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SEC rolls out four-day media day schedule

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The SEC may be packing up their media day extravaganza and moving from Alabama to Atlanta, but this year’s media day schedule shows the SEC will still carefully roll out plenty of storylines over the course of a four-day love fest for the conference.

The SEC is setting up shop at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, which feels like a great landing spot for the new media day fun for the SEC. The conference has established Atlanta as a destination point for the end of the regular season and the city just played host to the first College Football Playoff national championship game between two teams from the same conference, the SEC (Alabama and Georgia). So why not kickstart a new football season with the media in Atlanta too?

New Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher will be the headline act for the first of the four media days for the SEC. Fisher will make his SEC Media Days debut as head coach of the Aggies on Monday, July 16. Other coaches speaking that day will be LSU’s Ed Orgeron and Kentucky’s Mark Stoops. Day 2 will be an interesting one with Georgia’s Kirby Smart in the spotlight coming off the SEC championship last fall and new Florida head coach Dan Mullen addresses the media for the first time as the Gators coach, although the former Mississippi State head coach is no stranger to the SEC media day circuit by now. Day 2 will also be the first SEC Media Day introduction for new Arkansas head coach Chad Morris and second-year Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke (Luke took over as head coach in Oxford after SEC Media Days last summer following the removal of Hugh Freeze not long after media days).

But when is Alabama head coach Nick Saban speaking, you ask? Day 3 (Wed., July 18 for those keeping track). Saban headlines the third day of the media day event for the SEC. Two other coaches speaking that day will be new head coaches in the SEC with former Saban assistant Jeremy Pruitt representing Tennessee and Joe Moorhead of Mississippi State stepping to the SEC podium for the first time. Missouri’s Barry Odom is also scheduled on day three. Day 4 will feature Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, South Carolina’s Will Muschamp, and Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason.

Player representatives for each school in addition to any other speakers will be announced at a later time.

UTSA hires longtime SEC assistant as DL coach

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A coach with a longtime connection to the SEC has been added to Frank Wilson‘s UT-San Antonio coaching staff.

David Turner, the football program announced Saturday night, has been hired by Wilson as UTSA’s defensive line coach.  Turner has spent the past 16 seasons with SEC football programs, most recently as defensive tackles coach and defensive running-game coordinator at Texas A&M.

Prior to that, he was the defensive line coach at Mississippi State.  He also served in the same capacity with the Bulldogs from 2007-09.

The other staffs in that conference on which Turner served were Kentucky (2010-12), Alabama (2006) and Vanderbilt (2002-05).  The UK stint was his second at the school as he coached defensive ends from 1993-94 as well.

“I am elated to be able to nab one of the SEC’s best coaches over the last [16] years in David Turner,” Wilson said in a statement. “He is well-connected, well-respected and regarded as one of the top defensive line coaches in the nation. His attention to detail and teaching ability will allow our players to maximize their potential.

In addition to his time in the SEC, other stops in a coaching career that stretches back three decades include Minnesota (2001), Virginia (1997-2000) and North Carolina State (1995-96).

Former Northwestern assistant Jeff Genyk returns as special teams coordinators

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Make it three stops for Jeff Genyk in Evanston.

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald announced Friday afternoon that Genyk has rejoined the football program as special teams coordinator.  Genyk was a part of the Wildcats football program from 1994-2003, with the first three years of that stint overlapping with Fitzgerald’s last three seasons as a Wildcats linebacker.  Fitzgerald was also in his first three seasons as defensive backs then linebackers coach at NU during Genyk’s final three seasons.

Genyk also had a second stint at NU, serving as a consultant in 2015.

“We are thrilled to welcome Coach Genyk back to our Northwestern football family,” stated Fitzgerald. “Jeff is a tremendous football coach, but more importantly an outstanding leader who will make our young men better, both on and off the field. I was fortunate to learn from him first hand as a player and know his expertise will play a pivotal role as we continue to build towards a Big Ten championship.”

In the two years prior to this third stint at NU, Genyk was the special teams coordinator and running backs coach.  Genyk was also the head coach at Eastern Michigan from 2004-08.

Vanderbilt announces four new coaches, including defensive coordinator

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The day after National Signing Day is usually marked by coaches leaving for other jobs. And there’s been plenty of that today. But Vanderbilt has broken the other way.

Vanderbilt announced four new assistant coaches on Thursday, headlined by defensive coordinator Jason Tarver. He will be the first Commodore coach to hold that title in the Derek Mason era, as Mason served as his own coordinator for his first three seasons in Nashville. Vandy finished the 2017 campaign tied for 83rd nationally in yards per play and tied for 88th in scoring defense (31.3 points per game allowed) en route to a 5-7 season.

Tarver spent the past three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, each of them in a different job. He was the Niners’ linebackers coach in 2015, outside linebackers coach in 2016 and a senior defensive assistant in 2017.

“Jason is as smart a football coach as I’ve had the chance to be around. We had a chance to work together at Stanford and had the chance to partner up and put together some pretty good defenses,” Mason said in a statement. “He makes complex football seem real easy. At this level you have to get it to the [student-athletes] fast, quick and have them believe it. His presence from the NFL will translate to where we’re at here at Vanderbilt. He’s extremely bright. He’s charismatic. His energy is going to be infectious for this group.”

Additionally, Vanderbilt hired Shawn Mennenga as special teams coordinator, Aaron Morehead as wide receivers coach and Terrence Brown as cornerbacks coach. Mennenga was the Cleveland Browns’ assistant special teams coach for the past seven seasons. Morehead was Texas A&M’s wide receivers coach for the past three campaigns, but was not retained by Jimbo Fisher and did not join Kevin Sumlin at Arizona. Brown was a graduate assistant at Washington for the past three seasons.

Transferring Hawaii WR Dylan Collie narrows choices to BYU, Vandy

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It’s not yet known to where Dylan Collie will transfer, but we do know his two likely landing spots.

In the middle of last month, Collie announced that he would be transferring from Hawaii. Wednesday, the wide receiver confirmed to the Salt Lake Tribune that he has narrowed his potential destinations down to a pair of programs — BYU and Vanderbilt.

A move to the football independent would serve as a homecoming for Collie as he signed with BYU in 2012.  After redshirting as a true freshman and completing a two-year LDS Church mission after that, however, he opted to transfer to Hawaii. There’s also a deep family connection to BYU as two of Collie’s brothers, Austin and Zac, played receiver at BYU. Their father, Scott Collie, also played his college football for the Cougars.

“I had a great in-home visit with coaches from both schools,” the youngest Collie brother told the Tribune. “Between the football and the education, both are great opportunities, and both give me a chance to play at the next level.”

Regardless of which of the two schools he ultimately chooses — there’s no timeline for a final decision — Collie will be eligible to play immediately as he would be coming into either football program as a graduate transfer.

This past season, Collie led the Rainbow Warriors in receptions with 56, and was second in receiving yards (636) and receiving touchdowns (four). In three years at the Mountain West school, Collie totaled 118 catches for 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns.