskers' defensive coordinator and the brother of head coach Bo Pelini. Carl Pelini, 45, has been a major reason for the improvement of the Big Red defense the past three seasons.
Linebackers: Manny Diaz, Texas. One of the sport's young stars, Diaz enters his first season in Austin as coordinator and linebackers coach. Diaz, who turns 37 on March 14, is a cerebral coach who helped turn around defenses at Middle Tennessee State and Mississippi State before landing at Texas. Diaz, whose dad is a former mayor of the city of Miami, will be a head coach one day. Diaz attended Florida State but did not play football; he worked for ESPN for two years following his graduation from FSU.
Defensive backs: Willie Martinez, Oklahoma. He developed some good defenses as coordinator at Georgia before moving on and landing in Norman. Ten of his defensive backs at Georgia were selected in the NFL draft. Martinez, 48, who played defensive back at Miami in the mid-1980s, is a sharp secondary coach who understands technique and fundamentals.
Coordinator: Noel Mazzone, Arizona State. He has been coordinator at Ole Miss, Auburn, Oregon State, North Carolina State and now in Tempe. He also has coached in the NFL. Mazzone, who turns 54 on March 21, knows how to teach.
Quarterbacks: Rip Scherer, Colorado. He has 31 years of coaching experience at 11 colleges, and that includes head-coaching stints at Memphis and FCS member James Madison. Scherer, 58, also has coached for six seasons in the NFL. Along the way, he has developed some good quarterbacks.
Running backs: Gary Campbell, Oregon. He has been coaching Ducks running backs for 28 years, developing some great ones. After not leading the league in rushing since 1955, Oregon has done so each of the past five seasons. Campbell, who turned 60 last month, has coached 12 of the school's 14 1,000-yard rushers.
Receivers: Eric Kiesau, California. He returns to Cal after spending the past five seasons on Colorado's staff. Kiesau, 38, who will double as passing game coordinator, is an excellent teacher who groomed the likes of DeSean Jackson and Geoff McArthur in his first stint at Berkeley. He spent his first five years after college in the business world.
Tight ends: Jeff Genyk, California. The cerebral Genyk, who also is the Golden Bears' special teams coach, understands the game as well as anyone. Genyk, 50, a former Eastern Michigan head coach, is adept at getting the most out of his players.
Line: Mike Cavanaugh, Oregon State. The Beavers consistently have one of the nation's most diversified offenses, and Cavanaugh's line plays a big role in that. Cavanaugh, 48, has molded groups that have paved the way for rushers such as Jacquizz Rodgers and Yvenson Bernard.
Coordinator: Nick Aliotti, Oregon. The Ducks' offense typically steals the headlines, but Aliotti's unit consistently ranks among the Pac-10's best. His aggressive brand of defense often discombobulates offenses and keeps opponents on their heels. It's a frenetic style that feeds off Oregon's rapid-fire offense. Aliotti, 56, has NFL experience and also has coached at UCLA.
Line: Ed Orgeron, USC. Playing defensive line is all about passion and energy. And no coach emotes fire and brimstone better than Orgeron, an uber-passionate coach who inspires his players. In addition, Orgeron, 49, is a primo recruiter who never is outworked.
Linebackers: Kalani Sitake, Utah. The passionate Sitake, 35, is one of the game's bright, young coaches. He is considered to be a strong teacher who relates well to his players. He's also a smart tactician, serving as coordinator in addition to his role as linebackers coach.
Defensive backs: Willie Mack Garza, USC. Garza, 41, has an impressive resume that has seen him coach at Tennessee, Texas, Western Michigan and TCU before landing at USC. Garza, a 17-year coaching veteran, is a master at teaching fundamentals.
Coordinator: Gus Malzahn, Auburn. Perhaps the hottest assistant in the nation, Malzahn, 45, was coaching at Springdale (Ark.) High as recently as 2005. Now, he's the brightest star in the assistant coaching ranks. And he is paid like it, earning $1.3 million; he is the highest-paid assistant in the country. Malzahn's innovative offense helped propel Auburn to the BCS title and Cam Newton to the Heisman last season.
Quarterbacks: Randy Sanders, Kentucky. He was the guy who pushed the buttons for Tennessee's offense in the 1998 BCS title game in what was his first game as coordinator. Sanders, who doubles as Kentucky's offensive coordinator, has earned plaudits for the develop of quarterbacks such as Andre Woodson, Randall Cobb and Mike Hartline.
Running backs: Burton Burns, Alabama. Before going to Tuscaloosa, the personable-but-demanding Burns helped build some prolific offenses at Clemson, where he helped produce six of the top 10 attacks in school history. At Alabama, Burns, 57, coached 2009 Heisman winner Mark Ingram and has a stable of backs that routinely rate among the nation's best.
Receivers: Billy Gonzales, LSU. Gonzales, 39, doubles as the Tigers' passing game coordinator. He tutored some top receivers for five years at Florida before moving to LSU after the 2009 season. The Urban Meyer protege has had seven receivers picked in the NFL draft, with his star pupils being Percy Harvin and Chad Jackson.
