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Longhorns coaching search updates: USC expected to hire Bryan Carrington as QC coach

Moving from recruiting to quality control could help Carrington land a role as an on-field assistant.

Bryan Carrington (right)
via @BCarringtonUT

Throughout the days since Steve Sarkisian was named the new Texas Longhorns head coach on Saturday, there’s been plenty of news swirling about potential coaching hires for the 31st head coach in Longhorns history.

For previous updates, check here.

Here’s the overview of where things stand with Tom Herman’s coaching staff and news about Sarkisian’s targets and hires with his on-field staff now completed.

Thursday 9:55 a.m. Central

After interviewing with USC last week, Carrington is close to landing a role that could help him moving beyond recruiting to eventually landing a job as an on-field assistant. The addition of Chris Gilbert as Director of High School Relations should help Texas in recruiting, but Carrington’s departure leaves a big void in that area that Steve Sarkisian will have to fill.

Friday 1:20 p.m. Central joins other outlets in reporting that the hire of Drew Hughes as the Director of Player Personnel is on hold as the school looks into his time at Tennessee under Jeremy Pruitt amid the investigation into recruiting violations in Knoxville that cost the jobs of Pruitt and some of his staffers.

Thursday 7:26 p.m. Central

Carrington has ties to USC with the presence of former Texas defensive coordinator Todd Orlando and former Texas safeties coach Craig Naivar on Clay Helton’s staff.

Wednesday 6:25 p.m. Central

Texas hired Vanderbilt assistant director of football operations Jason Grooms as the Chief of Staff for Steve Sarkisian. Fernando Lovo previously held that position under Tom Herman and recently joined Urban Meyer’s staff in Jacksonville.

Grooms spent six years in that role for Vanderbilt after joining the program in 2014:

Grooms oversees all facets of the Vanderbilt operations program, from the day-to-day operations to responsibilities including budget control, team travel, player development, office organization including staff and personnel coordination and the Gridiron Club.

Grooms has managed Vanderbilt’s future scheduling . Grooms has been active with several additional projects at Vanderbilt. He oversaw a complete remodel of the football facilities with the additions of all new graphics in every area of the football complex, developed the player lounge and recruiting display room, helped produce a stadium facelift consisting of graphics and bowl recognitions, assisted in the creation of a player development department and summer internship program that now includes student-athletes from all Vanderbilt sports, introduced several new technologies such as iPad playbooks, Catapult testing and Teamworks communication programs, contributed on a weight room redesign, created the Vanderbilt Alumni Golf Outing held at the end of spring drills, and started the Rising Star Youth Football camp for Nashville area youth.

Monday 6:38 p.m. Central

After more than a decade at Power Five schools, Herb Hand’s career took a setback with his dismissal from Texas and he’ll have to work his way back with success in Conference USA.

Friday 8:30 p.m. Central

Looks like Choate will also get a co-defensive coordinator title.

Friday 7:51 p.m. Central

Looks like Jeff Choate is coming to Austin. And even though he won’t hold the title of special teams coordinator, the combination of Choate, Banks, and Blake Gideon should provide a strong trio in the third phase.

Friday 7:18 p.m. Central

After the Mike Stoops fiasco, Steve Sarkisian has moved on to targeting a former position coach of defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski — Montana State head coach Jeff Choate. Under Kwiatkowski, Choate was the defensive line coach and special teams coordinator at Washington in 2014 and 2015. He has previous experience coaching linebackers at Florida, Washington State, and Boise State.

Choate also helped turn around the Montana State program, taking the Bobcats to the FCS semifinals in 2019 and compiling a 19-9 record over his last two seasons in Bozeman.

Friday 1:43 p.m. Central

After a significant amount of outcry late Thursday evening, Steve Sarkisian is not hiring Mike Stoops as the linebackers coach after all.

Thursday 10:51 p.m. Central

In the aftermath of Steve Sarkisian’s hire at Texas, there was some buzz about Alabama analyst Mike Stoops joining Sark in Austin as his defensive coordinator. But with one staff position remaining open, Stoops emerged as a strong candidate to coach the linebackers under Sarkisian. As the younger brother of former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops who was fired by the Sooners after the Cotton Bowl loss in 2018, it would be remarkable to have a Stoops brother coaching on the Forty Acres. The bigger question though is whether Stoops can coach the position well — it’s been 30 years since he coached that position group.

