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Building the Staff: Baylor Hires THSCA President David Wetzel

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You want Texas ties? You got ‘em.

Kansas State v Baylor Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Quite a bit of news this morning on Matt Rhule’s burgeoning football staff in Waco. The big-ticket item of the day is the news broken by David Smoak of ESPN1660 this morning about former Baylor Bear David Wetzel, who will reportedly join the coaching staff in an as-yet undisclosed role. In their reporting of that news, the Waco Trib is also saying that three Temple defensive coaches may be on their way to Baylor as well: DL coach Elijah Robinson, who was already rumored to be coming; DB coach Francis Brown, who has already changed his Twitter handle from @CoachFranTU to @CoachFranBU, a subtle but important change; and LB coach Mike Siravo. If true, that would mean 34 of Rhule’s prior defensive staff at Temple is making their way to Waco, the only holdout being, at this point, DC Phil Snow. Snow is rumored to be on his way, too, but recent reports that he may be in the running for the head job at Temple have tempered that somewhat. When we know, you’ll know.

All that being said, the big news is the return of David Wetzel to his alma mater and the potential implications of that move. When he was hired, the big concern about bringing in Rhule, a coach that has never worked in Texas before at any level, would be the lack of so-called “Texas Ties.” We were told that it would be addressed, and that Rhule had a plan. Step one of that plan is apparently hiring the guy with more Texas Ties than just about anybody else in Wetzel, the current head coach at San Antonio Reagan and President of the Texas High School Coaches Association. Already you’ve seen reactions from various parts about how smart a hire this is, even though we don’t know for sure what role he will play. Rumor has it that he will be the “Director of Player Development,” which is something Rhule had on his previous staff but whose responsibilities are difficult to divine.

Whatever he actually “does,” bringing in a guy like Wetzel is significant for a number of reasons. First, he is extremely well respected across the state and has connections, by virtue of his role with the THSCA, just about everywhere. Second, it sends a message to Texas high school coaches, probably more than Texas high school players, that Rhule “gets it” about how important they are. Third, it accelerates the potential timetable for establishing Rhule’s own connections, since he now has someone on his staff that can open virtually any door. This is a very savvy move from a coach trying to ingratiate himself in a new community of coaches, and I look forward to seeing it pay off.

Here’s what other people are saying about it:

I’ll update the thread in case any other announcements are made today. We’re still waiting to see what Rhule might do on the offensive staff, which is completely empty at this time.