Big 12: Bobby Kennedy

Lunch links: Longhorns grab top recruit

April, 4, 2011
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Saw plenty of the Texas countryside this weekend. Time for a change of pace this week.

Getting to know Colorado

February, 11, 2011
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Colorado is new to the Pac-12 but old to the Big 12, so it makes sense to check in with Big 12 blogger David Ubben to get his take on the state of the Buffaloes as they welcome new coach Jon Embree.

Just who are these Buffaloes? What are their strengths and weaknesses and how will they fit into the Pac-12, specifically the Pac-12 South?

We went looking for insights and Ubben obliged.

Ted Miller: Well, David you -- and the Big 12 -- have to say goodbye to Colorado, with the Buffaloes looking to their future out West in the Pac-12. First of all, give Pac-12 fans a CliffsNotes description of the state of the program. Things haven’t gone so well in Boulder lately. Why?

David Ubben: Colorado is certainly in rebuilding mode as they kick off a new start under coach Jon Embree after firing Dan Hawkins in the middle of the 2010 season. They bring back two stars in quarterback Tyler Hansen and running back Rodney Stewart. But fitting those guys into Embree's new system and greatly improving from their 5-7 record seems like asking a lot.

Hawkins came to Boulder promising big things but never delivered. As for why it didn't go well? Any number of reasons. One that angered fans is Hawkins' tendency to play less talented players who knew the system well over more talented players that maybe didn't have as solid of a grasp of what they wanted to do on the field. Embree has said he'll do essentially the opposite, so I guess that's a start in the eyes of fans.

TM: OK, let’s look forward then. Tell Pac-12 folks about Embree, his new staff and the talent the Buffaloes have returning. What are strengths and what are question marks heading into the 2011 season?

DU: He's stocked his coaching staff with quite a few Buffaloes, but most of the names would be more recognizable as players. The biggest name is his offensive coordinator, former Buffs great Eric Bieniemy, who spent the past few years coaching Adrian Peterson as the running backs coach at the Minnesota Vikings. They also swiped Bobby Kennedy, a Boulder native, from Texas to coach receivers.

Last year, they ran the ball pretty well, and Stewart is back. He's a small, shifty back that seems way, way underrated. He rushed for more than 1,300 yards last year, and the only Big 12 backs who had more were Daniel Thomas and Kendall Hunter, who should be drafted this year. They lose tackle Nate Solder, another first-round pick, but Ryan Miller is back, and he's an all-conference level guard.

The big question for them next season will be if their defense can stop the pass -- which my sources tell me, is pretty important in the Pac-12. Maybe not as important as in the Big 12, but still necessary for big success. Both corners from last year, Jalil Brown and Jimmy Smith, should be drafted. They weren't great at stopping the pass last year (9th in the Big 12) so it's hard to see them being better at it next year.

TM: OK. Good stuff. Let’s wind it up. How would you have projected them in the Big 12 next fall? And do you have any feeling for how they might do in the new Pac-12 South?

DU: They definitely looked like a team in the bottom third of the Big 12 next year, and it seems like it'll be tough for them to finish in the top half of the Pac-12 South in 2011.

Right now, it's just about being competitive and maybe stealing a game or two that people didn't think they'd win. If that happens enough, a bowl game isn't out of the question. We don't have any idea what to expect out of an Embree-coached team, and that could be a good or a bad thing. We won't know for sure until next year, but if Embree can bottle up whatever Colorado had inside of them the way they played down the stretch last season after Hawkins was fired, it could be a real surprise 2011 for the Buffs.

Roundup: UT salaries, key recruiting moves

January, 31, 2011
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A few notes and nuggets from the offseason weekend that was:

Before Mack Brown began his coaching search that eventually required him to make six offseason hires, he met with the Texas Board of Regents to discuss coaching salaries. It sounds like they were, uh, receptive to what he had to say.

After a shocking and disappointing 5-7 season in 2010, Brown's assistants received hefty raises. Brown is expected to meet with the media in Austin later today for the first time since the season finale, a home loss to Texas A&M. Texas already sat comfortably at the top of the heap in assistant coaches' pay, and these latest raises only accentuate that. No one is making what defensive coordinator Will Muschamp made ($907,000) in 2010, but you definitely won't hear any complaints coming from the football facilities any time soon.

Here's a breakdown of last year and this year's salary among the coaching staff, courtesy of the Austin American-Statesman.

