Video by Morgan Kilgo | Broadcast Reporter and Ben Everett | Sports Writer
Baylor football ended the 2016 season on a high note with a 31-12 blowout win over Boise State in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl, and the Bears will have much to look forward to in the coming years with the staff which head coach Matt Rhule is putting together.
Rhule convinced defensive coordinator Phil Snow, Rhule’s defensive coordinator at Temple University, to follow him to Waco. Snow has coaching experience with eight other college programs, as well as four years of NFL experience with the Detroit Lions.
Snow will attempt to translate Temple’s defensive success to Big 12 play. The Owls’ defense ranked third in the country last season in yards given up per game, surrendering just 275.9 yards each contest.
Joining Snow on the defensive coaching staff are Francis Brown, Elijah Robinson, and Mike Siravo – all following Snow from Temple. Brown, who will serve as the defensive backs coach, has three years of coaching experience at Temple and played cornerback at Western Carolina from 2005 to 2009.
Brown expressed his gratitude for Temple and excitement for the upcoming season in Waco in an interview with Philly.com.
“Temple did one heck of a job and this time I will try to go on and try to win a championship at Baylor,” Brown said.
Defensive line coach Robinson played defensive tackle for Penn State from 2004 to 2008 and served three years as Temple’s defensive line coach following a coaching stint with his alma mater. Siravo will be the Bears’ linebackers coach and has defensive coaching experience at both Temple and Boston College.
On the offensive side of the ball, Baylor will be run by co-offensive coordinators Matt Lubick and Jeff Nixon. Lubick had previously accepted a job at Mississippi before Rhule lured him to Baylor. Last year, he served as offensive coordinator for Oregon, a team that ranked 15th nationally in total offense.
Nixon played collegiate ball at Penn State and has spent the past nine years with various assistant jobs in the NFL – most recently as the tight ends coach for the San Francisco 49ers.
Joining Lubick and Nixon on the offensive staff is George DeLeone. DeLeone will serve as Baylor’s offensive line coach after holding the same position at Temple last year.
Rhule has also hired three coaches with Texas ties whose positions with the team have yet to be announced. David Wetzel, head coach at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio and president of the Texas High School Football Coaches Association will return to Baylor after playing wide receiver for the Bears under head coach Grant Teaff in 1990 and 1991.
Teaff, a Baylor coaching legend, was complimentary of Wetzel and his fit with the Baylor program.
“He’s a perfect fit for Baylor as a graduate and highly respected high school football coach,” Teaff told the Waco Tribune-Herald. “You don’t get to be president of the Texas High School Football Coaches Association without being highly qualified.”
Rhule also hired Texas high school coaches Shawn Bell and Joey McGuire, each of whom will provide recruiting power in the lodestar state.
Bell, who played quarterback for the Bears from 2002 to 2006, said he was excited to be back in Waco.
“This is a dream come true for me to come back to Baylor and coach and help build the program,” Bell said. “My goal is to get on board and do whatever they need me to do, and I will do that to the best of my ability.”
Rhule has also announced hirings of Evan Cooper and Sean Padden as director of player personnel and director of football operations, respectively.