As another busy day recruiting went down for the Texas Longhorns on Friday, there were a few coaching notes that fell through the cracks in addition to former quarterback Major Applewhite’s hire by the Houston Cougars.
Charlie Strong has options
The former Texas head coach was in Tampa discussing the South Florida opening on Friday, but things aren’t especially simple in that pursuit — former Bulls head coach Willie Taggart has contacted Strong about the defensive coordinator position at Oregon.
With megabooster Phil Knight ready to win now, it’s possible that Strong’s salary as a defensive coordinator with the Ducks would match or exceed his pay by the Bulls, though that doesn’t seem especially likely.
Craig Naivar also likely to join Tom Herman at Texas
It was no surprise to hear that those connected with the Houston program believe that defensive coordinator Todd Orlando will take the same position in Austin after the bowl game on December 17.
However, Orlando’s expected departure raised some questions about whether Herman would be able to land co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Craig Naivar, who was reportedly headed to Austin in the immediate aftermath of Herman’s hire.
Ultimately, Naivar decided to remain with the Cougars to coach the bowl game, but is now once again expected to join the Longhorns staff, according to Bobby Burton of Horns247, even though he was a potential candidate to take over full control of the defense under Applewhite.
If Naivar does come to Texas, it would be the fifth school at which the two have worked, dating back to 2001 at Sam Houston State. He’s also an Austin native.
‘Horns still have openings
With Applewhite out of the mix, Texas will have to look elsewhere for an offensive coordinator. Could Herman reach out to connections from Ohio State or go outside of his comfort zone?
Right now, that’s not clear yet, but the ‘Horns also still have openings at running backs coach and wide receivers coach.
Assuming that Orlando and Naivar officially join the staff as expected, the only opening defensively will be linebackers coach.
Brick Haley lands at Missouri
The first assistant coach from Strong’s last staff in Austin to officially find a new home is defensive line coach Brick Haley at Missouri. And that seems like a good hire for the Tigers, as Haley had a successful two-year stint with the Longhorns and could leverage his Louisiana connections to help Missouri recruit in that state.