The buzz surrounding Darrell Wyatt possibly joining the Texas staff as the replacement for Bobby Kennedy built late last week and culminated in reports on Sunday afternoon that Wyatt would indeed become the next Longhorn wide receivers coach. On Sunday evening, Texas issued a press release confirming the hire and revealing that Wyatt will also serve in the capacity of co-recruiting coordinator with tight ends coach Bruce Chambers. Fans may recall that Kennedy held that title as well during his time on the 40 Acres.
Here's what Mack Brown had to say about the hire:
We are so excited about the addition of Darrell to our staff. He's not only one of the best wide receiver coaches in the country, but he also brings expertise as an offensive coordinator. Darrell's someone who has coached in the NFL and has been recognized as one of the nation’s top recruiters. He has extensive experience working in the Big 12 and recruiting in all parts of Texas. He is a great addition to our staff.
Wyatt added his own thoughts about joining Mack Brown's staff:
This is just a tremendous opportunity for me and my family. Being a part of a program with such great history and tradition is very exciting. Having grown up in Texas and having played high school football here, it's great to come home to work for The University in the state.
Texas is the type of place where the skies the limit on what you can accomplish. They have great resources, a tremendous fan base and compete for championships. The level of expectations are extremely high and that's something I definitely will embrace.
Coach Brown is pulling together a lot of new staff members and I'm thrilled to be a part of that energy. He's a guy I'm really looking forward to working for because he's won at the highest level and always does it with class. Coach Brown has great respect in the profession, supports a tremendous family atmosphere and empowers his coaches to do things the right way
I've been recruiting Texas for a long time and have developed a great rapport with the high school coaches. I'm really looking forward to continuing to build on that. My wife's family lives in San Antonio, my sister lives nearby, so it's a great to be coming home to Texas.
Wyatt, 44, is a major hire for the Longhorns because of his deep ties to the state. With names like Bryan Harsin and Paul Chryst floated for the open offensive coordinator position -- guys with no ties to the state -- it became imperative that one or two of the new assistant coaches have experience recruiting in the state. As the lead recruiter for Adrian Peterson will at Oklahoma, Wyatt certainly fits the bill.
The ties run deeply as well, as Wyatt is a Killeen native and played football at Trinity Valley CC in Athens, Texas and spent time there as a coach as well, in addition to stops at Sam Houston State and Baylor. In addition to Oklahoma, Wyatt also coached for one season at Oklahoma State, so he has plenty of experience coaching in the Big 12.
More than a recruiter, however, Wyatt is known as a fine coach. During his two years at Southern Miss (his last job before Kansas), Wyatt's offense 36 school records in his first season and averaged over 400 yards of offense per game in his second. Three of his wide receivers his last season in Oklahoma were chosen by NFL teams on the first day of the draft and all three of them started as rookies.
Aside from Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby, the development by Texas wide receivers has been sub-par over the last several seasons and Mack Brown is clearly hoping that Wyatt will be more than just a force on the recruiting trail -- he's going to be expected to help players like Malcolm Williams, Marquis Goodwin, and Mike Davis develop into top receivers. With 10 former receivers in the NFL, Wyatt's track record is encouraging there.
It's a nearly perfect hire, with the only concern being Wyatt's propensity to change jobs. If my math seves me correctly, this is the 11th time in 21 seasons as a coach that Wyatt has made the move to another school. In other words, he doesn't stay long in one place, with his longest stop the five seasons that he spent at Oklahoma. Given that he's served as an offensive coordinator in the past, Wyatt likely expects this Texas job to springboard him to another offensive coordinator position. While his time in Austin will probably not extend past two seasons, the upside to his hire means that even if he only spends two seasons with Mack Brown, it will still count as a good decision.