Coach Speak: Rumors & News

Coach Speak: Rumors & News

Dooley officially Cowboys' receiver coach

Nine days after speculation began, Derek Dooley has officially been named the Cowboys' wide receivers coach. (Photo: Terry McCormack)

Nine days after speculation began, Derek Dooley has officially been named the Cowboys’ wide receivers coach. (Photo: Terry McCormack)

[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ine days after reports began circulating, Derek Dooley’s hiring as Dallas Cowboys wide receivers coach is finally official.

Dooley interviewed with head coach Jason Garrett in Mobile, Ala., during the week of the Senior Bowl. He takes over for Jimmy Robinson, who will become the team’s new senior consultant after spending the past two seasons as wide receivers coach.

Dooley and Garrett are good friends and coached together during Dooley’s only NFL gig. The pair worked under Nick Saban on his Miami Dolphins teams from 2005-06, with Dooley coaching tight ends and Garrett serving as quarterbacks coach.

Tennessee fired Dooley following a 4-7 season in which the Vols finished 0-7 in the SEC. In three years at Tennessee, Dooley compiled a 15-21 record and was just 4-19 in conference games.

Dooley’s is the Cowboys’ first hire of an offensive coach this off-season. Previously, the Cowboys brought on defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, defensive line coach Rod Marinelli and special teams coach Rich Bisaccia this offseason, all of whom worked together previously with the Buccaneers.

The Cowboys still need to fill positions for running backs coach and tight ends coach, and could possibly hire new offensive line coach should Garrett decide to make Bill Callahan the play-caller next season.

The Cowboys staff now includes four members who have served as head coaches at the collegiate in Dooley, Kiffin, and Callahan.

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Update: Texas, Major Applewhite situation

The Texas Board of Regents recommended no further disciplinary action toward Major Applewhite. (Photo: US Presswire)

The Texas Board of Regents recommended no further disciplinary action toward Major Applewhite. (Photo: US Presswire)

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he University of Texas Board of Regents held a special meeting Sunday afternoon to discuss Longhorn offensive coordinator Major Applewhite’s “inappropriate, consensual” relationship with a female UT student.

The incident occurred during the 2009 Fiesta Bowl festivities, and Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said in a statement that Applewhite admitted to impropriety when the situation came to light and had been disciplined. The female was reportedly a trainer for the Longhorn football team, and Applewhite’s discipline included an 11-month salary freeze.

The Board met for more than two hours via conference call and recommended no further disciplinary action against Applewhite. UT system chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and board chairmain Gene Powell said in a statement (below) that the Board will conduct a review of all policies regarding relationships between UT employees and students, to including disciplinary actions and procedures.

The Applewhite story apparently came to light now – four years later – in the wake of Texas women’s track coach Bev Kearney’s resignation last month. Kearney admitted to having a long-standing intimate relationship with one of her track athletes and surrendered her duties as coach.

According to sources, Texas officials received word that Kearney’s attorney learned about the Applewhite situation and planned to take the story public as part of Kearney’s legal strategy. UT beat them to the punch with the Friday night announcement.

With no further disciplinary action planned, the ball now appears to be in Kearney’s court. Will she move forward with some kind of legal action against the school? If so, will Texas settle the matter or choose to fight what would likely become a very public battle?

Those questions remain to be answered, but as many struggles as the Horns have had both on and off the field of late, the last thing Texas needs is an off-season filled this kind of headlines.

 


Statement from UT System chancellor Francisco Cigarroa and board chairmain Gene Powell:

As leaders of The University of Texas System, our chief concern is and always will be the safety and welfare of the students at our 15 institutions. The No. 1 priority of all UT administrative leaders, faculty, staff and athletic personnel should be protecting our students and ensuring that their experience at any UT institution is a positive and safe one.

Today, we are announcing that Paul Foster, First Vice Chairman of the Board of Regents, will lead a dedicated and focused effort to review and study all policies in place concerning relationships between UT employees and students at all 15 UT institutions. The review will include policies concerning disciplinary actions and procedures as well as compliance with policies for immediate notification of institution administration and the Board of Regents whenever and wherever policies are violated. (Current UT System Rule 178 which went into effect November 1, 2012 covers these policies and requirements, but the rule will be reviewed for possible strengthening.)

We will reach out to national experts to assist in this review and will provide a timeline and announce more details over the next several days.

Our goal is to be both timely and thorough in building a model that can be used nationwide as an example of best practices in dealing with these critically important issues of student protection and student safety.

