Don't Mess With Success: The Case for Al Borges as Michigan's Next Offensive Coordinator


Al Borges: "You've got to counter-punch to survive!"

So it's official.  Brady Hoke is the new Michigan head football coach.

I've made my views on Mr. Hoke's coaching abilities abundantly clear in an earlier post.  There are good reasons why Mr. Hoke was No.3 on the list folks.

But I cannot fault Mr. Hoke in terms of his offensive coordinator hire, Al Borges (age 55).

Borges is good.  How good? Let me count the ways below in a fairly detailed summary.

If Hoke is wise, he will follow his own road at Michigan, and take his OC Al Borges with him to Michigan. We will soon see.

Mr. Borges has crossed paths in interesting places during his career with the likes of Michigan's Anthony Carter, Ohio State's Jim Tressel and LSU's Les Miles, among many others.

San Diego State Aztecs Offensive Coordinator, Mr. Al Borges:


Mr. Borges Resume:

1984-1985 Oakland Invaders (OC)

1984: Under HC John Ralston, Finished 7-11. After 0-9 start, won 7 of last 9.

1985: Under HC Charlie Sumner. Finished 13-4-1, lost title game to Baltimore. QB Bobby Hebert was his signal caller (3,811 yards, 30 TDs, 19 INTs). Former Michigan WR Anthony Carter was Borges' star offensive player with 70 catches, 1,323 yards and 14 touchdowns.

1986-1992 Portland State (OC)

Limited information available


1993-1994 Boise State (OC) under head coach Pokey Allen

Limited statistical information available.

1993 - 3-8

1994 - 13-2 beat Nevada (9-2), beat Montana (11-3), beat Idaho (9-4), beat North Texas (7-4-1) in 1st round, beat Appalachian State (9-4) in 2nd round, beat Marshall (12-2) in 3rd round, lost FCS Championship game to JIM TRESSEL and YSU (14-0-1).


1995 Oregon (OC) under first year HC Mike Bellotti, replacing Belotti's OC role

1994 were 9-4 (lost rose bowl to Penn State) under former HC Rich Brooks.

1995: Finished 9-3 - losses to Stanford (7-4-1), Arizona State (6-5), Colorado (10-2)

QB Tony Graziani (2,604 yards, 13 TDs, 10 INTs) RB Rickey Whittle (1,021 yards, 12 TDs) were main offensive stars for Oregon Ducks under Borges-Bellotti.


1996-2000 UCLA (OC) under Bob Toledo

As offensive coordinator at UCLA, Al Borges presided over a Golden Era offensively for the Bruins with QB Cade McNown (1995-1998) leading passer in UCLA history with 10,078 yards, 2nd leading rusher all-time DeShaun Foster (1998-2001) 3,087 yards , 3rd leading rusher Skip Hicks (1993-1997) 3,040 yards, and WR Danny Farmer (1996-1999) 3,020 yards.

1996: 5-6 QB Cade McNown, TB Skip Hicks, WR Danny Farmer

1997: 10-2 Beat Texas (4-7) 66-3, beat Washington (8-4), beat Texas A&M (9-4) in Cotton Bowl. Only losses to Tennessee by 6 (11-2) and Washington State by 3 (10-2)

1998: 10-2 Cade McNown, WR Danny Farmer, WR Freddie Mitchell, TB DeShaun Foster, Only losses to Miami (9-3) by 4 and to Wisconsin in Rose Bowl (11-1) by 7.

1999:  4-7, Major player suspensions on defense that year, also quarterback musical chairs with Drew Bennett and Corey Paus. Notable losses to Ohio State 20-42, lost to USC 7-17 and to league champ Stanford (8-4).

2000: 6-6, Notable win over Lloyd Carr's Michigan (9-3) 23-20. Other notable losses to Washington (11-1), USC (5-7) and Wisconsin (9-4) in Sun Bowl.


2001 California (OC)

Coming of 4th year of HC Tom Holmoe and 3-8 record.  Finished 2001 at 1-10 and this cost Holmoe his job. Borges was OC and coached QB Kyle Boller (49%, 1,741 yards, 12, 10 INTs). Terrell Willliams had 688 yrds rushing and 4 TDs. Tedford replaced Holmoe in 2002.

