Texas finally completed its coaching staff for the 2016 after announcing Arkansas’ Clay Jennings as the new defensive backs coach on Wednesday. Jennings replaces former defensive backs coach Chris Vaughn who was let go by Texas athletics last Thursday.
“Clay has a tremendous track record for developing defensive backs and has coached in a lot of great defenses,” head coach Charlie Strong said in a statement. “He’s knowledgeable, personable, brings a lot of energy and is a coach our staff all thought fit in really well with us.”
Jennings visited Austin on Tuesday to interview with Strong about the position. With Jennings’ assistance, Arkansas ranked 60th in total defense out of 128 FBS teams. The Razorbacks fared much better against the rush though, allowing only 120 yards per game on the ground, good enough for No. 16 in the nation. Jennings brings Big 12 experience with him, having coached at TCU and Baylor as well as other Texas schools such as Houston and North Texas. Even from his time at Arkansas, the DB coach has know-how with Texas recruiting. Jennings earned an Arkansas commitment from Devwah Whaley — one of Texas’ premier high school running backs — in 2016 over Strong and company.
““I’m excited to be a part of the Longhorn family and ecstatic to have the chance to join Coach Strong’s staff,” Jennings said in a statement. “I’ve followed him for a long time, and he’s a man that so many of us as coaches look up to and admire.”
The Longhorns have seen significant coaching turnover this offseason, losing a total of five assistant coaches. Of Charlie Strong’s initial 2014 staff, only two coaches remain — defensive coordinator Vance Bedford and linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary.