Big 12: Ashley Ambrose
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
I know the pressures of coaching command a lot of time.
But I'm still surprised to learn about Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy and his lack of diligence in signing his new contract.
Tulsa World columnist Dave Sittler reports that Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder is unconcerned that Gundy has yet to sign the seven-year, $15.7 million contract extension approved by the school's board of trustees last December.
I know that Gundy's wife must be a little bit more forgiving than mine. Because if it were me, he would be receiving frequent "honey-do" reminders a couple of times a day about that little contract task that needed to be taken care of.
While Oklahoma State awaits Gundy's signature on the dotted line, here are a few lunchtime links for your perusal.
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's staff kicks around whether Sheldon Richardson really will really honor his commitment to Missouri after junior college.
- T. Boone Pickens might have pumped millions into the Oklahoma State program. But he tells the Associated Press' Jeff Latzke that archrival Oklahoma has "got to be a front-runner for the BCS."
- Great piece this morning from Brian Christopherson of the Lincoln Journal Star who retells the story of Jack Best, who inspired Nebraska to a stunning 1922 victory over a Notre Dame team that included the Four Horsemen on it.
- Missouri coaches note the lack of national respect the program has earned despite back-to-back championship game appearances, the Kansas City Star's Mike DeArmond writes.
- The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa State has become the first Big 12 school to cease printed football media guides. School officials say the decision is a cost-cutting measure.
- Former Texas A&M defensive lineman Charlie Krueger, former Texas Tech wide receiver Dave Parks and former Baylor wide receiver Lawrence Elkins are among the nominees for the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Waco Tribune-Herald reports. Other college nominees on the 20-person list include former Oklahoma player and Abilene native Jack Mildren and Corpus Christi native and former Missouri All-American Johnny Roland, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
- Ben Jones of the Texas Tech Daily Toreador wonders whether the Red Raiders can really consistently fill 60,000 seats at an expanded Jones AT&T Stadium.
- Former Texas A&M linebacker/safety Billy Chavis has transferred to the fledgling football program at Lamar University, writes Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle. And the Bryan Eagle's Robert Cessna writes that Chavis never fulfilled his recruiting hype while at A&M.
- Remember the names of Sherrod Harris, Landry Jones and Alex Cate, among others. The Heisman Pundit takes a look at the backups of Heisman Trophy candidates.
- The Sporting News' Matt Hayes picks Colorado and Oklahoma State among the five teams whose record will improve the most this season. Hayes picks the Buffaloes to finish 9-4 and Oklahoma State to go 12-1.
- Several commentators on a College Football News panel select Texas Tech among the programs accomplishing the most with the least in college football.
- Former 13-year NFL veteran Ashley Ambrose is excited about his new role as an assistant coach in waiting for Colorado, the Boulder Daily Camera's Kyle Ringo reports.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Colorado coach Dan Hawkins made a variety of announcements Monday, most notably that he will be serving as the Buffaloes' wide receivers coach in addition to his head coaching duties.
Hawkins will instruct defensive coaching intern Ashley Ambrose in his transition into becoming a college assistant coach during 2010. Ambrose is a former 13-season NFL veteran who also served as a coaching intern with the Atlanta Falcons in 2006.
"I was educated as a teacher and spent the majority of my professional life in the trenches as a teacher-coach," Hawkins said. "My first year at Boise as head coach, I also coached the tight ends. I am extremely excited about rolling up my sleeves and being a position coach again."
Hawkins becomes the first Colorado head coach to also serve as a position coach since Bill McCartney, who directed the Buffaloes' quarterbacks in 1993. Hawkins technically replaces Eric Kiesau, the former Colorado receivers coach who was promoted to offensive coordinator last month after Mark Helfrich left for a similar position at Oregon. Helfrich also coached the quarterbacks, which Kiesau will now do.
Hawkins also announced he has hired Bob Foster, as Colorado's outside linebackers coach. Foster, 68, has four decades of coaching experience and was the defensive coordinator at Californa-Davis when Hawkins was a player and coach there. He has also served as a defensive consultant for Hawkins when he was head coach at Willamette and later served as an assistant at Oregon and California.
Colorado also announced that former Michigan wide receiver Toney Clemons has enrolled in summer school at Colorado.
Clemons played two seasons in the Michigan program, including 11 catches for 101 yards last season. He will sit out the 2009 season as a redshirt before becoming eligible next season.
Former Colorado wide receiver Kendrick Celestine has re-enrolled in school and could return to the team. Celestine played in the first two games of the 2008 season and then quit for personal reasons on Sept. 21.
"We take a great deal of pride in mentoring our guys to achieve excellence as a person, student, and athlete," Hawkins said. "Sometimes that comes with some hard lessons to learn. Should Kendrick recognize what he left behind and the opportunities he can have here -- we certainly welcome him back."
Hawkins also announced that seven players won't return this fall to the team for assorted reasons. Two are lettermen, senior guard Devin Head and junior wide receiver/return specialist Josh Smith.
Head, who played in 27 career games with 17 starts, is academically ineligible, with Smith is looking to transfer, likely to a school in California.
Smith told Hawkins he plans to work on furthering both his music (singing and production) and football careers.
Smith set Colorado records for kickoff returns (50) and yards (1,286) last season. He produced 52 receptions for 838 yards (16.1 per reception) and three touchdowns in two seasons.
Redshirt freshman tight end Ryan Wallace has sought his release to transfer closer to his Bowling Green, Ky., home, with sophomore linebacker Lynn Katoa likely to transfer to a junior college. Three walk-ons also won't be back, including junior fullback Matt Burgner, freshman wide receiver Marion Brown and junior offensive lineman Evan Eastburn.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
If it's May, it must be time to be analyzing whether former college players will be able to make the next step and make a professional team as they travel to their NFL minicamps.
We've got several stories about former Big 12 players like that, but also some other stories about the conference for your lunchtime edification as well.
Here are today's offerings.
- Colorado coaching intern Ashley Ambrose has been promoted to the interim job of coaching wide receivers on Dan Hawkins' staff, the Boulder Daily Camera's Kyle Ringo reports.
- The Web site Eleven Warriors had Oklahoma (second), Texas (third) and Oklahoma State (seventh) ranked among its preseason top 10 teams.
- Jesse Newell of the Lawrence World-Journal ranks the top 10 players from Kansas' football history he would like on his team this season.
- The Omaha World-Herald's Tom Shatel opines about the potential replacement for Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne and why he thinks that Nebraska moving to the Big Ten is a long shot.
- Dave Matter of the Columbia Daily Tribune analyzes the professional opportunities of all former Missouri Tigers currently on NFL rosters.
- Former Baylor backup quarterback Kirby Freeman is getting his chance at an NFL career after signing a free-agent contract with the San Francisco 49ers, John Werner of the Waco Tribune-Herald reports.
- The Oklahoman's Scott Wright details Oklahoma State's recruiting strategy of targeting more in-state players.
- The Des Moines Register's Randy Peterson wonders with increased defensive production if it's unrealistic to think that Austen Arnaud can lead Iowa State to at least five victories this season.
- Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports about former Texas Tech offensive tackle Rex Richards losing a fourth-round technical knockout to Darrill Schoonover for the MMA Texas Heavyweight Championship, a mixed martial-arts battle.