Jim Harding

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The Coaching Wire: Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013

Wyoming's Dave Christensen announced several staff moves on Wednesday. (Photo: Jack Plunkett/AP)

Dave Christensen announced several staff moves on Wednesday. (Photo: Jack Plunkett/AP)

Wyoming completes staff, announces staff moves

Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen announced a number of staff moves. Nick Danielson, who served as offensive graduate assistant last season, will be promoted to a full-time assistant coach. Danielson, who served as an offensive graduate assistant for the Cowboys in 2012, will coach the Cowboy tight ends and H-backs. That position came open when former Cowboy assistant Jason Ray was hired as receivers coach at Oklahoma State in January. Assistant head coach Pete Kaligis and offensive line coach Jim Harding have been elevated to co-offensive coordinators. Former offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon left for New Mexico State earlier this month. Christensen will continue to call plays. Matt Rahl will be director of recruiting. Rahl coached the Cowboy defensive line the past two seasons, but he was previously Wyoming’s director of recruiting in 2009-10. Brent Vernon, who was assistant director of football operations last year, has been elevated to the position of director of football operations. He replaces Brian Wilkinson, who was named DFO at Arkansas State in January. Danilo Robinson will be Wyoming’s director of player personnel. Robinson had been the director of player personnel and recruiting last season.

Mississippi State announces Billy Gonzales hiring, staff moves

Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen has officially announced the hiring of Billy Gonzales as wide receivers coach. Tim Brewster will move to tight ends coach and add the title of assistant head coach. Brewster coached tight ends at North Carolina and Texas before moving to the NFL and coaching the position with the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos. Tight ends coach Scott Sallach will move into the role of coordinator of football scouting to make room for Gonzales. Tony Hughes, who has coached safeties for the Bulldogs since Mullen’s arrival in 2009, will also add the title of assistant head coach.

Memphis extends Justin Fuente’s contract

Memphis has given head coach Justin Fuente a one-year contract extension. Fuente’s contract now runs through the 2017 season. In his first season as the Tigers’ coach, Fuente’s team won its last three conference games and the Tigers’ four Conference USA wins is more than the last three seasons combined. Memphis’ 4-8 overall record marked the team’s best finish since 2008.

Tim Hauck named UNLV defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach

Tim Hauck has been named defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach at UNLV. He is the brother of Rebels’ head coach Bobby Hauck. Tim served last season as defensive backs coach for the Cleveland Browns. He spent the 2009-10 seasons as assistant secondary coach for the Tennessee Titans. Prior to joining the Titans, he coached safeties at UCLA in 2008, and spent four years at his alma mater, the University of Montana, overseeing the entire secondary in 2007 after three years working with the safeties from 2004-2006.

Report: Former Montana coach Pflugrad to Weber State as OC

Former Montana head coach Robin Pflugrad will reportedly be the offensive coordinator at Weber State. Pflugrad, who coached the Grizzlies in 2010-11, and Montana athletic director Jim O’Day last March in the wake of the scandal involving Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson, who is now on trial for rape in Missoula. He replaces Timm Rosenbach, who left Weber State after one season to join Bobby Hauck’s UNLV staff.

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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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