This Friday got very interesting with the announcement by New Mexico State that they had hired Wyoming OC Gregg Brandon to be their Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks coach. Brandon had spent two years in Laramie in that same position, he just recently had his duties with the quarterbacks changed to the running backs. This is certainly a shocking news and it comes just two days after National Signing Day.
"Gregg (Brandon) brings a wealth of experience that is hard to find at this level, while being one of only two people I trust to hand over the play calling for this offense. Obviously having head coaching experience at the Division I level at Bowling Green University gives him a lot of experiences that will be very valuable to this program. I think the biggest thing that Aggie fans need to know is that Gregg Brandon wanted to be here at New Mexico State."
This is fairly similar fashion to when Marcus Arroyo left for Cal just after signing day and Brandon ended up replacing him. New Mexico State just hired Doug Martin and he knows Brandon from when they faced each other in the MAC. Still it is hard to imagine that going to Las Cruces is any type of a step up. The Aggies are now independent with the demise of the WAC and have struggled to win at the FBS level.
The Wyoming offense certainly took a step forward under Brandon and it seemed like he was happy in Laramie. With his head coaching experience I would have certainly considered him to be a huge favorite to take over if Dave Christensen ever left.
Now we look forward to finding out who the replacement will be for Brandon. On signing day Christensen said that he wanted to be more involved with the play calling. Will he try and pull double duty as HC and OC? That is no easy task. Wyoming recently hired former Idaho OC Jason Gesser as their quarterbacks coach. Gesser filled in as the interim head coach for the Vandals are Robb Akey was fired.
Ben Fredrickson spoke with Gregg Brandon and posted some of his comments on twitter. Brandon said the change was due to a significant pay increase that was offered and a new commitment to the program. He also said that he will miss working with Brett Smith and has talked to him since the decision was made.
The loss of Gregg Brandon could certainly be a big one for Wyoming. At least he left the offense in a better position then where he left it. The Cowboys scored an average of 26 points per game which was a 7 point improvement to 2010 under Arroyo.