One of the holdovers from the Mack Brown era is ready to move on, as Texas Longhorns Director of High School Relations and Player Development Ken Rucker is set to retire after 11 years with the Longhorns, according to a report:
Ken Rucker, who spent 11 seasons at Texas, 8 as director of high school relations and player development, is retiring. Coached RBs for Mack.— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) January 5, 2016
Rucker has been an assistant coach for more than 30 years now, including the last eight in his current position. Under Brown, Rucker also spent three years as the running backs coach. The Tennessee native also made coaching stops at Baylor and Texas A&M and came to Austin after spending two years at Georgia.
A bio for Rucker on TexasSports.com explains his role as the Director of High School Relations and Player Development:
Rucker works extensively with the High School Coaches Clinic and summer camps while assisting with the development of the Longhorn football players. He also works closely in managing prospects visits on campus and coordinating campus and facility tours for unofficial visits. Rucker helps manage and oversee many of their off-the-field responsibilities while assisting in their community service efforts.
The decision comes at a time when there are concerns about the relationships between the Texas coaching staff and high school coaches around the state. Horns247 spoke with numerous coaches at the state championships and some of them voiced concerns ($) about not feeling welcome at practice and not having messages returned by the staff.
So it seems that Rucker's retirement comes at a time when head coach Charlie Strong needs some assistance in both understanding the importance of those relationships and improving communication with those coaches to avoid alienating some of the most important actors in the recruiting process.