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Missouri hires Vernon Hargreaves to coach inside linebackers

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Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

So it’s funny: I didn’t plan any specific Rock M content this week because I kind of figured that between the offensive coordinator search, Drew Lock’s stay-or-go decision, and a couple of potential football commits, there would be enough content already.

It’s Friday, and there’s been no offensive coordinator hire, no Lock decision, and no commit since Monday evening. Welp.

Barry Odom did make a linebackers coach hire yesterday, however.

Vernon Hargreaves will join the Mizzou Football coaching staff as inside linebackers coach, as announced today by Head Coach Barry Odom. Hargreaves brings with him to Mizzou 33 years of collegiate coaching experience, including 26 as linebackers coach for some very successful programs. Details of Hargreaves' contract will be released once fully executed, along with the completion of human resources procedures.

Hargreaves comes to Mizzou after spending the last three seasons as linebackers coach (2015-17) at Arkansas. In 20 seasons coaching at the FBS level, Hargreaves' teams have advanced to 16 bowl games, including a pair of appearances in the Bowl Championship Series National Championship while at Miami, Fla., where he coached linebackers from 1998-2005. At Miami, Hargreaves was the position coach for National Football League stars Jonathan Vilma, Dan Morgan and D.J. Williams, and he helped the Hurricanes claim the 2001 BCS title.

Hargreaves’ résumé:

  • 2015-17: Arkansas linebackers coach (ILBs in 2017)
  • 2013-14: Houston linebackers coach
  • 2010-12: USF special teams coordinator and DEs coach
  • 2007-09: ECU special teams coordinator and DEs coach
  • 2006: FIU linebackers coach
  • 1998-2005: Miami linebackers coach
  • 1985-97: UConn linebackers coach

A unique set of jobs. He was at his alma mater for more than a decade, then became part of the staff that resurrected Miami in the late-1990s. He was forced out with Larry Coker in 2005 and bounced around the mid-major ranks for a while before landing with Bret Bielema at Arkansas.

Dave Matter talked to Bielema about the hire yesterday, and the now-former Hogs coach was effusive.

“He’s been awesome,” Bielema said in a phone interview Thursday. “He’s a great teacher. You probably saw some of the tweets from our (former players), but he had great respect in the room, not just at his position but a great rapport with all the kids. He’s a true professional.”

“I knew when this started a couple weeks ago I was hoping (Missouri) would be a landing spot for him,” Bielema added. “(Coaching) comes natural to him because he’s been around the game so long. He was great with our younger coaches especially. He was really good not just with Xs and Os but with being a professional, doing things right and the details of the job.”

For what it’s worth, though Arkansas’ defense was still quite bad in 2017 — a move to a 3-4 set did not salvage things — the linebackers were the relative strength of the unit. Sophomore De'Jon Harris and junior Randy Ramsey combined for 15 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks and took part in a combined 16 run stuffs., while freshman Grant Morgan and senior Dwayne Eugene Jr. had their moments, too. UA was only 103rd in havoc rate 55th in linebacker havoc rate.

First impression: good hire. We’ll see if second or third impressions are as positive. (Also: no, he doesn’t have any more blue-chip sons coming up. Bummer.)

Odom still has to hire an OL coach, QBs coach, and offensive coordinator. Where does that stand? Regarding the OC, it’s hard to say. There’s always a chance that Odom’s made his call and is waiting until after the coach’s bowl game — hey by the way, North Texas offensive coordinator Graham Harrell coaches on Saturday — to make it official. He could also still be mulling multiple candidates.

There’s been an interesting addition to the Who’s Odom Following on Twitter? game: Georgia OL coach Sam Pittman.

Pittman
Twitter

Pittman is one of the most well-regarded OL coaches in the country, and there’s no way in hell Odom’s drawing Pittman from Athens unless it’s with an OC offer. But this could also be a “following him so they can trade DMs about somebody else” thing, of course. Interesting all the same.

Regarding recruiting, Rivals’ Woody Wommack does mention that South Carolina defensive end prospect Trajan Jeffcoat, long considered a Mizzou lean, is still a Mizzou lean. So there’s that.

Regarding Lock? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


More Links:

  • Freshman linebacker Jamal Brooks, who injured his knee late in the season, underwent surgery yesterday.