Our Coaching Staff Picks

Everyone knows that the Longhorns have a number of coaching positions to fill. But who should fill them?

These are the recommendations of LonghornDigest.com for the positions, not an indicator of who Texas is looking at. However, we feel that none of the choices are out-of-the-ordinary or unobtainable.

The last two recommendations are for tentative openings. Sources have indicated that receivers coach Bobby Kennedy and strength and conditioning coach Jeff Madden are interviewing with other teams and have plans to leave the staff as well.

Offensive Coordinator: Bryan Harsin

The Longhorn offensive system doesn't need to be completely redone. What it does need is a boost of new ideas, some that can be molded with those of likely Co-OC Major Applewhite. In that respect, Harsin, Boise State's offensive coordinator would seem to be the perfect candidate. His offenses employ a number of sets and utilize pre-snap reads and motion to gain an advantage and flank the defense before the ball is even snapped. His offenses have also shown the ability to be balanced, utilizing more of a power game with running back Ian Johnson and a passing blitzkrieg under quarterback Kellen Moore. The Broyles Award finalist has called the plays for one of the country's top offenses the past five years. During his 10-year tenure in Boise, the Bronco offense has been the top scoring unit in the country.

Defensive Coordinator: Teryl Austin

Austin is the pick here largely because all signs point to him as the next Longhorn defensive head. Austin came to Florida as the defensive coordinator for the 2010 season after spending seven years as an NFL defensive backs coach, first with Seattle, then with Arizona. Prior to that, Austin coached defensive backs on some strong units at Michigan and Syracuse. His defense performed admirably in year one, considering that it was paired with an offense that struggled to move the ball and put points on the board. Despite that added pressure, Austin's group put together a nice season. Without his defense, the Gators would have been lucky to have a winning year.

Defensive Tackles: John Papuchis

Papuchis is the Nebraska assistant coach in charge of defensive ends, and also serves as the team's defensive coordinator. His defensive ends have lived in the backfield during his three years in Lincoln, with his starters averaging 24 tackles for loss per season. A young coach with energy on the recruiting trail, Papuchis has helped in landing players like Jason Ankrah, Rex Burkhead and Chase Rome, guys among the higher-touted recruits of the Pelini era. Additionally, Nebraska has boasted one of the country's top kicking games under his watch, and an always dangerous return game as well. Papuchis also coached at fellow Big 12 school Kansas from 2001-2003, then served as a graduate assistant at LSU from 2004-2007, so his coaching pedigree is strong.

Offensive Line: Bob Bostad

Struggling to run the ball? It would be hard to find a better candidate to teach run blocking than Bostad, Wisconsin's offensive line coach and run game coordinator. Not only does Wisconsin run for 247.3 yards per game, but they also have three 800-yard rushers, proving that it isn't the case of just having a talented running back. Two of his offensive linemen this year were named first-team All-Americans. He's done it at multiple stops as well, with 14 all-conference linemen (seven first-teamers) in seven seasons at New Mexico.

Tentative Openings

Wide Receivers: Tim Beck

Like Papuchis, Beck is a former Kansas coach who is now excelling at Nebraska. Beck is an ace recruiter with ties to the state — he was the head coach at Carrollton High School from 1999-2001 before taking the head position at Mansfield Summitt High School from 2002-2004. Beck was then the receivers coach at Kansas, guiding a wideout with no other Division 1A offers (Marcus Henry) to second-team All-Big 12 honors while recruiting successful Kansas wideouts like Dezmon Briscoe. He was passing game coordinator for the Orange Bowl squad of 2007, then moved on to Nebraska to become running backs coach. But however good a coach he has been, he's mostly listed here because of his recruiting ability and connections to the state.

Strength and Conditioning: Chris Dawson

More than one Big 12 coach has referred to Dawson as the conference's best strength coach. That they would isn't a surprise — as recently as 2007, he was tapped as the country's top coach. After the 2007 season, Dawson earned the National Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Award from the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society. What did he do to earn the honor? Mold a bunch of recruits a half step slow or 20 pounds too light into a BCS bowl winner. When Mark Mangino's staff was let go at Kansas, Dawson moved across the road to Manhattan, where he also had an immediate impact. Last offseason, Kansas State quarterback Carson Coffman described Dawson as "really intense" and "what a strength coach should be." Texas coaches saw that change first-hand, as the Wildcats whipped the Longhorns up front through the game with lesser-touted recruits. Oh, and Dawson has Texas ties as well. After growing up in Houston, he signed with Texas out of high school. Dawson's body of work speaks for itself, and if he isn't one of the first calls Brown makes, he should be.

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