WACO, Texas (AP) New Baylor coach Matt Rhule has made some immediate Texas connections by hiring the president of the state’s high school coaches who is a former Bears receiver.
Rhule announced his first five hires with the Bears on Friday, three days after being named Baylor’s coach. They include four members from his staff at Temple and David Wetzel, the head coach and athletic director the past 13 seasons at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio.
Sean Padden will serve as Baylor’s director of football operations, similar to his role at Temple the past four years.
Article continues below ...
Rhule didn’t immediately announce the titles and job duties for Wetzel, Francis Brown, Mike Siravo and Evan Cooper. There was also no indication of when the rest of his staff would be completed.
Brown and Siravo were defensive assistants at Temple, and Cooper was director of player personnel for the Owls.
Wetzel, who has coached in the state high school ranks for 25 years, was serving as president of the Texas High School Football Coaches Association. He lettered at Baylor in 1990 and 1991 while playing for Grant Teaff, and also earned a master’s degree from the school in 1994. Before Reagan, he was head coach at schools in Killeen and Austin.
Wetzel told the Waco Tribune-Herald that he expects to play a major role in recruiting, but didn’t know yet if he’d be coaching offense or defense.
”Given the opportunity, it’s really a unique deal,” Wetzel told the newspaper. ”I feel like it’s God’s timing for me to be in the right place at the right time.”
When Rhule was introduced Wednesday in Waco, he said he had already received about 480 text messages, many from coaches. He also didn’t rule out the possibility of some of the current Baylor assistants staying, but said he hadn’t had a chance to meet with them. Those assistants were retained from former coach Art Briles’ staff with Jim Grobe as acting head coach this season.
NOTE: Baylor announced Friday that Jalen Pitre, a defensive back from Stafford, Texas, signed a financial aid agreement that will allow him to enroll for the spring 2017 semester after graduating from high school early. Before Rhule was hired, Pitre was the only player verbally committed for Baylor’s recruiting class in February. He had 83 tackles, six interceptions and four forced fumbles as a senior.
More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25