Marshall football: Former Herd player Youboty endorses Heater hire
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- John Youboty thinks Doc Holliday and Chuck Heater will make a great match on the Marshall football sideline.
"I think Coach Holliday is going to love him," he said. "He's an intense guy, like Coach Holliday. He expects the best out of all his players and he demands the best out of all his players. I think it'll be a perfect, natural jelling of two coaching styles."
According to sources close to the search, Heater, the former Temple defensive coordinator, is expected to be named Marshall's defensive coordinator in the coming days. Holliday worked with Heater on Urban Meyer's University of Florida staff from 2005-07. Heater would replace Chris Rippon, who resigned the day after Marshall's season-ending, double-overtime loss to East Carolina.
Youboty has the unique experience of playing for both Holliday and Heater. The defensive end was on Marshall's 2010 team, then was medically disqualified because of a narrowing of his spinal column. Temple would qualify him and he joined the Owls in 2011, starting 18 of 24 games in two seasons, including all 11 this season.
In 2011, the Owls ranked third in the Football Bowl Subdivision in scoring defense (13.92 points per game) and 12th in total defense (311.77 yards per game). Temple's defensive rankings dipped in 2012, as the Owls finished 86th in scoring defense (31.18 ppg) and 90th in total defense (437.18 ypg).
Those numbers still were better than Marshall's last season. The Herd finished 101st in total defense (456.58 ypg) and 119th in scoring defense (43.08 ppg).
The Herd allowed seven opponents to score at least 40 points and five opponents to score at least 50 points.
Youboty said he played a 4-3 defense at Temple like the one he played in at Marshall, both based on the 4-3 that Charlie Strong ran when he was Florida's defensive coordinator. He felt that, under Heater, he always was well prepared for each game.
Heater's arrival at Marshall would be another stop in a long, successful career. Heater, 60, was born in Weston and grew up in Tiffin, Ohio, becoming a star running back for the University of Michigan. His coaching stops included stints at Ohio State, Notre Dame, Colorado State, Colorado, Washington, Utah and Florida. He owns national championship rings as a member of the 1988 Notre Dame staff and the 2007 and 2009 Florida staffs.
"He's been in the business for a long time, so he's got those communication skills and he can relate to different types of players," Youboty said. "We had a great relationship."
It was that relationship that Youboty feels catapulted him to success. He was named to the all-Big East second team in 2012 after recording 42 tackles, six for a loss, and five sacks. Youboty admits he's biased when he feels he was Heater's favorite player on defense, but the two were in constant communication about what Youboty was doing well and what he could improve.
"We had a conversation after every single practice," he said. "I'd ask him what I needed to work on, what he sees. If he thought I wasn't going at 100 percent, he'd get on me about that. I think it accounts for a lot of my success."
"He'd let me know how he was feeling and gave me the truth about it," Youboty added, "and I respected that."
Heater was Temple's defensive coordinator for the past two seasons under Coach Steve Addazio. He interviewed for the Owls' top job after Addazio left to become Boston College's head coach. Temple went with New York Giants assistant Coach Matt Rhule, while Addazio selected former Connecticut defensive coordinator Don Brown for the same job at Boston College.
Youboty said Heater's acumen and energy both would serve Marshall well.
"He's an intense guy," he said. "He brings a lot and isn't afraid to get after you, but he also shows that love and care you need as a player. I think he's a great defensive coordinator. He'll be a great fit."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at email@example.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.