Many Aggie fans clamored for TCU's Doug Meacham to replace Jake Spavital, but Noel Mazzone will run Texas A&M's offense in 2016 according to multiple reports.
Sources tell FootballScoop UCLA OC Noel Mazzone will be the new OC at Texas A&M https://t.co/sNnVtycOD5— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) January 7, 2016
Deal done. Former UCLA OC Noel Mazzone to take over Texas A&M offense. Will be in Aggieland tomorrow.— Billy Liucci (@billyliucci) January 7, 2016
Mazzone, who played quarterback for New Mexico in the late 70s, has a journeyman coaching career that spans 35 years and 10 schools. He brings SEC offensive coordinator experience with stops at Auburn and Ole Miss. Mazzone's most recent stint at UCLA (2012-15) was consistent but "predictable" according to our friends at SBNation's Bruins Nation. Their frustrations are illustrated in the following excerpt from a post on coaching salaries.
Mazzone is being paid $864,000 this season for the most predictable offense in the conference. For those Bruin fans who still may not support replacing Mazzone, if you look at Mazzone's own words, that's $864,000 for calling "the same five plays" in a different order. By comparison, Alabama makes the CFP two years in a row and is paying Lane Kiffin only $680,000. So, where exactly is the value in Noel Mazzone?
In Mazzone's first two seasons, he was paid $350,000 and $377,000. Then in 2014, his salary was more than doubled when it increased to $762,000. And, he received another $100,000 raise for this season. Did Mazzone's performance double from 2013 to 2014? Did his performance improve 13% this year? You know the answers are no and no.
UCLA regularly ranked among the top 30 teams in offense during Mazzone's tenure, but production never reached outstanding levels. His offensive philosophy resembles what we have seen during Kevin Sumlin's time at Texas A&M. Mazzone uses a very small base playbook with flexibility to make adaptations based on the defense. He's installed the offense at many of his previous stops with some success, but may have an easier time at A&M since the offense is already similar. Here is a slightly dated but interesting article on the one-back spread offense if you're interested in learning more about the principles Mazzone uses.
Prior to UCLA, Mazzone was offensive coordinator at Arizona State for two seasons following a brief NFL experiment with the Jets and one year coaching high school. Like UCLA, the Sun Devils fielded top 30 offenses during Mazzone's stay. Anything prior to Mazzone's NFL stop is probably reaching too far back for relevance.
Noel Mazzone does not seem to be heralded as a great recruiter, but the Aggies will rely on his depth of experience to turn around an offense that has lacked consistency and cohesion. Kevin Sumlin and Noel Mazzone have a coaching friendship that spans many years, so at least we know there will be comfort between the two. Whether Sumlin traded success for comfort remains to be seen. We will report on other changes on the offensive staff, and more are coming, as soon as information is available.
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