Contact: Chuck Pool, Rice Athletics (email@example.com)
HOUSTON-Rice Director of Athletics Joe Karlgaard announced Tuesday that Stanford Associate Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator Mike Bloomgren has agreed to a five-year contract to become the 19th head football coach at Rice University.
"The football program is important to our university and this community. Mike Bloomgren is a bright, driven, and relentless coach who fits perfectly with our vision for championships on the field, scholarship in the classroom, and service to others. I'm grateful to President Leebron for his support and assistance in recruiting the Bloomgrens to Rice. I can't wait for Mike, Lara, Tyler, and Parker to join us in Houston."
"I am excited and humbled to lead the football program at Rice," Bloomgren said. "In my seven years at Stanford, I have seen firsthand how elite college athletics and academics can not only coexist, but thrive together. I want to create an environment at Rice where every player's dreams are realized on and off the field"
Bloomgren comes to Rice after seven seasons with the Cardinal, first as the offensive line coach (2011-12) and then assuming the reigns of Stanford's pro style offensive attack in 2013, setting the stage for one of the most successful decades in the program's rich history. Stanford has won eight or more games in each of his seasons and reached the Pac-12 Football Championship four times, winning three titles.
Prior to 2017, Bloomgren had coached 12 NFL Draft selections and 11 All-America selections at Stanford, including 2015 Outland Trophy winner Joshua Garnett and NCAA all-purpose yardage record holder Christian McCaffrey.
The 2017 campaign has seen running back Bryce Love nearly match McCaffrey's production on his way to being named a finalist for both the Heisman Trophy and Doak Walker Award. Love burst out of the gate with 180 yards on 13 carries against Rice in season opener in Sydney, Australia and completed the regular season with 1,973 yards on the ground, second only to McCaffrey's school-record 2,019 in 2015.
Bloomgren's 2016 unit ended the season on a six-game winning streak in which the offense produced 290.5 rushing yards/game, the most by any Power 5 program over that stretch. McCaffrey, the eighth overall pick in the NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers, earned All-America honors for the second straight season and was an All-Pac-12 first team running back. His 183.87 career all-purpose yards/game were most of any active FBS player at season's end, and his 6,987 career all-purpose yards were second-most of any active FBS player.
Bloomgren was instrumental in the breakout season posted in 2015 by McCaffrey, that season's Associated Press Player of the Year and Heisman Trophy finalist. McCaffrey, the program's single-season rushing leader, led the nation in all-purpose yards while breaking Barry Sanders' NCAA record.
Stanford amassed a school-record 3,131 rushing yards on 610 attempts that season, the most by the program. The offensive unit's 529 points ranked second-most in a season, its 33 rushing touchdowns, 223.7 rushing yards/game, 30 passing touchdowns, 37.8 points/game and 6,097 total yards of offense ranked third.
Stanford scored at least 30 points in a national-best 13 consecutive games and led the nation in time of possession (34:48), the seventh-best by any team in the past 20 years.
Four Cardinal heard their names called at the NFL Draft following the 2015 season, including first-round selection Garnett, Stanford's unanimous first team All-America -- and only the ninth in school history. Garnett was the program's first Outland Trophy winner as the nation's top interior lineman, and won the Morris Trophy, presented to the Pac-12 Lineman of the Year.
Bloomgren's linemen were named a finalist for the inaugural Joe Moore Award in 2015, given to the nation's top offensive line.
While facing six nationally ranked opponents in 2014, including four on the road, Bloomgren helped Stanford win eight games. The Cardinal scored at least 30 points in seven of 13 games on the season and increased its nation-best streak of scoring at least 10 points to 95 games. Stanford also set a record for the most points in a bowl game in program history with 45 in the Foster Farms Bowl win against Maryland.
Stanford amassed a program-best 2,904 rushing yards during the 2013 season, Bloomgren's first year at the offensive helm.
Individual honors are closely tied to Bloomgren. He has earned recognition for both his coaching and recruiting prowess. Rivals.com named Bloomgren one of its 2014 National Recruiters of the Year -- the latest such honor that began in 2012 when ESPN recognized him as its Pac-12 Recruiter of the Year. Rivals.com tabbed Bloomgren as one of the nation's top-25 recruiters in 2016. FootballScoop.com named Bloomgren its 2013 Offensive Line Coach of the Year following two years of eye-opening accomplishments.
