Posted: 12:58 am Friday, January 17th, 2014
By Chip Towers
See tweet above …
ATHENS – Todd Grantham was rather infamously introduced at Louisville as the new defensive coordinator on Thursday and the Washington Redskins announced that Kirk Olivadotti had been hired as inside linebackers. But if you’ve been paying attention like me, you may have noticed that Chris Wilson has yet to be named the new defensive line coach at Southern Cal.
There’s a reason for that. According to sources familiar with Wilson’s dealings with the Trojans and their new head coach Steve Sarkisian, Wilson is wavering. And who could blame him? That’s a long, long way to move your family one year after you just moved them a long way from somewhere else.
But that has very much been Wilson’s M.O. since he has been in coaching. In the 21 years since he started in the business as a graduate assistant at Indiana State, Wilson has changed employers 12 times. That’s fewer than two years per stop. He even had two jobs in one year, going from Army in the spring of 2000 to Colorado that fall. His longest stop has been at his alma mater, Oklahoma, where he stayed from 2005-09 as defensive ends coach and picked up the title of special teams coordinator halfway through.
I’m not exactly sure what’s going on now. Wilson hasn’t answered my phone calls or messages for the last few days. Having been defensive coordinator at Mississippi State before he came to Georgia, I’m sure that’s a position he’d like to hold again. But based on the chain of events as Mark Richt described them this week, the Bulldogs never would have gotten a chance to even acknowledge his interest if he actually expressed it this week. They settled on Jeremy Pruitt in one day and hired him the next.
In the meantime, the very carousel-nature of the coaching business requires one to be on their toes at all times. So Wilson attended the recent AFCA convention in Indianapolis to put out feelers. He interviewed with Alabama about its defensive line position but didn’t get it. Then at some point Southern Cal made contact. He said no thanks initially, they went back at him, he accepted and now he’s having second thoughts.
Sounds like recruiting, doesn’t it?
The real X factor in this equation is Wilson’s wife Tina and his teen-age children, Caleb and Colby. In fact, Caleb is a college prospect himself as a dual-sport athlete in football and basketball at North Oconee High. He’s a rising senior, Class of 2015, and coming off an injury. Not sure how he might feel about remaking himself yet again out West, but I’d be willing to guess.
But coaching families are strong. They’re like military families in that they’re used to sticking together and making new friends quickly. And the money these days, well, there’s just not many other professions where they’re throwing it around like they are in college and pro football. Maybe Wilson just took a closer look at real estate in the Los Angeles area and decided he wasn’t getting as big a raise as he initially thought.
I’ll say this, though: Wilson did a great job with the Bulldogs this past season. I’d imagine they’d be happy to have him back.
At least for one more year.