College Football Coaches Who Are Dominating Recruiting at Their New Job
Coaches, especially assistants, move around quite frequently. And staff changes impact recruiting in significant ways.
Whether it's a new head coach, such as Butch Jones at Tennessee or Kliff Kingsbury at Texas Tech, or new assistants at Miami and Oklahoma, a fresh face on the recruiting trail is often the difference between signing a blue-chip prospect and coming up empty. Jones already has Tennessee's 2014 class among the nation's 10 best, and Kingsbury is doing almost as well at Texas Tech.
When it comes to recruiting, change is often for the better as these programs prove.
Mark Stoops/Vance Marrow: Kentucky
Kentucky's recruiting has not been among the elite in recent years, but Mark Stoops is slowly turning things around on the trail in his first year as head coach. With a big assist from Vance Marrow, his tight ends coach, who 247Sports credits with six of Kentucky's eight commitments, Stoops is on pace to contend for a top-25 final recruiting ranking.
Steve Addazio: Boston College
Boston College will not sign the most star-studded class in the country, but first-year head coach Steve Addazio has clearly upgraded the talent level since arriving from Temple. His 10 commitments have BC among the top five recruiting classes in the ACC, according to 247Sports.
James Coley: Miami
James Coley's move from Florida State to Miami this past winter was a big deal in recruiting and coaching circles. Not only will Coley be able to call plays for the Hurricanes, he is now one of Al Golden's ace recruiters.
Whether Coley proves to be a great play-caller remains to be seen, but he's already proven he's a great recruiter. Coley has gotten three of Miami's eight commitments, according to 247Sports, and his top commitment is from stud RB Joseph Yearby, who was once committed to Florida State.
Kliff Kingsbury: Texas Tech
Lubbock has welcomed back one of its beloved sons in Kliff Kingsbury, who once was a record-setting QB for the Red Raiders. Kingsbury is now the head coach at Texas Tech and has gotten off to a great start in recruiting.
Texas Tech has 11 commitments,making its class one of the largest in the country. With his moxie, enthusiasm and ability to relate well to young football players, Kingsbury appears to have what it takes to build Texas Tech into a recruiting power.
Jerry Montgomery: Oklahoma
Defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, whose last stop was Michigan, is in his first year at Oklahoma, and already, according to 247Sports, he has had a hand in five of Oklahoma eight commitments.
Bob Stoops was looking for a great DL coach and found one in Montgomery, but he also got an excellent recruiter.
Butch Jones/Mark Elder/Tommy Thigpen: Tennessee
Nine of Tennessee's 13 commitments are credited to assistants Mark Elder and Tommy Thigpen, as Butch Jones has put together the No. 3 recruiting class in the country, according to 247Sports.
Elder coaches tight ends, Thigpen coaches linebackers. A new vibe has taken over the program in Knoxville, and it has brought great results from the recruiting trail.
Jones owes a lot of that to Elder and Thigpen.
Dameyune Craig: Auburn
Craig is the best recruiting assistant coach in the country, based on the 247Sports recruiter rankings.
Auburn has nine commitments and a top-10 class, with Craig being responsible for six of its pledges. His last stop was at Florida State, but Craig will now help Gus Malzahn coordinate the Tigers' offensive attack.
He's a rising star in the coaching profession and someone to keep an eye on as a head-coaching candidate.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.