Coach Speak: Rumors & News

Coach Speak: Rumors & News

Arizona opens the pocket book for Rodriguez

After an 8-5 season, Rich Rodriguez is getting paid. (Photo: AP)

After an 8-5 season, Rich Rodriguez is getting paid. (Photo: AP)

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]nce one of the sexiest names in college football, Rich Rodriguez wasn’t exactly a hot commodity when he was hired by Arizona.

Fired at Michigan in 2010, Rodriguez spent 2011 out of football. Once seen as a sure thing hire, three tumultuous seasons in Ann Arbor and a year away from the game made him a risk, and risky assets come cheap.

Arizona hired Rodriguez in November 2011 for $1.5 million. (He makes another $300k from Nike and the Wildcats’ broadcast partner, IMG.) That made him the 10th highest-paid coach in the Pac-12, only ahead of Oregon State’s Mike Riley and Colorado’s now-fired Jon Embree.

In his first season, Rodriguez led Arizona to an 8-5 record and New Mexico Bowl victory, exceeding expectations. Now, it’s time to pay up.

Thursday, Arizona’s Board of Regents approved a raise for Rodriguez of $225,000 per year with an increase of $100,000 in base salary every Dec. 1, and a one-year contract extension through 2017. The new five-year deal will pay Rodriguez an average of $2.25 million per season, not including bonuses.

In the rarified air of college head coach salaries, Rodriquez is still underpaid. Last year, the average salary for a head coach at a BCS conference school was $2,370,959. He made $2.525 million at Michigan in 2010.

With an .610 winning percentage as the head coach of three BCS schools, Rodriguez could easily command a salary of $3 million or more – and he probably will if the Wildcats exceed expectations again next year.

You can read the details of Rodriguez’ extension below:

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Report: Scottie Montgomery to join Duke staff

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that former Duke player and coach Scottie Montgomery will return. (Photo: Duke Athletics)

Scottie Montgomery (Photo: Duke Athletics)

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Steelers wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery will become the offensive coordinator at Duke.

Montgomery played wide receiver at Duke from 1996–99 and later in the NFL for the Panthers, Broncos and Raiders.

Following his playing career, Montgomery returned to Duke to coach the Blue Devils’ wide receivers coach for four seasons (2006–2009). He was hired by the Steelers in 2010.

David Cutcliffe lost two staff members in recent weeks, passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach Matt Lubick, who joined Mark Helfrich’s staff at Oregon, and tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Ron Middleton, who left for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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The Coaching Wire: Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013

Brian VanGorder has been named NY Jets linebackers coach.

Brian VanGorder has been named NY Jets linebackers coach.

Former Auburn DC Brian VanGorder hired by the Jets

Former Auburn defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder will be the New York Jets linebackers coach. VanGorder coached the 2012 season on Gene Chizik’s staff. He spent the previous four seasons as Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator (2008-11) after joining the Falcons as their linebackers coach (2007). Before Atlanta, VanGorder was head coach at Georgia Southern for one season (2006), and assistant with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2005), Georgia (2001-04), Western Illinois (2000), Central Michigan (1998-99), Central Florida (1995-97), Wayne State (1992-94) and Grand Valley State (1989-91).

Kevin Lempa and Sean McGowan hired at Boston College

Boston College head coach Steve Addazio has named Kevin Lempa as the Eagles’ secondary coach and Sean McGowan special teams coordinator and SAM linebackers/nickel package coach. Lempa, in his 40th year of coaching, returns for his third stint at BC after serving as the defensive coordinator at Columbia in 2012 and at Central Connecticut State in 2011. Previously, Lempa coached at BC from 2003-06 working with the defensive backs under Tom O’Brien and from 1981-90 working with the outside linebackers and special teams under Jack Bicknell. Lempa was in charge of the secondary and then safeties at Maryland from 2007-10, and he also coached at Hawaii (2000-02), the San Diego Chargers (1997-99), and Dartmouth (1991-96). In his 16th year of coaching, McGowan worked for Addazio the last two years at Temple coaching the inside linebackers and added special teams duties this past season. Prior to Temple, McGowan coached at New Hampshire for seven seasons (2004-10) serving as defensive coordinator in each of his last four seasons. He began his coaching career at Occidental College before moving on to positions at Pittsburgh (1999-2001), Duquesne (2002), and West Virginia Tech (2003).

