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Published: Thursday, 12/18/2008

Ex-BGSU coach Brandon accepts position at Virginia

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

BOWLING GREEN --- Former Bowling Green State University football coach Gregg Brandon has accepted the offensive coordinator position at Virginia, The Blade learned Thursday morning.

Brandon will attempt to resurrect a unit that has not cracked the top 100 nationally in any of the last three seasons.

CavsCorner.com reported that UVA coach Al Groh had offered Brandon the job.

Brandon posted a 44-30 record as head coach of the Falcons after replacing Urban Meyer.

Brandon, who was let go by BG after six seasons, declined to address his future when reached by phone yesterday.

UVA finished 5-7 for the second time in three seasons. Its offense under coordinator Mike Groh ranked among the worst in the nation in total yards, finishing No. 104 in 2008, No. 101 in 2007 and No. 113 in 2006. Groh, the son of the head coach, stepped down last week.

Brandon was considered an effective coordinator at BG before taking the head coaching reins from Urban Meyer in 2003. In 2002 the Falcons finished third in the nation in scoring (40.8 points per game) and eighth in total offense (448.9 yards per game). Brandon is considered the architect of BG s spread offense a multiple-receiver look designed to create mismatches.

A rash of off-the-field incidents, low APR scores, and unforgivable losses factored into Brandon s firing. He was 44-30 overall and half of his six seasons ended with a berth in a bowl game. Tennessee offensive coordinator Dave Clawson was hired last week to replace Brandon.

Brandon s name could also surface in rumors related to the offensive coordinator position under Meyer at Florida. Meyer, who is preparing his team for the BCS title game against Oklahoma, must replace Dan Mullen who recently left to accept the Mississippi State head coaching position. Mullen served as BG s quarterbacks coach under Meyer. Brandon appears to fit the criteria Meyer wants in his next coordinator.

The next coordinator is probably going to be someone I know, Meyer told the Miami Herald. When I hire a coach, I m not interested in a guy that s going to sit there and nod his head yes. I want a guy that has input. So, more I m looking for great chemistry and a great recruiter and someone who represents this university well.

Mullen has yet to hire an offensive coordinator.

Brandon s name has also been linked to the coordinator position at Illinois which opened when Mike Locksley left to become New Mexico s head coach.

Although he has landed recruits from the state of Virginia, Brandon may not want to mention it to Groh. Jacob Hardwick of Virginia Beach and Orlando Barrow of Chesapeake were dismissed by Brandon after they, along with a third member of the team, were arrested on burglary charges in June.



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