The college football landscape will change early in 2018, as programs like the Texas Longhorns can add a 10th assistant coach starting on January 1.
With five assistants working with the offense and four assistants on the defensive side, common sense would indicate that head coach Tom Herman will add a defensive assistant. However, that’s not necessarily the case.
“I’ve thought about it,” Herman said on Friday. “Initially, I thought about a defensive guy to even out the staff, but I think it’s kind of like recruiting a little bit. You almost want to go best available.”
If Herman does opt to add a defensive assistant, the new coach would most likely work with the defensive tackles — former Texas defensive end Oscar Giles currently coaches the ends and tackles after serving as a defensive ends coach during his last stint in Austin. Hiring a linebackers coach to allow Todd Orlando to focus on coordinating the entire defense is also a distinct possibility.
The evaluation process, which will begin in earnest after the Texas Bowl on December 27, will focus on adding the best coach overall.
“I think you kick the tires on both sides of the ball,” Herman said. “It’s just like in recruiting, you don’t take players just to take players. You want to take guys because they’re going to help you win. If a guy on defense, if you get down to the third or fourth guy, and maybe this guy on offense, the first guy, is gettable, and only the third or fourth on defense guy is gettable, maybe it’s the offensive guy you go after.”
On offense, short of creating a new position like co-offensive coordinator, an addition on that side of the ball would probably serve as the quarterbacks coach, a task currently assumed by coordinator Tim Beck.
However, Herman has sounded willing to make any changes in his play-calling structure, so don’t expect a co-coordinator or reassignment for Beck, because the top priority of the head coach with the new hire is recruiting.
“That’s number one, and it’s the number one job description of all of our (coaches), is to bring in quality student-athletes, develop your unit is second, and then the scheme is a very distant third,” Herman said.
For all those fans disappointed by Beck’s first season and ready to fire the team’s offensive coordinator, that’s not ideal news.