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TCU hires Houston’s Doug Meacham to spark struggling offense

Doug Meacham was announced as TCU’s offensive coordinator Thursday.

The details of the contract were not disclosed, but a source close to the program said Meacham will earn $350,000.

Meacham was making $300,000 in his one season as offensive coordinator at Houston, according to his contract, which included a $90,000 buyout if he left before February 2014.

Meacham, who will be 49 on Monday, grew up in Arlington and was twice an all-district selection at Sam Houston High School. Before joining Houston’s staff in January, Meacham spent eight seasons as tight ends and receivers coach at his alma mater Oklahoma State.

He served as OSU’s passing game coordinator from 2008-09. He helped OSU average 40 or more points and rank among the nation’s top 10 in total offense in five of his last six seasons in Stillwater. As an offensive lineman at OSU from 1984-87, he blocked for former running backs Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas.

TCU’s former co-offensive coordinators Rusty Burns and Jarrett Anderson have been offered other staff positions, several sources said. Details were not released and coach Gary Patterson was unavailable for comment.

Both could remain position coaches on the staff. Burns coached wide receivers from 2009 to 2011 and Anderson coached running backs from 2009 until this season. Burns coached quarterbacks the past two seasons while sharing offensive coordinator duties with Anderson.

The exact nature of the 2014 staff may take several weeks or a month to shake out. Receivers coach Curtis Luper has interviewed for the head job at his alma mater Stephen F. Austin, according to several sources. If he were to leave, Burns could perhaps go back to coaching receivers. Anderson has been on the TCU staff since 1998 when he was a graduate assistant. He served as wide receivers coach from 2001-08 before being promoted to co-offensive coordinator along with Justin Fuente in 2009. Fuente left after the 2011 season to take the head job at Memphis.

“Our goal is to remain a physical football team,” Patterson said in a release. “Coach Meacham was part of an Oklahoma State system that was highly successful throwing the football, and he continued that in his one year at Houston. I’m real excited about the kind of person coach Meacham is and how well he fits our staff. We haven’t talked to anybody who doesn’t think the world of him as a person and coach.”

Meacham has already been at work for TCU this week. A couple recruits have reported he’s made in-home visits on the Horned Frogs’ behalf.

Meacham is likely to have full play-calling responsibilities. Burns took over play-calling duties this year from Anderson about halfway through the season. Anderson moved down to the field for games after starting the season up in the booth with Burns.

Meacham had stints as offensive coordinator at Samford (2002-04), Henderson State (1999-00), Jacksonville State (1997-99) and Georgia Military (1991-96).

At Samford in 2004, he helped establish several school records, including passing yards (2,986) and pass completions (256).

In his one season as Houston’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, the Cougars averaged 33.9 points, second-best in the American Athletic Conference, and 422.5 yards a game, fifth-best in the league.

The Cougars (8-4) play Vanderbilt in the Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., on Jan. 4. Houston’s four losses were all by a touchdown or less. TCU went 4-8 and failed to qualify for a bowl for the first time since 2004.

TCU’s offense has struggled its first two seasons in the Big 12. This season, the Horned Frogs’ offense ranks ninth out of 10 teams with 344.8 yards a game. That’s 44 fewer yards a game than they averaged in 2012, their first year in the league. TCU scored 25.1 points a game this year, third-fewest in the league and three points less than a year ago.

The Doug Meacham file

Born: Dec. 16, 1964, Arlington

High School: Sam Houston High School

College: Oklahoma State, 1984-87

Coaching career: Houston offensive coordinator/Quarterbacks, 2013; Oklahoma State tight ends/inside receivers, 2005-12; Samford OC/Line, 2002-04; Henderson State OC/line, 1999-00; Jacksonville State OC/line, 1997-99; Georgia Military OC/line, 1991-96; Oklahoma State GA/offensive line/linebackers, 1989-91; NEO A&M JC: graduate assistant, 1988-89.