Thursday 6:06 p.m. Central

With Ole Miss making the hire of Coleman Hutzler official, the only remaining position for Steve Sarkisian to fill is linebackers coach.

Wednesday 6:56 p.m. Central

Jay Valai officially has his next job.

Monday 9:21 p.m. Central

Valai’s quick rise in the coaching industry took a hit with his dismissal from Texas, but he’ll have a chance to get back on track at Houston, it appears.

Monday 6:02 p.m Central

Looks like Pete Kwiatkowski to Texas is all but official. Expect him to coach the outside linebackers in his 2-4-5 defense.

Monday 11:58 p.m. Central

After pursuing a number of current or former SEC coordinators, Washington defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski emerged as the leading candidate late Monday evening.

A former Boise State defensive lineman, Kwiatkowski got his first coordinator job at Montana State in 2000, returned to his alma mater and earned the coordinator title in 2010, then followed Chris Petersen to Washington in the post-Sark era and kept that job since 2014.

His defenses are known not only for limiting scoring, but also for producing a consistent streak of NFL talent.

Monday 2:17 p.m. Central

On Monday, Tennessee fired Jeremy Pruitt for cause due to recruiting violations in the program.

Pruitt’s Alabama ties immediately sparked speculation about what Tennessee’s decision might mean for Texas and its pursuit of a defensive coordinator. Given the apparent recruiting violations committed by Pruitt, it seems unlikely that he would emerge as a candidate for the Longhorns.

And Nick Saban hasn’t exactly been lenient on coaches investigated for lesser recruiting violations. Tosh Lupoi spent two years as an analyst for Alabama after leaving Washington under the cloud of NCAA investigation and Bo Davis resigned after he was dishonest in meetings with the NCAA about impermissible contact with recruits.

So could Pruitt’s termination in Knoxville open the way for Pete Golding to come to Austin and Pruitt to return to Tuscaloosa as Saban’s defensive coordinator. That seems like the best-case scenario for the Longhorns, but unlikely given Saban’s preferred methods of rehabilitating coaches.

Monday 2:17 p.m. Central

News never broke about Hutzler’s dismissal from Texas, but with the new defensive coordinator almost certain to coach linebackers, it seemed like a mere formality as Sarkisian’s defensive staff started to come together over the last two weeks.

The only remaining defensive assistant whose status remains largely unknown is defensive line coach Oscar Giles, who could remain on staff and coach defensive ends alongside Bo Davis, as he did under Mack Brown.

Sunday 4:20 p.m. Central reports that Texas will hire Drew Hughes away from South Carolina as the Director of Player Personnel to replace Derek Chang, who was dismissed on Friday. Hughes is well regarded in the industry and will serve as a key piece in recruiting and evaluations for Sarkisian.

Friday 7:25 p.m. Central

Dan Lanning will remain the Georgia defensive coordinator despite overtures from Texas.

Friday 5:28 p.m. Central

After a year in Austin as an offensive analyst on Tom Herman’s staff, JW Walsh is back at his alma mater in a similar role.

Friday 4:45 p.m. Central

According to Dennis Dodd of, Georgia’s Dan Lanning is the new name to know in Sarkisian’s defensive coordinator search. Like Zach Arnett and Pete Golding, Lanning is a young, up-and-coming coach at 34 years old who has had tremendous success at Georgia over the last two seasons after serving as the outside linebackers coach in Athens for one year.

The process is far enough along that Lanning interviewed with the Horns this week, according to Dodd.

Friday 4:45 p.m. Central

Sarkisian made his first big decision about the Texas support staff on Friday, dismissing Director of Player Personnel Derek Chang. A Longhorns alum, Chang worked as a recruiting assistant at Ohio State and the Director of Recruiting at Houston before joining Herman’s staff in Austin.

Thursday 5:45 p.m. Central

It appears that Arnett is the first defensive coordinator known to interview for the position as Alabama defensive coordinator Pete Colding emerged as a candidate earlier on Thursday.

