Stan Drayton

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Texas assistant coaches get one-year contracts but no raises

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Following up one of the more successful seasons in recent memory by the Texas Longhorns, it was previously reported Texas would be reverting to one-year contracts for assistant coaches after previously handing out multi-year deals. What was unknown at the time was those one-year deals would not see an increase in pay for those assistants coming back to Austin for another year with the Longhorns.

According to  a report from Horns247, running back coach Stan Drayton, defensive line coach Oscar Giles, wide receivers coach Corby Meekins, passing game coordinator Drew Mehringer, co-defensive coordinator Craig Naviar, tight ends coach Derek Warehime and cornerbacks coach Jason Washington have all agreed to return on a one-year contract with no increased financial commitment from the university. Based off last year’s database of coaching salaries compiled by USA Today, Texas had the ninth highest assistant coaching salary pool with $5.95 million to split between the assistant coaching staff under head coach Tom Herman. Texas also had the highest salary pool for assistant coaches among Big 12 programs, with the next closest being Oklahoma at $5.13 million.

For a university with as many resources and funds available as Texas, this seems to be somewhat odd to not offer any sort of financial incentive on a new contract for a successful assistant coaching staff. Texas would certainly have the funds available to provide to their coaching staff, as the numbers show they are not shy about spending. Then again, the assistants coming back are the ones accepting the terms of the contracts, and it is fair to note the exact specifics in the contracts has not been disclosed. The possibility of some additional incentives built in for various achievements during the season is always a possibility.

The decision to go to one-year contracts for assistant coaches was one seemingly designed to motivate the coaches to continue doing their best to improve the program. And if Texas turns in another season with double-digits in the win column and at least another appearance in the Big 12 championship game and, perhaps, a New Years Six bowl game, then the odds should be pretty good any assistant coach coming back to Texas in 2020 will be doing so with a little more financial security in the bank on their next contract. This is especially true when head coach Tom Herman and the athletic director, Chris Del Conte, are scheduled to be getting healthy raises on an annual basis for the remainder of their respective contracts.

For now, there are no signs of any rumblings from unhappy coaches in Austin, and there may be absolutely no reason to believe that will become an issue. That doesn’t make it any less bizarre for Texas or any school not to add a few extra bucks to a new contract for a returning staff member. Of course, a Ludacris concert doesn’t pay for itself.

Michigan high school coach that ripped Ohio State makes amends with Urban Meyer

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In the heat of the moments following National Signing Day, emotions got the best of Detroit Cass Tech football coach Thomas Wilcher. One of his top running backs had been recruited by Ohio State, but the running backs coach that took the lead in the recruiting efforts — Stan Drayton — left the program just after signing day to coach in the NFL. As was the case at multiple hotbeds for high school football talent, the issue with coaches leaving after signing day was not taken lightly by Wilcher, who ripped Ohio State and head coach Urban Meyer for the way the process played out.

As the old saying goes, time has a way of healing some wounds.

“We did talk,” Wilcher told Cleveland.com about a recent interaction with Meyer. “And he is the person I thought he was and the person I believe him to be. I believe our relationship is stronger now.”

Wilcher says he and Meyer have talked to smooth over some issues, and the Buckeyes head coach has now regained the trust and respect of the Michigan high school coach. Wilcher told Cleveland.com Meyer said he was unaware of Drayton’s decision to leave while the recruiting efforts were being made for running back Mike Weber and stressed the importance of looking out for the best of the student-athletes at Ohio State.

“The most important thing about my ‘misleading’ part was that I didn’t really understand the process of recruiting behind Ohio State,” Wilcher explained after talking with Meyer. “I understand the ambition Urban Meyer has, I understand the integrity of Urban Meyer and I understand that he’s about the welfare of the child and the wholeness of what the athletes need at the university. He instilled in me that no child will be left behind in his program.”

Mike Weber puts his Ohio State recruiting drama behind him

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Ohio State-bound running back Mike Weber appears to be ready to turn a page with his recruiting process.

