[dropcap]O[/dropcap]klahoma’s Bob Stoops is hoping an off-season staff shakeup will breathe new life into an Oklahoma program that’s been “good” the past few seasons.
Good might cut it some places, but not at Oklahoma and not for Stoops.
Out were the Sooners’ two offensive line coaches – Bruce Kittle and James Patton – as well as longtime Sooner assistant Jackie Shipp.
Bill Bedenbaugh, one 247sports.com’s Top 50 recruiters in 2013, was brought in from West Virginia to coach the offensive line. Bedenbaugh is already making waves on the recruiting trail and says the OU brand has only enhanced his pitch.
Filling the other two spots was defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, a rising star in coaching circles – and another 247sports Top 50 recruiter – who left Michigan, and tight ends and special teams coach Jay Boulware.
Boulware spent the past four seasons at Auburn, but was fired with the rest of Gene Chizik’s staff in December. An Oklahoma native who still has family in the area, Boulware was hired by Gary Andersen at Wisconsin in January, but left earlier this month when he got the opportunity to return to his home state.
Like Bedenbaugh, OU’s two most recent hires have brought new energy to the staff.
“We’re bouncing ideas around. We’ve got a fresh approach to things in our staff room now,” Boulware told the Tulsa World.
Montgomery also brings a positive, energetic approach.
“I’m a teacher first. I’m a high-energy guy, but I’m not into dog-cussing kids,” he said. “If you do something right, I’m gonna ‘rah-rah.’ If you do something wrong, I’m gonna teach you how to do it better. That’s my style. That’s who I am.”
That new energy will be especially important in recruiting, where Stoops is looking for improvement. Montgomery knows the key to that is building relationships.
“I don’t care where you are. If you’re at Texas or Florida or Michigan or wherever, if you have good relationships and people know that you’re going to take care of their kids when they get on campus, you’re going to have people willing to help you out with kids,” he said.
He thinks that’s why “a good 15 to 20″ of his recruits contacted him when news broke he was leaving Michigan.
With four years of SEC recruiting wars under his belt, Boulware is eager to help the Sooners catch up.
“Recruiting is definitely a little different deal. It’s a lot faster, I think, in the SEC,” he said. “There are some teams in this league that are trying to emulate that.”
No doubt Oklahoma is one of them.
Oklahoma announces Bill Bedenbaugh hire
Oklahoma officially announced Bill Bedenbaugh as the Sooners’ offensive line coach. Bedenbaugh spent the past two seasons in the same capacity at West Virginia University.
“Bill is a passionate teacher and a demanding coach who I believe will make an immediate impact on our football team,” OU head coach Bob Stoops said. “His track record of developing physical and disciplined offensive linemen makes him an excellent fit for our program.
“Bill is also an accomplished recruiter who will join the rest of our staff in continuing to attract some of the nation’s most talented student-athletes to Oklahoma.”
Bedenbaugh, who coached under Mike Stoops at Arizona prior to his stint at West Virginia, considered Oklahoma one of his dream destinations.
“I have a great admiration for the championship tradition of Oklahoma football and can’t wait to get on the field with our student-athletes this spring,” said Bedenbaugh. “I’ve admired the Sooners for many years, and possess a great appreciation for the talent on this roster and coaching staff.”
Bedenbaugh coached seven seasons on Mike Leach’s staff at Texas Tech from 2000-06. He was a graduate assistant/offensive line coach from 2000-02, before joining the full-time staff as running backs coach in 2003-04 and offensive line in 2005-06.
He was named one of 247sports.com’s Top 50 Recruiters earlier this month.
Jamie Bryant hired at Youngstown State
Jamie Bryant has been named special teams coordinator and assistant linebackers coach on Eric Wolford’s staff at Youngstown State. Bryant spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Houston on the staffs of Tony Levine and Kevin Sumlin. In 2012, he served as the Cougars’ defensive coordinator. Before Houston, Bryant coached the secondary at Vanderbilt from 2002-10. He spent one year coordinating special teams and was the defensive coordinator during his final two seasons. Bryant was defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Saint Francis (Pa.) in 2000 before moving to North Carolina as a defensive GA in 2001.
James Madison announces Curt Newsome hiring
James Madison has officially announced the hiring of Curt Newsome as offensive line coach. Newsome was let go at Virginia Tech in January after seven seasons with the Hokies. The move has been speculated since December, but just became official. This will be Newsome’s second stint with JMU. He served as the Dukes’ assistant head coach and offensive line coach from 2003-2005, tight ends and tackles coach (2002) and defensive line coach (1999-01).
Update: Sources tell us that Bill Bedenbaugh has been offered the Oklahoma offensive line job. Though nothing is official, Bedenbaugh is expected to accept.
[dropcap]W[/dropcap]est Virginia offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh is one of two strong candidates to join Oklahoma’s staff, according to a source.
Bedenbaugh would fill the vacancy left by James Patton, who was the Sooners’ centers and guards coach. Patton was apparently told last week to find a new job, and landed yesterday on Kevin Wilson’s staff at Indiana.
Like Tim Kish, who was hired as OU’s linebackers coach last January, Bedenbaugh coached on Mike Stoops‘ staff at Arizona. Bedenbaugh was the Wildcats’ offensive line coach and running game coordinator from 2007-09 and was given the co-offensive coordinator title in 2010.
A very hard-working recruiter, Bedenbaugh was recently named one of 247sports.com’s Top 50 recruiters for 2013.
As a player, Bedenbaugh was a four-year starting lineman for Mike Leach at Iowa Wesleyan. He later coached for Leach at Texas Tech, serving as offensive line graduate assistant from 2000-02, running backs coach in 2003-04, and offensive line coach in 2007-09.
The other name we’ve heard for the Oklahoma position is former Kansas head coach and OU offensive coordinator Mark Mangino.
Mangino was Oklahoma’s offensive line coach in 1999 and also served as the Sooners’ offensive coordinator in 2000-01. He resigned as the Jayhawks’ coach in December 2009.