Grobe makes minor staff reassignments

First, to be clear, these are not demotions or anything of the sort. It's just an attempt by coach Jim Grobe to better utilize the talent he already has on staff.

The biggest change is the move of Steve Russ from coaching the tight ends and fullbacks to the defense, where he will coach the linebackers. It's a move that makes sense, as Russ played linebacker for Grobe at the Air Force Academy and during his NFL playing career with the Denver Broncos. Russ was also a defensive coordinator at Syracuse. The tight ends will now be coached by offensive line coach and offensive coordinator Steed Lobotzke.

“We’ve wanted for a while to get Steve Russ back on defense,” Grobe said in a prepared statement. “We will do that this fall. Last year, I thought it would have been too disruptive. Now, with our re-alignment, this is a good time to move Steve. From a defensive perspective, with five coaches on defense, we’ll have the opportunity to do a better job on that side of the ball.”

Grobe also made the following changes:

  • Associate head coach Billy Mitchell, who has been coaching the running backs and kickers, will add the fullbacks to his responsibilities.

  • Defensive coordinator Brad Lambert will move from coaching the linebackers to the safeties, while defensive ends coach Keith Henry will move to cornerbacks.

  • Tim Billings, who spent the last two years working with the entire secondary, will now coach the defensive ends.

  • Ray McCartney remains as the defensive tackles coach and recruiting coordinator.