John Wozniak (right) was on Todd Monken's staff at Southern Miss. / USA Today Sports

Gundy Eyes New Running Backs Coach

Mike Gundy could soon fill the vacant running backs position on his coaching staff, and one candidate to keep an eye on is John Wozniak, who is currently on the Southern Miss coaching staff.

Josh Henson was back in the West End Zone on Monday and ready to move into his new office. In fact, Marcus Arroyo left on Friday and that left an office vacant a little closer down the hall toward the offensive meeting room and the head coach's office. It is closer than the office that was occupied by the former offensive line coach Greg Adkins, so Josh Henson has moved into the office that Arroyo was in.

Henson had a chance to meet with his offensive linemen for the first time today as the players meet some each week with their position coaches. 

Tuesday is the competition day for the team and all the coaches, including Henson, will be out there to watch the players compete in the various events with agility drills, tug of war, tractor tire flip, and weighted-sled pull all likely being interesting for Henson to watch his linemen participate in. 

The other vacant office could be filled quickly, not likely in time for Tuesday's competition day, but Southern Miss assistant coach John Wozniak is a name that has come up multiple times. Gundy is familiar with him as he was a graduate assistant coach on offense at Oklahoma State in 2004, Gundy's last season as offensive coordinator before becoming head coach.

He is currently coaching wide receivers and serving as special teams coordinator at Southern Miss and is most likely a recommendation of Todd Monken, who is a good friend of Gundy's, a former offensive coordinator for Gundy at Oklahoma State, and the head coach at Southern Miss when Wozniak was first hired at USM in 2013.

Wozniak worked alongside Monken during his first season, as the head coach also coached the outside receivers his first year. Wozniak helped Southern Miss to 2,911 yards receiving in 2013. The wide receivers amassed 2,350 of the receiving yards. Wide receivers caught 16 of the 19 touchdown passes on the season.

Wozniak came to the Golden Eagles after spending one season on the staff of the Alabama Crimson Tide, the 2012 National Champions. In Tuscaloosa, Wozniak primarily served as an off-the-field administrator and assistant, helping prepare game film and scouting preparations.

The 1999 graduate of Knox College, the same alma mater as Monken, Wozniak is no stranger to success or to working with Coach Monken. The pair also worked together at LSU in 2005 when Monken was the passing game coordinator and Wozniak served as a quality control assistant. That year, the Tigers finished 11-2 and played in the SEC Championship game and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Prior to his stint this season with Alabama, Wozniak was the running backs coach and co-special teams coordinator at UAB for the 2011 season. Wozniak has been on the staffs of several successful programs since he began his coaching career in 1999. In 2010, Wozniak served as offensive coordinator at West Georgia. He has also coached at Memphis (2009), Montana State (2008), Georgia Southern (2006), LSU (2005 and 2007), Oklahoma State (2004) and Knox (Ill.) College (1999-03).

Good experience and well traveled, you would assume that Wozniak has learned some good recruiting tactics along the way as well.


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