What's cooking with Cincinnati Bearcat football's new staff?
A day after the NCAA national championship game and a little over a month since he was hired, new Cincinnati Bearcat football coach Scott Satterfield introduced his new offensive and defensive coordinators in a Fifth Third Arena press conference.
They also added five more players via the transfer portal as his newly invigorated, larger recruiting department had a busy morning. Included among those transfers is former Princeton High receiver Sterling Berkhalter a 6-foot-4 target from North Carolina A&T.
"It was important to grow the recruiting department," Satterfield said. "We know how the portal is working. You've got to recruit your team, you've got to recruit high school players, and you've got the portal. Zach Grant is going to be our GM now. He was at Ohio State and prior to that, Western Kentucky. You look at his body of work and he's really a great evaluator. He's very organized and has a good plan."
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Cincinnati high school football recruits should expect to see Bearcat coaches soon
This week, Greater Cincinnati high schools should be seeing Bearcat personnel in C-Paws in the hallways as the staff plans to scour the I-275 beltway and beyond.
"We're hitting every one of them, not only Cincinnati but within 50 miles," Satterfield said. "Anywhere from eight to 12 schools per coach. The next week we'll continue to hit Ohio and then will branch out throughout the country."
Defensive coordinator Bryan Brown came from Louisville with Satterfield and was on his staff with the Cardinals all four years. Like Satterfield, he did not coach either squad in the 24-7 Louisville win over the Bearcats in the Wasabi Fenway Bowl. Louisville was first in the nation in sacks this season, first in fourth-down percentage (19%, opponents 4-of-21) and third in turnovers.
"Coach Brown has been with me since 2012," Satterfield said. "In this business, that's hard to accomplish. He's had many opportunities over the years but fortunately for me, he's been able to stick with me. What we took over at Louisville defensively, was not very good at all."
The addition of Tom Manning was made official on Monday. He formerly was the offensive coordinator at Iowa State where they averaged over 31 points per game between 2019-2021. Current NFL stars coached by Manning at Iowa State include wide receiver Allen Lazard (Packers), running backs David Montgomery (Mount Healthy High School. now Chicago Bears) and Breece Hall (Jets), tight end Charlie Kolar (Ravens) and quarterback Brock Purdy (49ers).
"He's from the state of Ohio," Satterfield said of Manning. "He really knows the state well. I first met him when he was a GA at Toledo in 2009. He ran some of the best offenses in Iowa State history if you go back and look. The fact that he's been in the Big 12 was another key ingredient I thought we needed to get on this staff."
Satterfield will still be the primary play-caller.
Seven Louisville assistants accompanied Satterfield north for his latest assignment. If you watched Georgia dismantle TCU in the national championship game you may know that the Bulldogs had seven wins against FBS opponents with eight wins or more. Behind them were Michigan, Tulane and Satterfield's former Louisville squad. Louisville won six of their last eight games and nine of their opponents were ranked.
What to know about defensive coordinator Bryan Brown
Philosophy and formation?
"We're going to an attacking-style defense. I love to bring pressure. I love to drop eight in coverage at times. It's all dictated on what the offense is really, really good at. We try to stop what they do best. We're a 3-4 team with the principles of a 4-2-5 because we have five DBs on the field at all times."
Down one Pace, but there's another
"I'm looking forward to working with Deshawn. He brings a different dynamic, especially within our scheme. We think he can play free safety, the nickel position, blitzing, zone coverage things of that nature. I think he's excited as well. It hurts losing Ivan, I would have loved coaching him. He's going to make a good bit of money at the next level."
What about UC's returning defensive line?
"They're in there every single day working out. They do a very good job of stopping the run as well as getting to the passer. They are geeked up. You think of the amount of sacks we had at Louisville and turnovers, we were top of the ACC in a good bit of categories. Those guys have seen those stats and the production they could possibly have. We pressure a little bit more than they have in the past."
How important was it to keep Kerry Coombs and Walter Stewart with local connections?
"Kerry's a great human being. When you think of great coaches across the country, he's no doubt one of them. I'm elated to work with him and share that vacuum with him as well. Walt, it's great to have a guy that played here in the blood, sweat and tears of the University of Cincinnati. Hopefully, we can keep him around here as long as we can. He's a bright spot and has a really bright future ahead of him."
What to know about offensive coordinator Tom Manning
The importance of being from Ohio
"He's always known what I thought about the state of Ohio being from here and I think he thought it was a really good fit. He wanted to add another member of the staff that is familiar with what it is to recruit this state. For me, it was a very exciting phone call. I went home and said this is absolutely something my family would love to do."
The importance of recruiting Ohio high schools
"Coach Coombs has done a tremendous job and the previous staff. The coaching at the high school level in this state is elite. Especially when you go to other regions. There's great high school coaching in some areas and in some areas, there's not. It means a little bit more in some places. I'm extremely happy to be in a place where the high school football is extremely important and it's done the right way where the high school football coach is still a meaningful person in the young people's lives. I have recruited Northeast Ohio for a great many areas. I'm excited with some of the current relationships I currently have. I'll see some of those guys a little more frequently than I have the last few years."
On the use of tight ends
"There's been very good tight ends here. We hope to continue that. From afar, we've lost a ton of production. Chamon (Metayer) played a little bit and to be totally honest, I don't exactly know who has done what and I kind of don't want to. We'll get into spring football and make our own evaluation."
Big 12 competition can be brutal
"Last year there were a lot of heartbreakers (at Iowa State). That's what is exciting, the parity. It's incredible. Every week you feel like you have a shot and it seems like every week when you look across the conference someone is beating somebody that's a little bit of a shocker. There's a lot of really awesome environments to play in. It's what you want college football to be in terms of action."
Where will he coach?
"I've been in the press box for a long time. I've only been on the field two or three years. But, wherever they want is where I'll be."
Jowon Briggs on changes to UC coaching staff
Jowon Briggs out of Walnut Hills High School turned some heads when he announced he was staying for another season at UC. Already with a degree, he will pursue another one in Computer Science. The 6-foot-1, 313-pound defensive lineman has been a force for the Bearcats since transferring from Virginia.
I’ll be Back… (Terminator Voice) pic.twitter.com/LtrEikvaVU
— Jowon M. Briggs (@JowonBriggs) December 21, 2022
The decision to stay
"My decision was basically based on whether I earned an invitation to a bowl game, like the Senior Bowl. I didn't so I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to come back and use that final year of eligibility. Being the older guy I just wanted to be that cornerstone, really just get it out there. If it did influence someone, good!"
Was not getting a bowl invite an incentive to improve?
"It's definitely a chip on the shoulder, but it's all types of fun. I love coming back and playing here. I couldn't ask for a better situation."
On the new coaching staff
"They're great. Great football guys. The D-line has been in the office every day during this break (voluntarily) trying to learn and be sponges for their information. Their defense is predicated on being really aggressive. I think it gives the D-linemen a lot of freedom and a lot of opportunities to put your hands on someone and get going. Seems like we're going to be able to play a bit. It should be fun."
The return of Walter Stewart coaching defense
"Him just staying here is going to be really pivotal to next year."
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Cincinnati football staff: New offensive, defensive coordinators