In the hours after news broke that Texas Tech had suspended Mike Leach, it was assumed and seemed like a foregone conclusion that he would be fired as the Red Raiders’ head coach at some point in time.
Now that the school has released the rope on the guillotine, where does athletic director Gerald Myers turn to replace arguably the most popular and winningest coach in Tech’s history?
At least two names come to mind right off the bat: Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes and Baylor head coach Art Briles. Dykes is the son of Spike Dykes, the former Tech head coach who led the Red Raiders from 1987 through 1999.
Spike Dykes was replaced as Tech’s by, oddly enough, Mike Leach in 2000.
Briles was on Leach’s staff at Tech earlier this decade.
Another name to keep an eye on? Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin. The outstanding young coach’s prolific spread offense, which he inherited from Briles when he left for Baylor, would help make the transition to a new coach relatively seamless, at least on that side of the ball.
It’s been previously reported that Sumlin and the Cougars were closing in on a contract extension, but it’s been all quiet on the extension front the last week or two. Look for those talks to heat up as Sumlin’s name becomes attached to this new vacancy.
The transfer portal taketh, the transfer portal giveth back.
After announcing late last month that he will place his name in the portal, Virginia Tech quarterback Hendon Hooker on Thursday revealed he had removed his name and will return to Blacksburg.
“I am taking my name out of the transfer portal and I truly believe it’s best to continue my career as a Hokie,” Hooker said in a statement posted to his Twitter account. “I regret the time that I’ve missed with my teammates in preparation for spring ball. I apologize to them and my coaches if I appeared to have a lack of commitment in what we are trying to achieve here at Hokie Nation.”
A native of Greensboro, N.C., Hooker redshirted in 2017 and then saw action in six games last fall. He did not total many snaps while serving as a reserve quarterback, but he did open his collegiate career with a 69-yard touchdown scamper in a 62-17 win over William & Mary in September. Hooker finished the year with 57 rushing yards and did not throw a pass.
However, his path to the field has cleared greatly in recent days.
In a bit of news that is no doubt related to Hooker’s reversal of field, Josh Jackson announced his plans to transfer to Maryland earlier this week. With Jackson out of the picture, Hooker will compete with junior Ryan Willis (who threw 364 passes last season) and fellow sophomore Quincy Patterson II for playing time in 2019.
I’m thinking this isn’t the most optimal of first impressions.
In a tweet posted to his Twitter account in early December, running back J.D. King, who announced his decision to transfer from Oklahoma State two weeks prior, confirmed that he would be continuing his collegiate playing career at Georgia Southern. Very early Sunday morning, the Savannah Morning News has reported, King (pictured) and two of his new GSU teammates, quarterback Ivan Corbin and running back Logan Wright, were all arrested for disorderly conduct.
The details of what led to the misdemeanor charges have not been divulged.
“We are aware of the situation and it will be dealt with internally,” Eagles head coach Chad Lunsford said in a statement. “We are disappointed with the decisions that were made and hopefully we can use it as a learning experience for our entire team as we move forward.”
King, who will have to sit out the 2019 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, ran for 469 yards and four touchdowns on 99 carries as a true freshman for the Cowboys in 2017. This past season, King’s production dropped to 153 yards and no touchdowns on 43 carries in 10 games.
After sitting out the upcoming season, King will have two years of eligibility remaining.
As a redshirt freshman in 2018, Wright was fifth on the team 308 yards rushing and tied for fourth with three rushing touchdowns. Corbin, who has yet to attempt a pass at the collegiate level, will be fighting for a backup job as he enters his redshirt junior season.
The never-ending benevolence of the NCAA is on display yet again, with a playing member of the Arizona State football program the most recent beneficiary.
Citing multiple people directly familiar with the development, 247Sports.com has reported that Tyler Whiley has been granted a sixth season of eligibility by The Association. Recent rule changes proved to be the impetus for the decision that will allow the defensive back to play in 2019.
From the website’s report:
Whiley… is benefitting from a change made to bylaw 220.127.116.11 called “redshirt year provision.” It allows relief from the five-year eligibility rule if an institutional decision is made to redshirt a student-athlete in his freshman season and a subsequent season is missed due to injury or other qualifying hardship.
Previously, players needed to have two seasons of incapacitation due to injury, illness or other issue in order to apply for a sixth year with the NCAA. That’s no longer the case and the rule change is retroactive to anyone still within their five-year eligibility window. Whiley is part of the first class of players able to benefit from the change.
While took a non-injury redshirt as a true freshman in 2014, then missed the entire 2018 season due to a serious injury to his right leg. Those two factors triggered the affirmative decision for a sixth season of eligibility, which Whiley will be able to use in 2019.
Whiley played in 13 games in the season prior to his injury. He will likely enter summer camp as a favorite to claim a starting job at safety.
Wednesday, Auburn announced the hiring of Wesley McGriff as secondary coach. A day later, the man McGriff replaced was officially introduced by his new employer.
As expected, Purdue Thursday confirmed that Greg Brown has been added to Jeff Brohm‘s coaching staff as cornerbacks coach. Brown had spent the past two seasons as the secondary coach for the SEC Tigers.
“We’re excited to have Greg join us,” Brohm said in a statement. “He is a veteran coach with nearly 40 years of experience at both the collegiate and professional levels of football. Greg will be a great addition to our staff.”
The move to West Lafayette serves as a homecoming of sorts as Brown spent the 1989 and 1990 seasons with the Boilermakers as defensive backs coach.
Brown has spent the past decade and a half at Power Five programs, including stops at Missouri (2016), Louisville (2014-15), Alabama (2013), Colorado (2011-12; 2005-09) and Arizona (2010). Prior to that, he spent time with five different NFL teams over the course of a dozen seasons.