FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen wishes he could add a 10th assistant coach to his staff right away. So does David Beaty at Kansas.
They will have to wait until after the 2017 season for another full-time assistant, but Big 12 coaches support the measure approved by the NCAA Division I Council and expect to get final approval from the Board of Governors next week.
“It’s going to make a big difference for a lot of different reasons,” Holgorsen said Tuesday during a spring teleconference with Big 12 coaches. “I just wish it was passed immediately.”
Another assistant is part of a package approved by the Division I Council last week. Other changes include allowing players to sign with schools as early as December and letting high school juniors take official visits from April through June. The signing period change is expected to take effect Aug. 1. But the coaching staffs wouldn’t expand until January, when teams start preparing for the 2018 season.
“We already have a plan for it, and I wish it would have gone into effect right now,” Beaty said. “There’s no reason to wait. I think our budgets would have allowed for it.”
New Texas coach Tom Herman said the expanded staff is long overdue and will be good for the sport, which he said has the worst ratio of coaches to student-athletes. The head coach and nine assistants of FBS programs generally can oversee 100-120 players during the fall.
“It will be a positive impact for all us, for everybody just with the number of players that we are responsible for,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said.
“For us, the biggest impact is being able to regulate our players, stay on top of their academics, their social lives, things like that, more so than anything,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “It certainly helps to have coaches on the field, but for us, we spend a lot of time trying to regulate these guys in the different areas other than football.”
Several coaches indicated they will utilize the extra assistant to even out their staffs on both sides of the ball.
Herman said his initial thought is to hire a special teams coach, someone whose responsibilities would include recruiting and helping on defense. The Longhorns currently have five offensive assistants and four on defense. Beaty already has a special teams coordinator who helps on the defensive side, so he plans to bring in somebody else to help with Kansas’ spread offense.
“Being able to have a guy to work with inside receivers and tight ends is something we feel like is a necessity for us,” Beaty said. “It just helps take a little bit of the pressure off of so many guys being coached on that side.”
Gundy is leaning to adding on defense, but will take time to put thought into the decision.
Second-year Iowa State coach Matt Campbell believes the impact of an additional coach with “extreme ownership” in their job and the lives of players can be monumental to programs. He already has several strong internal candidates to take a role overseeing special teams.
West Virginia’s staff currently has five defensive assistants and four on offense. Holgorsen plans to add a fifth offensive assistant, then split up special teams with him being the primary guy controlling that aspect of the game.
“It certainly can be beneficial in a lot of different ways. It depends on what your needs are as much as anything,” Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said. “Whoever it is, we hope it’s a quality coach and somebody that cares about young people and will do with right things.
And if so, then they certainly will be a benefit.”