Offensive coordinator Tim Beck is now official to the Texas Longhorns, which will allow head coach Tom Herman to turn his attention to the final open position on his staff that he officially filled with Stan Drayton.
The news broke earlier in the afternoon courtesy of by Horns Digest, with quick confirmation from Orangebloods. Just as Drayton’s pending hire became public on the Texas side, the Chicago Tribune reported that he had chosen not to return to the Chicago Bears after serving as the running backs coach for two seasons.
Drayton’s name had been circulating among Texas media outlets for some time and was mentioned again by Horns Sports on Tuesday. He will serve as the associate head coach and running game coordinator for the Longhorns in addition to coaching running backs.
"Anytime you have a chance to play or coach at a place like Texas, you have to jump on board," Drayton said. "From the time I started playing and coaching I've always known and been impressed by the pride and tradition of Longhorn football. It's always one of the premier jobs in the country and just an unbelievable opportunity. I'm looking forward to heading to Austin, embracing that great culture that UT has and getting to work."
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Drayton joined the Bears in 2015 after coaching at Ohio State for five years, including four seasons under Urban Meyer and the three seasons that Herman spent in Columbus.
"Stan is a great final piece to a coaching staff I'm really excited about. He's a guy I was fortunate enough to coach with at Ohio State, and we won a National Championship together there. He also was part of a National Championship staff at Florida and has a resume filled with successes at the college and NFL levels. The list of great backs he's worked with is a long one including most recently Ezekiel Elliott and Carlos Hyde at Ohio State and Jordan Howard, who set the Bears rookie rushing record this year. We're so fortunate to have him, and I'm looking forward to getting all of us together and building something special."
The familiarity between the two made the position appealing for Drayton beyond the cachet of college football’s second-winningest program.
"Working with Tom as a head coach makes it even more appealing," Drayton said. "I had the opportunity to work with him as an assistant coach, and I love him, I love his family, and I know he's a guy I can absolutely trust. He cares so much about the kids and the program and we as a staff will be totally aligned in that. Tom has a formula, he has a great plan and knows what it takes to establish a winning culture and sustain it. I'm extremely excited about joining the staff and working at Texas.
Unlike many running backs coaches, Drayton actually played the position in college at Division III Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, helping the Gators win a national championship in 1990. He was also a sprinter for the track team.
After bouncing around some smaller programs, he got his first big break as a quality control coach for the offense and special teams with the Green Bay Packers in 2001.
Three years later, he spent a season at Mississippi State before joining Meyer’s staff at Florida, where he established his reputation as an excellent recruiter. Among Drayton’s significant accomplishments in Gainesville were landing Cam Newton, Chris Rainey, Riley Cooper, and the Pouncey twins.
When Meyer took over from Jim Tressell, he kept Drayton on staff, a decision that allowed the former running back to return to his favored spot coaching the position he played in college.
In addition to helping Carlos Hyde and Ezekiel Elliott star in Meyer’s power spread offenses, Drayton also continued recruiting at high level. Credit him for securing the signatures of players like Elliott, Curtis Samuel, Mike Weber, and Marshon Lattimore.
Given Drayton’s experiences as a player and coach, he’s not only extremely qualified to coach the position and have a potentially positive impact, he would arguably become the most successful recruiter on the staff.
So the former Bears coach brings alignment and the type of splashy hire that Texas fans have been craving, but hadn’t yet received from the new Longhorns head coach.