It's rare at the University of Texas for the focal points of an offseason not to rest squarely on its players. The stability that comes with having the same head coach for 16 seasons will do that to a program.
This spring appears to be one of those exceptions, though, as the Longhorns prepare to embark on their first spring practice under new head coach Charlie Strong and his staff, which consists of only one holdover from the Mack Brown era (Bruce Chambers).
Because of this, LonghornDigest is going to take a closer look at each member of the staff leading up to the first day of spring practice on March 18.
On Thursday we took a closer look at defensive back and special teams coordinator Chris Vaughn.
Today we'll take a look at a coach who already has two BCS Championship rings at Alabama, and the track record that should excite recruits to his join position group.
Assistant head coach for defense/defensive line
Graduate assistant at South Carolina, 1997 (Spring); head coach at Calhoun County (S.C.), 1997-2001; defensive backs coach at South Carolina State, 2002; outside linebackers coach at Memphis, 2003-05; defensive line coach at Clemson, 2006-10; defensive line coach at Alabama, 2011-13.
The Rumph Digest:
If all you'd heard of Texas' new defensive line coach was that Coach X held the same position at Alabama for the last three seasons, you'd have thought highly of the hire, right? For as dominant as the Crimson Tide's defensive front has been lately, they didn't coach themselves. Rumph led the charge and was largely responsible for the Tide ranking first nationally in rush defense in 2011 and in the national championship campaign of 2012. Last season, they ranked 7th nationally and first in the SEC in rushing defense in 2013. Rumph has had success outside of the stockpiled cupboard of Tuscaloosa too. In each of his five seasons at Clemson the Tigers ranked among the top 25 nationally in scoring defense and total defense. Even at Memphis, where he coached outside linebackers from 2003-05, those Tigers were ninth nationally in total defense in 2003.
Bo Davis (defensive tackles) and Oscar Giles (Defensive ends)
How he differs from Davis and Giles:
On the surface there isn't much different between Rumph and Texas' former defensive line coaches. That's especially true for Rumph and Davis, who have filled in each other's positions at Alabama and Texas. All three coaches have worked with incredible talents in their past and done an adequate job of getting the most out of them. But you'd be hard-pressed to find a Longhorn fan out there that didn't think that the play of the defensive front has lacked in recent years, and many see Rumph's hiring as a welcomed change. He's said to be a players coach with an infectious sense of humor, and a penchant for giving his lineman ridiculous nicknames.
Player he will most improve:
Junior DE Shiro Davis. Rumph has an impressive track record of helping heralded defensive ends play to their potential. He's done it with the likes of Da'Quan Bowers, Gaines Adams, Andre Branch and Ricky Sapp. One of his biggest tasks will be to do something similar with Davis, a former high school All-American. He hasn't been able to see the field all that much because of the talent that Texas has had at the position in Alex Okafor, Jackson Jeffcoat and Cedric Reed. But with Reed the only one of those still on the team, Davis' time to shine is now. And it's up to Rumph to help get him there.
Recruits will love:
His track record. He's won national championships and coached top 10 NFL Draft picks. That sells in high school coaching offices and family living rooms. What else sells in those places is the way that Rumph is said to coach his position group. He's a very uplifting individual that understands the subtle joke can go a long way in gaining a player's trust and commitment.
Predicting coaching future:
He's been a head coach at the high school level for four years but has yet to land a coordinators position. That would likely be the next step in a career that already includes two BCS Championships. A graduate of South Carolina, he hasn't been a part of the Gamecocks staff since he was a graduate assistant in 1997. Perhaps a chance to go back to his alma matter would be enough to lure him away from Austin.