With college football in the opening stages of the offseason, several programs are still tinkering with their coaching staffs. Most notably, on the offensive side of the football, where USC, LSU, and Oklahoma State have each brought on new coaches to run their offenses. Here are the latest college football news and notes.
Harrell Replaces Kingsbury at USC
Following Kliff Kingsbury’s brief tenure with USC, the Trojans have pegged Graham Harrell as their next offensive coordinator. Harrell was previously the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at North Texas for the past three seasons.
Harrell, 33, has ties to Kingsbury, who accepted a head coaching position with the Arizona Cardinals after about a month with USC. Harrell succeeded Kingsbury at Texas Tech, becoming a record-setting quarterback under Mike Leach. Before coaching at North Texas, Harrell served at the outside receivers coach for Leach at Washington State.
North Texas’ offense under Harrell was dynamic with quarterback Mason Fine, and the Mean Green won nine games in each of the last two seasons. Now, Harrell will try to help a program who is coming off of a disappointing 5-7 season.
LSU hires Joe Brady
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron announced the hiring of Joe Brady to be the passing game coordinator and receivers coach. Brady takes over for receivers coach Jerry Sullivan, who retired after the season.
Brady was an assistant with the New Orleans Saints, a team that has regularly been an offensive juggernaut with quarterback Drew Brees. Orgeron said Brady brings an innovative approach to offense, as well as knowledge of the run-pass option. Before coaching with the Saints, he was a graduate assistant for Penn State and also coached at William & Mary, where he played receiver from 2009-2012.
While Brady will coach the receivers, assistant Mickey Joseph will stay on the staff and work with the receivers as well.
Gleeson heads to Oklahoma State
While most programs look for coaches at the NFL-level or from a power five conference, Oklahoma State is once again scouring the FCS. The Cowboys have hired Princeton’s Sean Gleeson as their next offensive coordinator.
Under Gleeson in 2018, Princeton set the Ivy League record with 470 points, the highest-scoring offense across the FCS. Princeton ranked second in scoring in 2017 as well. During Gleeson’s six years on the Tigers staff, Princeton averaged 36.9 points per game.
This is not the first time Oklahoma State has looked at college football’s lower level for coaches. Gleeson is taking over for Mike Yurcich, who was previously with Division II Shippensburg University. Yurcich left the Cowboys to become the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator at Ohio State.
Before hiring Gleeson, Oklahoma State also targeted Todd Monken and Graham Harrell. Monken elected to stay with the Cleveland Browns, while Harrell was hired by USC.
More assistant coaching hires are expected to occur over the next couple weeks. In regards to the players, February is a big month. For incoming college athletes, February 6th is National Signing Day. For outgoing players preparing for the NFL Draft, the NFL Scouting Combine will begin on February 26th.