As the regular season finale approached for the Texas Longhorns, analyst Andre Coleman was expected to look for other jobs after the season in his efforts to find another on-field role as an assistant.
When head coach Tom Herman fired wide receivers coach Drew Mehringer and reassigned the other wide receivers coach, Corby Meekins, to an administrative role, however, Coleman had a chance to go on the road recruiting and coach the wide receivers in an interim capacity.
He impressed Herman enough that the school named Coleman the new wide receivers coach on Monday.
“We are really fortunate and excited to be adding Andre to our full-time coaching staff,” Herman said. “He’s a veteran coach who is highly respected, but working with him every day last year gave us a chance to personally see his passion for the game and love for the players. When he stepped in to coach our wide receivers, recruit and work more closely with our coaching staff and players for the Alamo Bowl, we all came away extremely impressed. Andre covers all the bases — he has a great offensive mind, is a tremendous and proven developer of players, outstanding recruiter and just an awesome person and addition to our staff.”
Coleman spent the 2018 season serving as the offensive coordinator at Kansas State after coaching the wide receivers from 2013-17 after playing wide receiver for Bill Snyder from 1990-93.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to stay on staff and coach at The University of Texas,” Coleman said. “It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to coach at school like Texas that’s one of the perennial powers in college sports with such a great tradition and get a chance to recruit the top talent across the nation. I’m looking forward to helping these guys both on and off the field and helping our program be something our fans are proud of. I’ve learned so much from Coach Herman over the past year. He’s one of the best football minds I’ve ever been around, and he’s one of the best motivators I’ve ever been around. I’m excited for the opportunity to continue to grow and learn from him at Texas.”
Against No. 11 Utah in the Alamo Bowl, the wide receivers caught nine passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Seniors Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay are now preparing for the 2020 NFL Draft, but there’s plenty of young talent that Coleman will need to develop from the 2018 and 2019 recruiting classes, including Jake Smith, who caught 25 passes for 274 yards and six touchdowns as a freshman.
“We have a great group of guys in the receivers room,” Coleman said. “They’re hungry for knowledge, they want to learn and they want to get better. It’s a coach’s job to take kids to places they can’t get to by themselves. I’m looking forward to that challenge of bringing out the best in them and watching their success. As a coach, I want to give them all the tools and all the knowledge that I have so that they can become the best players they can be, both on and off the field.”
As Herman mentioned, Coleman does have a strong track record of developing wide receivers at Kansas State, helping produce the school’s most prolific seasons at the position in receptions and receiving yards in 2013 and then again 2014.
Under Coleman, Byron Pringle set the school record for yards per reception (24.13) and broke the 1,000-yard mark. Pringle is now a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. Tyler Lockett was even better, leaving Manhattan as the all-time leader in career receptions (249), yards (3,710) and touchdowns (29). Those weren’t the only school records that Lockett set, either — he held 17 school records by the time his career at Kansas State was over.
A high-level kick returner at Kansas State who was a third-round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers before twice making the Pro Bowl, Coleman has an extensive track record of developing productive kick returners, an area where he could really help Texas next season.