With another college football season done and in the books, a number of coaching changes have been announced across the Big 12, and a few more can be expected in the coming weeks. Below are staff changes at programs across the conference, from major departures as well as minor ones listed among the shakeups that have occurred thus far. Also outlined are possible names to be on the lookout for as positions fill out.
Matt Rhule leaving Waco for the NFL wasn’t a surprise to many, as his desire to get a pro gig has not exactly been a state secret. Up until a few weeks ago, New York – where Rhule’s coached before and where he’s from – seemed as if it would be his likely landing spot. Rhule was snatched up by the Carolina Panthers, though, who finished 2019 at the bottom of their division with a 5-11 record.
Taking up where Rhule left off is Dave Aranda, former defensive coordinator at LSU. This will be the first head coaching gig for Aranda, who’s been a sort of journeyman assistant in FBS. A native Californian, Aranda spent some time as a GA at Texas Tech, so the Big 12 is not foreign to him. His success as a coordinator is undeniable, as evidenced by some of the elite units he put on the field in his time at both Wisconsin and LSU. The school is expected to announce his hiring on Monday, and more information about his staff is sure to come out.
Not many significant changes have taken place on Matt Campbell’s coaching staff, but there have been a few moves. Campbell just hired Dave Andrews, formerly with Pitt, as his new strength and conditioning coach. He’ll continue looking for a new tight ends coach as Alex Golesh, who formerly held the position, is leaving for the University of Central Florida, where he’s been named co-offensive coordinator and tight ends coach.
After making a major overhaul in 2019 with their hire of Les Miles as head coach, this offseason looks to be relatively calm in Lawrence. Emmett Jones, the wide receivers coach for offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon, will also hold the title o passing game coordinator, the school has announced. The Jayhawks have also hired Jordan Peterson, who was the defensive coordinator/safeties coach at New Mexico.
The Wildcats haven’t had any changes in their staff thus far, but the coaching carousel is still continuing to spin round and round. Keep an eye on defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton, though, whose name could come up in some searches. Ditto for Sean Snyder, son of legendary coach Bill Snyder, who currently is an analyst for the Wildcats is reportedly being looked at closely by Texas and former Big 12 foe Nebraska.
Changes outside the Big 12 – and outside college football – always have the potential to affect the conference. When former Washington State head coach Mike Leach was hired away from that job to the same position at Mississippi State, there were rumors that Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch might end up in Pullman, Washington as their new head man. The Cougars went a different direction though, and it looks like Grinch will be in Norman this fall. Head coach Lincoln Riley was also thought to be a candidate for some open NFL jobs, but many of Riley’s comments indicate the 36 year-old offensive guru is staying with the Sooners as well.
Mike Gundy’s had to hire new coordinators before, and the most recent vacancy just opened up at offensive coordinator. That’s after the exit of Sean Gleeson, who wasn’t in Stillwater very long before a return to the East Coast. Gleeson will be in the same position coordinating the offense at Rutgers under Greg Schiano, who turned the Scarlet Knights into a consistent Top 40 team in the 2000s.
His replacement is long-time assistant Kasey Dunn, who’d been the wide receivers coach at Oklahoma State since 2011. Dunn, who’s developed players like James Washington and Justin Blackmon, certainly has familiarity with Gundy and the program in Stillwater. Tim Rattay, formerly of the Washington Redskins, was also hired as the quarterbacks coach.
Fans of the Horned Frogs were speculating about whether there’d be changes to the offensive staff for TCU, and Gary Patterson did decide to make some tweaks. Former co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham returns to Fort Worth this offseason, but this time in a more limited role, as he’s expected to focus on coaching wide receivers. Patterson has also hired long time friend and former Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill, reportedly to assist with the offensive side of the ball, in addition to bringing on running backs coach Bryan Applewhite from Colorado State.
Head coach Tom Herman hit the reset button on his coaching staff this offseason, letting go of both coordinators and most all the other assistants. After letting go of defensive coordinator Todd Orlando and offensive coordinator Tim Beck, Herman went out and hired two former Ohio State coordinators in Chris Ash and Mike Yurcich. Ash was the defensive coordinator in Columbus when Herman was also there, and takes on the same role at Texas. Ash’s 8-32 record at Rutgers likely didn’t excite many fans of the Longhorns, but his track record as an assistant has certainly been proven.
Yurcich was most recently the passing game coordinator at Ohio State under Ryan Day, but before that he spent six years at Oklahoma State under Mike Gundy. With the Pokes, Yurcich’s offenses averaged 38.0 points per game and almost 480 yards of offense per contest. Both coordinators are thought to be solid hires for Herman who has also recently finalized the hiring of assistant coaches Andre Coleman (wide receivers coach), Coleman Hutzler (linebackers coach), and Jay Valai (cornerbacks coach). Former Oklahoma assistant coach Jay Boulware is also expected to be announced as the tight ends/special teams coach for the Longhorns.
Matt Wells wasted no time in snatching up Todd Orlando after the former was let go at Texas. Orlando was Wells’ defensive coordinator when the two were at Utah State, and he’s officially been hired as assistant head coach and also to coach linebackers under Wells. This inter-conference coaching should add some intrigue when the Longhorns take on the Red Raiders in Lubbock next fall.
Head coach Neal Brown didn’t waste time this off-season in looking to improve past the Mountaineers’ 5-7 record in his inaugural season. Added to his staff were Gerad Parker from Penn State, who will be the offensive coordinator and receivers coach, and Jeff Koonz from Ole Miss, who will be the special teams coordinator and inside linebackers coach in Morgantown. Both coaches have regional ties to West Virginia, so could certainly help with recruiting.