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The Coaching Wire: Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013

Former Western Kentucky DC Lance Guidry will join the Stephen F. Austin staff. (Photo: Carlos Osorio/AP)

Former Western Kentucky DC Lance Guidry will join the Stephen F. Austin staff. (Photo: Carlos Osorio/AP)

Division I

Former Western Kentucky defensive coordinator Lance Guidry will join J.C. Harper’s staff at Stephen F. Austin (FCS). Guidry, who tweeted about the move, worked with Harper at McNeese State in 2000-01, where Guidry was secondary coach and Harper was in charge of the defensive line. Guidry spent two seasons at WKU, and was coached defensive backs at Miami (Ohio) the two seasons before that. In December, Guidry was named Western’s interim head coach when Willie Taggert got the South Florida job, where he coached the Hilltoppers in their 24-21 loss to Central Michigan in the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl. Guidry also served as Miami’s interim head coach for the RedHawks’ 35-21 win over Middle Tennessee in the 2011 GoDaddy.com Bowl. His pre-game speeches for those games became YouTube sensations. A Welsh, La. native, Guidry was disciplined in 2011 when he was arrested in Baton Rouge just hours before Western’s game vs. LSU. The arrest was Guidry’s third DWI. …  Stump Mitchell, former Southern (FCS) head coach, will be running backs coach on Bruce Arians‘ Arizona Cardinals staff, according to reports. He spent nine years as a running back with the Cardinals from 1981-89, both in St. Louis and Phoenix. In September, Mitchell was reassigned to an administrative position after Southern fell to an 0-2 start. He was 6-18 in 2+ seasons as the Jaguars’ head coach. Mitchell has eleven years experience as an NFL running backs coach. From 1999-2007, he coached the Seattle Seahawks and spent the 2008-09 seasons with the Washington Redskins.

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The Coaching Wire: Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013

Former Boise State linebacker Byron Hout is back with the Broncos as a GA. (Photo: Greg Kreller/Idaho Press-Tribune)

Former Boise State linebacker Byron Hout is back with the Broncos as a GA. (Photo: Greg Kreller/Idaho Press-Tribune)

Division I

UC-Davis (FCS) head coach Ron Gould has named Denis Hallin as director of football operations. Hallin was an administrative assistant with the Cal football program from 2004-12. … Former Tennessee Vol and Detroit Lion running back Shawn Bryson will join Matt Rhule’s staff at Temple as a graduate assistant. Bryson spent eight seasons in the NFL with the Lions and Buffalo Bills. … Also at Temple, Shelton Gaffney has been hired as an assistant strength and coordinating coach. Gaffney was Tennessee’s assistant strength and conditioning coach from 2008-10. Most recently, Gaffney has been a strength and conditioning coach at Johnny Long’s Training Academy in Knoxville, Tenn. … Former Boise State linebacker Byron Hout is back with the Broncos as a defensive graduate assistant. He will work work with the linebackers. Hout replaces Andrew Browning, who accepted a full-time assistant coaching position at UTEP this past month. Hout played four years at Boise State (2008-11) and was a starter his junior and senior seasons. He served as a defensive graduate assistant at Washington State last season. Hout is probably best remembered as the player that was punched by Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount following Boise’s 19-8 win over the Ducks in 2009. … The Jacksonville Jaguars have hired Matthew Smiley as assistant special teams coach. Smiley spent 2012 as wide receivers and special teams coach at Charleston Southern (FCS). He worked previously at Eastern Illinois, Eureka College, Dartmouth, Illinois and North Dakota. He will be the third new Jags’ assistant making his NFL debut.

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Will the Major Applewhite story go away quietly?

Texas offensive coordinator Major Applewhite had an 'inappropriate, consensual' relationship with a student. (Photo: US Presswire)

Major Applewhite had an ‘inappropriate’ relationship with a student. (Photo: US Presswire)

[dropcap]U[/dropcap]niversity of Texas officials have clearly mastered the art of the Friday news dump.

Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds dropped a potential bombshell Friday evening, releasing a statement (below) that Longhorn offensive coordinator Major Applewhite engaged in “inappropriate, consensual behavior with an adult student.”

The statement said it was one-time incident that occurred during the 2009 Fiesta Bowl activities. Dodds said that he learned about the incident shortly after it happened and took immediate action to discipline Applewhite.

“We promptly initiated an inquiry with assistance from the university’s Legal Affairs office and other units outside of Athletics,” Dodds said in the statement. “Major admitted his inappropriate conduct and he was disciplined.”

Applewhite, who played quarterback at Texas from 1998-2001, was hired away from Alabama prior to the 2008 season and was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2011. In a separate statement, Applewhite called the situation “regrettable” and said that he was “upfront and took full responsibility” for his actions.

“This is and was resolved four years ago with the University.” Applewhite said in a separate statement “Through counsel I have worked with my wife and the incident is behind us. I am regretful for my mistake and humbled by this experience. I am deeply sorry for the embarrassment it has caused my friends, family, and the University.”

The story is coming to light now in the wake of another scandal between a Texas coach and a student. Earlier this month, Texas women’s track and field coach Bev Kearney resigned after admitting she had an “intimate consensual relationship” with a student-athlete.

