There are certain certainties in life — death and taxes come to mind.
It’s pretty much the same in mid-major college football, where at times the reality can be the big program taking advantage of the smaller guy — money games and staff raiding, for example.
The latter happened to UNT today when Memphis raided and grabbed Ryan Walters.
UNT’s cornerbacks coach was around for just a year, but boy did he make a big impact.
UNT’s cornerbacks were solid this year, despite the fact UNT changed out both in the middle of the year. Walters can flat coach. And even more importantly, he can recruit.
I heard his name over and over again this year while talking to players in the Class of 2014 about why they decided to sign with UNT.
Walters is young and he can relate to today’s players.
That makes him pretty much the holy grail of assistant coaches.
There is a reason he is headed for a job a little higher up the ladder. And let’s be honest here — Memphis is a little farther up the ladder.
Cincinnati, UConn, Houston, East Carolina and Tulsa will all be in the league next year. Conference USA is great for UNT and a great league in and of itself, but doesn’t have quite the lineup the AAC will have next year. The AAC schools also pay better. I don’t know for certain what the difference in salary will be for Walters, but chances are, it’s pretty significant.
The natural reaction is to say that UNT should be paying more, but let’s give the school credit. UNT has improved its coaching salaries and will continue to do so.
That’s only part of the good news.
Dan McCarney has continued to bring in more and more quality assistants. One can bet that will be the case again, especially now that he has even more to sell with UNT coming off a bowl win and Walters on to what many in the coaching business will see as a better job.
While we are on the subject of coaching contracts, a source close to the McCarney contract negotiations said that the deal should be done at the end of the week and echoed what has already been said — that the deal should take McCarney through the 2018 season.
UNT wants to hang on to McCarney for the long-term, which would be the smart thing to do.
And finally, we pointed out that Ohio State linebacker Mike Mitchell is looking to transfer, largely because UNT looked like a likely candidate to become landing spot for the former Plano Prestonwood standout. I talked to Prestonwood coach Chris Cunningham for a minute today. He had not talked to Mitchell, but I did find out later that UNT is not in the mix.
I still wonder if he doesn’t end up at SMU with his brother Mickey Mitchell, a top basketball prospect in the Class of 2015 who has committed to Ohio State.