Tag:Jerry Gray
Posted on: February 15, 2011 10:47 am
 

Jerry Gray leaves 'Horns to become Titan DC

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Mack Brown's wild ride of an offseason took another hairpin curve this past weekend.

We would explain, but the first three sentences of this Austin-American Statesman story do so so succinctly we'll let them do it:
On Jan. 17, Jerry Gray described returning to his alma mater to coach Texas ' defensive backs as "a dream come true."

It was a short-lived dream.

On Saturday, 25 days after he was hired as Duane Akina 's replacement, Gray accepted the position of defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans .

Gray's decision leaves Brown to hire his seventh new coach of this offseason, and arrived just as Brown began overseeing the annual Longhorn "junior days" recruiting extravaganza. The timing could be better.

But as we wrote when news of Gray's potential interest in the Titan's defensive coordinating position first surfaced, things overall could definitely be worse. Brown's already had to make two far more critical hires this offseason in naming his two coordinators, and by nearly everyone's account he aced that exam with Manny Diaz and Bryan Harsin. If Gray's absence doesn't help at junior days, it's also better he departs now rather either before this past Signing Day or before his absence becomes a dealbreaker for any prospects in the class of 2012. And without the pressure of Signing Day, Brown may also be able to take more time and make a better selection for the open position than he would otherwise; it's not like there will be any shortage of candidates to work for a program who'll pay their position coaches the $425,000 salary Gray was due to receive.

So Brown will be all right. (As will Gray, who'll no doubt regret the "dream come true" comment but made the decision -- between being a college position coach and NFL coordinator, at more than double the paycheck -- that any coach in his position would.) But it's also only fair to say that in the wake of Gray's defection, what must already feel like the longest offseason of Brown's Texas tenure just got that much longer.


Posted on: February 11, 2011 5:06 pm
 

Friday Four Links (and a cloud of dust), Feb. 11

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Every Friday we catch up on four stories you might have missed during the week ... and add a few extra links to help take you into the weekend.

FOUR LINKS ...

1. When last we left new Texas secondary coach Jerry Gray, he was being considered by new Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak for the Titans' defensive coordinator position. As of this afternoon, that consideration has become an interview --unless he's already decided to stay at Austin.

2. The following cartoon was found in a time capsule in Tuscaloosa and is more than 100 years old:



Too bad that after nine months, other than knowing it's some kind of smack talk in the direction of Auburn's football and baseball teams, no one really knows what it means . Elsewhere at Alabama, the snow gives some students the chance to memorialize Nick Saban's championship season ahead of time.

3. It's been a rough couple of weeks for Arizona State; the Sun Devils signed one of the smallest, most uninspiring recruiting classes in the Pac-12 on Signing Day, then saw defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Grady Stetz leave to become the defensive line coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past Tuesday.

4. Texas got a late addition to its 2011 recruiting haul when prep All-American linebacker Tevin Jackson of Garland (Tx.) was cleared by the NCAA after a transcript issue prevented him from enrolling in 2010. Jackson will enroll in June and will have the standard five-years-to-play-four.

AND THE CLOUD ...

You know this already, but Mark Richt really is a nice guy ... The SEC is deciding exactly how much the various transgressions of the cowbell rule will cost Mississippi State ... Don't expect an unbiased, evenhanded account from an author who considers Mike Leach "one of the most successful college football coaches in history," but nonetheless a book on Leach's firing is on the way ... Maryland's recruits weren't thrilled over former defensive coordinator Don Brown's departure ... Negotiations on UNLV's on-campus domed stadium (which we mentioned a little while back) have officially been given the green light .

Posted on: February 7, 2011 6:31 pm
 

Could Texas coaching carousel keep turning?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Mack Brown must have thought that surely, surely, his staffing overhaul was over after filling his tricky offensive line coaching position with Stacy Searels and watching Signing Day come and go. But now Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman is reporting that with Jeff Fisher out as the Tennessee Titans head coach and Mike Munchak in, the Longhorns may not be out of the woods just yet: 
Munchak is considering Longhorns defensive backs coach Jerry Gray to be the Titans’ new defensive coordinator, the American-Statesman has learned.

Gray coached on the same Titans staff for four years with Munchak, serving as Tennessee’s secondary coach, including the 1999 season when the Titans narrowly lost to the Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV.

If Gray (pictured) does receive and accept the Titans' offer, it'll be quite the whiplash-inducing career move, having just taken his new job in Austin three weeks ago.

But there's no indication of an offer yet, much less an acceptance from Gray (though Gray -- who has never coached in the collegiate ranks before -- would almost have to consider such an offer, since moving from college position coach to NFL coordinator would represent a substantial jump). And even if Gray does bolt, with Signing Day passed, Brown would have the luxury of working with a much looser deadline to find a replacement.

So it's far from time for Longhorn fans to wish Gray a good-bye, and they won't lose any sleep if they do. But it's a lesson that even for the most powerful of college football programs -- and they don't come any more powerful than programs that have their own network -- recovery from a 5-7 season is never as smooth as they'd like.

Posted on: January 30, 2011 7:17 pm
 

Texas assistants raking in the dough

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A public records request has resulted in the release of salary information for Texas's nine assistant coaches , and to sum that information up in two words: they're buying.

Only 27 assistants nationwide earned $400,000 or more in 2010, but in 2011 more than half of Texas's staff -- co-offensive coordinators Major Applewhite and Bryan Harsin, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, offensive line coach Stacy Searels, and defensive backs coach Jerry Gray -- will meet that benchmark. Harsin's, Diaz's, and Applewhite's salaries would all rank in the top 15 among assistants nationwide last season. Searels' $425,000 per-year contract would have tied with him with Alabama's (since-retired) Joe Pendry as the FBS's highest-paid offensive line coach.

You get the point: the Longhorns are sparing no expense in the wake of last year's 5-7 disaster and the surprise departure of supposed head coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp. Depending on how well Harsin, Diaz, and the other new assistants perform, it's possible Muschamp's decision to leave for the Florida head coaching job could be a financial blessing in disguise; as the nation's highest-paid assistant a year ago with a salary of better than $900,000, Muschamp bidding Texas goodbye helped free up some of the cash that led the new assistants to sign with the 'Horns.

However you slice it, though, this kind of financial commitment shows that Mack Brown is not planning on meekly fading away after his 2010 catastrophe. He wanted a new, top-dollar staff to whisk away the stench of last year, and he convinced those in charge of the Texas purse-strings to give him that staff. No one can accuse him of shrugging his shoulders at last season, nor the Longhorns of being cheap.

Now Brown just needs to make sure no one can accuse him of wasting that money on another losing season, lest the catcalls continue that his salary is the money the 'Horns ought to be saving.

 
 
 
 
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