Sooners will hire Georgia defensive ends coach

James Hale and have learned that Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops will hire Georgia defensive ends coach Jon Fabris to fill the vacant spot on the defensive staff left by Bo Pelini. See inside for more details on Fabris' coaching history and which current member of the staff Sooner staff will take over the defensive back coaching duties. has learned that Oklahoma will replace departed secondary coach Bo Pelini with Georgia defensive ends coach Jon Fabris.

Fabris, a 1976 graduate of Ole Miss who coached at Kansas State with OU Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables during the 1997-98 seasons, spent three years with the Bulldogs as their defensive end and special teams coach.

"Jon has done an outstanding job in his four years at Georgia and I'm glad we had the experience of having him as part of our staff," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt in a release this morning on Georgia's official athletics web site. "No one works harder than Jon and I wish him nothing but the best."

The hiring of Georgia's Fabris by OU Head Coach Bob Stoops goes in line with what I talked about over a week ago. While Coach Stoops looked at a number of outstanding defensive backs coaches to replace Pelini, he also looked long and hard at defensive/special team coaches because he knew that Bobby Jack Wright was an accomplished secondary coach who didn't have an ego that would be bothered if he himself helped in the secondary.

The OU coaching staff is very excited to add Jon Fabris to the staff. The connection to OU is that Coach Fabris worked with Bob Stoops and Brent Venables at Kansas State from 1996 to 1998. That also means he worked with Mike Stoops and Mark Mangino.

During his tenure at Kansas State, the Wildcats were playing some of the best college football in the country and were a contender for the national title. During that time the, the Wildcats had the No. 1 defense in the country in 1998 and were in the top five in 1996 and 1997.

Fabris is a noted defensive ends coach and a special teams coach, who works mostly on special teams in the punt game both in returns and coverage. He was the coach responsible for the punt return game at Kansas State from 1996 to 1998 when David Allen was setting NCAA records and earning All-American honors. When he was at Notre Dame he was also the punt return coach for Rocket Ismail and Allan Rossum.

Fabris will not carry the title of special teams coordinator at OU, but he will be very instrumental in special teams, especially punt returns and coverage. Brent Venables will be the Defensive Coordinator at OU and drop the Co-Coordinator title that he had the since he has been at OU.

Fabris has had great success coaching defensive ends as well, coaching Darren Howard and Monte Beisel at Kansas State, both of which went on to play well in the NFL. Howard is the franchise player with the New Orleans Saints and Beisel started at MLB this past year with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Fabris has coached two different stints with Lou Holtz at Notre Dame and South Carolina, and during his tenure with the Gamecocks Fabris coached John Abraham, who is now one of the best pass rushing defensive ends with the New York Jets. The Jets recently placed the franchise tag on him. While Fabris worked with Holtz at South Carolina, the Gamecocks ranked in the top ten in defense.

Most recently, Fabris coached two time All-American David Pollack at Georgia and was also the coach of Charles Grant, who has played the last three years with the New Orleans Saints.

Fabris is a high-energy coach and that coaches with a great deal of passion. He will get after players who are not performing and go out of his way to praise them when they are doing well. He is considered an outstanding recruiter and has recruited a number of different areas throughout his career.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt has made several different efforts to keep Fabris at Georgia, but the lure to re-unite with Coach Stoops and Coach Venables is too strong to pass up.

Fabris has also coached linebackers during his coaching tenure and he has had one stint coaching linebackers with the Cleveland Browns in the NFL.

The hiring of Fabris will allow Bobby Jack Wright to move to the secondary, where he had great success at the University of Texas from 1991 to 1993. During that time, UT had one of the very best secondaries in college football. Coach Wright will no longer be responsible for the special teams as that demand would be too great on the secondary coach. Coach Stoops will assist him some with the secondary. Coach Wright will continue to be the Recruiting Coordinator.

The announcement of Fabris will not be made official for a couple of days until OU can run a complete background check on him. There is not expected to be any problems and the announcement should be late Tuesday or early Wednesday.
Fabris Coaching Experience

1980, Georgia Tech (J.V. Defensive Backs)
1982, Washington State (Asst. Defensive Backs)
1983-86, Washington State (Tight Ends)
1987-94, Iowa State (Linebackers)
1995, Notre Dame (Asst. Offensive Line)
1997-98, Kansas State (Defensive Ends)
1999, South Carolina (Defensive Ends)
2000, Cleveland Browns (Defensive Asst./Linebackers)
2001-04, Georgia (Defensive Ends)

Fabris Profile

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