One of the better assistant coaches in recent UNT history landed on his feet yesterday. Gary DeLoach is headed to Northwestern State, where he will once again be a defensive coordinator.
DeLoach was the architect of UNT’s great defenses early in the bowl years and then went on to coach at UCLA. He could have stayed when there was a coaching change, but decided to come back to UNT, where he was expected to essentially pull off a miracle.
UNT’s recruiting efforts had gone down the tubes and the defensive side of the ball had been neglected. There were no Brandon Kennedys, no Cody Spencers, no Taylor Caseys to work with.
DeLoach had to coach with one hand tied behind his back on the sideline.
The predictable happened. UNT was terrible and DeLoach wasn’t retained by Dan McCarney, who did what he should have done and brought in his own guys. I didn’t blame McCarney one bit. I don’t think there is a coach out there who would have looked at what happened the previous years and retained a guy who was in charge.
It did bother me a bit that DeLoach went out that way at UNT, considering how good a coach he is and how much he did for the program.
DeLoach is the classic Xs and Os guy. Bring him the players — that’s what position coaches like Justin Gaines do now and Kenny Evans did in the bowl era — and he will build a team a great defense.
Just listen to the guy who brought DeLoach back after a year out of the game.
“He’s as good an X and O’s guy as there is in our business,” Northwestern State coach Bradley Dale Peveto told The Town Talk, which published a story on DeLoach yesterday. “He’s very knowledgeable, intense, and great at handling players. He was that way when I coached with him 25 years ago and he’s the same today.”
Those are the same attributes that made him such a success in his first stint at UNT, at UCLA and at several other stops during his career where he was put in a position to succeed.
Here’s hoping that DeLoach will be back in that spot at Northwestern State.