Stoops hires Boulware, finalizes staff

NORMAN, Okla. — Sooner head coach Bob Stoops filled the third and final vacancy on his coaching staff Friday afternoon, bringing in Jay Boulware to manage tight ends and special teams.

"Jay owns an impressive track record as both a coach and recruiter," Stoops said. "He possesses a wide range of coaching experience, competing in some of the nation's toughest conferences. He also has strong ties in the state of Texas, as well as recruiting relationships across the country that will serve us well at the University of Oklahoma. We enthusiastically welcome Jay back to his roots in the Big 12."

Boulware previously worked on the other side of the Red River Rivalry, where he first was an offensive lineman for Texas, then a student assistant in 1994-95 before becoming a graduate assistant in the Big 12's inaugural season back in 1996.

From there, he joined the Northern Illinois staff and was a tight ends coach in 1997 before being named co-offensive coordinator from 1998-2000.

He coached running backs and tight ends—pre-Mike Stoops days—at Arizona from 2001-03.

After that, he worked as running backs coach at Stanford in 2004 and tight ends coach and co-special teams coordinator at Utah in 2005-06 before rejoining the Big 12 at Iowa State under Gene Chizik.

There he became running backs coach and special teams coordinator in 2007-08 and followed him to Auburn, where he has worked since 2009 as tight ends coach and special teams coordinator.

Now, it's on to OU for his eighth different coaching destination.

"I have the utmost respect for Coach Stoops and his program at the University of Oklahoma," Boulware said. "To have a chance to join the Oklahoma staff is an unbelievable professional and personal opportunity. I'm looking forward to the start of spring practice and the chance to work with the talented student-athletes and coaches on OU's roster."

An Oklahoma City native, Boulware will be expected to solidify what was a very good special teams unit from a year ago but loses a couple of key cogs in punter Tress Way and return man Justin Brown.

He's proven capable of doing just that, anchoring a unit at Auburn last year that limited its opponents to the nation's second-best mark of just four punt return yards on 70 punts.

They also finished third in kickoff return coverage, surrendering just 16.6 yards per return.

Additionally, Boulware coached up tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen, who finished with a school-record 14 career touchdown receptions, including a huge one in Auburn's 2011 National Championship Game victory.

He'll be looked upon to restore their presence in OU's offense.

After firing centers/guards coach James Patton, defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp and tight ends coach Bruce Kittle, Stoops has now hired Boulware, offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh and defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery to finalize the staff.

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