Temple Owls

Getty Images

Geoff Collins hires third Temple WRs coach in three months

1 Comment

Maybe the third time will be a charm?  Possibly?

When Geoff Collins took over for Matt Ruhle as Temple’s head coach, he retained Frisman Jackson as wide receivers coach; less than two weeks later, Jackson left for a job with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.  No worries as Collins hired Keith Gaither to replace Jackson; six weeks later, however, Gaither left for the same job at East Carolina.

A week after that departure, Collins has (again) filled the same hole on his initial coaching staff, with philly.com reporting that Stan Hixon will serve as the Owls’ receivers coach (for now).  The Owls subsequently confirmed the development.

Most of the last decade or so for Hixon has been spent at the NFL level, with stops at the Houston Texans (2014-15), Buffalo Bills (2010-12) and Washington Redskins (2004-10).

Hixon’s last job at the collegiate level came at Penn State.  From 2012-13, he was Bill O’Brien‘s receivers coach while also holding the title of assistant head coach.

Other collegiate stops during a coaching career that stretches back to 1980 include LSU (2000-03), Georgia Tech (1995-99), Wake Forest (1993-94) and South Carolina (1989-92).

East Carolina looks to Temple for new WRs coach

Getty Images
Leave a comment

After a hiccup related to an off-field incident, Scottie Montgomery has filled a hole on his East Carolina coaching staff.

The football program announced that the second-year head coach has added Keith Gaither as a Pirates assistant. Specifically, Gaither will serve as ECU’s wide receivers coach.

Gaither comes to Greenville after spending a little over a month in the same position at Temple.

“Keith’s background of success at all levels not only speaks highly of his coaching ability, but also his aptitude to understand, implement and value various offensive philosophies,” Montgomery said in a statement. “His recruiting ties, especially across North Carolina, run deep and will impact our program significantly.”

Prior to his very brief stint at Temple, Gaither was the receivers coach at Army. He’s also spent time as an assistant on coaching staffs at Ball State (2011-14) and Elon (2009-10).

Montgomery had been prepared to hire former Purdue interim head coach-turned Cincinnati running backs coach Gerad Parker in the position that ultimately went to Gaither. However, after a going away party late last month, Parker was arrested on a charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.  The football program opted to move in a different direction as a result of that incident.

Nearly three dozen teams show interest in Clemson grad transfer

Getty Images
3 Comments

It was expected there would be a significant market for a Clemson defensive lineman leaving the Tigers as a graduate transfer. Suffice to say, that is indeed the case.

This past week, Dabo Swinney‘s football program confirmed that Scott Pagano would be leaving the team and transferring elsewhere. The head coach also revealed that the tackle would “probably” end up at a West Coast school to finish out his career.

Teams in that part of the country are indeed interested in the one-year rental, as are myriad others as 247Sports.com is reporting that 32 made contact with the lineman in the hours after his impending pending departure was announced. Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, USC, Washington and Hawaii are among the teams out west who have expressed interest.

A handful of Power Five programs further east have expressed interest as well, including Arkansas, Baylor, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Purdue, Texas and Texas A&M. Group Five teams that have shown interest include Charlotte, East Carolina, FAU, FIU, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, SMU, Temple and Utah State.

Coming out of high school in Hawaii as a four-star 2013 recruit, Pagano was rated as the No. 24 tackle in the country and the No. 2 player at any position in the state. Pagano started 13 games the past two seasons, four of which came in 2016.

Baylor football staffer arrested in prostitution sting

Getty Images
21 Comments

Because, of course.

With the Baylor football program mired in the midst of an ongoing and lingering sexual assault scandal, the Baptist university has yet another controversy with which to deal, with the Waco Tribune reporting that 33-year-old Brandon Washington was arrested early Saturday morning.  Specifically, the assistant strength & conditioning coach for the Bears football program was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of solicitation of prostitution.

The arrest was part of a sting operation conducted by the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department.

Washington was a part of new head coach Matt Rhule‘s staff at Temple, following his boss from Philadelphia to Waco.  His time at BU was short-lived, however, as Washington saw his employment immediately terminated as a result of the arrest.

“When we arrived at Baylor we made a commitment to character and integrity in our program,” Rhule said in a statement. “Brandon’s actions are completely unacceptable. We will not tolerate conduct that is contradictory to these values.”

Independents and Group of Five National Signing Day Recap: Irish bounce back, Memphis tops AAC

Getty Images
2 Comments

Outside of the Power Five conferences, recruiting went about as expected in 2017.

Notre Dame continued to pound the national trail and landed a top 12 class full of players who will be expected to play early. BYU managed another impressive group that was one of the most diverse out there. The schools with a talent-rich backyard to draw on did well in the AAC.  Boise State was once again tops in the Mountain West and did better than a few peers in the region. And yes, Lane Kiffin earned that recruiting reputation by pulling in the best class of Conference USA.

Though there wasn’t much drama outside the top schools, there nevertheless was plenty of action for many programs on National Signing Day.

Top recruits (all rankings via 247Sports Composite): No. 67 overall Brock Wright (TE, Notre Dame), No. 154 overall Chaz Ah You (DB, BYU), Aisa Kelemete (DE, Boise State), Nick Robinson (TE, Memphis), Nicholas Sims (RB, Toledo)

Top classes: Notre Dame (No. 11 overall), Memphis (No. 58 overall), Boise State (No. 60 overall), BYU (No. 65 overall), Florida Atlantic (No. 71 overall), Toledo (No. 74 overall), Texas State (No. 87 overall)

Biggest storyline: Irish still land solid recruiting class

Despite the worst season in South Bend since Charlie Weis and a nearly brand new coaching staff, Notre Dame still managed to cobble together a top 12 class on Signing Day. Tight end Brock Wright was the highest rated player and should see early playing time but the number of quality offensive linemen was really evident in the group Brian Kelly signed. Will it be enough to help with a big turnaround? We’ll see.

Biggest surprise: Memphis runs away with things in the AAC but new coaches still fared well

Given all the turnover in the American this year, it should probably come as no surprise that the Tigers pulled the top recruiting class in the conference. That’s a testament to what Mike Norvell is building with the program and the fact that they don’t have to go far for players. Many of the same factors played a role in Scott Frost landing the second-best class at UCF. It was also pretty impressive what Luke Fickell did on the recruiting trail at Cincinnati and Charlie Strong did at USF given those two didn’t have a ton of time to get things lined up.

Don’t sleep on: Boise State, Colorado State

The Broncos were once again the class of the Mountain West on the recruiting trail and fended off several Pac-12 schools for prospects. That will put them firmly in the mix to win the league again in 2017 but don’t overlook another good job by Mike Bobo and staff at Colorado State in landing 17 three-star players.

We’ll see about: Everybody else