DMN’s Chuck Carlton recently wrote about the next arms race, which has nothing to do with facilities. The recent trend in college football is to have additional analysts and quality control coaches to gain any edge possible.
We saw this during the national championship game where Lane Kiffin was replaced a week before the game was to be played with Steve Sarkisian, who had ben on the staff at Alabama, not as one of the allotted assistant coaches, but as an offensive analyst.
When Tom Herman was hired at Texas, he identified the army of individuals that were at programs like Alabama and Clemson and Ohio State:
“We identified an area that we were deficit as compared to the teams that are in the national championship hunt every year, the Alabamas, the Clemsons, the Ohio States, the Florida States of the world,” Herman said, later adding “we’re going to get an army down there just like rest of the big boys in college football do.”
The article notes that Texas Tech has two quality control assistants, those are Brett Dewhurst on the defensive side of the ball and the other is Jared Kaster on the offensive side of the ball. In addition to those two spots, there are also two graduate assistants that you see quite often on the field, Jordan Davis, the former inside receiver, as well as Zach Kittley, son of Wes Kittley the Texas Tech track coach, are the offensive graduate assistants. And Sam Fehoko, the former linebacker/defensive end for Texas Tech and brother to Breiden, as well as Tevin Mims, who played defensive end for South Florida, which is where Kevin Patrick was before he arrived at Texas Tech, and had a swim through the NFL.
As the article notes, there is a limit to nine assistant coaches and four graduate assistants, but no limit to the number of quality control assistants.
As an analyst, Sarkisian’s focus was breaking down third down plays.
“Well, my daily duties previously as an analyst, we’d still watch a lot of tape, still try to game plan, then offer up as much advice as I could to the game plan, then to the coaches,” Sarkisian said before the championship game. “Then it was more sit back and analyze how we were performing.”
In late December, we posted the Big 12 assistant coach salary pool and Texas Tech was 7th in the conference, only ahead of Iowa State, at $2,511,800. the thought is that TCU and Baylor both probably out-spend Texas Tech overall, but because they are private institutions, there is no access to their records.
The long and short of it is that Texas Tech probably doesn’t have the necessary income to actually increase the pool of quality control assistants because the program can just barely afford to stay out of the bottom of the Big 12 in coach salary pay. And it should be noted that most likely West Virginia just increased their salary pool with the hiring of Jake Spavital, the former offensive coordinator at Cal, as did Kansas with the hiring of Doug Meacham, the former offensive coordinator at TCU.
The frustrating thing for Texas Tech fans is that the football program is finally getting up to speed with the indoor practice facility and now there’s another arms race that seems to be taking place, one that I can’t really fault Texas Tech for not participating. Texas Tech doesn’t have unlimited funds for quality control assistants and I’d rather than Texas Tech increase the assistant coach pool before adding quality control assistants.