Weber expressed some disappointment after signing day when it was reported running backs coach Stan Drayton was leaving the Buckeyes to coach in the NFL with the Chicago Bears. Drayton had played a key role in Ohio State’s recruiting of the four-star running back out of Michigan. Drayton’s sudden departure was one of a handful of post-signing day coaching changes leaving some players at a loss of words.

Weber’s high school coach was a bit more vocal about the process, suggesting Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes did not show any respect toward Weber by intentionally withholding information regarding Drayton’s future. The Twitter firestorm followed shortly after that when a picture of Weber surfaced showing him working out while wearing a Michigan shirt. Judging by Weber’s recent comments on Twitter, fans should not be reading too much into the apparel decision.

Weber is right. He was not the one who took the picture of him wearing a Michigan shirt, nor was it ever his decision to have that image shared with the masses, thus going viral in college football and recruiting circles. This is just another example of one of the negatives that can come from social media over-sharing. Why anyone would share an image of a high school kid working out is sort of weird anyway.

The larger point of Weber’s state of mind was soon confirmed in another tweet, in which Weber expressed gratitude to Drayton and offered him best wishes at his next job. Weber also announced he is excited to start working with Ohio State’s new running back coach, Tony Alford. Alford was plucked from Notre Dame’s coaching staff soon after Drayton’s departure.

And now, life goes on.

Georgia HS coach rips college programs that lie during recruiting

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Recruiting in college football can, at times, get ugly. The past few days after National Signing Day have seen a handful of incidents that cast a dark cloud over college football recruiting.

Ohio State was accused of lying to Detroit Cass Tech and running back Mike Weber while recruiting the four-star running back to Columbus. Weber committed to Ohio State and a day later running backs coach Stan Drayton was on his way to the NFL. Ohio State lured Notre Dame running back coach Tony Alford to fill the vacancy, but the thought of Ohio State deceiving a Michigan recruit may not have gone without subtle comment from new Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh (which may have sparked yet another Twitter battle).

A similar tale has unfolded in Austin, where defensive tackle Du’Vonta Lampkin expressed some bitter feelings after Texas defensive line coach Chris Rumph left the Longhorns for Florida just two days after signing day.

Four-star linebacker Roquan Smith is also in the middle of a rather public stressful situation regarding his recruitment, but he is fortunate to not have submitted his official letter of intent just yet. Smith announced his commitment to UCLA on signing day, but he has held off on taking the next step to making his commitment official because UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich took a job with the Atlanta Falcons.

Criticized by many for stepping back from his UCLA commitment until he can make a decision he feels best for him, Smith’s high school coach,Macon County coach Larry Harold, has come out in his defense.

“If you’ve never played sports or anything like that, you are more than just a coach to these kids. You’re their dad, their mom, and their extended family,” Harold explained to Atlanta Journal Constitution. “You’re everything to these kids. So when they’re going to get recruited by the next coach, to find the person who is going to be charge of the next four years of their life, they are looking for the same things.”

The experience of Smith and other recruits that never get a chance to play for the coach that took the lead in recruiting them is a reality of the coaching game. Sometimes a better offer comes around, or an opportunity to be put in a more comfortable or secure position. This is essentially what America is all about in a sense.  It may be tough to handle on the end of the players and the high school coaches that stand by their sides through the process, but it is the reality of the sport and most everybody understands that.

That doesn’t mean it is any easier to accept.

“So how can these guys (college coaches) talk about the people and the relationships — and then you get these kids signed and then you bail on them at the first time you get the opportunity,” Harold asked. “You can’t tell me that these head coaches aren’t telling these assistants that they know are leaving – don’t tell anybody until after signing day and then we’ll announce it. That’s deception and that dishonesty. And, most importantly, it’s not fair to the kids.”

There is likely some insider information among the coaching staff at various college programs, and sometimes all of the information is not going to be shared. Again, this is part of the game.

It stinks, but it’s not changing anytime soon.