Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Under circumstances, Symington hire appears to be good one

The New Mexico State Aggies announced the hiring of Chris Symington as offensive line coach last week.

Symington appears to be a good hire for the program, particularly when considering the circumstances surrounding his addition. The Aggies were put in a tough spot when offensive line coach Steve Marshall left for the Green Bay Packers last week. Marshall was hired at NMSU in January, coached spring practices and then departed. Not that he can be necessarily blamed for the move - he has a career to worry about after all, and the NFL is the NFL. With that being said, it wasn't an ideal time for a college program to find a key replacement to its coaching staff.

Symington's connection to the Aggie football program are from his days coaching at Eastern Michigan University of the Mid-American Conference from 2003-08. This was the same period of time Aggie head coach Doug Martin was head coach at Kent State University, and NMSU offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon led the Bowling Green program.

Symington also comes with a pretty good background: previously at Colorado State University-Pueblo, a Division II program in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. Symington has also worked at Tennessee State (2000-03), Western Kentucky (1996-99) and Vanderbilt (1990-94).

The CSU-Pueblo website called Symington "potentially the most influential assistant coach in the history of the….football program." The biography continued to say Symington - who was also the ThunderWolves run-game coordinator - produced four All-Americans, six all-region selections and one Gene Upshaw Award finalist in his first four seasons coaching the CSU-Pueblo offensive line. It also said that "under Symington's direction, CSU-Pueblo's offensive line has established itself as one of the top units in the country."

The Thunderwolves had a strong rushing offense last year, averaging 42.7 points per game while rushing for 213 yards per contest and 26 touchdowns.

The Aggies could certainly use stability at the offensive line coaching position - Symington will be the program's fifth coach there over the past four years. That is a mind-boggling statistic, and a reminder of how difficult it is for the NSMU football program to hold its coaches. That turnover alone has been a played a big factor in the team's struggles over the years.

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