Friday, July 23, 2010

Tulsa Offensive Line Coach

Co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Herb Hand left Tulsa for a job at Vanderbilt, leaving an opening at Tulsa. Chad Morris will likely become the primary offensive coordinator, leaving the Golden Hurricane looking for a replacement OL coach. The coaching tree has come up with three potential replacements:

Denver Johnson is currently the offensive line coach at Colorado. He has twelve years of head coaching experience prior to his time at Colorado, spending nine years at Illinois State after three at Murray State. Johnson was a four year letter-winner at Tulsa as an offensive lineman, and has also coached in the state of Oklahoma, spending four years coaching OL at Oklahoma State and one year at the University of Oklahoma. He coached with current Tulsa DL coach Paul Randolph at Illinois State in 2000 and spent four years playing with special teams coach Bill Blankenship, who was a quarterback at Tulsa. Johnson seems like a perfect fit, but Colorado to Tulsa would typically be looked at as a step down or lateral move at best. One reason Johnson may choose to leave is that Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins is on the hot seat and may not last much longer in Boulder. This could be an opportunity for job security for Denver Johnson, not to mention a return to his alma mater.

Bob McClain spent the 2009 season as the tight ends coach at Tulsa, but left in March to coach the offensive line at Appalachian State. McClain also coached with current Tulsa head coach Todd Graham at West Virginia for two years (2001-02), where he was a graduate assistant while Graham coached safeties and linebackers. Paul Randolph was also on the WVU staff in 2002, coaching defensive line and special teams.

Vance Vice is the offensive line coach at Louisiana-Monroe, where he is going into his second season. He has also spent time at Utah State and Illinois State as OL coach. He spent the 2000 season at Illinois State with Paul Randolph. Vice has ties to the state of Oklahoma, having played tight end at Oklahoma State from 1986-89. Tulsa is generally considered a step up from Louisiana-Monroe, plus there is always the chance that Tulsa could offer the title of Co-offensive coordinator to Vice or any of the other candidates.

Update: Spencer Leftwich is expected to be named the OL coach at Tulsa. He currently coaches the offensive line at North Texas. He also coached at Tulsa from 2003-06.

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