Inside new Texas Longhorn coaching staff

Head Coach Charlie Strong (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Head Coach Charlie Strong (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Charlie Strong officially introduced his coaching staff Wednesday afternoon. The group of nine includes a pair of former Longhorn lettermen, three of Strong’s former assistants at Louisville and one holdover from Mack Brown’s staff.

Joe Wickline is the offensive coordinator and will handle the play calling duties. Wickline was the offensive line coach at Oklahoma State and will continue to coach that unit at Texas. Strong’s former offensive coordinator at Louisville, Shawn Watson will coach the quarterbacks.

Vance Bedford, a former defensive back at Texas, returns to the 40 Acres as defensive coordinator. Bedford had the same job under Strong for the entirety of his four-year stint at Louisville.

Below are highlights from each coach’s biography on texassports.com, as well as a look at changes to the staff under Mack Brown during his 16 seasons as head coach.
Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach Joe Wickline

A 33-year coaching veteran with the last nine at Oklahoma State. Wickline has been an important in leading the Cowboys to top 20 national finishes in total offense in 2006 (16th), 2007 (seventh), 2008 (sixth), 2010 (third), 2011 (third) and 2012 (fourth).

Prior to Oklahoma State, Wickline served three seasons (2002-04) as offensive line coach at Florida, the last two of which were also as running game coordinator. In that span, Wickline helped the Gators increase their run production from 122.4 yards per game the season prior to his arrival to 155.8 yards per game in 2004. That was in addition to the offense leading the SEC in passing (271.1 ypg) and total offense (426.9 ypg), while ranking second in scoring offense (31.8 ppg) in 2004.
Wickline’s first full-time coaching position was at Delta State University in Mississippi from 1984-87 after being a graduate assistant at both Tennessee (1984) and his alma mater, Florida (1982-83). As a player, he was a three-year letterman with the Gators and was selected to play in the Blue-Gray Game following his senior season. He also lettered one season in wrestling.

A native of St. Petersburg, Fla., Wickline earned his bachelor’s degree from UF in health, physical education and recreation in 1983.
QB Coach and Assistant Head Coach for Offense Shawn Watson.

Watson spent the last three years (2011-13) on Charlie Strong’s staff at Louisville, serving as the quarterbacks coach and taking over as offensive coordinator the last two seasons. He helped the Cardinals post a 30-9 record, win a pair of Big East Conference Championships (2011, 2012) and earn three bowl appearances, while tutoring Teddy Bridgewater, one of the top quarterbacks in the nation.  In 2013, Louisville finished 12-1 and led the nation in completion percentage (70.8), fewest passes intercepted (4) and fewest turnovers lost (10), and was second in third-down conversions (56.0 percent) and time of possession (33:49). The Cardinals also ranked third in passing efficiency (171.9), 16th in passing offense (314.0 yards per game) and 28th in total offense (460.8 ypg).

Prior to Louisville, Watson spent four seasons (2007-10) at Nebraska. He directed an offense in 2010 that ranked ninth in the country in rushing (247.6 ypg) and 39th in scoring (30.9 ppg). That rushing total was more than 100 yards better than the previous season when the Cornhuskers were playing with first-year starter Zac Lee under center and had three true freshmen score during the season, a program record.  Watson’s other coaching stops including seven years at Colorado, two years at Northwestern, three years as Head Coach at his Alma Mater, Southern Illinois, three years at Miami of Ohio, and two years at Illinois.
Running Back’s Coach Tommie Robinson

Robinson has spent time with some of the most storied teams in college and the NFL. He was the passing game coordinator/running backs coach at USC last season and previously served as an assistant with Miami (Fla.) and the Dallas Cowboys.

This past season, Robinson led a running back unit at USC that had four players gain more than 350 rushing yards, which helped the Trojans win six of their last seven games, including a dominating 45-20 win over Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl. Javorius ‘Buck’ Allen, the team’s leading rusher with 785 yards and 14 rushing scores (19th in the nation) earned All-Pac-12 honors. Tre Madden, who led the Pac-12 in rushing before getting injured, gained 703 yards on the season. In addition, first-year starting quarterback Cody Kessler ranked 26th nationally in passing efficiency (148.8 rating).

Robinson was an offensive assistant with the Dallas Cowboys for three years (1998-2000), working with the wide receivers (including future Hall of Famer Michael Irvin) and special teams. Working under Gailey, the 1998 and 1999 Cowboys advanced to the NFL playoffs and the 1998 squad won the NFC East title.
Robinson started coaching at the high school level, guiding Woodham High in Pensacola (Fla.) in 1986 and 1987 and Central High in Phenix City (Ala.), his alma mater, from 1988 to 1990.

