Eric Morris

Wazzu adds former Leach WR Joel Filani to support staff

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Mike Leach is turning Pullman into Lubbock Northwest in more than just scheme.

Upon his arrival in 2012, Leach employed former Texas Tech wide receiver Eric Morris and wide receivers coach Dennis Simmons to coach the Cougars wideouts. Morris left a year later for the South Plains, and Simmons was hired earlier this month at Oklahoma. So what’d Leach do? Backfill from his roster of former Red Raiders, of course.

Leach promoted former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell from an offensive analyst role to inside receivers coach a week ago, and now he’s filled that spot by hiring former Red Raiders wide receiver Joel Filani as an offensive quality control assistant, which was announced Wednesday.

Filani caught 175 career passes for 2,626 yards and 23 touchdowns, snagging passes from current TCU co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Sonny Cumbie and his new co-worker, Harrell. He earned All-Big 12 honors in 2005 and 2006.

A sixth-round selection in the 2007 NFL Draft, Filani spent time with the Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He had spent the past two years as a graduate assistant at Boise State before his appointment in Pullman.

Texas Tech promotes Eric Morris to OC

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At a place like Texas Tech where the head coach is the primary playcaller, it’s a promotion in name only but it’s a promotion nonetheless.

In speaking to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Thursday, head coach Kliff Kingsbury confirmed that Eric Morris has been promoted to sole offensive coordinator and sole wide receivers coach with the Red Raiders.  Last season, the 29-year-old Morris served as the 34-year-old Kingsbury’s co-coordinator and inside receivers coach.

As expected, Kingsbury will remain in charge of play-calling on game days.

Morris promotion came after Sonny Cumbie, Tech’s co-coordinator and outside receivers coach in 2013, left in December to take over TCU’s offense.

“He did a tremendous job,” Kingsbury said. “Having worked with him at the University of Houston, he was always up in the box giving information, helping call plays and seeing defenses, and that continued here.

“He does a tremendous job with techniques and fundamentals with the receivers. He’s very valuable to what we accomplished on offense and has a big part in it.”

Morris played his college football with the Red Raiders, graduating in 2008.  He’s since spent time on coaching staffs with Kevin Sumlin in Houston and Mike Leach at Washington State, and is viewed by those in the know as a future FBS head coach in the making.

(Photo credit: Texas Tech athletics)

Texas Tech announces Kliff Kingsbury’s first signing class

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(Below is Texas Tech’s press release on the players added as part of its 2013 recruiting class.)

LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech Football Coach Kliff Kingsbury announced the signing of 23 student- athletes as part of his first signing class as head coach of the Red Raiders.

“We are really excited about this 2013 class,” Kingsbury said. “I thought the assistant coaches did an outstanding job on the recruiting trail by helping us fill some immediate needs here. I can’t wait to get these guys in and get going.”

Texas Tech’s 2013 signing class breaks down with 14 players hailing from Texas, five from Georgia, two from California and one from both Michigan and Missouri.

(Writer’s note: below the jump are the complete bios of all 23 members of Texas Tech’s 2013 recruiting class.)

(more…)

Reports: Ex-Mizzou OC headed to Wazzu as WR coach

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A disappointing 2012 would be the final year for David Yost as Missouri’s offensive coordinator. In early December, following a 5-7 season that saw a drop in roughly seven points per game for the Tigers on offense, Yost announced his resignation.

But it appears he won’t be unemployed for long. Footballscoop.com reported Saturday morning that Yost is joining Mike Leach’s staff at Washington State as the team’s wide receivers coach. Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune later confirmed the report, although Wazzu has not yet done the same.

If/when the reports come to fruition, Yost would officially be replacing Eric Morris, who left to return to Texas Tech under new coach Kliff Kingsbury.

Here’s more from Matter’s original story connecting Yost to Wazzu.

Leach serves as his own coordinator and quarterbacks coach, but the source said Yost would “have some say in the offense” and would likely be Leach’s top assistant in the coaching booth.

“David is really excited to learn from one of the originators of the spread offense,” the source said.

Yost had been with Gary Pinkel for 17 years at Toledo and Missouri. At the time of his resignation, Yost said “There are a lot of factors that played into the process of coming to my decision. I feel like I’ve had a great run here and that it’s just the right time to turn it over to someone else.”

The reported hire would be a good move for Leach. Yost brings a wealth of experience to the Cougars offensively, and perhaps the demands of the job would be better suited for what Yost is seeking.

Yost also reportedly interviewed with Oklahoma State for the offensive coordinator spot.