It's just too good to keep off the front page. Also, we're still putting our brain back together from NOLA and will be along in a moment.
As you are aware, noted football impresario Ron Prince has quite the posse. EDSBS’s own Jack Fact proved such in July. Now, with a season of head coaching upheaval behind us, you may be wondering if the Ron Prince coaching tree is in decline. Quite the opposite, friends. In fact, nearly every single FBS coach can trace his football knowledge directly to the Prince of Punts himself.As you already know, James Franklin (1) is the only FBS coach who squired directly for the Prince. But in the early 2000s RonP was able to impart his knowledge to Mike London (2) and Al Golden (3) at UVA. Golden worked for the Notorious TOB (4) who was able to pass along his knowledge to his other assistants Don Treadwell (5) and Frank Spaziani (6). Spaziani spoke word of the Prince to Paul Pasqualoni (7) when they played together at Penn State, and Pasqualoni was able to pass it on to his acolytes Dan Mullen (8) and Randy Edsall (9). Edsall, before landing his dream job, spread word of the Prince to George O’Leary (10), who imparted knowledge onto Doug Marrone (11) and Bill O’Brien (12).
Treadwell has squired for many a head coach, so he was able to spread Princely knowledge to Brady Hoke (13), who was able to impart the Word to Bronco Mendenhall (14) and Rocky Long (15) when they coached together at San Diego State. Treadwell also taught Brian Kelly (16) the way of the Prince and everyone’s favorite leprechaun counts Dan Enos (17), Butch Jones (18), Charley Molnar (19) and Jeff Quinn (20) among his followers.
Treadwell is a true Paul of Tarsus because he was also able to school his former boss Mark Dantonio (21), who spread word to none other than Nick Saban (22). The diminutive Saban once had to cover former Kent State tight end Gary Pinkel (23) during practice, while Pinkel in turn coached up Dave Christensen (24) and Jim Mora, Jr. (25).
Saban was able to spread word of the Prince to other NFLAIDS carriers. For he worked with June Jones (26) on the Oilers, who coached at Hawaii with Rich Ellerson (27), who taught Jeff Tedford (28) the way of the Prince while coaching the Calgary Stamepeders. That’s right, the Legend of the Prince has made it to the CFL, where they wave towels for second down conversions.
But Saban didn’t stop there. For he made sure Terry Bowden (29) learned the way of the Prince while he played for Saban at West Virginia, while, Will Muschamp (30), Jimbo Fisher (31), Derek Dooley (32) and Jim McElwain (33) all assisted Saban in his Princely duties. McElwain worked with John L. Smith (34) and Danny Hope (35) at Louisville, so Hope can teach a team that does not exist how to act like a Prince.
Muschamp, of course, spread word of the Prince to his old boss, Mack Brown (36) and his former assistant, Charlie Weis (37). After all, one cannot have a decided schematic advantage without a working knowledge of Princely playcalling. Weis counts David Cutcliffe (38) among his former assistants, and Cutcliffe taught Mike MacIntyre (39) which way is Prince and which way is down.
But Muschamp wasn’t done just then. After all, he also taught the way of the Prince to his old boss Tommy Tuberville (40), who schooled Paul Rhoads (41) and Gene Chizik (42). Chizik counts Gus Malzahn (43) among his followers, and Malzahn worked on the same Tulsa staffs as Bill Blankenship (44) and Todd Graham (45). As you know, Todd Graham is very busy spreading word of the Prince to as many different cities as possible, and his old boss Rich Rodriguez (46) is no exception.
Noted Prince’s man Dan Mullen was able to spread word of RonP not to his former assistant Mark Hudspeth (47), who worked with Tim DeRuyter (48) at Navy. DeRuyter has worked with Chris Ault (49), Jim Grobe (50) and Troy Calhoun (51) as well. And Mullen passed knowledge to his old boss Urban Meyer (52) as well. The pious Meyer was quite the proselytizer, making sure Gary Andersen (53), Steve Addazio (54), Dan McCarney (55), Charlie Strong (56), Tim Beckman (57), Doc Holliday (58) and Kyle Whittingham (59) were familiar with the Prince’s scripture.
Whittingham, in turn, spread word to former assistant Norm Chow (60), who worked with DeWayne Walker (61) at USC. Walker worked as a Utah State assistant with Gary Patterson (62), who counts Justin Fuente (63) and David Bailiff (64) as members of his coaching tree. And Boise State would not have had its recent success if Chris Petersen (65) hadn’t played for Patterson at UC Davis.
