Gary Crowton will become the Maryland offensive coordinator. At one time Crowton was on the cutting edge of offense, namely back in 1997 and 1998 when he was at Louisiana Tech. Famously, Tim Rattay threw for over 3,900 and then for over 4,900 yards in ’97 and ’98, respectively, while leading receiver Troy Edwards had over 400 (400!) yards receiving at Nebraska, at a time before Bill Callahan became the coach. But somehow Crowton went from this:
The hint, however, may have come from back in his LaTech days, as described in this Sports Illustrated profile of Tim Rattay:
Rattay also liked Crowton, the mastermind behind what some people in football call a “global offense” for its anything-goes approach to moving the ball. As a journeyman assistant, Crowton studied under LaVell Edwards, Mike Holmgren and Tom Coughlin, among others, and at Tech he has established his reputation as a formation geek who really likes to chuck the ball. Having run out of numbers with which to label his plays, Crowton, who became head coach in 1996, turned to the heavens for inspiration. “We’ve got formations called Moon, Sun, Stars and Mars,” he says. “Something we did looked like a star, so I called it that. I know our offense is unique, and people are starting to take notice. We had about 200 college coaches come visit last year to learn what we’re doing.”
That’s all well and good, but when Auburn’s Gus Malzahn talks about having only ten base plays — four runs and six passes — maybe less is more. Indeed, when it comes to installing more offense (and defense), there is such a thing as subtraction by addition. But Crowton remains a bright guy, so hopefully he can streamline his system for that Maryland team. Remember, the Maryland fans almost had Mike Leach, and he only has about twenty plays and four or five formations. It worked for him.