Sonny Dykes was hired back in early December and coached the Mustangs in a bowl game but filling out his staff has been easier said than done. Over a month into his tenure he was still looking for a defensive coordinator. Now he's brought on Kevin Kane to run the defense.
The offensive side is fairly set with Rhett Lashlee at coordinator, Chris Brasfield coaching running backs, Jamal Powell coaching the offensive line, with David Gru coaching receivers. On defense, former Tech receiver Trey Haverty is coaching safeties. Dykes also added Garland coach Jeff Jordan as director of player personnel, so he'll apparently be handling the April draft.
Brasfield is a coup for Dykes; he's a big-time recruiter with Texas ties. He's spent the last couple of years running Mike Reilly's recruiting operation at Nebraska. Gru and Powell are the kind of young aggressive coaches you need knocking on doors, creating entry for Dykes, Kane, and Lashlee to come in and close recruits. Dykes by the way is an underrated closer.
Gru was a GA for Dykes at Cal and an analyst at TCU last season, working with Dykes again. Dykes has an affinity for him as Gru played for Dykes at Louisiana Tech. Powell is a fast riser having coached at West Virginia State, James Madison, Lamar and now SMU.
It's a impressive bunch, but the staff has some glaring holes that need filling.
With the NCAA allowing a tenth assistant, the Mustangs are still three short, almost all on the defensive side. Why does this shortfall matter? Because SMU is hemorrhaging commitments and without coaches to 1) get out on the road and 2) show recruits who'll be coaching them in 2018 and beyond, the Mustangs are playing catchup.
Last week two three-star safeties decomitted along with an offensive tackle. For whatever reason Dykes has had a difficult time filling out the staff, especially at this late date. A few weeks ago it was not a big problem; now it's getting larger and larger with signing day less than two weeks away.
The Football Scoop, still the best source of coaching moves, reports that Dykes may have found a cornerback coach in former Tech player Kevin Curtis who's coaching at Louisiana Tech now. That leaves the defensive line, assuming Kane coaches linebackers, if not then the linebacker coach is still up for grabs. Those are critical hires on the defensive side of the ball, an area where SMU needs a lot of help. That help might not come until after signing day.