Thursday 2:55 p.m. Central

According to multiple reports, Alabama tight ends coach/special teams coordinator Jeff Banks will join Sarkisian in Austin. Horns247 reports that Banks has agreed to a three-year, $3.15 million deal. Banks has a reputation as an elite recruiter, especially in the state of Texas, so he’ll fill a big hole on Sarkisian’s staff as the new Texas head coach seeks to keep top talent from leaving the state.

Thursday 2:55 p.m. Central

The defensive coordinator search has been quiet this week other than Dan Quinn choosing to remain in the NFL, but there was finally some movement on Thursday morning with the emergence of Pete Golding as a target. The 36-year-old Louisiana native spent two years as the defensive coordinator at UTSA before he was hired at Alabama in 2018. He’s held the defensive coordinator title for two years under Nick Saban.

Wednesday 6:48 p.m Central

Kyle Flood’s addition to Sarkisian’s staff should become official on Thursday.

Monday 5:15 p.m. Central (updated)

Looks like interest between Quinn and the Cowboys picked up over the weekend.

And, indeed, Quinn will become the new defensive coordinator in Dallas.

Monday 4:20 p.m. Central

On Monday, Brian Davis of the Austin-American Stateman reported in an exclusive interview with Sarkisian that Texas wide receivers coach Andre Coleman is expected to remain on staff. Sarkisian had previously targeted Alabama wide receivers coach Holmon Wiggins for that role.

Monday 4:20 p.m. Central

Cornerbacks coach Jay Valai announced his dismissal on Monday afternoon.


Sunday 5:10 p.m. Central

On Friday, the Cowboys reportedly discussed Dan Quinn as a potential defensive coordinator candidate following the termination of Mike Nolan. It’s been a quiet weekend for the Longhorns with Sarkisian preparing for Monday’s national championship game, but there is some thought that Quinn could decide to remain in the NFL, where he’s spent most of the last 20 years.

Friday 9:42 p.m Central

Defensive line coach Mark Hagen tweeted out a goodbye to his players on Friday.


Friday 9:27 p.m. Central

On the heels of a report from that Texas will hire Terry Joseph, ESPN reported that it’s already done. Without a defensive coordinator in place yet, that seems like strong language, but as Football Scoop puts it, Joseph has already told people that he’s taking the job.

Joseph has spent the last three years with the Fighting Irish coaching defensive backs after coaching stints at Tennessee, Nebraska, Texas A&M and North Carolina. A New Orleans native, Joseph had success recruiting Texas with the Aggies, but compared to LSU’s Corey Raymond, he’s not quite on the same level as a recruiter.

Friday 6:15 p.m. Central

There wasn’t a ton of buzz surrounding Texas and Cincinnati defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman, but the Ohio native did decide to take the Notre Dame job on Friday, spurning LSU and other suitors. Scratch his name off any potential lists of defensive coordinator candidates for Sarkisian.

Friday 6:15 p.m. Central reported on Friday that Sarkisian’s former head coach with the Atlanta Falcons, Dan Quinn, is a candidate for the defensive coordinator position at Texas. Like Sarkisian, Quinn has deep ties to current Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll — after holding the title of defensive line coach for three other NFL teams, Quinn joined Carroll in Seattle in 2009 when Carroll took over the Seahawks and spent two seasons as the associate head coach.

In 2011, Will Muschamp hired Quinn as his defensive coordinator at Florida, where Quinn spent two seasons before rejoining Carroll as his defensive coordinator. Quinn was in his sixth season as the head coach of the Falcons when he was fired in mid-October.

Sarkisian spent two years as the offensive coordinator for Quinn in Atlanta, so it makes sense that Sarkisian would consider his former head coach for the position. However, Quinn has only spent two of the last 20 years as a college assistant — prior to becoming an NFL assistant, Quinn was the defensive coordinator at Hofstra.

And he’s also never coached a position other than defensive line, which raises questions about his fit with Detroit Lions defensive line coach Bo Davis, who is reportedly expected to return to Texas for a second stint in that same role.

Davis is known as the type of strong recruiter that the staff needs, an area where Quinn is extremely lacking in experience — so how would that work if Sarkisian hires Quinn and Davis?

To be sure, Quinn’s bona fides as a longtime NFL head coach and assistant would surely sell well on the recruiting trail, but he would be a relatively unknown entity in that area.

According to the same report, Mississippi State defensive coordinator Zach Arnett also remains a candidate.