Billy Embody: Van Malone
Defensive coordinator Van Malone. Mixing it up from Justin Stepp, who helped land all the skill players SMU landed, but Malone will make some major moves in Houston with Archie McDaniel in the coming years. Malone helped land Braeden West, Rodney Clemons, Jordon Williams, Bryce Wilds and was pushing till the end for another add to the class. Coach Malone reminds me of SMU assistant hoops coach Ulric Maligi (no comments on his leave) because he’s connected, revered and relentless on the trail. Malone also carries that swagger that the last coaching staff was missing.
Scott Sanford: Joe Craddock
When Joe Craddock was named offensive coordinator, we all knew Coach Morris was going to be the real offensive coordinators, calling plays and running his offense. But Craddock has more than held his own on the recruiting trail and convinced a number of top targets that SMU was the place to be. The former Clemson graduate assistant also does a nice job of utilizing social media to attract recruits and boast about SMU.
Patrick Engel: Justin Stepp
Everyone on the coaching staff did an outstanding job recruiting, so it’s hard to pick an MVP. My pick is wide receivers coach Justin Stepp. Stepp landed commitments from three great receivers, but it’s way more than simply landing them. He showed constant energy in his recruitment of Xavier Castille and Kevin Thomas, and it didn’t go unnoticed. He also built a close relationship with holdover commit James Proche. The receivers already seem like a family, and Stepp is largely responsible.
Demetrio Teniente: Archie McDaniel
He coaches the linebackers, I used to be a linebacker, he recruited some good linebackers-- linebackers. I am really in love with Austin Corbett’s game. I think he can step in and compete for playing time early and I think he can contribute early. I was a little disappointed in the linebacker corps performance this past season- mostly because they seemed so deep. I think Corbett’s intelligence and nose for the football add a little extra oomf to the defense…and we can thank McDaniel for that.
Andrew Hattersley: Claude Mathis
SMU has got two great running backs joining the Hilltop and that is in large part due to the work of Claude Mathis. Although Mathis only played a key role with a couple players, these were players that will be able to come to campus and contribute right away in a rotation with the rest of the backs who are already on campus. Especially with Braeden West, coach Mathis went all out to make sure he spent enough time with him to get him to commit. For Xavier Jones, coach Mathis did a great job of selling the program and also on the multiple ways they could choose to use the speedster.