Bloomgren’s hire as new offensive coordinator headlines several staff changes

Jan. 29, 2013, 12:43 p.m.

Confirming speculations that the open offensive coordinator position would be an internal hire, head coach David Shaw officially announced today that Run-Game Coordinator Mike Bloomgren will take over as Stanford football’s new Andrew Luck Director of Offense.

Mike Bloomgren was promoted to the offensive coordinator position after serving as Stanford’s offensive line coach for the past two years. Head coach David Shaw also announced that former running back coach Mike Sanford will take over duties in the passing game while former quarterback Tavita Pritchard will replace Sanford as the new running back coach. (DAVID BERNAL/

The former offensive line coach will be replacing Pep Hamilton, who reunited with quarterback Andrew Luck in the NFL by accepting the offensive coordinator role with the Indianapolis Colts.

“I’m very excited about elevating Mike Bloomgren,” said Shaw. “He was the only choice. We didn’t interview anybody else and we didn’t want to interview anyone else.”

Bloomgren has developed Stanford’s offensive line into an elite unit the past two years. Led by All-Americans David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin in 2011, the group provided exceptional pass protection for Luck, who had a completion percentage of 70 percent and was only sacked 11 times all season.

This past year the offensive line consisted of five starters who earned All-Pac-12 honors, including 2012 Morris Trophy winner David Yankey. The Tunnel Workers Union paved the way for Stepfan Taylor, the all-time Stanford rushing leader who averaged nearly 110 yards per game.

“[Bloomgren] has done an outstanding job with our offensive line and run game, though he’s more than an offensive line coach,” said Shaw. “He understands our offense and how diverse we need to be to attack defenses. We hope to continue the success we’ve had on offense, while also improving in many areas, and Mike is the right guy to lead us to our goals.”

Former running backs coach Mike Sanford, in his third year on The Farm, will oversee the Cardinal quarterbacks and wide receivers while maintaining his role as the recruiting coordinator.

“The last two years, Mike Sanford has done a great job with our running backs,” Shaw commented. “Now I am able to move him back to his natural position in the passing game…He has worked with our quarterbacks and wide receivers in ball-handling and protections. Now he will do a great job working with me to continue developing our passing game.”

Sanford will be handing his running back coaching duties to former Stanford quarterback Tavita Pritchard, who served as a defensive assistant for defensive coordinator Derek Mason the last two years. Pritchard most famously led the 41-point underdog Cardinal to a stunning 24-23 upset of No. 2/1 USC in 2007.

In his second year in that role, Pritchard contributed to the turnaround of the Cardinal secondary in 2012, as safeties Ed Reynolds and Jordan Richards combined for nine interceptions. The proficiency with which they read the quarterback’s eyes this season has often been linked to Pritchard.

“Tavita Pritchard is one of the brightest young coaches I have ever been around,” Shaw said. “He has been phenomenal helping Derek Mason on defense. He was instrumental to the turnaround of our program when he was our starting quarterback and a team leader. I’m excited to have him back on our offense coaching the running backs.”

George Chen is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily who writes football, football and more football. Previously he worked at The Daily as the President and Editor in Chief, Executive Editor, Managing Editor of Sports, the football beat reporter and a sports desk editor. George also co-authored The Daily's recent book documenting the rise of Stanford football, "Rags to Roses." He is a senior from Painted Post, NY majoring in Biology. To contact him, please email at [email protected].

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