The Texas Longhorns coaching search somewhat unexpectedly ended all at once -- when the Longhorn Network broke the news that Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor accepted the tight ends/special teams job, it also revealed an upcoming announcement of former LSU Tigers defensive line coach Brick Haley taking the same position in Austin.
Haley confirmed the hire a short while later.
"It's a great day," Haley said in a release through the school. "It's a dream come true. Football in the state of Texas is unbelievable. Having an opportunity to be a part of that, and coming up in coaching I've worked in the state a couple of times, and just knowing the rich tradition and the history of Texas football is so exciting. Growing up it was always a dream to coach college football in the state, and the greatest accomplishment would be to coach college football at The University of Texas, which now I have the opportunity to do, and I can't wait."
After a massively successful tenure in Baton Rouge, Haley emerged as the leading candidate for the position that opened up last week when former defensive line coach Chris Rumph left for the Florida Gators so he could reunite with new head coach Jim McElwain, with whom he coached in 2011 with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Why was Haley available? After former defensive coordinator John Chavis left the Tigers to head to College Station, Haley suffered a demotion when head coach Les Miles hired noted recruiter Ed Orgeron for the position Haley occupied for so long.
Orangebloods reported at the time that the Oklahoma Sooners could be a contender for Haley as well. Defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery only spent two years in Norman and earned a promotion to co-defensive coordinator back in early January, but a job offer from the Green Bay Packers was too much to turn down.
Haley was a top target for the Sooners for all the same reasons he was the top target for Texas -- because he has an extensive record of developing defensive line talent and an impressive history of land top prospects on the recruiting trail.
After a strong year recruiting for the Longhorns and the development of multiple defensive tackles, most notably now-departed Malcom Brown, Hassan Ridgeway, and Paul Boyette, it looked difficult last week to find a defensive line coach with an equally impressive resume as Rumph.
However, Strong managed to do exactly that in landing Haley.
The LSU defensive line coach since 2011, Haley's work helped the Tigers extend a nation-best streak of having a defensive lineman selected in the NFL Draft to 11 years last year.
One reason why? He continually stresses effort.
"I'm not going to spend an hour and a half every practice yelling at people to run after the ball," Haley said at a coaching clinic in 2013. "If you don't pursue the ball, you're not going to play. If you want to watch, sit in the stands."
From 2009-14, LSU's defensive line accounted for 109 sacks and forced 42 turnovers, while allowing only 73 rushing TDs (12 per season).
"Brick is a guy we're so excited to be bringing to our staff," Strong said. "He has such a great reputation for developing defensive lineman and has developed so many great players over the years. I really enjoyed getting to know him during his visit with our staff. You could tell right away that he's a great fit for us because he's very driven, focused and takes a lot of pride in his work. He just brings so much experience as a coach having worked not only with the defensive line, but also as a defensive coordinator. He's recruited this state for years and extensively in the Houston area, so he knows the state and can hit the ground running there, as well."
Here's some evidence of his success on the recruiting trail -- in the 2014 recruiting class, he had two significant recruiting victories over Texas in landing defensive end Sione Teuhema and defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao, both former Longhorns pledges. Even more significantly, the signature from Sione secured a signature from his talented younger brother Maea, a 2015 offensive lineman ranked as the No. 2 offensive guard in the country. Overall, Haley has landed seven players ranked in the top-10 nationally at their respective positions, along with numerous other high-level prospects.
Here's Haley's full resume:
1984-88 Alabama A&M
1989 Enterprise (Ala.) High School
1990 Arkansas (graduate assistant)
1991-93 Austin Peay (defensive line)
1994-96 Troy State (defensive line)
1997 Houston (outside linebackers)
1998 Clemson (outside linebackers)
1999-2001 Baylor (defensive coordinator/linebackers)
2002-03 Georgia Tech (linebackers)
2004-06 Mississippi State (defensive line)
2007-08 Chicago Bears (defensive line)
2009- LSU (defensive line)