Defensive coordinator
  • 2011: Manny Diaz - $625,000 (made $260,000 at Mississippi State in 2009)
  • 2010: Will Muschamp - $907,000 (took Florida head coach job)
Offensive coordinator
  • 2011: Bryan Harsin (will call plays) - $625,000 (made $259,520 at Boise State in 2009)
  • 2011: Major Applewhite (also coaches running backs) - $500,00 (made 269,509 in 2010)
  • 2010: Greg Davis - $477,084 (resigned after season)
Tight ends
  • 2011: Bruce Chambers - $200,000
  • 2010: Bruce Chambers - $187,039
Defensive ends
  • 2011: Oscar Giles - $200,000
  • 2010: Oscar Giles - $162,451
Defensive backs
  • 2011: Jerry Gray - $425,000 (previous NFL salary unknown)
  • 2010 Duane Akina - $318,509 (left for Arizona)
Offensive line
  • 2011: Stacy Searels - $425,000 (made 301,200 at Georgia in 2010)
  • 2010: Mac McWhorter - $292,759
Receivers
  • 2011: Darrell Wyatt - $315,000 (made 250,000 at Kansas in 2010)
  • 2010: Bobby Kennedy - 212,519 (took receivers coach job at Colorado)

Life as a Longhorn right now? Well, last season's struggles aside, it's clearly pretty good.


Huskers find a new kicker

Nebraska will need a lot of new faces on special teams, after punter/kicker Alex Henery and kickoff specialist Adi Kunalic both exhausted their eligibility following the 2010 season.

The Huskers had a commit for their 2011 class, Niklas Sade, but he decommitted and pledged to North Carolina State last month.

The solution: Nebraska went after Mauro Bondi, a Boca Raton, Fla. native and (former) Wake Forest commit who has an impressive YouTube highlight reel and sounds ready to replace Henery.

"I definitely followed him, so I have to live up to that and maybe do even better," he told the Lincoln Journal Star.

Bondi gives Nebraska 18 commits for its 2011 class. ESPN.com ranks the Huskers' class No. 14 nationally.


Cowboys' top commit 'solid'

One player who doesn't sound like he's decommitting or recommitting anywhere is ESPNU 150 member and running back Herschel Sims, Oklahoma State's top commit.

The Cowboys' running backs coach, Robert Gillespie, left Oklahoma State to join former offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia. Sims had reportedly been wavering earlier in the recruiting season, but took his official visit to Stillwater in January and his high school coach told the Tulsa World that Sims is solid with the Cowboys and ready to sign on Wednesday, adding that there isn't "any doubt about it."
"During his official visit, he called that Saturday night and said, 'I can’t imagine playing anywhere else,' Sims' coach, Steve Warren, said. "He loved it."

With Sims, Oklahoma State has 27 recruits committed to its 2011 class, which can begin signing letters of intent on Wednesday. ESPN.com ranks Oklahoma State's class No. 20 nationally.

Lunch links: Longhorns coach ambitious

January, 7, 2011
1/07/11
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Would you mind if I listen to my book on tape? I'm kind of a bookworm. It's the novelization of the movie "Precious" based on the book "Push" by Sapphire.

Lunch links: Gabbert talks NFL decision

January, 6, 2011
1/06/11
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Or you could just be nice and pay it forward. They don't make movies out of bad ideas.
New Texas receivers coach Darrell Wyatt took the job earlier this week, making his fifth stop in the Big 12. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the Longhorns, who still must replace four coaches, he didn't see it as a reason to stay away from Austin.

"When you get an opportunity to come to a place like The University of Texas and work with a guy like Mack Brown and [the] great staff he is putting together and all the resources we have here, it's really tough to say no," Wyatt told reporters this week. "I was on board, my wife was obviously on board, and we're excited to be at The University of Texas."

Wyatt replaces Bobby Kennedy, who left Texas to coach receivers at Colorado.

As a coach at Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Kansas previously, among others, Wyatt has spent plenty of time recruiting in Texas. As such, he'll also be the Longhorns' co-recruiting coordinator.

"I've had experiences in just about every part of the state. I've recruited the Dallas Metroplex area. At one point I recruited Houston as well as East Texas. Obviously, my wife is from San Antonio and me being from Killeen - central Texas, so I've recruited just about every part of the state," Wyatt said. "Recruiting is a people business, and you have to develop relationships with the coaches first then the kids. Making sure there is a trust there and obviously selling them a place like Texas certainly makes it easier. It's still a battle. There are a lot of good things and good places to sell, but again, I like my chances here with all the resources and the great tradition."

The Longhorns receivers struggled in 2010, and Wyatt will be charged with eliminating those issues. Marquise Goodwin and Malcolm Williams' development has been stunted, but the good news for the Longhorns is their leading receiver in 2010 was a freshman, Mike Davis, who finished with 47 catches for 478 yards and two of just 10 touchdown catches on the season for Texas. Fellow freshman Darius White was also a five-star recruit in the 2010 class who had difficulty finding early success.

"I don't want to judge the guys or make any evaluation before I see them," he said. "I'm familiar with some of their names, and I know they're talented. I'm looking forward to the challenge of the spring and bringing those guys along."

He'll get started for real when Texas kicks off spring practice in a few weeks, but the draw of Austin and the Longhorns was too much for Wyatt to resist at Kansas as an assistant under Turner Gill.

"Obviously, it's a special job for me because of its location -- because being in Texas and because of the great history and tradition. You walk down the hallways here and the tradition oozes out at you," he said. "It's a special place, and I'm just glad to be here."

