The unfortunate situation with Coach Chris Vaughn and Texas parting ways opens up an incredible opportunity for Clay Jennings. Yes, Vaughn is a great coach and recruiter, but so is Coach Jennings and trust me when I tell you this guy can flat out coach. He has strong recruiting ties to the state of Texas which serves as an added bonus.
Jennings is a four-year letter winner (1992-1995) as a defensive lineman and special teams player at North Texas. He was a member of the 1994 Southland Conference championship team. Coach Jennings began his coaching career as a student assistant in 1996 then promoted to graduate assistant in 1997.
In 1998, Jennings coached the secondary at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa in 1999 and Southern Arkansas in 2000. While at Southern Arkansas, Jennings took Jordan Babineaux under his wing who thrived with the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans as a defensive lineman.
In 2001 and 2002, Jennings worked as a secondary coach and recruiting coordinator at Sam Houston State.
In 2003 and 2004, Jennings worked as the defensive backs coach at Louisiana-Lafayette where they had the nation's No 11 ranked pass defense. Jennings helped C.C. Brown, Michael Adams, and Antwain Spain combine for 17 years played in the NFL.
In 2005 and 2006, Jennings worked as the safeties coach at Houston. In 2006, free safety Will Gulley earned the Conference USA defensive player of the year award.
In 2007, Jennings was the cornerbacks coach at Baylor
Jennings joined the TCU staff in 2008 as the cornerback’s coach. In his first three seasons, 2008-2010 with the help of Jennings, TCU led the nation in total defense. The Horned Frogs were the third team in NCAA history to lead the nation in total defense in three consecutive seasons. Jennings worked at TCU from 2008-2013.
Jennings became the Arkansas defensive backs coach in 2014 where the transformation was felt almost immediately. Clay Jennings is a big time coach who knows talent and how to identify the types of players needed for the Charlie Strong defense. There were lots of qualified candidates for this position, but this is a big-time hire for Texas and Charlie Strong.