Washington State outside receivers coach Graham Harrell is expected to be hired as the offensive coordinator at North Texas, according to FootballScoop.com. The report has since been confirmed by Cougfan.com.
Harrell will be reunited with North Texas head coach Seth Littrell, who was the running backs coach under Mike Leach at Texas Tech from 2005-08. Harrell set several NCAA records as Leach's quarterback during that time.
Harrell joined Leach's staff as an offensive analyst during spring football last season, mostly working with the quarterbacks in the film room and helping out during practices. On Saturdays he assisted from the coaching booth.
After Mike Breske and Paul Volero were fired in December of last year, Harrell was sent out on the recruiting trail as a temporary assistant then promoted to outside receivers coach when Dennis Simmons left for Oklahoma. Harrell again worked in the booth during games this season, playing an integral role in the Cougars' play-calling as Leach's eye from above.
It's never fun to see promising young coaches leave the program, but Harrell's leaving, from a timing perspective, works out much better for Washington State than Simmons' departure just before signing day last year. While Harrell played an important role in several current prospects' recruitment, the staff now has time to get a new coach in place during the upcoming dead period from December 13 to January 14.
Harrell isn't the only Leach staffer joining Littrell's staff at North Texas as offensive quality control Joel Filani, a former Texas Tech receiver during Littrell's time in Lubbock, has been hired as the receivers coach, FootballScoop.com reported last night.