The Valdosta Daily Times
At last, David Dean has addressed the rumors about his possible departure to Kennesaw State, or lack there of one.
After spring practice Thursday, the Valdosta State head coach made it clear that he is exactly that: the Valdosta State head coach.
“I have not interviewed. I have not done anything at Kennesaw State,” Dean said. “It is all rumors. Anytime a job comes open there are always people that say this guy is going to get it or that guy. I can tell you this, I haven't been up there, I haven't been on campus, I haven't talked with the (athletic director).
“I am the coach at Valdosta State. The only thing I am focused on is finishing up spring practice in a positive way.”
Dean was reportedly a candidate to become Kennesaw State's first-ever head football coach, a position expected to be filled in early March, according to KSU athletic officials. The university was granted permission to begin the establishment of a program after a vote by the Board of Regents at a meeting in mid-February.
A two-time Division II Coach of the Year with ties to the Atlanta area — Dean attended Georgia Tech and has family in the area —the possibility of Dean becoming the head coach at Kennesaw State made sense to some, but not to Dean.
“I am the coach at Valdosta State,” Dean reiterated.
The rumors and speculation that Dean might be leaving for Kennesaw State vamped up in recent weeks when it was learned that Co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Earl Chambers was a candidate to become the defensive line coach at Georgia Southern, and after offensive coordinator Robby Brown left for a job at Northwestern State in Louisiana.
Chambers has yet to leave the Blazer program — he was working practice Thursday — and Dean has yet to fill the void of Brown, who also served as the quarterback coach.
As for when he plans on filling those coaching vacancies, Dean said sometime after the Blazers conclude spring practice, which ends March 9 with the playing of the spring game.
“When I can sit down and go through and evaluate and see who we want to get,” Dean said, when asked about filling the position. “With us going through spring practice, we were in good shape right now. I was able to handle the quarterbacks and wide receivers right now and Coach (Sam) Umberg has done a good job handling the receivers right now.”
The coaching shuffling at Valdosta State might not be over, either. Along with Chambers actively pursuing opportunities at other schools, fellow Co-defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Seth Wallace has also interviewed for other jobs. Wallace has already interviewed at the University of Iowa, a sort of homecoming for the Iowa native.
Graduate assistant and student assistant coaches are on the move, too. Graduate assistant offensive line coach Derrick Elder left the Blazer program Thursday and is headed to New Mexico State, while student assistant Sam Umberg has already accepted a position to become North Gwinnett High School's newest receivers coach, a position he is coaching this spring at VSU.
Overall, Dean said the hardest part of the speculation of coaches leaving takes a toll on the players within the program.
“They never know what is happening,” Dean said. “They don't know what is a rumor and what is not. It kind of gets tiring when you have to tell these guys, ‘Listen, don't listen to all crap. It is not true. We will be honest with you and we will tell you what is going on.’ But they handle it pretty good. They understand the business and they understood when Coach Brown left.”
For more on Valdosta State's spring practice, visit www.valdostadailytimes.com/blazersblog.