Surely you’ve heard that Steve Dunlap was dismissed Saturday, the second assistant coach to be fired by Coach Dana Holgorsen this offseason. Dunlap, the school’s record holder for tackles in a game and a season and still No. 10 on the career list, will have an option to stay within the university in an off-the-sideline capacity.
That could be all for Dana. There might be another move. He’s in Nashville, Tenn., for the coaches’ convention. He has his cornerbacks coach and is only waiting on the thumbs up from human resources — unless it gave a thumbs down — and Holgorsen will be looking to find or finalize a new hire now.
This is isn’t as sudden as fire-a-guy-Saturday-start-looking-Monday, though. I keep hearing everything will be done this week.
But what happens now? It looks like the offensive side of the ball will remain as it is. Let’s assume everyone still employed on defense will remain employed on defense — or rather, will remain employed.
I say that because Dana has some flexibility now.
He has a defensive line coach in Erik Slaughter, who had a pretty good year, and a linebackers coach in Keith Patterson, who worked with the inside linebackers. Dunlap had outside linebackers. Joe DeForest, we can presume, has the safeties.
Unless he doesn’t.
Dunlap was special teams coordinator, too. That is DeForest’s forte, and he’s regarded in recruiting, as well.
Might DeForest remain the associate head coach, become the special teams boss and take a lead role in recruiting while ceding control of the safeties?
That’s not that big of a maneuver, really. Holgorsen would be creating a second opening to fill for cornerbacks and now safeties, but he needs to hire two coaches anyway. Holgorsen seems to really like Patterson, so maybe Patterson gets control of all four linebackers, though figure a safeties coach and Slaughter would have meeting time with the outside guys who tend to behave like safeties and defensive ends.
But maybe that’s confusing. Maybe Holgorsen hires an outside linebackers coach and a secondary coach, who gets the cornerbacks and the safeties, until the one safety who acts like a linebacker heads to the meeting room with the outside linebackers coach, who would also meet from time to time with the defensive end-type when he’s not with Slaughter.