Tulsa tabs Bill Blankenship to replace Todd Graham
Golden Hurricane hires former signal-caller to guide football program
With National Signing Day just over two weeks away, the University of Tulsa moved quickly in hiring its next football coach.
The move will likely be seen as a surprise by Tulsa supporters, but it will almost certainly be viewed as such by the rest of the college football world.
Prior to the 2007 season, former coach Todd Graham brought Tulsa alum and extremely successful high school coach Bill Blankenship back to the program in which in played signal-caller in the mid-to-late 1970's.
Now, the long-time prep coach with just four years of college coaching experience, has been named the new head football coach at his alma mater.
In 2007, he coached the Golden Hurricane wideouts. This past season, he was Graham's Senior Associate Head Coach and running backs coach. Blankenship also spent the last three years coordinating Tulsa's special teams.
Former offensive coordinator Chad Morris, who was just recently hired by Dabo Swinney to fill the same position at Clemson, was also interviewed. Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee withdrew his name from consideration.
While the hire will certainly be criticized for obvious reasons by some, it should help maintain continuity in what has been a very successful program of late. The Golden Hurricane will be returning 17 starters from its 2010 team, which finished the year 10-3 after a 62-35 win over Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl.
Additionally, Blankenship will be retaining at least three members of Todd Graham's staff.