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DMN: Will SMU OC Rhett Lashlee be a candidate elsewhere?

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DMN: Will SMU OC Rhett Lashlee be a candidate elsewhere?

Postby AfricanMustang » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:31 pm

UNIVERSITY PARK -- The Broyles award is given to the nation’s top assistant coach each year. At first, SMU offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee was placed on the watch list. On Tuesday, it was announced he was one of 15 semifinalists. Thirteen of those names hail from “power five” schools.

Being considered a top assistant coach in the country at the outset of December begs a painfully obvious question. Will Rhett Lashlee be a candidate for a head coaching job, or an even more high-profile coordinator job?

“People think – and this is my 12th year as a coach, ninth year as an OC,” Lashlee said, while noting he isn’t really expecting to get other offers. “I’ve been fortunate to be at some places where I’ve had opportunities to talk with other jobs and such. You know, at the end of the day, you’ve got to really do well where you are. You’ve got to love where you are. And I love where I am.

“… I’m really focused on building what we’re doing now. And when you do that, things come. But it would have to be a really good opportunity, because I’m happy here.”

Lashlee, 36, has had a very unique career arc. After working as a grad assistant for Auburn under then-OC Gus Malzahn, the now-Auburn head coach hired Lashlee to be his offensive coordinator at Arkansas State when Lashlee was just 29. Lashlee spent four years as Auburn’s offensive coordinator after Malzahn took the head coaching job there in 2013.

Lashlee then left Auburn for an OC job at UConn – the reason for it is still not public. It likely had something to do with him wanting to be more in charge of the offense.

After one year at UConn, Sonny Dykes interviewed and hired Lashlee based on reputation and mutual connections. And it’s been one of the best decisions Dykes has made. Lashlee has been in charge of an offense averaging 43.5 points per game this year – fifth in FBS.

And so it’s not surprising that SMU’s success might lead to some of Dykes’ assistants getting looks at other schools.

“That’s kind of the part of the business that’s the good part and the bad part,” Dykes said. “When you have success, people are gonna want to talk to your coaches. I’ve always said this about head coaches – you’re on one list or the other. You’re on the list that’s supposedly taking another job or you’re on the list of they’re taking your job. And there’s really no in-between.

“… And so when you have success, you hope your coaches have opportunities to go places if that’s what they want to do, and that’s the best thing for their family. So we’ll see how that plays out.”

Dykes believes and hopes that, if anyone does leave for another job, that the replacements will come in the form of coaches and analysts already on the coaching staff.

And the reality is that these are decisions that will begin to be made in the next 2-3 weeks. UNLV and New Mexico already announced their head coaches wouldn’t return. There will be a plethora more in the coming days, and the coaching carousel will be in full swing.

Out of everyone on SMU’s coaching staff, Lashlee would be the most viable candidate to get a head coaching job. With years of experience, and a lot of success in 2019, his stock is way up.

He said it would have to be “a really good opportunity” for him to leave SMU. So, he was asked, if that would mean a head coaching opportunity.

“I’m not really focusing on that stuff,” Lashlee said. “I’ve just learned you can’t control those things. You can control what you can control. And right now, that’s trying to help SMU become a championship team, and become a consistent winner every year.”

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Re: DMN: Will SMU OC Rhett Lashlee be a candidate elsewhere?

Postby Bergermeister » Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:25 pm

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Re: DMN: Will SMU OC Rhett Lashlee be a candidate elsewhere?

Postby ponyte » Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:28 pm

This is a good position to be in. People wanting our coaches. Yes, turn over is a bear but who would we rather have coaching? Someone in demand or someone nobody thinks twice about?
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Re: DMN: Will SMU OC Rhett Lashlee be a candidate elsewhere?

Postby BUS » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:10 am

Ditto: People used to want our coaches. Just need to be able to pay them what they want and keep them as long as we can. Wish I was a DR. or something. That way I could Pony Up tons of money for retention payments.
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Re: DMN: Will SMU OC Rhett Lashlee be a candidate elsewhere?

Postby mustangxc » Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:21 pm

If we manage to bring back the entire staff for one more year we will be in great shape! Hopefully we can add the transfers necessary to upgrade the roster and find replacements for our coordinators next year after we manage to win the conference and a NY6 Bowl.
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Re: DMN: Will SMU OC Rhett Lashlee be a candidate elsewhere?

Postby mavsrage311 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:00 pm

I think Coach Lashlee comes back next year with Shane being a senior. 2 straight top 10 offenses and he's going to get some nice opportunities.
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Re: DMN: Will SMU OC Rhett Lashlee be a candidate elsewhere?

Postby SMU_Alum11 » Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:10 am

I agree plus I think people know the risk of just picking off a coach here early. I think the entire coaching staff have to prove that they can win against quality teams consistently. I think losing to memphis and navy has retained the staff. They're probably thankful they dont have to try to top an undefeated or a one loss season. Ha!
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