Texas fills one of its coaching vacancies

January, 2, 2011
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Texas has hired Kansas receivers coach Darrell Wyatt to coach the same position for the Longhorns.

"We are so excited about the addition of Darrell to our staff," Texas coach Mack Brown said in a release. "He's not only one of the best wide receiver coaches in the country, but he also brings expertise as an offensive coordinator. Darrell's someone who has coached in the NFL and has been recognized as one of the nation’s top recruiters. He has extensive experience working in the Big 12 and recruiting in all parts of Texas. He is a great addition to our staff."

He'll replace former Longhorns receivers coach Bobby Kennedy, who went back to his hometown of Boulder, Colo. to coach receivers at Colorado under new coach Jon Embree.

"This is just a tremendous opportunity for me and my family,” Wyatt said in a release. "Being a part of a program with such great history and tradition is very exciting. Having grown up in Texas and having played high school football here, it's great to come home to work for The University in the state.

"Texas is the type of place where the skies the limit on what you can accomplish. They have great resources, a tremendous fan base and compete for championships. The level of expectations are extremely high and that's something I definitely will embrace."

Kansas coach Turner Gill also wished Wyatt well.
"We appreciate everything Darrell has done for Kansas football," Gill said. "He is an outstanding coach. This is an opportunity for him to get closer to his family and his wife’s family. We hope the best for the entire Wyatt family."


The Longhorns can now cross one of their five offseason coaching vacancies off the list. Wyatt fills the hole at receivers coach, but Texas is still without offensive and defensive coordinators, as well as an offensive line coach and defensive tackles coach and special teams coordinator. Brown said previously that he didn't plan to fill the rest of the vacancies until after the bowl season.

Lunch links: Rehashing 'The Bronx Salute'

December, 31, 2010
12/31/10
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Lunch links: Blackmon talks suspension

December, 8, 2010
12/08/10
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I'm very specific when I give a gift. You don't know how many kittens I gave away because they just weren't right.

Three Big 12 assistants listed among nation's top recruiters

September, 9, 2009
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Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin


JC Shurburtt of Scouts Inc. lists the nation's top 25 recruiters among assistant coaches. The Big 12 has three selections on his list, far behind the nine selections from the SEC and six from the ACC.

The Big 12 selections were Texas wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy, Oklahoma defensive line coach Jackie Shipp and Oklahoma State offensive line coach Joe Wickline.

All deserve their selections, but I think a solid case could be made for about 10 others from across the conference.

Other ace recruiters in the Big 12 who could have merited mention include Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen, Missouri receivers coach Andy Hill, Missouri offensive coordinator David Yost, Nebraska running backs coach Tim Beck, Nebraska linebackers coach Mike Ekeler, Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables, Kansas State defensive ends coach Joe Bob Clements, Oklahoma State special teams coach/associate head coach Joe DeForest, Texas offensive line coach Mac McWhorter and Texas A&M defensive backs coach Van Malone.

And I'm sure I'm missing some other deserving nominees, too.

UT assistants claim bonuses like they won Big 12 title

April, 7, 2009
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Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Texas got a lot of notoriety the last few days after the media noticed that somebody had placed a designation inside the team room showing the school considered it had won the 2008 Big 12 title -- with an asterisk.

Mack Brown announced he would take the designation down on Monday, apparently clearing up that matter of interior decorating and room decor.

But Texas officials have decided to pay assistant coaches and several key support people like they won the championship.

The Austin American-Statesman reported that Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds received permission from Texas president William Powers Jr. and the university's men's athletic council to pay $44,000 in bonuses that are called for when the football team wins a conference title.

The Longhorns earned a three-way share of the Big 12 South division title with Oklahoma and Texas Tech. The Sooners advanced to the championship game through a tiebreaker, despite losing to the Longhorns earlier in the season. Texas Tech beat Texas to account for the Longhorns' loss.

"I think this was the right decision," Powers told the American-Statesman. "A flip of a coin basically deprived them of the ability to earn that part of their compensation."

The Statesman reported that the coaches had already pocketed bonuses of nine percent of their base salaries for the Longhorns' playing in a BCS bowl.

Interestingly, Brown did not share in the largesse of the extra bonuses for Texas' "championship."

Brown, whose base pay is $2.91 million per year, could have pocketed an extra $150,000 -- $50,000 for claiming the South title and another $100,000 for winning the Big 12 title game.

Here's the breakdown for the bonuses for Texas coaches and support personnel:

Offensive coordinator Greg Davis: $5,000
Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp: $5,000
Dir. of Football Operations Cleve Bryant: $5,000
Asst. AD for strength & conditioning Jeff Madden: $5,000
Secondary coach Duane Akina: $3,000
Running backs coach Major Applewhite: $3,000
Recruiting coordinator/tight ends Bruce Chambers: $3,000
Defensive ends coach Oscar Giles: $3,000
Wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy: $3,000
Offensive line coach Mac McWhorter: $3,000
High school relations/player development Ken Rucker: $3,000
Defensive ends/special teams Mike Tolleson: $3,000

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