Tech's Coaching Staff Undergoes a Transformation
Texas Tech's coaching staff continues to reconstitute itself with University of Houston co-defensive coordinator Clay Jennings and Southeastern Louisiana defensive backs coach Brett Dewhurst, coming on board and plying their craft for defensive coordinator David Gibbs.
Jennings is well traveled in the state, playing at North Texas, and coaching at Sam Houston State, Baylor, TCU, Texas, and Houston. Dewhurst, a Red Raiders safety from 2007-11, worked under Gibbs as a defensive quality control assistant at Houston and then at Tech. He went to Southeastern Louisiana this past season, coaching the secondary.
Kliff Kingsbury has more work to do; three full-time positions remain after Eric Morris left for Incarnate Word, running backs coach Jabbar Juluke went Louisiana-Lafayette, and special teams coordinator Joe Robinson was relieved of duties then headed to UTEP. Of those three, at least two will go to the offensive side, and perhaps the tenth spot will go to a special teams focused hire.
Eric Morris takes over at UIW
Speaking of Eric Morris, he's leaving Lubbock to assume head coaching duties at Incarnate Word. Morris was a former player at Texas Tech from 2004-2008. Kingsbury brought him onboard to run the offense with Sonny Cumbie, and once Cumbie left for TCU, Morris took over full-time.
During Morris’s tenure as full offensive coordinator, the Red Raiders never ranked lower than 8th nationally in passing yards per game and finished first in the nation in total passing yards in 2016 with Patrick Mahomes throwing the ball.
Incarnate Word has never had much success since their initial startup in 2009. The Cardinals are 30-67, 17-42 in the Southland Conference. Morris takes over for Larry Keenan who led the Cardinals for the past six seasons. In that time UIW finished in 6-5 twice, but never better than fourth in the Southland.
Morris got the UIW gig in spite of Red McCombs' calls for Art Briles to take over on the San Antonio Campus.
Matt Rhule Flirts with the NFL
Matt Rhule surprised a lot of NFL and college football observers when news broke today that he interviewed with the Indianapolis Colts. Rhule finished his first year in Waco with a 1-11 record in the midst of the smoldering dumpster fire left behind by the Art Briles/Ian McCaw scandal that rocked the school.
The Colts, seeking a replacement for Chuck Pagano, also reportedly interviewed Josh McDaniels, Kris Richard, Dave Toub, Steve Wilks and Mike Vrabel.
Rhule coached in the league briefly with the New York Giants, and some linked him to the Giants' opening as well. We'll see what comes of all this, but Rhule must be highly regarded to be part of the interview process even after his first Baylor squad almost put up a 0-for season.
Jimbo Fisher has a strength coach
Jerry Schmidt, who has served 18 years as Oklahoma’s director of sports performance, is heading to College Station to help the hip flexors of Jimbo Fisher's new A&M squad. He'll be the third A&M strength coach in as many years, but he's the most renowned of the three having helped build Oklahoma into a consistent national power. Schmidt was Bob Stoops right-hand man, following the coach from Florida to Norman.
Fisher's made waves by hiring highly regarded Mike Elko away from Notre Dame to run the Aggie defense and Darrell Dickey from Memphis to run the offense.