Well, I am now over the fact that a Florida assistant coach, who has won a national championship, is coming to Penn State to work under Ed DeChellis. But now it’s time to take a dive into the question everyone is wondering…why do you go from Florida to Penn State for virtually the same job? Sadly, that move could raise a few eyebrows if it happened in football today as well, but my eyes are out of my sockets on this one. I’ve read a few articles…David Jones tries to get a scoop in his article today found here…while a Florida beatwriter Heath Cline chimes in with a subscription article at FightinGators.com. Florida message boards haven’t really given any insight to this move.
The Scout articles suggests that Preston was basically not wanted in Florida. It suggests that Preston was a ‘fallback’ candidate (he replaced Anthony Grant, now at VCU), and ever since his hiring, it has not worked out. He apparently was a big reason for Florida’s freshmen last year and all the drama they went through for ‘not having what it takes to win’ or whatever Billy D was trying to get through to them. His laid-back style conflicted with assistant coach Rob Lanier’s intensity in practices. He was the #3 guy behind both Lanier and Donovan’s right hand man, Larry Shyatt. Preston’s primary responsibility (other than recruiting) at Notre Dame was to develop and work with the post players. He is criticized for not developing Torin Francis, but credited for developing Ryan Humphrey into a first round draft pick. You can’t tell the quality of the job with Florida big men because they were pretty well developed before he arrived. So basically we really haven’t found out anything concrete.
This is really a small recap of what we definitely know. He’s an up-and-coming coach, who has experienced what it takes to win a national championship. He has a military background so you already know his work ethic. He has worked with quality coaches in Mike Brey and Billy Donovan the last 8 years. He was a stud shot-blocker at VMI in the early 90s, so you can assume he knows what it takes to be a good post defender. He has worked with post players in his past jobs. He is credited as a great recruiter. He has a laidback coaching style, which I would assume helps him recruit. He is a very well-liked man according to people close to him and a very class guy. Coach Preston is now the #2 assistant on the staff behind Coach Kanaskie, and probably is now our primary recruiter. By all accounts, he might not have been the best Florida assistant, but this appears to be the best possible hire DeChellis could have hauled in. Can’t wait until he starts officially on June 5th.