In a span of a few hours Saturday, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham's plans changed when it came to hiring a new offensive coordinator for the second-ranked Utes.
First, there was a two-headed approach. Then, a single solution.
Whittingham announced in a morning press release that receivers coach Aaron Roderick and running backs coach Dave Schramm would share the coordinator duties vacated by Andy Ludwig's departure to Kansas State.
Later in the day, those plans were scrapped when Roderick apparently changed his mind about the arrangement and opted for a higher-paying job as a position coach at Washington instead.
Roderick, who could not be reached for comment, will be working for former BYU teammate and first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian.
"It was an easy decision to hand the coordinator duties over to Dave after we received the news on Aaron this morning," Whittingham said in a released statement. "Dave is a veteran coach with a great track record and he has played a major role in our game planning and play calling ever since he got here four years ago."
Schramm has an extensive coaching background. His 21 years in the profession include stints at Austin Peay, Nebraska, San Diego State, Southwest Texas State and Montana.
"I'm not about talking. I'm more about doing," Schramm said when asked about his new duties. "We've got a lot of work to do, and we'll work hard."
He added that there are a lot of expectations.
Utah's offense has several spots to fill next season. Besides quarterback Brian Johnson, running back Darrell Mack, receivers Freddie Brown, Bradon Godfrey and Brent Casteel, offensive lineman Robert Conley and Dustin Hensel are graduating.
The Utes led the Mountain West Conference in scoring last season with 36.9 points per game.
According to quarterback Corbin Louks, who will enter spring ball as the projected starter, Whittingham said the Utes would continue to run a spread offense after Ludwig left.
"We're going to do what the Utes do," Louks remarked. "We have faith in coach Whit that he was going to make the right decision."
Before Roderick's decision to leave the program was announced, Louks and rushing leader Matt Asiata were optimistic about the "co-coordinator" approach.
"I'm really excited about it. It was a good decision by Coach Whit. We have faith in him that he'd make a good choice," said Louks. "We're excited to have coaches that we are familiar with guys that we have already worked with and have a relationship with."
Having Roderick and Schramm serve as co-coordinators, he noted, was a good plan. I don't think it's tough to deal with," said Louks. "I think they get along well and we can make it work. And hopefully do what we did this year."
Asiata considers both men good coaches and looked forward to "being under their wings" as a player.
"I knew coach Whit was going to make a good choice about our offense and keep the same rhythm," Asiata said.
That was the original plan, anyhow. Probably will be with the second as well.
"Aaron and Dave have already been very involved in our game planning and play calling," Whittingham said in his first announcement. "To keep good coaches in your program, you need to be ready to advance them when opportunities come along. Aaron and Dave are outstanding coaches and they both have a lot to offer to the program. They work very well together and they are ready to direct our offense as the co-coordinators."
Roderick was to serve as the passing game coordinator and coach Utah's quarterbacks. He was also slated to handle play calling duties on game day.
Schramm, meanwhile, was supposed to be the run game coordinator and remain the program's recruiting coordinator.
The Seattle Times confirmed that Roderick's hiring was official and would pay the former Utah assistant approximately $145,000 or so per season for the next two years. Roderick was making $92,000 with the Utes.The departure is the fourth from Utah's full-time coaching staff since season's end. Ludwig and offensive line coach Charlie Dickey are at Kansas State, while defensive coordinator Gary Andersen is now the head coach at Utah State.
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