During his various college stops, he also served minority coaching internships with the New Orleans Saints, St. Louis Rams, Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins.

He was a four-year letterwinner, three-year starter at strong safety and team captain as a senior at Troy State, where he was a member of the 1984 Division II national championship team. Robinson played his final two seasons under Gailey and received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Troy State in 1985.

Receiver’s Coach  Les Koenning

A coach with 33 years of experience, Koenning (KENN-ing) spent the last five of those at Mississippi State, elevating the offense to its highest levels in school history in addition to helping the Bulldogs play in four straight bowl games for the first time in school history. During that time Koenning orchestrated the top four seasons in school history in total offensive yards, the top two in passing yards and scoring, the top four in passing TDs, and two of the top four in rushing TDs.

Koenning came to Mississippi State from South Alabama, where he spent 2008 helping to establish the foundation for the newly developed Jaguars program that began play in 2009.

Prior to that, Koenning spent five years on the Texas A&M staff, serving as offensive coordinator and working with the quarterbacks. During his time there he oversaw the development of both Reggie McNeal and Stephen McGee. McNeal set a then-single-season school record with 2,791 passing yards in 2004, while McGee put together two seasons that ranked in the top 10 at that time in 2006-07. McNeal also finished his career as Texas A&M’s career passing leader with 6,992 yards and rushed for 1,889 yards, while McGee left in fourth place with 5,475 passing yards combined with 1,750 rushing yards. Both players would go on the be drafted with McNeal selected in the sixth round of the 2006 draft by Cincinnati, and McGee chosen in the fourth round of the 2009 draft by Dallas. Seven other Aggies were also drafted who played under Koenning.

During Koenning’s time, the Aggies posted two of the top three single-game offensive outputs with 719 yards against Baylor in 2003 and 714 yards against SMU in 2005. Prior to his tenure, Texas A&M had one season with 5,000 or more yards of total offense in its history, but posted that mark in three of Koenning’s five seasons. He also led four seasons of at least 2,400 yards passing when there had been three in school history prior to that. The Aggies also had strong rushing seasons, ranking 13th in the nation in 2007 (211.6 ypg), eighth in 2006 (206.9 ypg) and 10th in 2005 (234.9 ypg). Under Koenning and head coach Dennis Franchione, the Aggies appeared in bowl games in 2004 (Cotton), 2006 (Holiday) and 2007 (Alamo).

A native of Houston, Koenning began his career with graduate assistantships at Texas and Alabama before being named wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at Louisiana-Lafayette in 1985. He graduated from Texas in 1981 with a degree in health and physical education, and added a master’s degree in sports management two years later. He played at Memorial High School in Houston for his father, Les Koenning Sr., who was a longtime Texas high school and college coach.

Defensive Coordinator and Secondary Coach Vance Bedford

Former Texas defensive back Vance Bedford has returned to his alma mater and is in his first season at The University of Texas as defensive coordinator and secondary coach. Bedford spent the previous four seasons with head coach Charlie Strong as defensive coordinator at Louisville.
A native of Beaumont, Texas, Bedford was a four-year letterman (1977-79, 1981) and was a starter at cornerback for Texas. He was also voted team captain in 1980 despite missing most of that season with an injury. He set a then-UT season record for pass breakups with 22 in 1981 and is currently fifth on the career pass breakup list (47). Bedford played in the Cotton and Sun bowls twice during his career.  During his coaching career, Bedford has been part of two National Championships, with Florida in the 2008 season and Michigan in 1997, and he was also the position coach for 1997 Heisman Trophy winning defensive back Charles Woodson, who is the only primary defensive player to win the award.

Bedford made his way to the NFL in 1999 as the defensive backs coach for the Chicago Bears. He remained with the team until 2004, and during that time his secondary returned seven interceptions for touchdowns during a four-year stretch, equaling the team’s total from the previous nine seasons combined. While with Chicago, Bedford coached former Longhorn Pro Bowler Nathan Vasher.  Bedford began his coaching career at Forest Brook High School in Houston, Texas, in 1985. He moved into the collegiate ranks at Navarro (Texas) Junior College in 1986, before accepting a position at Colorado State in 1987. Bedford was the Rams’ defensive backs coach for five seasons (1987-92). His 1990 secondary set a school record and led the nation with 25 interceptions. He spent two seasons as the defensive backs coach at Oklahoma State (1993-94) before going to Michigan.

After his collegiate playing career, Bedford was selected in the fifth round of the 1982 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. He played one season with the Cardinals (1982) and one year with the USFL’s Oklahoma Outlaws (1984) before beginning his coaching career.

