A Texas cheer squad member waves the Longhorn flag after a first half score against Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl, Saturday, October 2, 2010. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

BEVO BEAT Football

Texas announces hiring defensive backs coach Clay Jennings

Posted February 17th, 2016

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Texas coach Charlie Strong completed his coaching staff by hiring Clay Jennings as the Longhorns’ new defensive backs coach, the school announced late Wednesday.

Jennings recently spent six seasons at TCU before working in a similar role at Arkansas the last two years.

“It’s an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to coach in my home state and represent one of the nation’s premier football programs,” Jennings said in a statement. “I’m excited to be a part of the Longhorn family and ecstatic to have the chance to join Coach Strong’s staff.”

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Jennings replaces Chris Vaughn, who was dismissed after UT officials learned of his involvement in the NCAA investigation at Ole Miss.

While Vaughn was well liked, his replacement has deep Texas ties, which makes him a solid choice to lead UT’s high-profile “DBU.” The Waco native and North Texas graduate also had coaching stops at Sam Houston State, Houston and Baylor.

Jennings was with the Horned Frogs from 2008 to 2010 when TCU led the nation in total defense three consecutive years. TCU’s 2010 team led the nation in pass defense, allowing only 128.8 yards per game.

“Clay has a tremendous track record for developing defensive backs and has coached in a lot of great defenses,” 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. On top of that, he’s from Texas, has years of experience coaching here and already has great relationships across the state. That’s a big advantage for him to get in here and get going right away.”

Also Wednesday, multiple reports stated defensive line coach Brick Haley would decline a coaching offer from Texas A&M and stay with UT. With Haley staying put, Strong should have his entire nine-man assistant staff complete for the 2016 season.

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