The Texas Board of Regents has called a special meeting for Sunday, Feb. 3 to discuss the Applewhite situation.

The Applewhite and Kearney cases are clearly intertwined, and despite Dodds’ statement that Applewhite has punished appropriately, Austin American-Statesman columnist Cedric Golden believes the situation will not go away. According to Golden:

As part of his punishment, Applewhite had his paycheck frozen for nearly a year. But he kept his job, unlike Kearney who would have probably been fired had she not resigned. Kearney’s attorney Derek A. Howard raised the possibility of legal action in the days following her resignation and told media outlets he would file an open records request, presumably to examine punishments handed to male coaches and professors in similar positions.

Could a lawsuit by Kearney be in the offing? Its looks like a strong possibility.

If that’s the case, this might be one Friday news story that doesn’t go away quietly into the night.

 


Statement from DeLoss Dodds

“Major Applewhite engaged in inappropriate, consensual behavior with an adult student one time during the 2009 Fiesta Bowl activities. After learning of his behavior later that month, I took immediate action to review the situation. We promptly initiated an inquiry with assistance from the university’s Legal Affairs office and other units outside of Athletics. Major admitted his inappropriate conduct and he was disciplined. In determining appropriate discipline, we analyze the facts and circumstances surrounding the behavior and its relation to job responsibilities. Major fully accepted his discipline, including counseling. We have high standards for behavior and expect our staff and coaches to adhere to them in all aspects of their lives. I believe that the appropriate discipline was taken in this case.”

Statement from Major Applewhite

“Several years ago, I made a regretful decision resulting in behavior that was totally inappropriate. It was a one-time occurrence and was a personal matter. Shortly after it occurred, I discussed the situation with DeLoss Dodds. I was upfront and took full responsibility for my actions. This is and was resolved four years ago with the University. Through counsel I have worked with my wife and the incident is behind us. I am regretful for my mistake and humbled by this experience. I am deeply sorry for the embarrassment it has caused my friends, family, and the University. I appreciate all of them. I’ve learned and grown from this and look forward to my work at Texas.”

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Hugh Freeze tweets message for Ole Miss recruiting critics

Hugh Freeze has Ole Miss doing a recruiting 180. (Photo: Ole Miss Athletics)

Hugh Freeze has Ole Miss doing a recruiting 180. (Photo: Ole Miss Athletics)

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s not exactly a newsflash to say that Ole Miss’ 2013 recruiting class is turning heads.

The Rebels class is currently ranked No. 11 by Rivals.com, and are poised to move higher – perhaps much higher – on Signing Day. Their current ranking doesn’t include the nation’s consensus No. 1 player, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, who is expected to ink with Ole Miss, or others like five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil or five-star safety Tony Conner who seriously considering the Rebs.

Hugh Freeze has turned Ole Miss into this year’s “it” school on the recruiting circuit.

That’s a pretty drastic change from the norm, and that’s what has people scratching their heads. Last year, Ole Miss finished No. 40 in the Rivals team rankings, and their average ranking over the past five classes is 27th. By any measure, it’s one of the biggest recruiting turnarounds ever.

Ole Miss supporters would tell you that the foundations to land top recruits have always been there – a beautiful campus; a small-but-sophisticated college town; lovely, um, coeds; the chance to play against SEC competition but to realistically compete for early playing time – it’s just taken a tireless working and excellent salesman like Freeze to bring them to light.

Still, it’s understandable that fans of college football’s blue bloods might be skeptical of an upstart stealing their recruits – especially when that team plays in the SEC West.

At least one of those recruits didn’t help the situation. Five-star Laquon Treadwell, the nation’s No. 1 wide receiver and a Rebel commit, caused a social media firestorm when he reportedly posted photos holding cash ($305 to be exact) on his Instagram page just after returning from his official visit to Oxford. (Though, as the Ole Miss blog Red Cup Rebellion points out, if all it took was $305 to secure Treadwell’s services, the Rebs are getting the steal of the century.)

Freeze has apparently had enough. Late Friday afternoon, he posted a message to Twitter calling out the Rebs’ accusers:

Hugh Freeze tweet

Freeze has been known as a dynamic personality, dating back to his days as head coach of Memphis’ Briarcrest Christian School. (If that name sounds familiar, Freeze and Briarcrest were depicted in Michael Lewis’ book and later movie The Blind Side.) Then, in his first college job, he worked on Ed Orgeron’s Ole Miss staff from 2007-07, learning the trade from one of the most tenacious recruiters around.

As a head coach, there’s no denying that Freeze has simply been a winner wherever he’s been. In 10 years at Briarcrest, his teams went 94-30. He was 20–5 in seasons seasons at NAIA Lambuth College, beating opponents by an average of 41-17. Freeze coached just one year at Arkansas State, leading the Red Wolves to a 10-2 record and their first Sun Belt Conference title since 2005, and his 7-6 record last season at Ole Miss surpassed anyone’s expectations.

