Thursday, July 15, 2010

Vanderbilt Offensive Line Coach

Bobby Johnson retired just weeks before the start of camp, at a time where it would likely be too late to bring in a new head coach. OL coach/Assistant head coach Robbie Caldwell has taken over as head coach on an interim basis. With Johnson's departure and the promotion of Caldwell, there is currently one opening on the staff. With Caldwell in the role of head coach for the first time in his career, it would make sense to bring in a new offensive line coach to free him up to oversee the entire team. The coaching tree has come up with three potential replacements:

Clay Hendrix currently coaches the offensive line at the Air Force Academy, where he is going into his fourth year. Prior to joining Air Force, he coached offensive line at Furman, where he coached with current Vanderbilt coaches Des Kitchings (RB), Ted Cain (TE/ST), and Bruce Fowler (LB). Hendrix was also a graduate assistant at North Carolina State from 1986-87, where he worked with Vandy coaches Robbie Caldwell, Jimmy Kiser, and Cain. Clay Hendrix played offensive line at Furman from 1982-85, where his position coach was Robbie Caldwell. Hendrix certainly has all of the connections in place for this job, but the questions for him to ask himself is if Vanderbilt is enough of a step up from Air Force, and if it is worth the risk of a likely coaching change after the season.

John Reagan joined the Rice Owls as TE coach after six seasons coaching the offensive line at Kansas. He has also been an OL coach at Air Force and Temple. He coached with current Vanderbilt wide receivers coach Charlie Fisher at Temple from 2000-01. Typically going from coaching tight ends to offensive line is considered a step up, and Vandy would most likely be looked at as a step up from Rice, so it seems that Reagan would have good reasons to take the job if offered.

Bill Durkin is currently the offensive line coach at Bowling Green. He came from Hofstra, who dropped their program after the 2009 season. Durkin spent 11 years coaching at Richmond, one of which was spent working with current Vandy offensive coordinator Jimmy Kiser. Vanderbilt is certainly considered a step up from Bowling Green, but again, taking a job in July that has a strong possibility of changing hands after the season is a high risk.

Update: Tulsa Co-Offensive coordinator/OL coach Herb Hand will join Vanderbilt's coaching staff, presumably as the new offensive line coach.

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