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  • Writer's pictureDave Bartoo

The 2023 MAS All-American Staffs

Matrix Analytical has established an unrivaled position as the sole entity utilizing advanced analytics to comprehensively evaluate college football coaches, fundamentally reshaping the landscape of coaching performance assessment. What sets Matrix Analytical apart is its depth of data and a utilization of an extensive spectrum of key metrics, including but not limited to unit performance, opponent roster strength, opponent coaching quality, unit talent, strength of schedule, year-over-year progression, and in-season improvement. The utilization of these multifaceted metrics provides an unprecedented depth of insight into coaching efficiency. By dissecting unit performance, Matrix Analytical not only assesses team success but also discerns the underlying factors driving it, shedding light on individual contributions. Combined with a peer evaluation of every FBS and FCS on field coach since 2010, the coaching evaluation database at Matrix Analytical is world class.

Ranking with analytics in football offers a comprehensive and nuanced perspective that transcends traditional methods of evaluation. While traditional rankings may rely on reputation, historical success, or subjective opinions, analytics bring objectivity, precision, and a deeper understanding of the intricacies of the game. They represent a shift towards a more data-driven era in football, offering a more comprehensive and nuanced view of performance, which is essential in a sport that constantly evolves. Nevertheless, it's also important to consider intangible aspects like leadership, motivation, and adaptability in different situations, which might not be quantifiable but greatly influence a coach's success. Overall, combining both quantitative analytics and qualitative assessment provides a more comprehensive evaluation of a football coach's performance and gives a head coach an edge in staffing.

Securing a place among the top 30 FBS coaches from a pool of 1,330 peers, each contending across a season over 120,000 plays involving over 1,000 players, is a testament to extraordinary coaching excellence. This remarkable distinction signifies not just proficiency but an exceptional level of strategic prowess, adaptability, and leadership. It's a recognition of the ability to navigate an immense landscape of plays and players, extracting the best from each tactical scenario and molding a diverse array of talents into a unified force.

This distinction places emphasis solely on on-field results, showcasing an exceptional depth of coaching proficiency in strategic planning, tactical execution, and the ability to harness the team's potential during gameplay. Devoid of external factors like recruiting or off-field considerations, this achievement stands as a pure testament to coaching excellence grounded in the tangible outcomes witnessed on the field.

In a landscape often influenced by various off-field values, brands, rankings and total game statistics, this recognition of the best 2023 unit football coach within the Matrix Analytical system underscores a unique mastery that transcends traditional assessments. It celebrates the ability to navigate the complexities of game scenarios, maximize in-field performance, and emerge as a leader solely through the tangible impact observed during competitive play, making this distinction a rare and noteworthy acknowledgment of coaching prowess.


Offensive Coordinator - Mike Denbrock - LSU - 2023 MAS Grade - 96.6 - While fans know the LSU offense was elite in 2023, few realize it was no. 45 in scoring efficiency in 2022. This is significant year over year progression, coupled with an impressive in-season progression, where the offense got more efficient as the season went along was a key his top OC on-field performance grade in 2023. A career OC grade with 7 year in the CRI 77.26 (4.3 stars) and 90.5 (5 star) Tight Ends Coach

Defensive Coordinator - Phil Parker, Iowa - 2023 MAS Grade - 98.1 - The progression of a defense from #4 in scoring efficiency in 2022 to #2 in 2023 is remarkable for a mid-30s recruiter and being paired with a bottom 25 scoring efficiency offense in each of the last two seasons. A career graded DC with 12 years in the CRI is in the top 5% of all DCs since 2010 with a 96.4 grade. Phil also owns a 4.5 star as a DBs coach, making him one of the elite dual purpose coaches in college football.

Special Teams Coordinator - Sean Saturnio, Army - 2023 MAS Grade 79.48 Sean and his Teams units put up excellent numbers with the no.109 ease of schedule for 2023. Amazingly enough, this is not his highest graded season. A top 25% STC in our system, he holds a career grade of 70.6 with 7 years in the CRI.

Quarterbacks - Joe Sloan, LSU - 2023 MAS Grade 94.4 In his 2nd year at LSU and 5th in our grading system, Coach Sloan mentored the Heisman winning quarterback that guided the Tigers to a top 3 efficient offense. With 5 years in our system and a career 4.1 star QB coach, it shouldn't be too much longer for Joe to get an OC title in college football and his shot at calling plays.

