Texas A&M Football: Why Terry Joseph Will Save Aggies Secondary
Texas A&M head football coach Kevin Sumlin announced the hiring of Nebraska defensive backs coach Terry Joseph on Tuesday to take over the same position in College Station, per The Dallas Morning News.
Joseph takes over an Aggies secondary that finished 95th overall last season in passing yards allowed and needs drastic improvement.
Bleacher Report breaks down how the incoming coach will serve as a remedy to the Aggies' bleeding defensive backs unit.
Since joining the college coaching ranks in 2006, Joseph has travelled extensively with a multitude of notable names and head coaches. After a seven-year tenure working within the Louisiana high school and prep leagues, Joseph joined LSU under then-defensive coordinator Bo Pelini as a graduate assistant, spending only a season with the Tigers, as LSU finished with the third-ranked defense nationally.
Joseph then joined Derek Dooley at Louisiana Tech as a defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator, immediately jumping up in the ranks. Joseph followed Dooley to Tennessee, where he performed the same duties on a much larger scale. As the secondary coach from 2010-11, Joseph led the Volunteers to top-20 finishes in pass defense.
Pelini added Joseph to his Nebraska staff, where he has been instrumental in the Cornhuskers' defensive performance the past two seasons.
Overall, Joseph's tenures under other nationally relevant programs and coaches means taking over A&M's defensive backs vacancy will be no sudden shock, and he should fit into the system well right from the start.
When head coach Kevin Sumlin took over Texas A&M two offseasons ago, the former University of Houston head coach immediately added staff that fit a certain mold of being young, energetic and strong recruiters.
Not surprisingly, Joseph fits all three requirements. At just 40 years old, the Louisiana native adds a youthful energy and experience that mirrors the rest of the A&M staff, one that has been successful with players on the Aggies' field and, particularly, on their recruiting trail.
Joseph's age and experience are important, as it has allowed him to connect with his players while touting significant experience that provides insight into football and, especially, the positions of the secondary.
Proven Track Record
Joseph has a history of compiling strong secondaries, as noted by his most recent accomplishments at Nebraska. In 2012, the Cornhuskers ranked first nationally in defending opponents' pass percentage (47.1 percent), fourth in pass defense (168.2 ypg) and ninth in pass efficiency defense (105.32).
During Joseph's tenure with Tennessee from 2010-11, he helped the Volunteers rank 12th nationally in passing yards allowed in 2011 (177.8). The Vols also had 18 interceptions in 2010 to rank in the top 20 nationally and that proved vital in the team's late-season success.
Joseph has played vital role on both coaching staffs as a defensive secondary coach, working with multiple All-Big Ten and SEC defensive backs.
Strong Louisiana Recruiting Ties
After spending seven years working within the Louisiana high school and prep leagues, along with coaching at LSU and acting as recruiting coordinator at Louisiana Tech and Tennessee, Joseph has deep-rooted ties to the state, giving him a serious advantage when recruiting in the area.
While that particular plus for Joseph has no direct connection to him improving the Aggies secondary, it does allow him to recruit and improve A&M overall (including the defensive backs). It's a bonus for having Joseph on the staff, especially since the coach he is replacing, Marcel Yates, had recruited in New Orleans and Louisiana.