By John Shinn CNHI News Service
NORMAN, Okla. — —
The shakeup of Oklahoma’s coaching staff continued on Tuesday with two significant departures as defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp and tackles and tight ends coach Bruce Kittle will not be back next season.
Their exit, along with guards and centers coach James Patton’s departure for Indiana on Monday, means three of the four assistant coaches who coached linemen at OU have been removed in the last 48 hours. The only one still on staff is defensive ends coach Bobby Jack Wright.
The possibility of Shipp’s departure, a former OU player who had been a member of the Sooners’ coaching staff since Bob Stoops became head coach in 1999, had been rumored for weeks.
Tuesday’s developments were part of one of the biggest staff shakeups in Stoops’ 14 seasons as head coach.
“Bruce and Jackie both are great professionals who made a positive impact on Oklahoma Football,” Stoops said in a statement released by OU late Wednesday.
“Jackie (Shipp) played an integral role on our staff for 14 seasons as we won a national championship, made three other national championship game appearances and won eight Big 12 championships,” Stoops said. “Bruce (Kittle) made substantial contributions to a pair of Big 12 championships during his tenure with us ... I wish Jackie and Bruce the very best moving forward.”
“It has been a privilege to coach the last 14 seasons at my alma mater, an honor that few coaches in this business are afforded,” said Shipp in the OU statement.
Kittle, who came to OU in 2010 as the on-campus recruiting coordinator and was promoted to a full-time assistant coach last season, played with Stoops at Iowa in the early 1980s. He had never coached at the college level until last season.
“It’s been a great blessing to work with Coach Stoops, our student-athletes and the entire staff at the University of Oklahoma,” said Kittle.
SoonerScoop.com reported Tuesday afternoon that West Virginia offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh has been tabbed as the new offensive line coach.
However, Stoops, according to the statment released by OU, has not yet made any decisions regarding replacements, nor interviewed any candidates.
Badenbaugh, 40, has been the Mountaineers’ offensive line coach the past two seasons. Prior to his stint at West Virginia, he coached for OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops at Arizona from 2007-10. He was the offensive line coach for all four seasons and added co-offensive coordinator duties to his title in 2010.
Badenbaugh had established roots in the Big 12 Conference before going to West Virginia. From 2000-2006 he served on former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach’s offensive staff at Texas Tech.
Most recently he was named one of the country’s top recruiters by two major recruiting websites. Badenbaugh was named one of the nation’s top 50 recruiters by 247sports.com last week and Rivals.com praised him as one of the Big 12’s best recruiters on Tuesday.
The defensive tackle position has slumped in recent years. OU hasn’t had an All-Big 12 defensive tackle since Gerald McCoy’s final season in 2009. It hasn’t had a defensive tackle record more than six tackles for loss in any of the last three seasons.
However, Shipp tutored some of OU’s most dominant defensive players during Stoops’ tenure. He recruited and developed All-Americans Tommie Harris (2002 and 2003) and McCoy (2008 and 2009). Both were top 15 picks in the NFL Draft.
The Sooners signed four defensive tackles last week and hope to add Hutchinson Community College defensive tackle Toby Johnson to its 2013 recruiting class. The four-star recruit is set to announce where he’ll attend next week, but the dismissal of Shipp seemed to trouble Johnson.
“OU fired Coach Shipp,” Johnson said via Twitter Tuesday afternoon. “I loved that guy he was like a father figure to me. That’s the worst thing y’all could’ve done rite now.”
Johnson’s final choices are believed to be between OU, Mississippi State and Auburn.
Kittle did not have a major recruiting impact in his two seasons. He signed three tight ends last year — Brannon Green, Taylor McNamara and Sam Grant. McNamara and Grant both redshirted this past season. Green, a junior college transfer who will be a senior next season, was sparingly used. He did tutor left tackle Lane Johnson, who is expected to be a first-round selection in the NFL Draft in April.
Since the end of the 2011 season, five assistants — Brent Venables, Willie Martinez, Patton, Kittle and Shipp — have left (Venables to became Clemson’s defensive coordinator and Patton left for Indiana) or simply been removed from the staff (Martinez, Kittle and Shipp.)