Patterson, of course, used to work for the second-best coach in Alabama history, Dennis Franchione (66), who now plies his trade at FBS newcomer Texas State. Before bringing Texas State to assured glory, Fran coached Jerry Kill (67) at Southwestern then hired him as an assistant at Pittsburg State. Or should I say, Princeburg State?
We’re not done with the Meyer cadet branch of the House of Prince, though. For Charlie Strong worked with Skip Holtz (68) at South Carolina. And Meyer himself once squired for Bob Davie (69), who taught Joker Philips (70) everything he knows (except how to tan, natch). And Davie coached with Kirk Ferentz (71) at Pittsburgh. But you knew Ferentz was a Prince follower because both men are the subject of every coaching vacancy rumor.
Lest we forget DeWayne Walker and Norm Chow, they worked on some incredibly Princely USC teams with Lane Kiffin (72) and Steve Sarkisian (73), brah. And Rich Ellerson used to work for Paul Johnson (74), who imparted his royal triple option to Ken Niumatalolo (75). The service academies uphold the Constitution, yet they also bow down to the Prince.
But those are both minor branches of our Royal Family. For Tim Beckman (who worked with Larry Blakeney (76) at Auburn) includes the one and only Mike Gundy (77) among his mentors. Gundy also counts Larry Fedora (78) among his followers, and Beckman taught the Prince’s ways to Matt Campbell (79) as well. And Gundy was Oklahoma State’s quarterback while Larry Coker (80) coached its offense. Coker worked with Darrell Hazell (81) and Mario Cristobal (82) at the U, while Cristobal was on latter staffs there with Curtis Johnson, Jr. (83) and Todd Berry (84). But this ignores Mike Gundy’s greatest contribution to the House of the Prince: he used to work for Les Miles (85).
Les Miles may be known for his on-the-sideline antics, but he should also be known for his branch of the Royal Family. He coached at Colorado with Jon Embree (86), who also coached with Bobby Hauck (87) and Pat Fitzgerald (88). Fitzgerald, in turn, used boss around Garrick McGee (89). These men might try tracing their lineages to Bo Schembechler, but why stop with him when their veins are coarsing with royal blood?
Remember our friend Charlie Strong? Well he used to work for Steve Spurrier (90), so now The Visor and The Hat bow down to The Crown. Spurrier in turn has seen BIll Cubit (91), Rick Stockstill (92), Bob Stoops (93) and Ellis Johnson (94) among his followers. Longtime assistant Johnson has worked with both Frank Beamer (95) and Dabo Swinney (96). That’s right, Dabo’s binky is actually a royal cape.
Of course, Stoops was not shy about spreading the Prince’s word. He counts Kevin Wilson (97), Kevin Sumlin (98) and Bo Pellini (99) (who used to work for Frank Solich (100)) among his followers. Stoops also worked for Bill Snyder (101), who taught his ways to Bret Bielema (102) and Carl Pelini (103).
We all know that pirates bow to no man, but former Stoops assistant Mike Leach (104) nevertheless swears fealty to the Prince (though not the would-be senator). His first mates Ruffin McNeill (105), Art Briles (106), Sonny Dykes (107) and Dana Holgorsen (108) also bend their knees.
Lest we forget Kevin Sumlin, he is a former Mike Price (109) assistant, along with Robb Akey (110) who tutored Ron English (111) during a short stint at Northern Arizona. And Sumlin also made sure Tony Levine (112) was learned in the way of the Prince. And Bielema’s former assistant Paul Chryst (113) made sure his old boss Mike Riley (114) coached royally, along with the other former Bielema aide Dave Doeren (115).
Believe it or not, there are a few coaches whose lineages are not directly traceable to the house of Prince. Kyle Flood, Dave Clawson, Mark Richt, Willie Taggart, David Shaw, Pete Lembo, Chip Kelly, Hugh Freeze and Joey Jones can only be linked to Ron Prince via non-head coach intermediaries (i.e. Richt’s assitant Todd Grantham used to work for Frank Beamer). At least, not that I know of. I would be much obliged if any of you could tell me if those eight can somehow be directly related, via playing or coaching career, to any full-blooded member of the House of Prince.
Many thanks to Jack Fact, whose original idea I loved and blatantly ripped off