UNT head coach Dan McCarney made it official this afternoon, announcing the hiring of new assistant coaches Perry Carter and LaMarcus Hicks.
We went over this pretty extensively on the blog not too long ago.
Carter spent eight seasons with the Houston Texans, including four as an assistant defensive backs coach. His UNT tie is that he spent the 2004 season working for Scotty Conley, the Mean Green’s director of football operations.
Hicks is a former Iowa State defensive back who played for McCarney before playing professionally with the Detroit Lions. He coached defensive backs at Concordia University last season.
I like both hires. It never hurts at the college level to have NFL experience to sell to recruits. The ties both have to UNT’s current staff should make for an easy transition.
I would expect that both will be available next week when UNT is expected to hold a press conference in advance of spring practice.
Here are the lingering questions that will be answered at that press conference or at a later date:
1. UNT lost its recruiting coordinator in Noah Joseph. Who fills that role from this point forward?
Conley has filled that role in the past and still plays a big part behind the scenes in setting things up when it comes time for official visits and other logistics. Does he return to that role? McCarney is a big believer in all of his assistant coaches playing a role in recruiting, but who will be the key players in handling the board (wish list) going forward. Tommy Perry had a lot of success in East Texas. He could be another possibility. There is just no way to under estimate how important Walters and Joseph were last season.
2. Will both guys make a quick transition to coaching/recruiting on the FBS level?
Clark has spent nearly his entire career coaching and working with players who were being paid. The game is the same in college, but everything off the field is different. He should do fine, but there is always that adjustment period. The same can be said of Hicks. He played major college ball and was coaching at a lower level. It shouldn’t be a big difference. With that being said, one can’t just assume that both guys walk in and immediately have the success that UNT did in the past, both from the coaching and recruiting end of it.
3. Will the chemistry be there?
A number of UNT players I talked to last season attributed the Mean Green’s success last year defensively to the chemistry the coaching staff and players developed. UNT’s players would have run through a wall for their defensive assistants. John Skladany told me that UNT’s staff had great chemistry. McCarney told me the same thing. I don’t anticipate that changing, but it’s another uncertainty going forward.