According to multiple sources, current Stanford University Offensive Coordinator Mike Bloomgren is finalizing a deal to become Rice football’s next head coach. An official announcement from the athletic department is expected later today.
Bloomgren has been at Stanford for the past seven years, starting as the running game coordinator and offensive line coach. Before coming to Palo Alto, he spent four years on the staff of the New York Jets as an offensive assistant. At Stanford, he serves as the offensive coordinator, associate head coach and offensive line coach.
Rice athletic director Joe Karlgaard was on the athletic department staff at Stanford before coming to Rice. Last week, Karlgaard said there should not be much focus on his connections with Stanford during the coaching search.
“There’s going to be a lot made about my background and where I’ve been,” Karlgaard said. “I think it’s logical for people to assume I would have contact with those candidates. But I wouldn’t put any stock into that...Going back to the Stanford tree, we have people with Stanford experience in the athletic department, but I don’t see myself and I don’t think other people see me as a one-trick pony.”
Bloomgren runs a pro-style offense at Stanford that has led running backs Bryce Love and Christian McCaffrey into Heisman Trophy contention. His offensive lines, known for their physical play, have played a major role in clearing holes for those backs. This past year, his offense ranked 39th in the nation in scoring with 32.0 points per game. The Cardinal scored 62 points against Rice in the season opener this year in Sydney, Australia. Over the weekend, Stanford fell in the Pac-12 title game to the University of Southern California and will play Texas Christian University in the Alamo Bowl later this month.
Bloomgren grew up in Tallahassee and attended Florida State University as an undergraduate. He worked as an undergraduate assistant on the coaching staff before becoming a graduate assistant at the University of Alabama. Chantel Jennings of ESPN once wrote an article about him that called him the “biggest techie in college football;” he has worn Google Glass to press conferences in the past. His love of technology made him particularly intrigued when Stanford began using virtual reality to train its players, according to Jennings.
Stanford head coach David Shaw has been very supportive of Bloomgren’s coaching ability in the past. According to an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle, last month, Shaw said Bloomgren should excel as a head coach.
“He’s one of those guys down the road that we’ll say is one of the top guys in the profession,” Shaw said.