Defensive Line Coach and Assistant Head Coach for Defense Chris Rumph

Rumph comes to Texas after spending three seasons as the defensive line coach at Alabama. This past season the defensive line played an important role in helping a defensive unit that ranked seventh nationally and first in the SEC allowing 106.2 yards per game on the ground.  Rumph’s 2012 deep and talented group of linemen was a key element in Alabama’s defensive efforts that helped them to a 13-1 record and the National Championship. The Crimson Tide led the nation in rush defense, allowing only 76.4 yards per game while also leading the country in total defense at 250.0 yards per game.   In Rumph’s tenure (2006-10) at Clemson, the Tigers ranked among the top 25 nationally in scoring defense and total defense in each of those five seasons (Clemson also appeared in bowl games to conclude each of those five seasons and won the ACC Atlantic Division title in 2009. He served the first three as defensive line coach and the last two as defensive ends coach.  Born in Orangeburg, S.C., Rumph also played in high school at Calhoun County. He signed with South Carolina and played linebacker from 1991-94, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1994.

Linebacker’s Coach Brian Jean-Mary

At Louisville, Jean-Mary  served as assistant head coach and linebackers coach and helped head coach Charlie Strong amass a 37-15 record and a pair of Big East Conference Championships (2011, 2012). The Cardinals also made four straight bowl game appearances (3-1 record), including a victory over No. 4 Florida in the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl.     Prior to his time at Louisville, Jean-Mary was the linebackers coach at Georgia Tech from 2004-09 where he helped recruit the state of Texas under head coach Chan Gailey for much of that time. He was instrumental in building a defense that was one of the most consistent in the country. It ranked among the nation’s top 30 in rushing defense, total defense and scoring defense in five of his six seasons he was there.
A native of Apopka, Fla., Jean-Mary played college football at Appalachian State, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1998.

Cornerback’s Coach Chris Vaughn

Vaughn spent the last two seasons serving as the University of Memphis cornerbacks coach.   Prior to joining the Memphis staff, Vaughn spent the previous four seasons (2008-11) at Ole Miss where he directed the defensive backs and served as the program’s recruiting coordinator.  Prior to Ole Miss, Vaughn served on the Arkansas staff for nine seasons (1999-2007), including four as recruiting coordinator. During his Razorbacks tenure, his coaching responsibilities included outside linebackers (2000-04), outside linebackers and strong safeties (2001-03) and all safeties (2005, 2007). He spent the 2006 season as the director of on-campus recruiting.  Vaughn earned All-OVC honors as a senior in 1997, totaling 103 tackles, six sacks and 10 TFL. He earned his bachelor’s degree in advertising with a minor in art from Murray State in 1998.

A native of Tallahassee, Fla., Vaughn was an all-state linebacker, state wrestling runner-up and 4A state weightlifting champion at Godby High School.

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Here’s a look at how Mack Brown’s staff evolved over four year periods plus the coaching overhaul following the 2010 season when Texas went 5-7.

1998

OC: Greg Davis (N. Carolina)
RB: Bruce Chambers (Carter H.S.)
WR: Darryl Drake  (Baylor)
TE: Tim Brewster   (N. Carolina)
OL: Tim Nunez  (Marshall)

DC: Carl Reese  (LSU)
DL: Mike Tolleson   (LSU)
DE: Hardee McCrary  (Rice)
DB: Everett Whithers (Louisville)
2001

OC: Greg Davis
RB: Bruce Chambers
WR: Darryl Drake
TE: Tim Brewster
OL: Tim Nunez

DC: Carl Reese
DL: Mike Tolleson
DE: Hardee McCrary
DB: Duane Akina
2005

OC: Greg Davis
RB: Ken Rucker
WR: Bobby Kennedy
OL: Mac McWhorter
Recruiting Coord: Bruce Chambers

DC: Gene Chizik
DT: Mike Tolleson
DE: Oscar Giles
DB: Duane Akina

2009

OC: Greg Davis
RB: Major Applewhite
OL: Mac  McWhorter
WR: Bobby Kennedy
Recruiting Coord: Bruce Chambers

DC: Will Muschamp
DT: Mike Tolleson
DE: Oscar Giles
DB: Duane Akina

2011

OC: Bryan Harsin
RB: Major Applewhite
OL: Stacy Searles
WR: Darrell Wyatt
TE: Bruce Chambers

DC: Manny Diaz
DT: Bo Davis
DE: Oscar Giles
DB: Duane Akina

2013

OC: Major Applewhite
RB: Larry Porter
OL: Stacy Searles
WR: Darrell Wyatt
TE: Bruce Chambers

DC: Manny Diaz/Greg Robinson
DT: Bo Davis
DE: Oscar Giles
DB: Duane Akina

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