CINCINNATI – Former University of Cincinnati assistant coach Eddie Gran will return to Clifton as the Bearcats offensive coordinator, head coach Tommy Tuberville announced Thursday.
He served as UC's wide receivers coach from 1992-93.
Gran is wrapping up his 26th season of collegiate coaching and his third season at Florida State, where he serves as associate head coach, tutoring the running backs and coordinating special teams.
In 2012, Gran's coaching and position group responsibilities helped lead the Seminoles to their first ACC Championship since 2005, first 11-win season since 2000 and ninth Orange Bowl appearance. Gran will coach the Seminoles in the Orange Bowl against Northern Illinois before joining the Bearcats.
"I'm pleased and excited Eddie has agreed to join us here in Cincinnati," Tuberville said. "We have a lot of history together and have won a lot of football games at Auburn and Mississippi. He's has proven himself to be a great coach and outstanding recruiter. He knows this area well from his previous coaching stop here so it was a natural fit."
Gran's 26 seasons in the college ranks includes stops from coast-to-coast. It began at his alma mater Cal Lutheran, where he played four seasons as a wide receiver. He spent 15 seasons as a running backs coach and special teams coordinator in the SEC, including 10 years at Auburn, followed by a stop at Tennessee before coming to Florida State in 2010.
He has also established himself as one of the nation's top recruiters. He has spent the better part of two decades recruiting Miami and greater South Florida as his primary territory. He helped the Seminoles attract the nation's No. 1 recruiting class in 2011 and was named one of ESPN.com's Top 25 Recruiters of the Year in 2011.
This past season was one of the best ever for Gran's special teams' pupils. FSU kicker Dustin Hopkins set the NCAA career record for scoring by a kicker (459 points) and was a finalist the Lou Groza Award for the second-straight year in addition to numerous All-America honors and First Team All-ACC accolades.
The Noles' punt return and kickoff return units were arguably the most dynamic in the country, as each ranked second in the ACC and No. 7 and No. 17 in nation, respectively. Rashad Greene scored two touchdowns on punt returns and ranked second in the country with a 15.35 punt return average, while Tyler Hunter also had a punt return score. On kickoff returns, Lamarcus Joyner and Karlos Wiliams combined to average 24.6 yards per return.
Under Gran's direction, FSU's stable of running backs also had one of the most prolific seasons in the country and in school history, averaging 203 rushing yards per game and tallying 2,639 yards and an FSU-record 37 touchdowns on the ground in 2012.
The Seminoles rushed for over 200 yards seven times, including a 385-yard performance versus Wake Forest, and had three different running backs rush for over 500 yards in Chris Thompson (687 yards, five touchdowns), Devonta Freeman (630 yards, eight touchdowns) and James Wilder, Jr. (583 yards, 13 touchdowns). Thompson, who played in eight games before suffering a season-ending knee injury, was named Second Team All-ACC and captured the ACC's Brian Piccolo Award given to the conference's "most courageous" player.
Gran has a strong record for developing backfield talent. During his 14 seasons as the assistant to Coach Tuberville at Ole Miss and Auburn, he sent eight running backs to the NFL, including former Tigers Carnell Williams, Ronnie Brown, Rudi Johnson, Brandon Jacobs, Heath Evans and Kenny Irons. They were preceded by former Rebels Deuce McCallister and John Avery.
Tennessee's Mario Hardesty (1,345 yards) added his name to the lengthy list of 1,000-yard rushers Gran has worked with over the course of his career in ‘09. Hardesty, who did not fumble on 282 carries from scrimmage in 2009, was a second-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2010. He was selected one slot after Auburn's Ben Tate (Houston Texans), whom Gran coached in 2008.
Gran's tenure as a special teams coach included oversight of Auburn kicker John Vaughn, who was the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2006. With his hands-on approach in all facets of special teams play, Gran is widely regarded as one of the most meticulous in tutoring the game's critical "third phase."