Anthony Tucker hired as Arkansas State wide receivers coach

Bryan Harsin has completed his staff at Arkansas State with the addition of Anthony Tucker as wide receivers coach. Tucker comes to Arkansas State after spending the last two seasons at Idaho State, where he coached outside wide receivers. Prior to Idaho State, Tucker was Colorado’s Offensive Technical Assistant in 2010 under then-head coach Dan Hawkins. At Colorado, he worked with current Arkansas State assistant head coach Kent Riddle, as well as Red Wolves assistant coach Brad Bedell and strength and conditioning coach Jeff Pitman.

Miami’s Terry Richardson headed to Jacksonville

It hasn’t been announced officially, but it looks like Miami will lose its second assistant to Gus Bradley’s new Jacksonville Jaguars staff. Several media outlets are reporting that Hurricane running backs coach Terry Richardson will join Jed Fisch, who left for Jacksonville last month, with the Jags. Richardson has been with the Hurricanes for three years, and prior to that spent 12 years as UConn’s running backs coach. At Connecticut, he coached Jordan Todman, who finished the year on the Jaguars’ injured reserve list. Richardson played at Syracuse and spent time in the NFL with the Bengals, Eagles, Chiefs and Steelers before starting his coaching career as a high school coach. Update: Jacksonville has made Richardson’s hiring official, announcing the hirings of Richardson, Ron Middleton (tight ends, assistant special teams), Matthew Smiley (assistant special teams) and Mike Rutenberg (assistant defensive backs).

Cornell head coach David Archer announces staff

Cornell head coach David Archer has announced his staff. New staff members include defensive coordinator Jared Backus (prev. Princeton, DC); offensive coordinator Jason Houghtaling (prev. Wagner, OC); assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Shane Hurd (Union-Endicott HS, HC); secondary coach Greg Jones (Kenyon College, DC); and running backs and tight ends coach Mike Neuberger (Georgetown, TE). In addition, staff members retained include Travis Burkett (assistant head coach/defensive line), Emani Fenton (recruiting coordinator/inside linebackers) and David Hanna (special teams coordinator/wide receivers). Longtime assistant Pete DeStefano will move into a role as Director of Player Personnel, Alumni, Community and Career Programs.

Rutgers’ Robb Smith leaves for Bucs linebacker job

Robb Smith, who was Kyle Flood’s defensive coordinator at Rutgers last season, has been hired as the Tamapa Bay Buccaneers linebackers coach. The move for re-unite Smith with Bucs coach and former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano. Smith’s Rutgers defense finished No. 4 nationally in scoring defense, No. 6 in rushing defense and No. 10 in total defense during a 9-4 season. Smith joined Sciano’s Rutgers staff in 2009 as special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach.

Jerheme Urban named Trinity offensive coordinator

Jerheme Urban has been named offensive coordinator at Trinity (D-III, Texas). Urban was an All-American wide receiver at Trinity who has spent the past nine years playing in the NFL for the Seahawks, Cowboys, Cardinals and Chiefs.

North Greenville names Jeff Farrington head coach

North Greenville (D-II, So. Car.) has hired former VMI defensive coordinator Jeff Farrington as head coach. Farrington has been with VMI the past three seasons. Before that, he was a defensive assistant at Furman from 2002-2010. Farrington also served as defensive coordinator for East Tennessee State from 1997-2001.

Jason Guthrie named Millsaps offensive coordinator

Millsaps (D-III, Miss.) has hired Jason Guthrie as offensive coordinator. Guthrie spent the previous 10 seasons at Trinity (D-III, Texas) as assistant coach and was offensive coordinator in 2012.

