Thursday, February 19, 2009
Recapping the league's coaching changes (again)
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
I'm not quite ready to put a stopper in the Big Ten coaching carousel for 2008-09, though the ride is pretty much over. Barring some unforeseen changes in the coming weeks, Minnesota's hiring of Richard Hightower as wide receivers coach will complete the staff shuffling for this year.
Here's a review of the coaching changes around the league this year. It's interesting to note that none of the league's top four teams in 2008 -- Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State and Iowa -- lost an assistant. If it ain't broke ...
- Offensive coordinator: Mike Locksley left to become New Mexico's head coach. Illinois hired TCU offensive coordinator Mike Schultz as his replacement.
- Defensive line: Tom Sims was fired and replaced by hired Cincinnati's Keith Gilmore.
- Offensive line: Eric Wolford left for the same post at South Carolina, and Ron Zook hired Houston's Joe Gilbert as his replacement.
Notes: Outside receivers coach Kurt Beathard will now work with the quarterbacks.
- Defensive coordinator: Scott Shafer resigned and was replaced by former Syracuse head coach Greg Robinson.
- Offensive coordinator: Mike Dunbar resigned and was replaced by Denver Broncos wide receivers coach Jedd Fisch.
- Defensive coordinator: Ted Roof resigned to take the same post at Auburn and was replaced by former Nebraska and Wisconsin defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove. Defensive backs coach Ron Lee was promoted to co-defensive coordinator.
- Offensive line: Phil Meyer resigned and was replaced by Alabama assistant Tim Davis.
- Wide receivers: George McDonald left for a quality control position with the Cleveland Browns and was replaced by Hightower.
Notes: Davis will oversee Minnesota's run game. Lee will continue to coach the Gophers' secondary.
- Offensive line: Bret Ingalls left to become running backs coach with the New Orleans Saints. Superbacks coach Adam Cushing was moved to offensive line.
- Superbacks: Cushing became offensive line coach and Lafayette offensive coordinator Bob Heffner was hired as his replacement.
- Head coach: Danny Hope took over for the retiring Joe Tiller.
- Offensive coordinator: Ed Zaunbrecher was fired and replaced by Florida Atlantic offensive coordinator Gary Nord.
- Defensive coordinator: Brock Spack left to become Illinois State's head coach and was replaced by Eastern Kentucky defensive coordinator Donn Landholm.
- Running backs: Joel Thomas left for the same job at Washington, and Hope hired former Kansas State assistant Cornell Jackson as his replacement.
- Offensive line: Hope handled the line in 2008 and hired former Eastern Kentucky assistant Shawn Clark as his replacement.
- Special teams: Mark Hagen moved from special teams to linebackers, and graduate assistant J.B. Gibboney was promoted to this position.
Notes: Tight ends coach John McDonnell was not retained for 2009. Terrell Williams will once again coach the entire defensive line this fall after working strictly with the ends in 2008.
Notes: Brad Pendergrass was named director of football operations. Pendergrass most recently served as assistant director for football operations at Mississippi State.