Currently, NCAA regulations allow every D1 football team to employ up to 9 assistant coaches, with a rule change allowing up to 10 having been recommended for approval by the NCAA Division 1 Council and expected to be approved by the NCAA Board of Directors sometime this spring.
Before today, Baylor had 7 confirmed assistant coaches with roles somewhat up in the air (Rhule has said he will nail these down in the next couple of weeks), but mostly known (last position in parenthesis):
Co-OC/Wide Receivers: Matt Lubick (Oregon - OC)
Co-OC/Running Backs: Jeff Nixon (San Francisco 49ers - TE coach)
OL: George DeLeone (Temple, same)
DC: Phil Snow (Temple, same)
DL: Elijah Robinson (Temple, same)
LB: Mike Siravo (Temple, same)
DBs: Francis Brown (Temple, same)
Tonight, with Atlanta’s Matt Ryan sporting a perfect passer rating in the Super Bowl (as of this moment, anyway), ESPN 1660 in Waco is reporting that one of the final two open spots, QB coach, will be filled by his former mentor, Glenn Thomas. Thomas served as the OC at Temple last year under Rhule and coached QBs there the year before after spending 2012-2014 as the Falcons’ QB coach and 2008-2011 as an offensive assistant in Atlanta.
To say this is a big hire for Rhule is an understatement. Thomas, now 39, has coached in either college or the NFL since 2001, helped Matt Ryan, the newly crowned NFL MVP, to the Pro Bowl twice while he was QB coach for the Falcons (Rhule says Ryan “glowed” about Thomas when Temple hired him in 2014), was born and raised in Eastland, Texas (west of Fort Worth), and has experience in a variety of systems. He should be able to walk into the living room of a top QB recruit virtually anywhere and garner immediate respect. Indeed, quite a few people expected that he would end up back in the NFL this year with Rhule leaving Temple, or that he might go for another OC job in college. Getting him here as a position coach to work with QBs is quite the coup for a coach stringing together great hire after great hire. My only question is how guys like Lubick, Nixon, and Thomas, each of which either is or has been an OC at the college level, will work together, but I trust Rhule as a head coach enough to believe cohesion won’t be an issue.
With Thomas in the fold, Baylor has one assistant coach spot left for grabs. I’ve said before that I expect it will be a TE/Special Teams combination, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see former Cedar Hill coach Joey McGuire get the job. Considering McGuire has already been here for a month, we probably won’t know much unless or until Rhule announces it himself.