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Football Staff Changes – **Updated Again**

SB Nation rightfully points out that the post-signing day shuffle is anti-athlete.

As a practical matter, it makes perfect sense for everyone to perform their job for the program and the school and recruit the best guys they can. However, it is naive to think these coaches are selling the kids on the benefits of the campus and not on the relationship with the coaches. Tom Herman is out here telling you it is about the relationships.

Now that players have inked away their rights to change their mind without penalty, the coaching staffs that have recruited them now begin to look out for their own interests. This could be resolved if we gave players a bit more agency in the process, and schools were able to incentivize them beyond a stipend and a nice gym.

North Texas already lost offensive line coach Brad Davis to Florida, and the little birdies are telling Vito and this blog that one of the defensive staff is leaving — Ekeler? Reffett?

If it actually comes to pass that the defensive staff changes a bit my gut — and those little birdies — tell me that Ekeler will be the one going and Troy Reffett will be the one staying. The 3-3-5 scheme is┬áhis specialty, and his attaching, blitzing philosophy is in line with what Seth Littrell has in mind.

UPDATE Feb 9th 12:47pmFootball Scoop reports that it is indeed Ekeler.

North Texas: With Mike Ekeler leaving for North Carolina, sources tell FootballScoop the Mean Green will promote assistant head coach/safeties coach Troy Reffett to defensive coordinator. Reffett served as co-defensive coordinator in 2016. North Texas also plans to hire former Cincinnati co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Jeff Koonz to coach linebackers.

Koonz’s resume is good, as he’s coached under some good mentors including defensive guru Gene Chizik (He was once a really highly rated coordinator, y’all). He coached at winning programs (Auburn in their undefeated year, Texas Nat’l Title,) at La Tech, Iowa, and now Cinci. The range of experience at places is good, and so is his time under quality coaches.

From his bio
Year: School – Position
2003: Auburn – Student Assistant
2004: Auburn – Defensive GA
2005-06: Texas – Defensive GA
2006: Texas – Linebackers
2007-08: Iowa State – Secondary
2009: Texas – Quality Control
2010-13: Louisiana Tech – Linebackers
2014: Cincinnati – Safeties
2015: Cincinnati – Linebackers
2016: Cincinnati – Co-Defensive Coordinator/LB

Update 2.9.17 12:58pm — Football Scoop also reporting Derrick LeBlanc took a gig at Kentucky:

Kentucky: Sources tell Football Scoop North Texas defensive line coach Derrick LeBlanc is expected to join the Kentucky staff in a similar capacity.

I agree … mostly. Generally speaking you want coaches to stay for longer than a year. At a place like Oklahoma, where Bob Stoops has been coaching for ages, a quick DC change is not a huge deal. At NT, where the entire staff is new, this could have bigger ramifications. As I mentioned on the podcast this is part of the job: finding players, and replacement players and finding staff, and finding replacement staff. Seth Littrell did a good job the first time around. Let us hope he does the same this next time.



  • OL coach Brad Davis — to Florida
  • Co-DC/LB coach Mike Ekeler (RIP Fake Mike) — to UNC
  • DL coach Derrick LeBlanc — to Kentucky
  • ST/RB coach Tommy Perry by mutual decision


  • LB coach Jeff Koonz (reportedly).
  • Troy Reffett slides over to the sole DC spot, and probably will have some big input on the hires for the defense. He already has a guy he coached at the DB coaching spot in Nate Brown
  • ST coach Matt Biagi

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