Don Feria - Stanfordphoto.com
The run game coordinator and NFL veteran will take control of the Cardinal offense
Stanford has a new Andrew Luck Director of Offense: Mike Bloomgren.
Bloomgren, the Cardinal's offensive line coach and run game coordinator, has had a hand in Stanford's play-calling for the last two seasons, and was officially promoted on Tuesday.
"I'm very excited about elevating Mike Bloomgren," head coach David Shaw said in the team's official press release. "He was the only choice. We didn't interview anybody else, and we didn't want to interview anyone else... We hope to continue the success we've had on offense, while also improving in many areas, and Mike is the right guy to lead us to our goals."
Bloomgren came to Stanford in 2011 after spending four seasons on the offensive staff of the New York Jets, where he helped take the team to back-to-back AFC title games and was the primary architect of the Jets' effective "wildcat" package with Brad Smith.
With the way David Shaw has been inclined to promote from within the last two years - like promoting Derek Mason to defensive coordinator when Jason Tarver left to take over the Raiders' defense - the move was widely expected and there should be very minimal changes to the Stanford offense in 2013.
Shaw and Bloomgren (and the new Colts OC, Pep Hamilton) work very closely to create the offensive gameplan already, so the there will most certainly be a continued insistence on a physical offensive line and a powerful run game.
Below him, Bloomgren's offensive staff also moved around a bit. Mike Sanford, the running backs coach, was elevated to quarterbacks coach and wide receivers coach. Sanford, a former quarterback at Boise State, seems to be an ideal person to replace Pep Hamilton as the quarterback tutor.
The final move on Tuesday was to elevate defensive assistant Tavita Pritchard - yes, that Tavita Pritchard - to the team's new running backs coach.
Pritchard has spent the last two seasons as a defensive assistant, and he earned high praise from Shaw - his former offensive coordinator.
"Tavita Pritchard is one of the brightest young coaches I have ever been around," said Shaw. "He has been phenomenal helping Derek Mason on defense. He was instrumental to the turnaround of our program when he was our starting quarterback and a team leader. I'm excited to have him back on our offense coaching the running backs."
As for now, the offensive staff seems set for 2013. Shaw may elect to hire a new "run game coordinator" to replace Bloomgren's old role on the offensive staff and add another voice to creating the offensive gameplan - but the transition from the Rose Bowl to the future appears to be going smoothly.