Coach Gran is the Man: Previewing FSU's Jack-Of-All-Trades Coach

Matthew ChampionCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2010

Hello again everyone! Last time I previewed Coach Greg Hudson, and how I believe that he will have our linebackers playing to their potential. Today I am talking about Coach Eddie Gran, our new Associate Head Coach of Running Backs and Special Teams.

He is replacing Dexter Carter, who was not retained by Coach Fisher—which probably surprised a lot of fans, including this one. I guess many people believe that our rb's were improving under Coach Carter.  

According to Bud Elliott of, Coach Carter was relieved of his duties at mid-season when reportedly the rb's missed 70 percent of the proper holes made by the o-line. That and FSU needing a special-teams coach signaled the end of Coach Carter's tenure at Florida State. 

A little history on Coach Gran. Gran was a wide receiver for Cal Lutheran from 1984-1987, and graduated with a Business Administration degree.

He began his coaching career at his alma mater, followed by a year stint at SE Missouri State. He then did graduate assistantships at Miami and ECU from 1989-1991 before returning to a full time capacity at Cincinnati and Idaho State from 1992-1994.

Coach then got his big break from an old Miami counterpart named Tommy Tuberville, former defensive coordinator of the U and Texas A&M. Tuberville had just been hired as the head coach of Ole Miss in 1995, and hired Gran to coach his running backs.

Gran proved to be adept at coaching running backs, as he coached John Avery to a first-round draft selection, along with Deuce McAllister—while helping Ole Miss recover from severe NCAA sanctions, and making them relevant again in football. When Tuberville left Ole Miss to coach the Auburn Tigers in 1999, Gran followed suit.

Coach Gran's success only increased during his lengthy tenure with the Tigers. Like Avery and McAllister before him, Gran coached Rudi Johnson, Brandon Jacobs, Cadillac Williams, and Ronnie Brown to NFL draft selection with Brown and Williams going in the first round.

Coach Gran's backfields have also proven to be productive, as they have led the SEC in rushing five times, and have had several 1,000 yard rushers. He added the special teams to his duties and was successful there as well.

In 2006, Auburn's kicker John Vaughn was named the SEC Special Teams player of the year, and Auburn led the SEC in kickoff coverage, field goal and PAT percentage, and punting.

When Tuberville resigned from Auburn in 2008, Gran was then hired on by the up and coming Lane Kiffin to serve in the same role as he was in at Auburn.

During his brief stay with the Vols, his recruiting prowess was highlighted, as he was the primary factor in stealing the nation's top RB away from Miami in Bryce Brown, and helped bring in other blue chips for Tennessee in their fantastic 2009 class.

Oh, and under Gran's guidance Montario Hardesty ran for 1,345 on the season, and was second in the SEC in rushing only behind Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. 

Gran's resume is arguably as or more impressive than both Stoops' and Hudson's resumes, and both defensive coaches had pretty impressive resumes to begin with. 

Coach Fisher's hiring of Gran fulfilled a lot of needs for the coaching staff, as well as gave Fisher another impressive notch in his head coaching belt. Gran is a veteran in the business and his advice will benefit Coach Fisher.

When the news broke that we had hired Eddie Gran, I read his impressive resume and realized Florida State was so lucky to steal him away from Tennessee. I believe the running backs will realize their full potential under Coach Gran, and we will have our first 1,000 yard rusher in a long time to go with our already impressive passing offense.

I also believe our special teams units will benefit greatly from Gran's guidance. Dustin Hopkins showed us last season he had a big leg, but a lot of times he missed the simplest of kicks. That will change under Coach Gran, as I believe he can develop Hopkins into the next Sebastian Janikowski or Graham Gano.

I also believe he will help take Shawn Powell to the next level as a punter, and I won't be surprised if Powell is a finalist for the Ray Guy award next year. Expect our return units to be dangerous next year with Greg Reid returning and Lamarcus Joyner coming on.

Finally, he will help FSU greatly in the area of recruiting. Our classes have been good and even great over the years, but I believe Coach Gran will help us win recruiting battles over the SEC schools, as well as stealing the South Florida talent away from Miami and UF.

Jimbo Fisher hit the grandslam with Eddie Gran now on our staff, and I can't wait to see Eddie play a huge role in FSU returning to national prominence.

The next coach to be previewed is Dameyune Craig, the former standout QB from Auburn.

Until next time, and Fear the Spear!!!

—Matt Champion