After a 7-5 regular season finish, Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman knew he would have to make some staffing changes. A repeat of that record next year could result in the loss of Herman’s job. Here we are breaking down the new Texas hires.
Offensive coordinator Tim Beck was demoted to quarterbacks coach. He was presumably kept around because he is a strong recruiter. This month, he accepted the role as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at North Carolina State. The Longhorns also fired defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. He has since accepted the role as defensive coordinator at USC. Wide receivers coaches took a hit with Drew Mehringer being let go and Corby Meekins demoted to quality control coach.
Breaking Down The New Hires
Texas again has a full coaching roster after six new hires. They run the gamut from current on-staff analysts to former Longhorn players to previous national championship coaching staffs. After spending his first two seasons with six offensive coaches and four defensive, Herman will shift to five on each side this year. Let’s break down the new coaching hires at Texas.
New offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich previously held the role of passing and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State. In 2019, he coached Justin Fields to a 13-1 record and a playoff game appearance. Ohio State was the third highest scoring offense last season. They averaged 47 points per game, setting a single season school record. Prior to that, Yurcich coached six years at Oklahoma State under Mike Gundy. During that time, their offense averaged 38 points per game and 478 yards per game. Yurcich’s offense at Oklahoma State averaged twice as many passing vs rushing yards every year. Could Texas expect more of an air raid offense? Herman has stated that he intends to relinquish control of play-calling to Yurcich.
New defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ash has been an analyst with the Longhorns since he was fired as head coach at Rutgers four games into the 2019 season. He held a 8-32 record since 2016 at Rutgers. Ash has previously worked with Tom Herman at Ohio State (2014) and Iowa State (2009). He was co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State during their 2014 national championship season and has been on staff for four Big-10 titles (Wisconsin, Ohio State) He has been criticized as a “comfort hire” since he was already on staff at Texas as an analyst. Ash’s area of expertise is in the secondary. He plays a 4-3 over defensive front with a focus on fundamentals.
Jay Valai will take over for Jason Washington, who was not retained by Ash, as cornerbacks coach. His experience so far is only as an analyst but the Native Texan is known as an elite recruiter with a high energy personality. Valai was brought in from Rutgers by Chris Ash so presumably he sees great potential there.
Longhorn analyst Andre Coleman was promoted to wide receivers coach. He previously had roles as receivers coach and offensive coordinator at Kansas State under Bill Snyder. Coleman proved valuable in the Wildcats’ return game, an area where Texas struggled last season. He coached the Longhorns in the Valero Alamo Bowl in December and perhaps had some influence D’Shawn Jamison’s strong performance on kick returns.
Jay Boulware takes over at tight ends and associate head coach. The former Longhorn has coached at Oklahoma for the past seven years under Bob Stoops and offensive guru Lincoln Riley.
Finally, Coleman Huetzler was hired as linebackers coach/co-offensive coordinator. His coaching tree includes Jim Harbaugh, Urban Meyer, and former Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.