Only win in 2001 was over Rutgers (2-9) in final game of season. Holmoe used ineligible players and cost Cal 2002 bowl eligibility (7-5), 9 scholarships over 4 years, and 5 years probation.


2002-2003 Indiana (OC) under first year HC Gerry DiNardo

2002: 3-9

2003: 2-10

2004: 3-8

Borges coached 2 quarterbacks: Gibran Hamdan in 2002 and Matt LoVecchio in 2003-2004.  Both were young and interception prone.  The two shining stars for Borges at Indiana were tailback Ben-Jarvis Green Ellis, the Hoosiers 7th all-time leading rusher (1,732 yards) and WR Courtney Roby who finished 2nd all time in receiving with 2,524 yards.  That's about it.


2004-2007 Auburn (OC) for HC Tommy Tuberville

2004: 13-0 notable wins at Tennessee (10-3),  at Alabama (6-6), vs Tenn in SEC title game (10-3), vs Georgia (9-4) and vs. Virginia Tech (10-3) in Sugar Bowl

Offense featured QB Jason Campbell (70%, 2,700, 20 TD, 7 INT) , TBs Cadillac Williams (1,165 yds, 12 TDs) and Ronnie Brown (913 yds, 8 TDs) and WR Courtney Taylor (737 yds, 6 TDs).

Tigers and finished No. 2 nationally.

2005: 9-3, losses to George Tech (7-5), Les Miles' LSU (11-2) and Wisconsin (10-3) in Capital One Bowl

Offensive leaders were QB Brandon Cox (57%, 2,324 yds, 15 TD, 8 INT) and TB Kenny Irons (1,293 yards, 13 TDs)

2006: 11-2, only losses to Arkansas (10-4) and Georgia (9-4). Beat Nebraska (9-5) in Cotton Bowl.

Offensive leaders were QB Brandon Cox (60%, 2,198 yds, 14 TD, 9 INTs), tailback Kenny Irons 893 yards and 4 TDs, and WR Courtney Taylor (704 yards, 2 TDs).

2007: 9-4, losses to South Florida (9-4) by 3 pts, Mississipi State (8-5) by 4 pts, LSU (12-2, national champs) by 6 points and Georgia (11-2) by 25 pts. Beat Clemson in Chick-Fil-A Bowl.

Offensive leaders were Brandon Cox (59%, 2,080 yds, 9 TD, 13 INTs), TB Ben Tate (903 yards, 8 TDs) and WR Rodgeriqus Smith (705 yds, 5 TDs).

Borges resigned from OC duties on Dec 10, 2007 and replaced by Tony Franklin.

Borges also coached some of the most decorated players in Auburn offensive history, including 2nd and 3rd all-time career passers Jason Campbell (7,373 yards) and Brandon Cox (6,959 yards).  Borges also coached explosive running backs RBs Cadillac Williams, Ronnie Brown and Ben Tate. Under Borges WR Courtney Taylor finished 3rd all time among Tiger receivers with 2,098 yards.

2008: Took year off until Christmas Eve and was hired by Brady Hoke to be his next OC at San Diego State.

2009-present San Diego State (OC)

2009- 4-8 No notable victories. Main bright spot was increased production of QB Ryan Lindley with approximately same number of attempts passing from previous year (55%, 3,054 yrds, 23 TD, 16 INTs) and WR Demarco Sampson (only 111 yards receiving as a sophomore in 2007 to 851 yards and 8 TDs)

2010: 9-4 First successful season since 6-6 record under Tom Craft. First bowl victory since 1969 Pasadena bowl win over Boston University. Notable games: 3 pt loss at Missouri (10-3), 3 pt loss at BYU (7-6), 2 pt win vs Air Force (9-4), 5 pt loss at TCU (13-0), 4 pt loss to Utah (10-3), and decisive win over Navy (9-4) in Pointsettia Bowl 35-14.  Offensive leaders were QB Ryan Lindley (56%, 3,554 yrds, 26 TD, 15 INT), tailback Ronnie Hillman (1,304 yards and 14 TDs), WRs DeMarco Sampson (1,175 yds, 8 TDs) and Vincent Brown (1,187 yds, 9 TDs).

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