Bobby Burton, National analyst
- Compiled by staff
With the soon-to-be-announced retirement of Mike Tolleson as first reported Friday night, what will Texas choose to do with a vacant defensive staff position?
There are multiple possibilities.
Of course, Mack Brown and Will Muschamp could decide to simply replace Tolleson with a different defensive tackle coach. But they could also use the open staff spot to hire a full-time special teams coordinator or even a linebacker coach, and have defensive end coach Oscar Giles take over the entire defensive line.
If Texas decides to go with a defensive tackle coach, here are a few possibilities.
Tim Cross, Minnesota
Pros: Worked for Mack Brown from 2001-2004 as assistant strength and conditioning coach. Then worked for Greg Robinson at Syracuse and Tim Brewster at Minnesota. Highly thought of during his tenure in Austin. Currently recruits the Metroplex for the Gophers.
Cons: Lacks familiarity with Muschamp.
Bo Davis, Alabama
Pros: He’s worked on the same staff as defensive coordinator Will Muschamp at LSU and has been at Alabama for four years. Davis coached at Galena Park North Shore from 1997-2002.
Cons: There aren’t many. Considered one of the best in the business, but the question is, could he coach special teams?
Terry Price, Ole Miss
Pros: Price was the defensive ends coach at Auburn from 1999-2008, where he worked with Muschamp (2006-07). As a Texas A&M graduate, he’s another coach who knows the layout of Texas
Cons: Again there aren’t many. He’s worked with Muschamp before and has experience in Texas.
Jim Jeffcoat, Houston
Pros: As a former Cowboys player/coach and current college coach, he knows the state of Texas from the high school ranks all the way to the professional ranks. His son is defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, who already looks like might be a future leader of the defense.
Cons: Even though he coached the Cowboys defensive line from 2000-05, he hasn’t really proven himself as a defensive line coach at the college level.
Randy Shannon, Miami
Pros: An interesting choice because Shannon could be brought in as either a defensive line or linebacker coach. He was just released from his duties as Miami’s head coach where he compiled a 28-22 record. He was the Hurricane’s defensive coordinator for seven years prior to that. He also spent two years playing for the Dallas Cowboys.
Cons: It’s not easy going straight from being in charge to having to take orders. Outside of his stint with the Cowboys, he has no ties to the Lone Star State.
Tracy Rocker, Auburn
Pros: He has succeeded as a defensive line coach everywhere from Troy State to Arkansas, Ole Miss and Auburn. He’s not the youngest coach, but at 42 he comes with plenty of experience.
Cons: He’s an Auburn alum and has never coached in Texas or the Big 12.