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Recruiting: Ranking the classes of new staffs

Auburn's Gus Malzahn landed's No. 1 recruiting class among new coaching staffs. (Photo: Robin Trimarchi/Columbus Ledger-Enquirer)

Auburn’s Gus Malzahn landed’s No. 1 recruiting class among new coaching staffs. (Photo: Robin Trimarchi/Columbus Ledger-Enquirer)

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ver the 2012-13 offseason, there have been an even 30 coaching hires around the Football Bowl Subdivision sphere, including 14 first-time head coaches.

Given that none of them has yet had a full season to prepare a recruiting class might make many of them inclined to put an asterisk in their journals next to this National Signing Day installment. Nevertheless, some territory has already been marked and some heated recruiting battles have been won by new regimes eager to establish their brand as they trailblaze the country.

Here are’s 2013 Recruiting Class Rankings for the best hauls by new coaching staffs:

1. Auburn

New Coach: Gus Malzahn
Total Signees: 23 (3 early enrollees)
Positions of Strength: DL, WR, RB, DB
Headliners: 5* DT Montravius Adams (Dooly County HS, Vienna, GA); 5* WDE Carl Lawson (Milton HS, Alpharetta, GA); 5* SDE Elijah Daniel (Avon HS, Avon, IN); 4* WR Jason Smith (McGill Toolen HS, Mobile, AL); 4* WR Tony Stevens (Evans HS, Orlando, FL); 4* QB Jeremy Johnson (Carver HS, Montgomery, AL); 4* RB Johnathan “Rudy” Ford (New Hope School, New Hope, AL)

The Scoop: Malzahn, who rose to national acclaim as Auburn’s coaching MVP during the 2010 national title season, wasted no time in securing “The Future” of his offensive system. In Johnson, Malzahn has a homegrown blue-chipper suited to assert his no-huddle attack along with an incoming fleet of as many as five wideouts who are each at least 6-1, led by Smith and Stevens. Meanwhile, Malzahn again burned the school from which he once spurned a head-coaching offer by flipping Ford, previously the crown jewel of Vanderbilt’s class, to be his new bell cow. Defensively, he’s reinforced the edges of the Tigers’ attack. Bookends Lawson and Daniel should each see early playing time while four defensive back signees bolster depth in the secondary. Adams, who was high on Auburn before ex-coach Gene Chizik’s disastrous 2012 campaign, could be the next Nick Fairley on the Plains.

2. Oregon

New Coach: Mark Helfrich
Total Signees: 19
Positions of Strength: ATH, WR, OLB, S
Headliners: 5* RB Thomas Tyner (Aloha HS, Beaverton, OR); 4* WR Darren Carrington (Horizon HS, San Diego, CA); 4* ATH Tyree Robinson (Lincoln HS, San Diego, CA); 4* OLB Tyrell Robinson (Lincoln HS, San Diego, CA); 4* S Chris Seisay (American Canyon HS, American Canyon, CA); 4* WDE Torrodney Prevot (Alief Taylor HS, Houston, TX); 4* OT Cameron Hunt (Centennial HS, Corona, CA)

The Scoop: Jonathan Stewart, LeGarrette Blount, LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner…meet Thomas Tyner. For Helfrich, who has just been passed the mantle of Oregon’s organizationally pervasive “Next Man Up” philosophy, Tyner is his first signature cog in Phil Knight U’s running back factory. When you are already inheriting a record-setting freshman QB in Marcus Mariota, that’s not a bad place to start. Apart from the homegrown Tyner, Helfrich raided San Diego this cycle by poaching the Robinson twins to lead their defense and Carrington as their next big weapon for Mariota.

