Big 12 Football: Power-Ranking the Top Assistant Coaches

Ben Kercheval@@BenKerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterFebruary 14, 2014

Big 12 Football: Power-Ranking the Top Assistant Coaches

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    Brandon Wade/Associated Press

    Head coaches can get all the praise or blame when it comes to winning and losing. Just don't forget there are plenty of other coaches involved in game planning and player development, too. 

    The Big 12 is home to some of the best assistant coaches in the country. While the conference has always been known for its offense, several defensive coaches showed just how good they were in 2013. 

    This is an homage to the assistant coaches in the Big 12 who had banner years. Which ones made the cut? Find out in the following slides.

    (All stats used courtesy of 

7. Sonny Cumbie

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    JACK SMITH/Associated Press

    Texas Tech outside receivers coach Sonny Cumbie did such a good job in 2013 that he received a job offer because of it. 

    Cumbie now serves as TCU's co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, but his work as the Red Raiders' outside receivers shouldn't be forgotten anytime soon. 

    Texas Tech led the Big 12 and was second nationally with 393 passing yards per game. Receiver Eric Ward hauled in 83 passes for 947 yards—and still finished second on the team in those respective categories. However, Ward did lead the team with eight touchdown receptions. 

    Fellow outside receiver Bradley Marquez had 49 catches for 633 yards and six touchdowns.

6. Chad Glasgow

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    Credit: 247Sports

    TCU safeties coach Chad Glascow picked up right where he left off in 2012, leading the Horned Frogs' secondary to another incredible year. 

    The Frogs finished second in the conference in long pass plays allowed. Additionally, the shutdown secondary was a big reason TCU finished third in the conference in sacks. 

    Safety Sam Carter was a second-team All-Big 12 selection in 2013 and had five of the team's 19 interceptions.

    Fellow safeties Elisha Olabode finished second on the team in pass breakups and Chris Hackett finished second on the team with 88 tackles and tied for second with three interceptions. 

    The scary part? Carter and Hackett are returning next year. 

5. Charlie Dickey

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Kansas State's offensive line transformed from a group unable to get a push off the ball into a dominating, cohesive unit in one season's time. 

    That's thanks to offensive line coach Charlie Dickey. 

    In a 24-21 loss to North Dakota State in Week 1, K-State, a run-first offense, rushed for just 41 yards on 23 carries. In a 49-26 win over Texas Tech on Nov. 9, the Wildcats rushed for 291 yards and five touchdowns—and didn't run a single pass play in the first quarter. 

    Kansas State began to find its offensive mojo in a 35-25 loss to Baylor on Oct. 12 when quarterback Daniel Sams ran for 199 yards. From there, K-State won six of its next seven games in large part because the offense was able to do what it wanted.

    That starts up front in the trenches. Dickey did an excellent job with K-State's O-line. 

4. Clay Jennings

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    TCU's secondary was so good in 2013, it merits not one, but two defensive coaches on this list. 

    Horned Frogs cornerbacks coach Clay Jennings did an amazing job last season with two talented corners: Jason Verrett and Kevin White. 

    Verrett was named a first-team All-American and Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year. White received an honorable All-Big 12 nod. 

    Verrett and White were first and second on the team, respectively, in pass breakups and passes defended while combining for five interceptions. 

    Verrett is moving on to the NFL where he projects as one of the best corners in the draft, according to B/R's Matt Miller

    White will return for his senior year, surely as one of the anchors of the Horned Frogs defense once again. 

3. Mike Stoops

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    Second-year defensive coordinator Mike Stoops led a dramatic turnaround for Oklahoma's defense. The Sooners went from 50th in scoring defense in 2012 to 22nd in 2013, and from 65th in total defense to 20th. 

    The transformation is especially impressive when you consider that linebacker Corey Nelson and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips were lost to season-ending injuries at various points. 

    With the entire defensive front seven returning intact in 2014, Oklahoma should be one of the better defensive teams in the Big 12. 

2. Philip Montgomery

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    You could probably put Baylor's entire offensive coaching staff on this list and get away with it. 

    For the sake of fairness, we'll just choose one: Bears offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Philip Montgomery.

    Under Montgomery's direction, Baylor finished No. 1 in total offense in the country, No. 1 in scoring offense, No. 5 in passing offense and No. 13 in rushing offense. In his first season as a starter, quarterback Bryce Petty led the Big 12, and finished sixth nationally, with 4,200 passing yards. 

    Those numbers were good enough to make Montgomery a finalist for the Broyles Award, given to the best assistant coach in college football.

    For the first month of the 2013 season, the Bears' offense seemed unstoppable. A string of injuries in the second half of the season slowed Baylor down ever so slightly, but the Bears still won 11 games and their first Big 12 title. 


1. Glenn Spencer

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    Glenn Spencer's first year as Oklahoma State's defensive coordinator was a major success. The Cowboys finished first in the Big 12 in scoring defense, red-zone defense, third-down defense and turnover margin.

    It wasn't as though Spencer appeared out of left field, however. He had served as the co-defensive coordinator with Bill Young from 2011-12 and has been with the Cowboys since 2008.

    Spencer also had a veteran defense to work with, led by linebacker Caleb Lavey and Thorpe Award finalist, cornerback Justin Gilbert. 

    Still, Spencer refocused a group that had taken a step back in 2012. The most noticeable differences were how well the Pokes swarmed to the ball and forced turnovers. He had a legitimate argument to be a Broyles Award finalist. 

    It will be interesting to see if Spencer's defense produces similar results in 2014 with so much turnover at every level of the defense.