A week into the Charlie Strong era and we’re finally starting to learn what the next coaching staff at Texas will look like. We’ve known the names of the defensive coordinator (Vance Bedford) and linebackers coach (Brian Jean-Mary) for a while now but that’s it. Over the weekend, through a series of tweets and leaks from a team meeting almost the entire staff is now known. Huge questions remain about offensive coordinator, but here’s how the Texas coaching staff looks as of today:
Head coach: Charlie Strong
Offensive coordinator/offensive line: Joe Wickline
In the conversation as the best offensive line coach in college football, Wickline is a guy Mack Brown tried to lure away from Oklahoma State a few years ago but Strong got the job done. Someone Texas fans will love to watch coach on the Longhorn Network, Wickline could mean we finally see a Texas offensive line capable of imposing their will in the trenches. At his introductory press conference Strong confirmed that Wickline would be the team’s offensive coordinator and call plays, something he has not done in the past.
Quarterback: Shawn Watson
A lot of consternation from Longhorn fans when Watson was thought to be the next OC but at the team meeting he was introduced as only the team’s quarterbacks coach. Watson was most recently the offensive coordinator at Louisville with Strong after stints at Colorado and Nebraska.
Running backs: Tommie Robinson
The USC running backs coach is a big hire. Robinson has NFL and college experience and also has a lot of experience in Texas as he spent time at TCU, Oklahoma State, and with the Dallas Cowboys.
Wide receivers: Les Koenning
Mississippi State OC/QB coach who played at Texas as a wide receiver from 1977-1980. Has done stints as an wide receivers coach, QB coach, and offensive coordinator at Texas, TCU, Alabama, Houston, Rice, and in the NFL. Prior to being at Mississippi State, he was the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M under head coach Dennis Franchione from 2003-2007.
Tight ends: Bruce Chambers (?)
A Texas coach since Mack Brown’s first season, Chambers will be on the Texas staff in some fashion. It was originally believed that he would stay on as tight ends coach but recent rumors are that Chambers’ role may transition to recruiting only.
Defensive coordinator: Vance Bedford
A two-time All-Southwest Conference player as Texas defensive back, Bedford is coming home after nearly 30 years as a coach. Bedford was at Florida and Louisville with Strong and will be a “walk around” defensive coordinator and will not be responsible for a specific position.
Defensive line: Chris Rumph
Rumph was hired away from Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama where he coached for the last 3 seasons including 2 national titles. Like all of Coach Strong’s new staff, a great recruiter who should be able to assemble and coach up some great defensive talent.
Linebackers: Brian Luc Jean-Mary
Jean-Mary coached linebackers and was recruiting coordinator and assistant head coach at Louisville under Strong. Jean-Mary, who was a finalist for 2013 Linebackers Coach of the Year award, was previously at Georgia Tech and North Alabama.
Secondary: Chris Vaughn
Vaughn comes from Memphis where he coached cornerbacks. He previously served on Houston Nutt’s staffs at Arkansas and Ole Miss. Vaughn will also reportedly be in charge of the Texas special teams units.
Stength and conditioning: Pat Moorer
Maybe the most exciting change, Moorer has a great reputation and appears to be a coach who will be able to change Texas players’ attitudes in the weight room and on the field. Even injured players have to keep working in “The Pit” until they’re ready to get back on the field.
Definitely an impressive staff assembled with recruiting in mind. The biggest question marks are offensive coordinator and in the secondary with Texas legend Duane Akina departing. But if Wickline and Rumph can remake the trenches on both sides of the ball we’ll start to see a difference pretty quickly.
Stay tuned for updates as the last couple of spots are filled and things are made official.
Added Les Koenning as WR coach. (1/15 8:44am)ficial.
Added note about Wickline being OC and playcaller. (1/16 9:49am)