Running Backs - Carlos Locklyn, Oregon, 2023 MAS Grade 91.4 In just his 3rd year as running backs coach, not even enough to have a full career CRI grade, Coach Locklyn leads the FBS in RB coach grading. We don't have a floor for him yet, because he hasn't hit one. His ceiling is exceptional for this 'Rising Star' who's CRI career metric is now up to a 4.5 star grade of 80.7.

Wide Receiver - JaMarcus Shephard, Washington, 2023 MAS Grade 92.8 12 years ago Coach Shephard started as a volunteer at Western Kentucky. Today, he is our highest graded WR coach in the country. After 2 years at Western Kentucky, 1 with Washington State, 5 at Purdue and now 2 years with the Huskies, JaMarcus career CRI grade is 72.1 and that puts him into the top 20% of all FBS and FCS WR coaches since 2010.

Tight Ends - Brian Lepak, Kansas St, 2023 MAS Grade 90.2 In just his 2nd year as a Tight Ends coach, Brian was the only FBS TE Coach to crack a 90 in 2023. The former offensive lineman is a 'Rising Star' TE coach with a 77.1 score in the CRI on one of the highest graded staffs in college football.

Defensive Line - Deion Barnes, Penn St, 2023 MAS Grade 93.9 The only coaching "rookie" on the All-American Staffs, Coach Barnes has set a high bar in year one of his CRI resume. Clearly a young coach to keep an eye on for the future.

Linebackers - Chris Partridge, Michigan, 2023 MAS Grade 86.2 After returning to Michigan for his third season as a linebackers coach, the most improved unit for the elite Michigan defense was at linebacker. One of the highest graded "dual purpose" coaches with a linebackers coach grade of 87.9 after just 3 years. Add that to his DB coach and a special teams coach grade and Coach Partridge will be a value-add to a program in 2024.

Defensive Backs - Chris O'Leary, Notre Dame, 2023 MAS Grade 94.7 In 2023 the Notre Dame defense progressed from no. 46 in the country in scoring efficiency to #9 and the biggest unit improvement was Coach O'Leary's DBs. After 4 years as a DB coach in college football, Chris is a CRI "Rising Star" and has a career 4 star CRI grade of 70.4

Offensive Line - Bill Durkin, Liberty, 2023 MAS Grade 96.7 Our highest graded unit coach in 2023, Coach Durkin was a big reason for the Flames going undefeated in the regular season and being selected to their first New Year's 6 Bowl. He has 10 years in our grading system at four different programs with a composite 4 star grade of 70.2.


Offensive Coordinator Lincoln Riley, USC, 2023 MAS Grade 96.3

[CRI Career OC grade 98.3 - 5 Stars]

Defensive Coordinator Jim Knowles, Ohio St, 2023 MAS Grade 94.2

[CRI Career DC grade 73.1 - 4.2 Stars]

Special Teams Coordinator Scott Cochran, Georgia, 2023 MAS Grade 79.4

[CRI Career STC grade 81.3 - 4.5 Stars]

Quarterbacks Will Stein, Oregon, 2023 MAS Grade 93.6

[CRI Career QB grade 77.8 ungraded "Rising Star" less than 4 years as QB coach]

Running Backs Alonzo Carter, San Jose St, 2023 MAS Grade 87.4

[CRI Career RB grade 60.1 - 3.5 Stars]

Wide Receivers Scotty OHara, UTEP, 2023 MAS Grade 85.8

[CRI Career WR grade 77.1 - 4.3 Stars]

Tight Ends Todd Hartley, Georgia, 2023 MAS Grade 89.8

[CRI Career TE grade 85.3 - 4.7 Stars]

Defensive Line Pat Kuntz, James Madison, 2023 MAS Grade 91.7

[CRI Career DL grade 58.7 - 3.4 Stars]

Linebackers Nate Faanes, Ohio, 2023 MAS Grade 85.4

[CRI Career LB grade 65.0 - 3.7 Stars]

Defensive Backs Mike Reed, Clemson, 2023 MAS Grade 92.1

[CRI Career DBs grade 81.8 - 4.5 Stars]

Offensive Line A'lique Terry, Oregon, 2023 MAS Grade 95.3

[CRI Career OL grade 63.5 ungraded "Rising Star" less than 4 years as OL coach]

