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Tulsa replaces assistant lost to K-State with ex-Baylor CBs coach

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A month and a half after losing an assistant to a Power Five program, Philip Montgomery has found a replacement.

In a press release, Tulsa announced that Carlton Buckels has been hired by Montgomery as part of his 10-man Golden Hurricane coaching staff. Buckels will serve as Montgomery’s safeties coach.

A former defensive back at LSU and a Louisiana native, Buckels started his coaching career at his alma mater as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban. This past season, Buckels was the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Div. III Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi.

In between, Buckels’ coaching career included stops at Delta State, Southeastern Louisiana, New Mexico State, North Texas and Baylor. He spent six seasons (2011-16) as the cornerbacks coach with Art Briles‘ Bears, with his time in Waco coinciding with a portion of Montgomery’s stint as BU’s offensive coordinator.

Below is Montgomery’s statement on the addition of Buckels:

Coach Buckels is a well-respected coach. He brings solid experience and knowledge to our secondary. He’s a great players coach and is a guy that I believe will fit in well with our staff. As we do some different things schematically, Carlton brings new and fresh ideas to help us continue moving in the direction we want to go.”

“We’ve expanded our recruiting blueprint into Louisiana the last couple of years, and I’m excited that Coach Buckels can really help us in the recruitment of the state. He’s originally from Louisiana, played at LSU and has great ties in the state that will allow us to gain a strong foothold into Louisiana. It’s a state that has a ton of talent, not just skilled talent, but younger big kids that would have an opportunity to help us on the football field.

“Coach Buckels is a great family man. We’re excited to have Carlton and his family be part of our Tulsa football family.

American, ACC announce officiating alliance

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The ACC and the American have struck a deal for a football officiating alliance, the American announced Monday. The new program will see the two conferences cooperate on all things officiating, from training to scheduling to evaluation.

With the move, the ACC’s Dennis Hennigan will oversee the alliance, while the American’s Terry McAulay will step down as the league’s coordinator of football officiating and the American will hire a new supervisor of football officials.

“We are excited to partner with the ACC regarding the administration of our football officiating program,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “This alliance will provide both conferences with a deep roster of the best college football officials and will provide for greater efficiency and consistency in the training and evaluation of officials as well as enhanced opportunities for the recruitment of officials. We look forward to working with Dennis Hennigan, who was regarded as one of the top on-field officials in college football and has since become a leader on the administrative side. I also want to thank Commissioner John Swofford for his cooperation in reaching this mutually beneficial arrangement.”

The new alliance means ACC officials could oversee a Tulane-Tulsa game, while AAC officials would work a Clemson-Georgia Tech game. The ACC-AAC Alliance will go into effect for the 2018 season.

K-State confirms changes to Bill Snyder’s defensive staff

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The shakeup on the defensive side of Bill Snyder‘s Kansas State coaching staff is officially official.

Friday evening, K-State confirmed that defensive coordinator Tom Hayes has decided to step down from his post and retire. Hayes had spent the past six seasons as the Wildcats’ coordinator, and ends a coaching career that spans more than four decades.

As had previously been reported, the football program also confirmed in the same release that Brian Norwood has been hired as Hayes’ replacement. Norwood had spent the past three seasons as co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach/associate head coach.

The official titles Norwood, who also had previous stops in the Big 12 at Baylor and Texas Tech, will hold at KSU are co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach.

Holding the title of defensive coordinator will be Blake Seiler, who was promoted to the job after serving as linebackers coach for the Wildcats this past season. Prior to that, Seiler, who played his college football at K-State, coached defensive ends at his alma mater from 2013-16.

“We are very fortunate to have coaches like Blake Seiler, who is well prepared to step into the coordinator role,” Snyder said in a statement. “Blake is a bright young man, quick learner, hard worker and well-received and trusted by our players. He helped coordinate our defense this past year with emphasis on our run defense. Blake is highly respected by our staff and players for his values as well as his passionate teaching. …

“I am so very pleased to have Brian Norwood join our staff as our secondary coach and co-defensive coordinator. He comes to us highly recommended by many coaches who I highly respect. Brian is truly a K-State type of person. He is a caring, loyal, genuine, disciplined, hard-working and responsible person with the highest value system – a great family man and a man of faith. We are honored to have he and his wonderful wife Tiffiney, along with his children, join our Wildcat family.”

Kansas State reportedly hiring Tulsa’s Brian Norwood to replace retiring DC Tom Hayes

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It may be mid-February but there’s still plenty of shuffling going on at coaching staffs around the country.

After nearly three weeks of speculation, it appears that Kansas State and Bill Snyder will be one of the last in the collegiate ranks to complete their 2018 coaching staff as 247Sports’ GoPowerCat.com is reporting the school will soon hire Tulsa co-defensive coordinator and associate head coach Brian Norwood. 

It does not appear that Norwood’s exact title is known just yet but he is set to replace recently retired KSU defensive coordinator Tom Hayes so it would seem likely that he will take over in a similar role upon getting to Manhattan. 10 year veteran Blake Seiler did hold the formal title of assistant defensive coordinator prior to Hayes’ departure so co-coordinators on the defensive side would not be an unexpected move from the head coach who carries the nickname of the Wizard.

Norwood has been at Tulsa since Philip Montgomery was hired in 2015 but has extensive Big 12 experience prior to making the move to the Golden Hurricanes. Most notably, he spent seven seasons at Baylor from 2008 to 2014 and also had a stint at Texas Tech earlier in his career. Norwood also spent seven years in Happy Valley as the longtime safeties coach at Penn State.

The report from GoPowerCat.com notes that an official announcement on the hire could come in the next several days.

AAC 2018 season kicks off with Civil ConFLiCT

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Defending American Athletic Conference champion UCF will kick off their conference title defense on August 30 when they visit UConn in the conference and season opener for both teams. The Civil ConFLiCT is the first game on the 2018 conference schedule released by the AAC on Tuesday. The conference will play a series of Thursday night games on national TV and will hold the conference championship game on Saturday, December 1. Kickoff times and television schedules will be decided at a later time, for the most part.

The AAC will continue to play an eight-game conference schedule with each team playing five games against division opponents and three games against teams from the opposing division. The conference championship game will be played at the top division champion’s campus at the end of the season just as it has the previous three seasons. The annual Army-Navy Game, which of course involves AAC member Navy, will continue to be played the week following the AAC championship game (Dec. 8).

The AAC’s Thursday night schedule will begin on September 20 with Temple hosting Tulsa and will feature Houston vs. Tulsa on Oct. 4, UCF vs. Temple on Nov. 1, and Houston vs. Tulane on Nov. 15. The Thursday night games could be altered depending on the NFL’s pending Thursday night schedule (Temple can’t play at home if the Philadelphia Eagles are scheduled for a home game). The Thursday night games will be scheduled to air on ESPN, and the conference championship game will be aired on either ABC or ESPN (it has aired on ABC each of the past three seasons).

The AAC will also play games on Friday nights this season, including three on the day after Thanksgiving for the regular season finale; USF hosting UCF, Memphis hosting Houston, and Cincinnati hosting ECU. That could be a big day for the AAC with potential division championships on the line.

The AAC will have 19 nonconference games against power conference opponents, including eight against ACC teams, four against the Big Ten, and three against the Big 12.

You can check out the full AAC football schedule HERE.