Cross Houston’s Rhoades off A&M’s AD to-do list

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(Probably… maybe)

Just a day or two after Bill Byrne announced his “retirement” as Texas A&M’s athletic director earlier this past week, Mack Rhoades, Byrne’s contemporary at Houston, was mentioned as a potential successor.

Not so coincidentally, reports subsequently emerged that UH had been proactive in guarding against an attempted pilfering.

According to Mark Berman, sport director of KRIV-TV in Houston, Rhoades and the university reached an agreement on a new five-year contract earlier this year.  The Houston Chronicle confirmed the new contract as well.

The new deal will pay Rhoades $500,000 annually, up from $350,000 a year in his old deal.  Berman also writes that “the deal includes an incentives package”, presumably above the $75,000 annually for which he’s currently eligible.

While the new contract, signed in January, doesn’t necessarily preclude Rhoades from bolting for the Aggies, the AD said in a statement that he hasn’t spoken to anyone about a job at another school and doesn’t appear particularly interested if they were to call.

“I am very happy at the University of Houston and certainly appreciate how diligently our student-athletes, coaches and staff have worked to create a championship culture,” Rhoades said in the statement provided to local media outlets.

“One byproduct of that success is other programs take notice and it’s flattering. We have schools reach out about our people all the time, but as for me, I have not spoken to anyone about another job. My complete focus is on the University of Houston. We have accomplished a great deal in a short period of time, but the road is just beginning.”

During his three years at UH, Rhoades has, among other things, spearheaded the effort to raise funds for a new stadium, which is scheduled to begin construction in December.  He will also lead UH from Conference USA to the Big East in 2013.

This would’ve been the Aggies’ second attempt in six months at raiding UH’s athletic department.  The first attempt was successful as the Aggies hired Kevin Sumlin away from the Cougars as the replacement for Mike Sherman.

QB Zerrick Cooper announces transfer from Clemson

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Not surprisingly, Clemson’s quarterback room will have one less familiar face in it this season than it did last.

Using Clemson’s official Twitter account, Zerrick Cooper announced Friday that he has decided to transfer from the Tigers.  In his statement, the quarterback indicated that he was moving on in order to find a better opportunity for playing time.

“This is no reflection of the Clemson family,” Cooper wrote, “but rather a direct reflection of my drive to lead, play & compete.”

Cooper was a four-star member of the Tigers’ 2016 recruiting class, rated as the No. 7 dual-threat quarterback in the country.  After redshirting as a true freshman, Cooper, along with Hunter Johnson, served as the backups to starter Kelly Bryant following the competition to replace Deshaun Watson.

Of the two, the strong-armed Cooper saw the most action as he completed 25 of his 41 attempts for 256 yards and a pair of touchdowns in seven games.  Johnson, a true freshman who was a five-star 2017 signee, attempted 27 passes.  However, by the end of the season, Johnson had seemingly become Bryant’s primary backup.

Both Bryant and Johnson will return in 2018.  Perhaps more than anything, however, Clemson signed Trevor Lawrence, the top-rated player in the Class of 2018, as part of the first-ever early signing period last month.

Alabama reportedly raids Penn State staff for new WRs coach

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Nick Saban‘s latest reshaping of his coaching will reportedly come at the expense of a Big Ten school.

Earlier Thursday, a report surfaced that Mike Locksley was being promoted by Saban to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.  As Locksley served as Alabama’s wide receivers coach this past season, it left Saban in search of a new coach for that positional group.

According to FootballScoop.com, that search has ended as Penn State’s Josh Gattis is expected to take the job.  Gattis will also serve as the Tide’s co-offensive coordinator.

A couple of other outlets confirmed the initial report.

Gattis had spent the past six seasons on James Franklin-led coaching staff, the first two at Vanderbilt and the last four at Penn State.  In addition to receivers coach, Gattis held the title of passing-game coordinator and assistant special teams coordinator with the Nittany Lions.

UTSA names Auburn staffer Al Borges as offensive coordinator

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Frank Wilson is adding a very experienced voice to his offensive staff at UT-San Antonio.

UT confirmed in a press release Friday morning that Al Borges has been hired as the Roadrunners’ new offensive coordinator.  The 36-year coaching veteran will also serve as the team’s quarterback coach.

Borges had spent the 2017 season as an offensive analyst at Auburn.

“I am thrilled to be able to announce the hiring of Al Borges as our new offensive coordinator,” Wilson said in a statement. “Al Borges has a masterful offensive mind and a coaching style that takes advantage of the talent and skillset of the players on the roster. His unique ability to develop quarterbacks is second to none. Our coaching staff got better today.”

Prior to the one-year stint at Auburn, Borges had been an offensive coordinator at the FBS level for most of the previous 24 years.  Those stints included time at San Jose State (2015-16), Michigan (2011-13), San Diego State (2009-10), Auburn (2004-07), Indiana (2002-03), Cal (2001), UCLA (1996-2000), Oregon (1995) and Boise State (1993-94).

Twice, Borges has been named as a finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s top assistant coach.

Purdue announces co-OC Tony Levine has left to pursue opportunities outside of coaching

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This is certainly an abrupt and unexpected development.

In a rather brief and terse press release, Purdue announced that Tony Levine is no longer a member of Jeff Brohm‘s (pictured) Boilermakers coaching staff.  Per the school, Levine will be pursuing unspecified opportunities outside of the coaching profession.

Below is the text of the release, in its entirety:

Purdue head football coach Jeff Brohm announced today that assistant coach Tony Levine has resigned to pursue opportunities outside of coaching.

That’s it.

The loss of Levine leaves a rather sizable hole for Brohm to fill.  Not only was the 45-year-old assistant the team’s co-offensive coordinator, but he served as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach as well.  Levine had just completed his first season with the Boilermakers.

Levine was the head coach at Houston from 2011-14 and the special teams coordinator/tight ends coach at Western Kentucky prior to coming to West Lafayette.