The much-anticipated official announcement by the Texas Longhorns of the Friday evening hires of Tulsa Golden Hurriacane co-offensive coordinators Sterlin Gilbert and Matt Mattox was calming news for fans with nerves jangled mightily by the wild Friday developments.
In the space of 36 hours or so, Gilbert was the next offensive coordinator for Texas and then he wasn't, opting to decline the job when the two sides couldn't come to agreement on contract details. But a desperate flight to Tulsa by president Greg Fenves, athletic director Mike Perrin, head coach Charlie Strong, and tight ends coach Jeff Traylor was successful in relieving Gilbert's doubts and securing the services of offensive line coach Matt Mattox as well.
Gilbert will officially hold the title of offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach with an annual salary of $850,000 for three years, an increase of several hundred thousand dollars over the initial offer that reportedly frustrated Gilbert. The country kid from San Angelo is now likely be among the top 25 highest-paid assistants in college football in 2016.
Here are the statesments from Gilbert and Strong:
-- "I feel extremely blessed by this opportunity," Gilbert said. "I've been looking forward to an opportunity like this for a long time, and we're finally here. I'm excited to be on campus, and to get around our kids and our coaching staff. Coach Strong has been great through this process, and I just can't wait to meet and see our kids."
-- "Charlie Strong has high character," Gilbert said. "I like the direction that he's taken the program. The support and just his openness to what we want to do offensively, that was a fit for us, and a fit for him. Texas is home for me. I was a Texas high school football coach. If you cut me open that's what I am. So it's good to be back in Texas.
"I've always been a Texas fan. It's just an unbelievable program. The tradition, and the people that have been involved with this program, the players that come out of this program, the coaches - it's just an unbelievable place."
-- "We just made two great hires for our staff," Strong said. "They're outstanding coaches who will do a great job of not only developing our players, but also representing this university and doing things the right way. We did a lot of research on both of them and we know they will be the right fit for our staff. I really feel we have two quality coaches who work well together, and they'll do an outstanding job.
"Sterlin is an outstanding coach, and he's done a great job developing quarterbacks everywhere he's been. He has a great mind for the offense and will do a great job leading it."
After working with Gilbert at Eastern Illinois, Bowling Green, and Tulsa, Mattox will now be the offensive line coach/run game coordinator at Texas after spending last season as the co-offensive coordinator for Phillip Montgomery. He'll make $550,000 over his three-year deal.
Here are the statesments from Mattox and Strong:
-- "Obviously this is one of the greatest institutions in the United States, and it's the football capital of the world being in the state of Texas," Mattox said. "Getting an opportunity to be here and coaching at The University of Texas, I'm very honored and very excited to get here and get to work."
-- "In the time I've had to meet Charlie and sit down together, I've enjoyed our time together. My wife got a chance to meet him and ask him questions, and it really felt like he promoted a great family atmosphere for me and my family. Obviously, he's high character, a guy that's ready to do whatever's necessary to go get the job done, and I'm looking forward to working with him."
-- "Having played in Kansas, but then also being able to play in Texas and recruiting down here, I know the type of athletes that are being recruited here and the type of talent that comes from the state," Mattox said. "I know the tradition that's here at The University of Texas, and I'm just looking forward to getting a chance to put my mark on that."
-- "Matt will handle the running game," Strong said. "He's an unbelievable coach himself, who has shown great ability in coaching offensive lines in the places he's been."