Yet those positions are just as important as any on the staff. In essense, they are the right hand "men" of the head coach.
At Ole Miss, both operations positions are curently open, but could be filled soon, according to sources at the recent coaches' convention in Dallas, TX. One will replace Hugh Freeze, who was recently named to the Tight Ends job at Ole Miss, and the other will replace Tom Luke, who left Ole Miss last fall to go into private business.
If our sources from the coaches' convention, which have been golden to this point in terms of Ed Orgeron's hires for offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, hold true to form, veteran grid coach Barney Farrar, who has been a popular member of the Rice Owl staff the past 12 years, and Alabama State RB Coach Maurice Harris, are Coach O's leading candidates for the posts.
Farrar is from Kossuth, MS, and played collegiately at Delta State, so he is well-versed on Mississippi football. He also recruited Mississippi for Rice during his tenure.
Harris is from Memphis and played at Whitehaven HS and collegiately at Arkansas State.
Both will be on campus this week for final discussions and interviews.
Farrar's bio from the Rice media guide:
One of the most popular and personable members of the Rice staff is cornerbacks coach Barney Farrar, entering his 12th season at the University.
After serving in a variety of roles for 10 years under coaches Danny Ford and Ken Hatfield at Clemson University, Farrar joined the Rice staff in December, 1993. He coached the outside linebackers his first three years at Rice before moving to the defensive ends for the 1997 season. This season marks his sixth coaching the corners.
Farrar's move to Rice was one that paid immediate dividends. The Owls captured their first SWC title in 37 seasons in 1994, thanks in large part to the efforts of Rice's nationally-ranked defense. The defensive unit was led by all-SWC linebacker and eventual Super Bowl participant Larry Izzo, as well as fellow linebacker Joe Davis, the team's leading tackler. The two concluded their standout Rice careers in 1995 among Rice's all-time top five in career tackles with a combined total of nearly 600 stops in four seasons.
Farrar started his coaching career at Clemson in 1986, serving for three years as a graduate assistant and part-time assistant coach working with the defensive backs, outside linebackers and defensive line. During that time, the Tigers won three consecutive ACC titles and played in the Gator Bowl and two Citrus Bowls.
In 1989-1990, Farrar was a graduate assistant in the Clemson strength and conditioning department. During the 1991 season, he was named an assistant coach in the strength room, assisting with on-campus recruiting and on-field coaching.
The following year, Farrar was elevated to the position of assistant recruiting coordinator where his responsibilities including on-campus recruiting for all 18 Clemson varsity sports. He worked in the same capacity in 1993 before following Hatfield to Rice.
The 45-year-old Farrar is a 1978 graduate of Kossuth, Miss., High School where he served as his class president and football team captain. He played collegiate football at Northeast (Miss.) Junior College and Delta State University, helping the Statesmen to a two-year record of 12-8 in 1981-1982 while also serving as team captain his senior season.
After his playing days, Farrar served as a graduate assistant coach at Delta State for three seasons (1983-1985) before moving on to Clemson. He earned a B.S. degree in physical education from Delta State in 1983 and an M.S. in physical education from the same school in 1985.
He has one son, Clint (16), and a daughter, Cari (14).
Harris' bio from the Alabama State media guide prior to the 2005 season:
Maurice Harris enters his second season at Alabama State as the coach of the most talented stable of running backs in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, including the league's No.1 ground gainer, Keldrick Williams. He also serves as the coordinator of the Hornets' recruiting efforts.
Though this is his first collegiate-level coaching position, Harris' career has been marked by string of successes at the prep level. During his prep days at Whitehaven High in Memphis, he earned a scholarship to Arkansas State University after being named Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Region as a senior.
At Arkansas State he was moved to the defensive secondary and led the secondary in tackles and the team in interceptions during his sophomore year. As a senior, his 100 tackles led the team and earned him a berth on the All-Independent Team.
After earning his bachelor's degree in 1998, Harris spent a year away from coaching before returning to his old stomping grounds at Whitehaven High as an assistant coach. He headed the offense, which was tops in the area, and improved its yardage by more than 100 yards per game from the previous season.
After holding that job for two seasons, he became the head coach at Whitehaven. During the 2001 season he led his team to the city and region championships and was named West Tennessee Coach of the Year. In 2002, he won another city title and was named assistant coach in two all-star games. Last season, he was named head coach for the Liberty Bowl High School All-Star Game in Tennessee.
Overall, he went 23-12 in his three seasons at Whitehaven and had 32 players sign scholarships to play collegiate football. He is married to his wife of 11 years, Lequesha, and has two children Arami (9) and Cortlynn (7).