Arizona Football

Texas recruiting coordinator Jean-Mary’s name surfacing in Arizona coaching search


AllSportsTucson.com has learned that Texas recruiting coordinator and linebacker coach Brian Jean-Mary has surfaced as a strong contender for the vacant position left by Donte’ Williams’ departure to Nebraska this week.

Brian Jean-Mary

Brian Jean-Mary has an extensive background recruiting the state of Texas for Texas and Georgia Tech

The potential hire of Jean-Mary may be an attempt by coach Rich Rodriguez to tap into the talent in Texas inasmuch as his team had only three players from the talent-rich state on last year’s roster that went 3-9.

Jean-Mary is a 17-year coaching veteran who coached under former Texas coach Charlie Strong with the Longhorns and Louisville. Strong was fired by Texas after three consecutive losing seasons. Reports out of Austin suggest new coach Tom Herman will not retain Jean-Mary.

Jean-Mary’s background also includes coaching the linebackers and recruiting the state of Texas for Chan Gailey at Georgia Tech.

247Sports.com selected Jean-Mary Big 12 Recruiter of the Year for his accomplishments with Texas’ Class of 2016 efforts last year.

During an interview before this season with former Texas player Michael Huff, Jean-Mary said recruiting to him encompasses more than attracting the young prospect. He said much of it has to do with being personable while sitting on the sofa selling a school to a family.

“You want to get to know the parents and the family,” he said. “You want to go into the high school to know the high school coaches. You want to delve into it … where you’re just not recruiting that kid.

“You’re recruiting his whole family. You’re recruiting a lifestyle and you’re selling a future to him and the parents.”

Rodriguez is attempting to fill the defensive coaching position left open by the departure of Williams, the former cornerbacks coach who is known for his ability to recruit the Los Angeles area.

Hiring Jean-Mary would likely make him the linebacker coach while defensive coordinator Marcel Yates concentrates on the cornerbacks.

Rodriguez will likely lean on his existing staff to recruit California extensively while providing Jean-Mary the opportunity to recruit Texas if Jean-Mary is hired. The dead period starts Monday and will last until Jan. 11, so Rodriguez might make a hire soon to allow the new assistant to meet recruits this weekend.

Former coach Mike Stoops attempted to recruit Texas with his Oklahoma background. Rodriguez apparently now believes that state will be important to his recruiting efforts.

“(Texas has) the best high school football in the whole country; I don’t have to mince words saying that,” Jean-Mary said. “This is the best place to find high school football players in the whole country.

“You want to find the guys that are the best players that will fit your program. Obviously because of the numbers and the size of the players that come out of this state you’re going to be able to recruit the best players in the country.”

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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