3. Arkansas

New Coach: Bret Bielema
Total Signees: 23 (4 early enrollees)
Positions of Strength: RB, OL, LB, S
Headliners: 5* RB Alex Collins (South Plantation HS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL); 4* CB Carroll Washington (Hartnell College, Salinas, CA); 4* TE Hunter Henry (Pulaski Academy, Little Rock, AR); 4* OG Denver Kirkland (Booker T. Washington HS, Miami, FL); 4* QB Austin Allen (Fayetteville HS, Fayetteville, AR); 4* QB Damon Mitchell (Egg Harbor Township HS, Egg Harbor Township, NJ); 4* OG Reeve Koehler (St. Louis HS, Honolulu, HI); 3* OT Dan Skipper (Ralston Valley Senior HS, Arvada, CO)

The Scoop: By now, you can rest assured that SEC neophyte Bielema knows he’s not in Wisconsin anymore…or Big 10 country, for that matter. Regardless of how many Rose Bowl berths to which he’s accustomed, you can’t win in the SEC (especially the cannibalistic SEC West) without bruisers in the trenches. If the recruit’s mother ever lets him sign the scholarship papers, Bielema may have landed his own Marcus Lattimore-esque workhorse to build around in Collins, whom many consider the top back in the country. He also landed a top-flight tight end in Henry, whose size helps him function as basically a sixth lineman. Kirkland, Koehler and the 6’10 Skipper, who flipped from Tennessee, provide promising glimpses of strength on the offensive side of the trenches for the brutal divisional slate. Perhaps Bielema will focus on building the defensive side in the next cycle?

4. Tennessee

New Coach: Butch Jones
Total Signees: 21 (5 early enrollees)
Positions of Strength: WR, S, OT, ATH
Headliners: 4* QB Joshua Dobbs (Alpharetta HS, Alpharetta, GA); 4* SDE Jason Carr (White Station HS, Memphis, TN); 4* OLB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (Northeast HS, Clarksville, TN); 4* WR MarQuez North (Mallard Creek HS, Charlotte, NC); 4* WR Ryan Jenkins (Lassiter HS, Marietta, GA)

The Scoop: Ex-Cincinnati coach Butch Jones found out quickly just how hard it is to recruit in the SEC. Jones struck out on nearly all his major targets (most notably 5* S Vonn Bell, who signed with Ohio State) on National Signing Day. As for silver linings, the Vols staff feels it’s found a hidden gem in Dobbs, who should compete immediately with Justin Worley and Nathan Peterman to replace departing QB Tyler Bray. Four of Tennessee’s five early enrollees are on defense, which should be Jones’ stronger side of the ball as he rebuilds the offense following a flurry of NFL exits. North and Jenkins step in to fill the shoes of star WRs Cordarelle Patterson and Justin Hunter as ably as they can.

5. Kentucky

New Coach: Mark Stoops
Total Signees: 22 (1 early enrollee)
Positions of Strength: DE, WR, RB, OL
Headliners: 4* WDE Za’Darius Smith (East Mississippi C.C., Scooba, MS); 4* ATH Marcus McWilson (Cardinal Mooney HS, Youngstown, OH); 4* RB Ryan Timmons (Franklin County HS, Frankfort, KY); 4* WDE Jason Hatcher (Trinity HS, Louisville, KY); 3* CB Nate Willis (Arizona Western College, Yuma, AZ); 3* WR Javess Blue (Butler C.C., El Dorado, KS)

The Scoop: Both of his older brothers have been successful Big Six coaches, so why not Mark Stoops? If nothing else, we already know he’s resourceful: he locked down the state’s top running back in Timmons, the top Bluegrass defensive end in Hatcher, and Stoops even returned to his hometown to nab McWilson over strong overtures from fellow Cardinal Mooney teammate and Nebraska coach Bo Pelini. Smith headlines a spate of four jucos that should help Kentucky level the playing field in the SEC East. Overall, this class is incredibly balanced, with a signee at nearly every position; a good start from rock bottom. As of NSD press time, it is widely believed that Stoops leads for 4* ILB James Hearns (Lincoln HS, Tallahassee, FL), whom he’d be poaching directly from Florida State’s backyard, where he was defensive coordinator last season.

6. Wisconsin

New Coach: Gary Andersen
Total Signees: 21 (2 early enrollees)
Positions of Strength: ATH, CB, DE, QB
Headliners: 4* RB Corey Clement (Glassboro HS, Glassboro, NJ); 4* WDE Chikwe Obasih (BrookfieldCentral HS, Brookfield, WI); 4* QB Tanner McEvoy (Arizona Western College, Yuma, AZ); 4* ATH Austin Ramesh (Northland Pines HS, Eagle River, WI)

The Scoop: Badgers athletic director (and ex-coach) Barry Alvarez most likely brought in Andersen as coach for two important reasons: he runs a system which is similar to Alvarez’ efficiency-minded style and, having worked as a top lieutenant under Ohio State chief Urban Meyer, Andersen might provide Wisconsin an effective foil to the SEC legend. Nonetheless, Andersen has stockpiled skill position talent in his first haul to Madison. While his staff hopes Clement can fill Montee Ball’s large shoes, McEvoy arrives from the juco ranks ready to compete with redshirt sophomore Joel Stave and ex-Maryland transfer Danny O’Brien for the starting QB job. Ramesh leads a group of five incoming “athletes” whose role in shaping Andersen’s brand is yet to be determined.

7. Cal

New Coach: Sonny Dykes
Total Signees: 27
Positions of Strength: DE, LB, OT, WR
Headliners: 4* WDE Takkarist McKinley (John F. Kennedy HS, Fremont, CA); 4* QB Jared Goff (Marin Catholic, Greenbrae, CA); 3* CB Cameron Walker (Loyola HS, Los Angeles, CA); 3* OT Erik Bunte (Mission Viejo HS, Mission Viejo, CA); 3* RB Khalfani Muhammad (Notre Dame HS, Sherman Oaks, CA); 3* OLB Edward Tandy (Tustin HS, Tustin, CA)

The Scoop: Fresh off finishing his first head-coaching stint at Louisiana Tech with 2012’s No. 1 FBS offense, Dykes arrived in Berkeley and decided there wasn’t enough speed on the defensive edges, evidenced by the five weakside defensive ends and two outside linebackers in this class. Of the four juco players Cal signed, three are on the defensive line. Dykes beat out Boise State to land his signal-caller of the future in Goff, and Bunte should be a nice complement to the program as he protects Goff’s blindside in the coming seasons. Muhammad is your typical Cal all-purpose scatback.

8. Texas Tech

New Coach: Kliff Kingsbury
Total Signees: 24 (1 early enrollee)
Positions of Strength: WR, CB, ATH, OL
Headliners: 4* WR Gary Moore (Clarksville HS, Clarksville, TX); 4* OT Cody Hayes (Eastern Hills HS, Ft. Worth, TX); 4* WR Devin Lauderdale (Bellaire HS, Bellaire, TX); 3* QB Davis Webb (Prosper HS, Prosper, TX); 3* CB Maurice Chandler (Lawton HS, Lawton, OK)

The Scoop: Since the 33-year-old Kingsbury returns to guide his alma mater hot on the heels of developing the first freshman Heisman winner (Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel) and the NCAA’s all-time leading passer (Houston QB Case Keenum) in his last two gigs, early enrollee Webb would be stupid not to feel like he won the lottery this spring as Kingsbury’s inaugural “Air Raid” protégé. Once fall camp comes, he will add two weapons to develop alongside him in Moore and Lauderdale. Hayes and OG Baylen Brown (O’Connor HS, Helotes, TX) should serve as a solid tandem of pass protectors for incumbent QB Michael Brewer and Webb in the seasons to come.