Could this simply be a case of a hard-working, charismatic coach coupled with some incredibly fortunate circumstance – he happens to have Denzel Nkemdiche, Robert’s older brother, and Anthony Standifer, a former teammate and close friend of Treadwell, on his roster in Oxford – to create the recruiting equivalent of a perfect recruiting storm? Or, is the other side correct, and the Rebels’ recruiting turnaround a function of someone, somewhere at Ole Miss doing something untoward?

Talking to college coaches, it seems to be the former rather than the latter.

When they’re speaking about recruiting off-the-record about recruits they failed to land, college coaches are never shy about throwing around accusations about opposing coaches a – and oftentimes it’s pretty obviously sour grapes. But I’ve actually been shocked by how little chatter there’s been about Ole Miss’ current recruiting bonanza. Most have blamed circumstance (such as with Nkemdiche and Treadwell) or simply the Ole Miss staff doing a great job of selling the positives we mentioned previously.

Either way, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more compelling 2013 recruiting story than Ole Miss’ turnaround, and it will be fascinating to see how this one plays out on Feb. 6 and beyond.

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The Coaching Wire: Friday, Feb. 1, 2013

With the hiring of Mark Hagen, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin has completed his staff. (Photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

With the hiring of Mark Hagen, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin has completed his staff. (Photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

Division I

Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin announced that Mark Hagen has been hired as linebackers coach. The hire completes the Aggies’ staff. Hagen spent the past two seasons as Indiana’s defensive tackles coach and special teams coordinator under head coach Kevin Wilson, who coached with Sumlin at Oklahoma from 2003 to 2007. Prior to his stint at Indiana, Hagen was an assistant at Purdue for 11 seasons, including in 2000 with Sumlin. Hagen’s first coaching job came at Northern Illinois, where he coached defensive tackles from 1996 to 1999. … Sumlin also announced responsibility changes, with Clarence McKinney becoming offensive coordinator and David Beaty taking on the job of recruiting coordinator. … Montana State (FCS) head coach Rob Ash has hired Tim Cramsey as offensive coordinator. Cramsey spent last season as offensive coordinator at Florida International. Before that, he was offensive coordinator at New Hampshire (FCS). Cramsey replaces Kevin McGiven, who resigned in December to accept a similar role at Utah State. … At The Citadel (FCS), head coach Kevin Higgins has promoted Cody Worley to quarterbacks and fullbacks coach. Worley replaces Craig Candeto, who left in December to become the head coach at Capital University. A former two-year starting QB at Furman, Worley joined the Bulldog staff in July 2011 as special teams quality control coach and became the offensive quality control coach and assistant quarterbacks and fullbacks coach in 2012.

Division II

Grand Valley State (Mich.) has promoted offensive line coach Tim Morrison to offensive coordinator, and former Notre Dame coaching intern and former Laker player Bill Brechin will return to the program as coach wide receivers coach. Jack Ginn will move from wide receivers coach to quarterback coach. Running back coach Eddie Brown resigned to become the defensive back coach for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. Morrison, who succeeds Eric Koehler, who left In December to become the quarterbacks coach at Illinois State, has coached the Lakers’ offensive line for three seasons. He previously served nine years as the offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Wartburg. He also had two seasons as the Knights’ offensive coordinator. Koehler’s spot on the staff will be filled by the hiring of Brechin. From 2010-11 at Notre Dame, Brechin was an intern for the offensive staff and his primary duties involved assisting the offensive coaches in a variety of areas. In 2012, Brechin worked with the wide receivers and slot receivers. Before that, Brechin spent two years as a graduate assistant at Grand Valley State working with the Lakers’ safeties.

Junior College

Ted Iacenda will be named head coach at College of the Canyons (Calif.). Iacenda was an offensive assistant at CoC from 2002-05, working under then-Cougar offensive coordinator Dean Herrington. During Iacenda’s time at CoC, the school won two Southern California championships, and  one State and National championship. Herrington has been the head coach at Bishop Alemany High in Mission Hills, Calif. the past six seasons, and Iacenda has been Herrington’s assistant head coach during that time. Iacenda began his career as running backs and wide receivers coach at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas. … Josh Lattimer has been named head coach at Iowa’s Ellsworth Community College. Lattimer was Ellsworth’s defensive coordinator in 2012, and also served as strength and training coach, linebacker coach, and sophomore recruiting coordinator. Ellsworth went 6-4 last season including a win over No. 18-ranked Louisburg CC in the Graphic Edge Bowl. The Panthers finished the year with a No. 19 NJCAA ranking. Lattimer replaces Josh Gooch, who left earlier this month to become offensive coordinator at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.

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