MAS Notes on the 2nd Team AAs: No one should be surprised with Riley. The top graded active OC coming into the season and USC posted a top 3 scoring efficiency offense. Coach Knowles posted the best soring efficiency defense in college football and the efficiency progression of the unit from 2022 to 2023 was an astounding 43.6%. Even the folks at Georgia asked if we we're asking for the right guy because Coach Cochran was not an "on-field' coach. However, he did run the special teams and they covered 100% of available punt yards in 2023. Coach Stein showed up in Eugene less than a year ago and coached Bo Nix to New York. Watch this guy. Rising Star young coach. The offense at San Jose State ended in the top 20 this year and the running back group was a consistent progression from week 1. Amazing year over year flip for the Spartans. Coach O'Hara may be one of the most under appreciated and unknown coaches in college football. Buried out of sight at UTEP, his wide receivers have been a bright spot in an otherwise, lackluster program. He is graded out higher than 75% of all current WR coaches and is a free agent. Coach Hartley has been a beast TE coach for a while and while many would point to Bowers as a big reason, guess what unit stepped with Brock out this year? Yup, Todd's. Coach Kuntz's D-line unit for James Madison was a huge reason for their massive run in 2023 and a career year for Pat's grade. He went from a average 3 star to let's watch where this goes very closely in just 12 games. No 94 to no 13; that is where the Ohio Bobcat defense ended in 2022 and then in 2023. A massive jump assisted significantly by the Bobcats linebackers and Coach Faanes. Another season like that in 2024 will push Nate into a 4 star backers grade for his career. Coach Reed is familiar with great DB seasons. He has posted his share and to the surprise of no one, ever with the Clemson offense down and the defense plateauing, Coach Reed continues to coach up DBs. Another diamond mined by Coach Lanning in A'lique Terry. Dan has a bunch of young Rising Stars in college football and A'lique, in his first year in Eugene, had the best OL grade for the Ducks in a while. Congratulations to the entire 2nd Team!


Offensive Coordinator Will Stein, Oregon, 2023 MAS Grade 93.7

[CRI Career OC grade 75.4 - ungraded "Rising Star" less than 4 years as OC]

Defensive Coordinator Jesse Minter, Michigan, 2023 MAS Grade 92.9

[CRI Career DC grade 67.8 - 3.9 Stars]

Special Teams Coordinator Jeff Banks, Texas, 2023 MAS Grade 79.4

[CRI Career STC grade 82.8 - 4.5 Stars]

Quarterbacks Willy Korn, Liberty, 2023 MAS Grade 89.4 

[CRI Career QB grade 93.8 - 5 Stars]

Running Backs Ghaali Muhammad-Lankford, New Mexico St, 2023 MAS Grade 85.6

[CRI Career RB grade 61.9 - 3.5 Stars]

Wide Receivers Del Alexander, UNLV, 2023 MAS Grade 85.2

[CRI Career WR grade 66.4 - 3.6 Stars]

Tight Ends Jorge Munoz, Louisiana, 2023 MAS Grade 86.5

[CRI Career TE grade 76.1 - ungraded "Rising Star" less than 4 years at TE]

Defensive Line Ikaika Malloe, UCLA, 2023 MAS Grade 90.5

[CRI Career DL grade 83.0 - 4.6 Stars]

Linebackers Rob Dvoracek, Nebraska, 2023 MAS Grade 83.6

[CRI Career LB grade 66.4 - ungraded "Rising Star" less than 4 years at LB]

Defensive Backs Steve Clinkscale, Michigan, 87.9, 2023 MAS Grade 87.9

[CRI Career DBs grade 67.5 - 3.7 Stars]

Offensive Line Stacy Searels, Georgia, 2023 MAS Grade 91.7

[CRI Career OL grade 60.5 - 3.5 Stars]


*Our grading system is very similar to recruiting rankings and PFF player grades as we have integrated a simple 0-100 scale. It's design, like recruiting stars, is a bell curve (see right) with most coaches congregated in the 2.5 -3.5 star range. Grades of 70 or more are 4 star + coaches and comprise less than 25% of all on field coaches we have graded since 2010.

Our Coach Rating Index (CRI) has over 40,000 annual coach report cards and nearly 10,000 career graded for the benefit of our client programs building and maintaining their on-field staffs.

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