With the official closing of the 2017 season happening last night, the Hogs have made some assistant coaching hires official. Joe Craddock is the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach, which we’ve known for about as long as Chad Morris has been head coach. John Chavis is Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach, which we haven’t known for quite as long but has been a pretty poorly kept secret for a while. Lastly, Trumain Carroll follows Morris to the Hill to be the Hogs’ Strength and Conditioning Coach.
Craddock has followed Morris from SMU, along with almost the entirety of the offensive staff to Fayettevillle. He’s been on the recruiting trail for the Hogs the past month, so this announcement is more of a formality than anything else. Craddock and Morris have been working together since Clemson in 2012, when Morris was OC and Craddock a Graduate Assistant.
Chavis is making his fourth stop at an SEC school. He comes from Texas A&M and has previous stops at LSU and Tennessee. The connections to the South and philosophy of getting after the quarterback are likely what has endeared him to Morris. Chavis’ defenses at LSU from 2009-2014 were consistently elite, ranking in the top-15 of scoring defense five of his six years there. However the move to Texas A&M saw those numbers drop. They still got after the quarterback plenty though, as the Allen brothers will attest to, they were in the top-25 in sacks all of his years there and led the SEC in 2017.
There are plenty of numbers that you can use to both make a case for and against Chavis. It’s also a bit of a weird cultural fit with most of Morris’ staff being younger and more energetic and Chavis is 61 years old.
The third hire is Carroll, who was SMU’s strength coach under Chad Morris and was an assistant at Oklahoma State before that. With Morris’ new style of play, we’ll likely see a much bigger focus on speed rather than bulking up as was the preference of the previous staff.