9. South Florida

New Coach: Willie Taggart
Total Signees: 23
Positions of Strength: DT, ATH, OLB, CB
Headliners: 4* ATH Lamar Robbins (Miami Southridge HS, Miami, FL); 3* DT Derrick Calloway (Manatee HS, Bradenton, FL); 3* DT Deadrin Senat (Immokalee HS, Immokalee, FL); 3* QB Michael White (University School, Ft. Lauderdale, FL); 3* DT Dominique Threatt (Tri-Cities HS, Atlanta, GA)

The Scoop: USF may have landed the coaching steal of the offseason when they convinced former Western Kentucky turnaround king Willie Taggart to leave his inaugural bowl-bound squad at his Bowling Green alma mater for the lush beach recruiting climes of South Florida. In addition to convincing Robbins to sign over Big East champion Louisville, Oklahoma and West Virginia, he stacked the middle of the Bulls’ defensive line for years to come by securing the services of Calloway, Senat, Threatt and fellow DT Bruce Hector (Robinson HS, Tampa, FL). Taggart showed strong signs of being able to lock down the south Florida region in future classes: 18 of his 23 commitments are from Florida, with three others from nearby Georgia.

10. N.C. State

New Coach: Dave Doeren
Total Signees: 22
Positions of Strength: RB, OL, OLB, DT
Headliners: 4* OLB Johnathan Alston (Bunn HS, Bunn, NC); 3* OG Tyler Reagan (Bartram Trail HS, Jacksonville, FL); 3* RB Matt Dayes (Cypress Bay HS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL); 3* RB Josh Mercer (South Effingham HS, Guyton, GA); 3* S Joshua Jones (Walled Lake Western HS, Walled Lake, MI)

The Scoop: Another turnaround king and a keen defensive mind, Doeren has a solid piece on D to start building with Alston along with several other potential cogs he raided from Florida. With Mercer already on board as a “lightning” back, Doeren added a “thunder” complement when he nabbed Dayes late in the recruiting cycle over Vanderbilt, Central Florida and Cincinnati. He also has a pair of solid defensive tackles with whom to build in Kenton Gibbs (Cass Technical HS, Detroit, MI) and Monty Nelson (Plantation HS, Ft. Lauderdale, FL).

Other Classes Considered: Purdue (Darrell Hazell); Cincinnati (Tommy Tuberville); Syracuse (Scott Shafer); Colorado (Mike MacIntyre); Temple (Matt Rhule); Southern Miss (Todd Monken)

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Yurcich named Oklahoma State OC

Mike Gundy has announced Mike Yurcich as Oklahoma State's offensive coordinator. (Photo: Beth Hall/US Presswire)

Mike Gundy has announced Mike Yurcich as Oklahoma State’s offensive coordinator. (Photo: Beth Hall/US Presswire)

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]ike Yurcich is Oklahoma State’s new offensive coordinator.

Cowboy head coach Mike Gundy made the announcement Thursday morning via Twitter:

Yurcich He replaces Todd Monken, who is now head coach at Southern Miss.

A Euclid, Ohio native, Yurcich spent the past two seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Shippensburg (Pa.) University. Before that, he coached six seasons at Edinboro (Pa.) University as its quarterbacks coach and the last five years as the offensive coordinator.

Yurcich’s fast-paced offensive, no-huddle offense have put up big numbers, albeit on a small stage. In 2012, Shippensburg broke or tied 20 offensive records, including school records for points (609), yards per game (529.9), first downs (352), total offense yards (6,889), passing yards (5,040), touchdowns (58), yards per play (6.67), passing yards per game (387.7) and plays from scrimmage (1,033).

Yurcich, who played quarterback at California University of Pennsylvania and later at Mount Union College in Ohio, spent two years as an offensive quality control assistant and at Indiana

The Red Raiders finished the season 11-2 and won their first NCAA playoff game since since 1991.