Tight ends: Bobby Williams, Alabama. The longtime Nick Saban assistant is a patient teacher with vast knowledge of the game. Williams, 52, who was head coach of Michigan State for three seasons, also is widely regarded as one of the nation's top recruiters. He has NFL experienced and also has coached at LSU, Kansas, Ball State and Eastern Michigan.
Line: Jeff Grimes, Auburn. He coached perhaps the top line in the nation last season, developing the likes of Ryan Pugh and Lee Ziemba. Grimes, a cerebral and passionate coach, also has worked at Colorado, BYU, Arizona State and Boise State. Grimes, 42, was wooed by Texas in the offseason but opted to stay on the Plains.
Coordinator: Ted Roof, Auburn. Roof, 47, showed his acumen as a tactician during the Tigers' run to the national title last season, as he made key halftime adjustments that resulted in Auburn's defense tightening up. Roof, a former head coach at Duke, is passionate, prepared and smart. He deserves another chance to be a head coach -- and it may happen. He also has been an assistant at Georgia Tech (his alma mater), Minnesota and Louisville, among other stops.
Line: Rodney Garner, Georgia. The longtime SEC assistant has groomed the likes of Marcus Stroud, Richard Seymour, Charles Grant and Johnathan Sullivan, among others. Garner, 44, knows how to motivate and relates well to his players. He's also a top-notch recruiter.
Linebackers: Ellis Johnson, South Carolina. One of the game's most respected minds, Johnson, 59, has few peers when it comes to scheming and game-planning. Johnson, who doubles as the Gamecock's defensive coordinator, was the coach for three seasons at The Citadel, an FCS program, and also has been a coordinator at Mississippi State, Alabama, Clemson, Southern Miss and Appalachian State.
Defensive backs: Ron Cooper, LSU. He has built some of the SEC's top secondaries in his two seasons in Baton Rouge. His prized pupil has been cornerback Patrick Peterson, who most considered the top defensive back in the nation in 2010. Before going to LSU, Cooper, 49, helped build some strong defenses at South Carolina. He also has been head coach at Eastern Michigan, Louisville and Alabama A&M.
Coordinator: Lincoln Riley, East Carolina. The young (27) and dynamic Riley is a protege of Mike Leach and worked on Leach's Texas Tech staff for seven seasons before taking the post at East Carolina. His next stop is as a head coach.
Quarterbacks: Kliff Kingsbury, Houston. Kingsbury, 31, a former Texas Tech quarterback, is a rising star in the coaching ranks. He has done a great job grooming Case Keenum while also helping run the prolific Houston offense as co-coordinator.
Running backs: Jarrett Anderson, TCU. He is entering his 14th season with TCU, slowing earning more responsibilities along the way. Anderson became running backs coach in 2009 after serving as the Horned Frogs' receivers coach for eight seasons. Anderson, 39, also serves as co-offensive coordinator.
Receivers: Kenny Edenfield, Troy. Edenfield, 45, has been part of some dynamic offenses since returning to his alma mater in 2008. His star pupil has been Jerrel Jernigan, a 1,000-yard receiver in 2009. Edenfield also became Troy's coordinator in 2010, directing an attack that ranked 20th in the nation in scoring (34.1 ppg) and 11th in passing (296.9 ypg).
Tight ends: Jake Moreland, Western Michigan. The school has a growing reputation for grooming tight ends, thanks to Moreland. Moreland, 34, a former Broncos tight end who played in the NFL, is an exceptional teacher and recruiter. His top pupil has been Tony Scheffler, a second-round NFL pick in 2006.
Line: Bill Legg, Marshall. The cerebral Legg is a master motivator and smart coach who knows how to teach technique. Legg, 47, doubles as the Herd's offensive coordinator, a job he also held with Florida International and Purdue.
Coordinator: Pete Kwiatkowski, Boise State. In his first season after Justin Wilcox left for Tennessee, Kwiatkowski turned heads in coordinating a defense that ranked No. 2 in the nation (254.7 ypg). He runs an aggressive defense and has shown a knack for developing schemes and making adjustments. Kwiatkowski, 42, doubles as the Broncos' line coach.
Line: Jim Panagos, UCF. He has made the UCF front annually one of the best in C-USA. Panagos, 39, cut his teeth as an assistant with the Minnesota Vikings (2002-05). A tremendous organizer and teacher, he is a hot commodity with a bright future. He spent three years as a salesman for a glass company before getting into coaching.
Linebackers: Bob Gregory, Boise State. The Broncos don't get enough credit for playing good defense. Gregory, 45, a former Cal defensive coordinator, is a big reason Boise State has a strong unit. He brings a high knowledge level to the field and excels at teaching fundamentals. Secondary: Chuck Martin, Notre Dame. Martin, 43, is the former head coach at Division II power Grand Valley State (Mich.) and now is on the fast track to becoming a head coach in the FBS ranks. Martin, 43, proved his worth at Grand Valley, winning two Division II national titles and more than 91 percent of his games. Last season, his first in South Bend, he significantly improved the secondary.

Tom Dienhart is a national senior writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dienhart@yahoo-inc.com, and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.

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