Al Borges

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Al Borges
Al Borges (2012-09-15).jpg
Borges at Michigan Stadium, Sept. 2012
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1955-10-08) October 8, 1955 (age 58)
Salinas, California
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Portland State (OC)
Boise State (OC)
Oregon (OC)
California (OC)
Indiana (OC)
Auburn (OC)
San Diego State (OC)
Michigan (OC)

Alan Borges (born October 8, 1955) is an American college football coach and the former offensive coordinator of the University of Michigan football team.[1] Borges is known for quarterback development[2] having mentored Cade McNown and Jason Campbell, both first round NFL draft picks.[2][3] Borges has been described as "one of the best offensive coordinators I've ever seen," by former Auburn head coach Pat Dye.[4]

Coaching career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Borges began his coaching career as an assistant coach at Salinas High School from 1975 to 1978, followed by a stint as an assistant at Pleasant Valley HS from 1979 to 1980.[5][6] He earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in 1981 from California State University, Chico.[5][6] Borges began his college coaching career at California as a part-time assistant in 1982 and 1983. He then moved on to his first full-time collegiate job at Diablo Valley College from 1983 to 1985. He split time with Diablo for two years in 1984 and 1985 as a defensive assistant with the USFL's Oakland Invaders.

From 1986 to 1992 he was the offensive coordinator for Division II Portland State University where he coached three All-American quarterbacks.[6] In 1993, he moved up to then Division I-AA Boise State University where his offense reached the Division I-AA championship game in 1994.[6] In a single season as offensive coordinator at Oregon in 1995, his team lead the Pac-10 in passing offense with 263.8 yards per game. The Ducks also averaged 406.3 yards and 29.1 points per game. His quarterback that season, Tony Graziani, led the Pac-10 in both total offense and passing.[6]


Borges was the offensive coordinator for five years (1996–2000) at UCLA under head coach Bob Toledo. Over that five-year period, UCLA averaged 31.9 points a game as well as reaching season averages over 40 points per game in 1997 (40.7 ppg) and 1998 (40.5 ppg).[6] He is also credited with developing Cade McNown from an average quarterback into a first-team AP All-American and first round NFL Draft pick and personally considers McNown his biggest turnaround.[7]

California and Indiana[edit]

In January 2001, Borges left UCLA for a $50,000 raise and two-year contract for the same position at California.[6] After a losing season in which the entire California staff was replaced, Borges accepted the offensive coordinator position at Indiana where he coached for two seasons until Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville called in early 2004.


Borges at Auburn's Fan Day, 2007

Borges joined the Auburn staff in 2004. Auburn went 41-9 in the four seasons Borges was the offensive coordinator. Auburn was the only Southeastern Conference (SEC) team to finish ranked in the top 15 each of those seasons.[3] Borges is credited with much of the success of the 2004 Auburn Tigers football team which recorded a perfect 14-0 season under his "Gulf Coast Offense" scheme. Borges resigned from Auburn December 10, 2007, after a steady decline in the team's offensive production, before the team's appearance in the New Year's Eve Chick-Fil-A Bowl.[8]

San Diego State[edit]

On December 24, 2008, Brady Hoke (new head coach at San Diego State) hired Borges as offensive coordinator for the Aztecs.[1]

Borges worked as the offensive coordinator at San Diego State for two years, and helped lead the team to a 9-4 record in 2010, marking the Aztec's first nine win season since 1971. Borges' offense averaged 35 points per game in 2010.[9]

In 2009, Borges was a finalist to be the head coach at Portland State.[10]

University of Michigan[edit]

On January 11, 2011, Brady Hoke, the new head coach at University of Michigan, hired Borges for the same position that he had held under Hoke at San Diego State.[11]

Borges had quick offensive success with the Michigan Wolverines football team in 2011 and helped lead the team to an 11-2 record, putting Michigan in the 2012 Sugar Bowl, Michigan's first BCS bowl game since the 2006 season.[12]

In 2012, however, things were a little more tough for Borges. Michigan lost in week one to Alabama 41-14 and later lost to Notre Dame 13-6. At the time, quarterback Denard Robinson, who threw four interceptions, was blamed for the Notre Dame loss. In Michigan's third loss of the season against Nebraska, Robinson got injured, and backup quarterback Russell Bellomy performed poorly. Borges would be greatly criticized for not preparing then Wide Receiver and third-string quarterback Devin Gardner. Michigan went on to win their next three games before falling to Ohio State 26-21. Borges was criticized for poor play calling in the second half, in which Michigan failed to cross midfield.