Bloomgren joined the Cardinal staff as offensive line coach and run game coordinator in 2011 after spending four seasons with the New York Jets, where he served as assistant offensive coordinator (2010), offensive assistant (2009) and offensive quality control coach (2007-08).
In 2013, all five offensive linemen received All-Pac-12 honors, including first-team selection Yankey. Yankey was named Stanford's first two-time first-team All-American selection since Bob Whitfield (1990-91). One of four senior starters on the offensive line in 2013, Yankey was also selected as a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award.
Four of Bloomgren's five starting offensive linemen earned All-Pac-12 honors in 2012, including first-teamer Yankey.
Yankey was the winner of the league's 2012 Morris Trophy. The consensus All-American was Stanford's first winner of the award since 2002.
The Cardinal offensive line afforded 200-plus yards rushing in six games during the 2012 season, paving the way for record-breaking running back Stepfan Taylor. The Doak Walker Award semifinalist produced the best season of his career (109.29 yards/game).
Bloomgren's work with the offensive line in 2011, which included three first-year starters, played a pivotal role in providing protection for Heisman finalist Andrew Luck to complete over 70 percent of his passes and throw a school-record 37 touchdowns, in addition to compiling the third-highest rushing total in school annals. Stanford's ground game keyed an offense that ranked seventh nationally in scoring average at 43.2 points/game and eighth in total offense at 489.3 yards/game.
Bloomgren launched his coaching career as an undergraduate assistant for Bobby Bowden at Florida State, where the Seminoles captured a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference titles (1997-98) during his tenure. He served as co-offensive coordinator at Catawba College from 2002-04 and offensive coordinator at Delta State from 2006-06. A 1999 graduate of Florida State with a bachelor's degree in sports management, Bloomgren earned his master's degree in higher education from Alabama in 2001.
A native of Tallahassee, Florida, Mike and his wife, Lara, have two sons, Tyler and Parker.
The Bloomgren File
Hometown: Tallahassee, Florida
College: Florida State, 1999
Family: Wife - Lara; Sons -- Tyler and Parker
1999-2001, Graduate Assistant, Alabama
2002-04, Catawba College, Co-Offensive Coordinator
2005-06, Delta State, Offensive Coordinator
2007-10, New York Jets
Offensive Quality Control 2007-08
Offensive Assistant 2009
Assistant Offensive Line 2010
Offensive Line, 2011-12
Andrew Luck Director of Offense, 2013
Andrew Luck Director of Offense/Associate Head Coach, 2014-17
2018, Rice University, Head Football Coach
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
DAVID SHAW -- Head Coach, Stanford
"It's always important to go to the right place with right fit, particularly with your first (head coach) job. You want to have an opportunity to be successful. Your personality needs to fit the place. Your philosophy needs to fit the philosophy of the athletic department and the school and the fan base. Mike is one of those guys down the road that we'll say is one of the top guys in the profession."
KIRK HERBSTREIT-- ESPN College GameDay co-host and analyst
"Mike Bloomgren has been an integral part of one of the programs that I respect the most in the country! A true players coach in the sense that he demands the most out of you every day, but is also there for the players to learn and grow as people. His offensive scheme is versatile in his ability to adjust to his personnel."
REX RYAN -- ESPN NFL analyst, a former New York Jets Head Coach
"There are two things that jumped out to me about Mike -- his work ethic and just how sharp he was. Coaches put in a lot of hours and Mike just loved it. He was full of energy regardless of how long we were working, which impressed me. He brought a lot of out-of-the-box thinking that wasn't being done in the league, like Wildcat formations and direct snaps. I used to challenge him to come up with new stuff, which he did and then we implemented it a lot. It's no surprise he became a head coach at a young age and I think he's going to do some great things there at Rice. They're going to be a fun team to watch and I'm excited for Mike."
CAMERON FLEMING --New England Patriots OT (Cy Creek High School)
"Coach Bloomgren will be a great addition to the program at rice. He was a great motivator and leader for me and I'm sure he'll do even better down in Houston. I'm excited to see him build a strong program."