This really came out of nowhere for me and if anything, this is an indication that the athletics department is willing to invest in the football program, which I think is good news. Texas Tech announced the hiring of three new off-field staff members: 1) Eron Hodges – Director of Recruiting; 2) Art Valero – Senior Analyst; and 3) Ashton Washington – Director of Recruiting Operations and Creative Content.
When I initially saw these hires, I thought that some staff would be let go (that may be true, but have not seen news of that), but instead, the two people that I thought might be moving on because of these hires actually were re-titled in their positions. Preston Pehrson is now the Director of Player Personnel and he was previously Director of Recruiting. Christina DeRuyter will continue her role as Director of On-Campus Recruiting and will be the Assistant Director of Football Operations.
As to the actual hires, Hodges comes from Purdue where he was Director of Player Personnel and helped Purdue land some good classes. He was let go in January, no reason was given, maybe it was budget cuts, who knows. Regardless, Hodges was at Ohio State for two years before arriving at Purdue.
You can find Hodges at Twitter here: Eron Hodges.
Valero appears to be an older NFL guy and has his connection with head coach Matt Wells in that he was an assistant coach at Utah State when Wells played for the Aggies. Valero is really an offensive line coach for the most part and had stints with Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Tennessee, and Seattle.
I could not find any Twitter handle for Valero.
Washington is from Houston, so she’s a Texan and started her football career working for The Old Coach, which is a Texas high school component of the Rivals network, I think. She did the social media person for them, then worked with the Illinois Illini as Director of High School Relations last year. I do know that Teagan Smith was previously in charge of a lot of the graphic design content for the football program, but I tend to think that’s a big job for just one person and with Washington, she’ll be more involved (I’d guess) from a recruiting standpoint.
You can find Washington on Twitter here: Ashton Washington.
Again, I’m encouraged by the additional spending AND not at the expense of someone else’s job (again, don’t know that for sure, but I haven’t seen that news). And I think these are areas of need in that the social media aspect as well as the interaction probably needs some work, hence the additions.