Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops stuck with the tried and true in hiring a new linebackers coach.
OU announced Tuesday that Tim Kish has been hired to join the Sooners staff, following Brent Venables' departure for Clemson last week.
Kish, who served as Mike Stoops' defensive coordinator at Arizona, apparently got the nod over Tyrone Nix. It represents a safe hire, as Kish has experience in the Stoopsian Way and shouldn't have any problem meshing with OU's staff.
I could sit here and blow smoke at you, but I don't know much about the guy. Instead, I enlisted the help of my buddy and Wildcats fan Kyle Kensing, lead editor of SaturdayBlitz.com and columnist for Arizona Desert Swarm, to give us the 411:
Tim Kish was something of a scapegoat during Arizona's collapse – to a lesser extent than Mike Stoops, but a scapegoat nonetheless. Mark Stoops coached some very good defenses before bolting for Florida State, and the production took a decided downturn when Kish took over. Much of that can be attributed to youth across key positions, but UA ranked in the 100s across the board defensively this past season. Obviously, the DC is going to bear the brunt of that responsibility regardless of the pieces he has to work with.
But as interim head coach, he tried some things that Mike Stoops had been perhaps apprehensive to greenlight. One was some use of the 4-4 set, which Arizona fans know fondly as the "Swarm." The Wildcats lacked the personnel to do it right, mainly at linebacker, but the change was welcomed given Stoops seemed reluctant to adapt amid a time when it was desperately needed. It was an attempt to increase pressure off the line, which was the root of all UA's problems. Arizona couldn't sack potatoes, let alone quarterbacks.
I remember him from his time as linebackers coach, when I covered the beat for the university newspaper. The linebackers were a decided strength during the early years of Stoops' rebuilding project, and hence the reason he ascended to DC after Mark's departure. With the right personnel, he can be successful and Oklahoma doesn't lack that. Having the right infrastructure around him is crucial, too, and that's something Arizona lacked after losing Mark.