Candidate Profile: Pat Narduzzi

Gregory Shamus

Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman has started the coaching search, and Blogger So Dear will be breaking down the resumes of potential replacements. Next up is Pat Narduzzi of Michigan State. Could he be the next head coach at Wake Forest?

Pat Narduzzi is in his seventh season as defensive coordinator of Michigan State's football team. Prior to joining the Spartans, Narduzzi was the defensive coordinator at Cincinnati for three seasons.

Narduzzi's resume is nothing short of remarkable. During each of the past three seasons, his defense has been top six nationally in total defense. This most recent season they are number one in the nation in total defense. In addition to total defense, Michigan State has also been top 10 nationally in scoring defense during each of the past three seasons. Because of this incredible defense, Michigan State again finds themselves in the Big 10 Championship. Not surprisingly, in March of this year, Narduzzi was promoted to assistant head coach.

There is plenty of discussion about how difficult it is to compete at Wake Forest because of the size of the school, academic rigors, as well as being in the same division as Clemson and Florida State. Well Narduzzi has a wealth of experiencing competing annually both on the field and on the recruiting trail against the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, and Wisconsin, who are all perennial powers. Despite the stiff level of competition, Naruduzzi's defenses are still producing extraordinary results. Narduzzi is also an excellent coach in terms of player development. One example is Darqueze Dennard, who is a former 2-star recruit, but is now a 1st-team All Big 10 cornerback.With teams going to the spread, perhaps Wake Forest could position itself as a defensive minded football team in the ACC. It would just be a different take on Paul Johnson's strategy of bringing the triple-option to Georgia Tech, and that move has clearly been successful.

According to Spencer D. Turkin, Narduzzi is interested in the job. Several seasons ago Texas A&M tried to hire him as a defensive coordinator, but he turned down the offer. This would provide Narduzzi an opportunity to be a head coach in a BCS conference, and I have to think it's a job he would strongly consider if offered the job. I know he lacks head coaching experience, but he doesn't lack much else.

Do you all think he would be a good hire?

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