In 2013, things started off fast in the passing game, and relatively slow in non conference. Devin Gardner played an almost flawless game against Notre Dame on September 7th, 2013. Things started to regress however in non-conference games against Akron and UConn, where Michigan almost lost both games, winning 28-24, and 24-21 respectively. All signs started to point towards major problems in the offensive lines when Michigan lost in four overtimes to Penn State, with starting tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint getting 27 yards on 27 carries. Borges was greatly criticized after that loss. The following week Michigan had an offensive breakout game against Indiana, winning 63-47, with Jeremy Gallon having a record setting day. However, the next game with two weeks to prepare against Michigan State, Michigan had one of the worst offensively statistical games in the history of Michigan football losing to Michigan State 29-6, with Michigan failing to ever get the slightest rhythm going on offense. Devin Gardner was sacked numerous times, even getting injured towards the end, and Michigan State tackled Michigan's running back's behind the line of scrimmage more than any game that year. Michigan's beating against Michigan State started to raise serious question about whether or not Al Borges would be retained the following season. The next week, Michigan had more of the same offensive problems, and lacked consistency and rhythm again. Michigan lost to Nebraska 17-13 in Brady Hoke's first loss in Michigan Stadium as Michigan's head coach. The loss was particularly troubling because Nebraska had one of the worst statistical defenses in college football. After Michigan's loss to Nebraska, more and more "nay sayers" came out against Al Borges, most notably Desmond Howard the following Saturday morning on college gameday saying, "Al Borges is the third highest paid offensive coordinator in the NCAA", and that "the foolishness has got to end." On that Saturday, Michigan squeaked out a W against an under performing Northwestern team in overtime, where once again Michigan had a great deal of struggle on the offensive side of the ball. The following week Michigan lost to Iowa on the road 24-21 where it failed to find any offensive rhythm whatsoever in the second half, Al Borges was greatly criticized once more. The following week Michigan finally started to reach their potential on offense losing a heart breaker late to Ohio State, 42-41, where Michigan failed on their 2 Point Conversion at the very end of the game. Michigan would go on to play Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, without starting Quarterback Devin Gardner, who broke his toe against Ohio State in the second half. Backup Quarterback Shane Morris had many struggles on offense, but played a solid game for a true freshman. Michigan would fall to Kansas State 31-14, and while Al Borges received some criticism, it was much less than prior weeks. At the end of the regular season, it was in question whether Borges would return, most people saying how it seemed necessary, but that the matter of the fact was that Borges would more than likely return, due to his friendship with Brady Hoke and the fact that Brady Hoke was yet to fire an assistant coach in his tenure at any school. All doubters were proven wrong, and on January 8, 2014, Brady Hoke announced that Borges would not be retained for the 2014 season.[13]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Offensive Coordinator of the Year, 2005[5]
  • Finalist - Frank Broyles Assistant Coach of the Year Award, 1997 and 1998[5][6]
  • Football Coach Quarterly's Offensive Coordinator of the Year,1997.[5]


Borges and his brother Keith, an assistant with him at California in 2001, collaborated on a book titled Coaching the West Coast Quarterback (ISBN 1-58518-341-5) as well as a series of instructional videos by the same name.[14] Borges also contributed a chapter on strategy using the I formation for the American Football Coaches Association-published book, Football Offenses & Plays (ISBN 0-7360-6261-0) published in 2006.[15]


Borges is married to the former Nikki Federico.[6] Nikki Borges served as Associate Athletic Director, Marketing & Communications for Auburn until Al was hired at San Diego State.[16] The couple have a son, Cole, and a daughter, Mady Joe.[17] Borges is one of seven children[6] and his brother Keith was an assistant coach on Borges' offensive staff at California.[18]


  1. ^ a b McGrane, Mick (2008-12-24). "Borges said to be Aztecs' new offensive coordinator". San Diego Union Tribune. Archived from the original on 27 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  2. ^ a b "Jason Campbell, QB, Auburn". USA Today/ 2005-05-18. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  3. ^ a b Low, Chris (2007-03-19). "Healthy Cox, WRs key to Auburn's improvement". Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  4. ^ McCready, Neal (2005-11-23). "AU needs to secure its own Big Al". Mobile Register. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Player Bio: Al Borges". Auburn Athletic Department. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Cal Hires Offensive Guru Al Borges as New Offensive Coordinator". PAC-10. 2001-01-04. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  7. ^ Handwerger, Bradley (2005-11-16). "Borges' success with QBs". Decatur Daily. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  8. ^ Al Borges out as Auburn's offensive coordinator; won't coach in Atlanta's Chick-fil-A Bowl - Breaking News from The Birmingham News -
  9. ^ "2010 San Diego State Aztecs Football Schedule"
  10. ^ Schrotenboer, Brent. SDSU's Borges awaits Portland St. call.
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ "Sugar Bowl victory means Hoke, Michigan headed in right direction" Staples, Andy
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Coaching The West Coast Quarterback". Retrieved 2007-07-26. [dead link]
  15. ^ "Football Offenses & Plays". Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  16. ^ "Player Bio:Nikki Borges". Auburn Athletic Department. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  17. ^ Woodbery, Evan (2007-09-06). "Baby steps". Mobile Press Register. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  18. ^ Reneau, Kevin (2001-02-28). "Exclusive Al Borges Interview". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 

External links[edit]