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The Coaching Wire: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013

Jason Gesser is the new quarterbacks coach at Wyoming. (Photo: Jim Urqhart/AP)

Jason Gesser is the new quarterbacks coach at Wyoming. (Photo: Jim Urqhart/AP)

Jason Gesser named Wyoming quarterbacks coach

Jason Gesser has been named quarterbacks coach on Dave Christensen’s Wyoming staff. Gesser, a former Washington State quarterback who finished seventh in the 2002 Heisman voting and led the Cougs to the 2003 Rose Bowl, was Idaho’s previously offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach stepped in as the interim head coach when Robb Akey was fired last season. Gesser fills the spot of former Cowboys’ receivers coach Jason Ray who left to take the same position at Oklahoma State. His connection to Wyoming was through Cowboys’ associate head coach Pete Kaligis, whom Gesser has known since Kaligis recruiting players from Eastside Catholic High School in Seattle, where Gesser was coaching in 2009. Wyoming offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon, who previously coached quarterbacks, has been switched to running backs. Derek Sage will continue to coach wide receivers. Jim Harding and Kaligis will split time between offensive line and tight ends.

Nevada’s Ken Wilson headed to Washington State

Nevada assistant Ken Wilson has accepted a job on Mike Leach’s Washington State staff as linebacker coach. Wilson, who is longtime friends with retired Wolf Pack head coach Chris Ault, spent nearly 25 years at Nevada as an assistant coach and assistant athletic director at Nevada. He had three separate stints at Nevada (1989-92, 1994-95 and 2004-12) in a variety of roles, including time as the team’s defensive coordinator.

Anthony Midget to join Penn State staff

Less than two weeks after he left Georgia State for Marshall, defensive assistant Anthony Midget will join Bill O’Brien’s staff at Penn State. Midget takes the spot that became open when defensive coordinator Ted Roof left for Georgia Tech. Defensive backs coach John Butler was promoted, leaving his previous position vacant. Midget was GSU’s defensive coordinator in 2012 and secondary coach and special teams coordinator since 2008. He was an All-American defensive back at Virginia Tech and was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 2000.

Former Colorado assistant J.D. Brookhart leaving college coaching

J.D. Brookhart, who served as Colorado’s passing game coordinator, tight ends and special teams coach under Jon Embree the past two years, has decided to leave college coaching to work with the Carl J and Margot A Johnson Foundation, a Dallas-based Christian organization he worked for in 2010. Embree’s entire staff was let go after going 1-11 last season. “I was fortunate enough to be in two places total — one move — in 14 years,” Brookhart told the Denver Post. “Now this is going to be four houses in five years for me. It’s not something I want to go and pursue a place where we could be let go in another three years.”

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Source: Todd Grantham likely to leave Georgia

A source says that Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has likely coached his last game at Georgia. (Photo: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports)

A source says that Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has likely coached his last game at Georgia. (Photo: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports)

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t would appear that Todd Grantham has coached his last game at Georgia.

Sources close to the situation tell us that Grantham is looking to make a change, and that he is “highly likely” to be coaching in the NFL next season.

It’s been widely reported that Grantham will interview with New Orleans Saints’ head coach Sean Payton on Thursday, but the source indicated that Grantham is more likely to join Chip Kelly’s Philadelphia Eagles staff as defensive coordinator.

Speaking to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Wednesday, Grantham dodged questions about his interest either NFL job.

“You know what? I can tell you this, that my family loves it here; I like it here a lot; and this is a very special place and I think today needs to be focused on the players we’ve got here right now and trying to get back to Atlanta,” Grantham said.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt sidestepped the possibility as well.

“I know that we’ve got great coaches on our staff and every single off-season somebody’s calling me about somebody,” Richt said. “That’s just the way it works and I think it’s a good sign. That’s just the way it works. I think we have some pretty good coaches and ones people think a lot of.”

The source indicated that Richt is aware of Grantham’s desire to leave, and has a plan in place to move quickly on a replacement. No potential candidates were mentioned, however.

On Wednesday, Payton appeared on ESPN radio’s “Mike and Mike Show” and said he planned to speak to “two to four” candidates in the coming days. Payton did not mention Grantham by name, but did say that he planned to meet with former Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

[colored_box color=”grey”]Talk about it in The Inside Scoop.[/colored_box]

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