I reported on Tuesday that Alabama’s Nick Saban would have an interest in hiring Charlie Strong’s defensive right-hand man – Clint Hurtt (currently the Chicago Bears’ outside linebackers coach) - if Bama DL coach Bo Davis goes to South Carolina to join the staff of Will Muschamp.
So if Texas president Greg Fenves and AD Mike Perrin want to complete the rescue mission that started with them flying to Tulsa to close the deal with new offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert and OL coach Matt Mattox, they better now be ready to go hire the man who can help turn around Texas' leaky defense - and recruit like crazy - Clint Hurtt.
Texas doesn’t need any more faulty communication about the hiring of an assistant coach seen as a solution to solving the problems on one side of the ball. The embarrassment the last time - with Fenves and Perrin on a plane as an official visit weekend was kicking off - never needs to be repeated.
Fenves and Perrin simply need to get with Strong right now, so that when the Chicago Bears’ season ends on Jan. 3 against the Detroit Lions, all the details of Hurtt’s hiring are already complete.
That is if they are still all about supporting Strong.
As one big-money donor who has been highly critical of Strong told me when asked if he’d try to make things difficult to hire Hurtt:
“I say if we’re going to support Strong, let’s support him all the way and hire whoever he wants. As far as I know, Hurtt has paid for the NCAA sanctions against him. And there was no problem with him at Louisville.
“Hell, if he’ll help improve that defense, go hire him right now!”
There is no doubt Charlie Strong wants Hurtt on his staff in 2016 as a defensive assistant – probably as co-DC. Don't know if it would be as DE coach with Brick Haley as DT coach or what?
But according to the sources I talked to at Louisville, if Texas fans want to see the defensive numbers improve dramatically in Austin, Hurtt is the guy.
The people I talked to at Louisville said Hurtt was Strong’s “staff cop.” Basically, whenever there was drama on the staff – on the offensive side or defensive side - Hurtt stamped it out.
“I think Texas fans know Vance Bedford can get charged emotionally about something. There were times when Hurtt would just say, ‘Who the f*ck cares about that? We just need to coach the damn defense to get off the field.’ Hurtt doesn’t do drama, and that’s Charlie’s guy.”
Former Longhorns and current Chicago Bears' OLB Sam Acho and DT Lamarr Houston are on the record saying they have loved playing for Hurtt in Chicago.
Here’s Hurtt talking about Houston and some of the other Bears he’s coaching as assistant DL coach/outside linebackers coach under John Fox:
I hear Hurtt is willing to leave the NFL (and his progress toward the NFL pension) if Texas is ready to see him come to Austin and help turn around the Longhorns’ defense.
Texas officials objected to Strong bringing Hurtt with him to Austin from Louisville in January 2014, because Hurtt was still under a two-year, show-cause penalty (related to NCAA sanctions against Hurtt while at the University of Miami during the Nevin Shapiro scandal).
Hurtt was the recruiting coordinator and DL coach at Miami from 2006 (under Larry Coker) to 2009 (under Randy Shannon). From a timeline standpoint, Shapiro, in prison for defrauding investors of more than $900 million in Ponzi scheme, by his own admission, was already entrenched as an out-of-control booster at Miami starting in 2002.
Hurtt was with Strong at Louisville from 2010-13 without incident. Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich stood by Hurtt when Hurtt was sanctioned with the show-cause penalty.
But that two-year, show-cause ended in mid-October, and the Chicago Bears’ season is over on Jan. 3.
In addition to being a no-nonsense, hard-nosed defensive football coach, Hurtt is widely considered one of the best recruiters in college football.
At Louisville, Hurtt helped recruit QB Teddy Bridgewater, an NFL first-round draft pick, and S Gerod Holliman, who had 14 INTs in 2014 and won the Thorpe Award.
This is how much Strong thinks of Hurtt: Strong ended up turning down Tennessee (after initially accepting the job), because Tennessee wouldn’t allow Strong to bring Hurtt with him. The job ended up going to Butch Jones.
Again, if Greg Fenves and Mike Perrin want to finish the rescue mission that started with them going to Tulsa to get the assistant coaches now charged with helping to save the offense, they’d better be ready now to go hire the coach who will be charged with saving the defense.
Or everyone at Texas could end up with the possibility of watching Hurtt coach at some place like Alabama.