UPDATED at 5:37 p.m. CT and 7:16 p.m.
After losing out on the head coaching job at North Texas, TCU co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham was thought to be a top candidate to be the next head coach at Tulane University, which was originally reported by NOLA.com. Per multiple sources at TCU, however, Meacham will remain in Fort Worth.
This decision comes after North Texas did not hire Meacham because the president of the school wanted North Carolina assistant Seth Littrell.
This latest non-Meacham move leaves TCU with both offensive coordinators - Sonny Cumbie, who Wednesday reportedly rejected Texas’ offer to be Bevo’s lone offensive coordinator for head coach Charlie Strong, will also remain in Fort Worth.
TCU fans will hail this as a sign of the state of its program, which is true; equally true is Cumbie’s decision is an alarming indictment on the state of Strong’s job security in Texas - which is officially zero. Once the coordinator’s head is chopped, the next to fall is the head coach.
If Charlie Strong and Texas do not have a winning record next season, it will be the first time since 1936 - ‘38 that UT has posted losing records in three straight years.
Cumbie turned down the chance at a seven-figure job to be the lone play caller for Texas, which means he thinks there is a better chance at a better promotion by remaining a co-coordinator at TCU. According to a source, TCU gave Cumbie a raise but did not match UT’s offer.
The fact that he rejected UT’s offer means he doesn’t like the players he would have available to turn around an offense that would “save Charlie’s job” in the one year he has remaining before he will be fired.
Ideally, Cumbie accepts the Texas job, installs the wide-open attack that every Big 12 coach has embraced and the Horns have a winning record for the first time since 2013, the last year under Mack Brown when the team finished 8-5. This success would raise Cumbie’s profile even more, and he then is offered a head coaching job at a decent spot.
By rejecting UT’s offer, Cumbie does not believe UT, or to be a part of Strong’s staff, puts him in a position to be successful next season. This means he thinks Strong may be fired after next year.
Texas is a blah 11-14 in Charlie’s two seasons at Texas and somehow managed to miss qualifying for a bowl this season despite the fact there are roughly 104 bowl openings. What saved him this season were upset wins against Oklahoma and at Baylor.
From a money standpoint, Cumbie was given a raise by TCU; the amount of money coordinators make at big programs now is staggering, and negligible. Cumbie has a good job, and he is at a good school that care$ about football; he lives in a great town, and all of it attracts good players, most notably quarterbacks.
Texas has all of the above but the last part. UT has no good quarterbacks, and the receiver position is thin. Cumbie does not think there is enough to turn it around in one year.
The thought was Cumbie could do with freshman Jerrod Heard what he and Meacham did with Trevone Boykin, which is to turn him into a migraine for opposing defenses. Boykin is better than Heard, and to think Cumbie could do that immediately with Heard is both unfair and unrealistic. Tyrone Swoopes doesn’t count.
Cumbie needs players, and UT does not have good offensive skill position players beyond running back Chris Warren III. Cumbie and Meacham have real toys to work with in Fort Worth. Prized high school senior Shane Buechele of Arlington Lamar intends to sign with UT, but he’ll be a true freshman next year. He will need time.
Charlie Strong doesn’t have time, no proven quarterback, and now he doesn’t have Cumbie, either.