In case you missed the news, former Iowa State Tight Ends coach and recruiting director Alex Golesh is headed to UCF to be the offensive coordinator for Josh Heupel’s staff.
First off, we’d like to congratulate Coach Golesh on the new gig. He’s earned every bit of it, and is one of the many reason Iowa State’s talent level has jumped so dramatically over the past few years.
There are a couple scenarios that could evolve from this. First, we’ll obviously need a tight ends coach. They could look outside the program for someone to fill this role, but they also have someone on staff that has experience coaching tight ends at a high level in Tom Manning. In case you forgot, Manning was instrumental in the rise of Eric Ebron to a Pro Bowl level after a few years of mediocrity to begin his career.
I’ll admit that my knowledge of position coaches around college football isn’t extensive enough to start throwing out names for potential replacements from outside the program, so I won’t take a stab at that.
Manning is currently the Running Game Coordinator, but Matt Campbell could theoretically spread that responsibility out among a few coaches, or hire a new one if he slides Manning to tight ends. For the #FireTomManning crowd, there is literally zero chance he demotes to Tight Ends Coach and they find a new offensive coordinator, so get that out of your head now.
The other role that needs to be filled is Golesh’s Director of Recruiting position. This is probably the more crucial of the two hires, as Golesh is widely regarded as a really high-level recruiter, and has been the key cog behind the surge of talent in Ames. Given Campbell’s philosophy of building from within and selling the culture of the programs to recruits, it’s extremely likely, probably a lock, that this role is filled from within.
There are a couple really nice choices here, but my money is on Wide Receivers Coach Nate Scheelhaase. He’s spearheaded Iowa State’s recruitment of Kansas and Missouri, led the recruitment of both Breece Hall and Jirehl Brock, and is a rising star in the coaching ranks. He’s been in the program for a few years, and has key relationships with many of Iowa State’s primary targets for the next few years.
If it’s not Scheelhaase, Linebackers Coach Tyson Veidt is another great option. Of note: Veidt has been the primary recruiter for 2021 in-state four star TJ Bollers, and was the lead recruiter for Tarique Milton, Zach Petersen, Darien Porter and Orien Vance. He’s older and has been with the program longer, so this would also be a very real possibility.
This brings us to the third component of replacing Coach Golesh. Iowa State suddenly has an extra staff position available. If Matt Campbell decides to hire a new tight ends coach from outside the program, then obviously this isn’t all that interesting.
If Manning takes over the tight ends and either Scheelhaase or Veidt take over as Director of Recruiting, then that extra staff position is free to use wherever Campbell wants. He could hire a new running backs coach/running game coordinator from outside the program (again, don’t really know many names here), or he could spread that responsibility out among a few coaches, which would open up another possibility.
Based on this past season, it stands to reason that this opening could potentially be used to hire a special teams coach and hopefully remedy the dreadful nature of the return units from last season. I have absolutely no inside information on this, so it’s pure speculation, but this seems to be a reasonable possibility.