Phil Zacharias has resigned his position or Tight Ends coach/Special Teams coordinator on the UC Football coaching staff after taking the position in January. The fact that this has happened so late in the game means that Jones has no recourse but to bump up a graduate assistant or a similar position within the Football office to a full time role on the staff. That is exactly what Jones has done. He has moved Mark Elder to the Tight End position and advanced Jahmile Addae to Elder’s former position as running backs coach. I know that promoting such a young guy, one who was functioning in a support roll, to a full time position will be a worry to some. But his resume is pretty well impeccable both from his playing days and where he did his GA work.
He came to UC after two seasons as a defensive graduate assistant at the University of Michigan working with the Wolverines’ defensive secondary and scout team offense.
Addae was a graduate assistant in the football video department at West Virginia University in 2007. Prior to joining the Mountaineers staff, he taught English at Riverview High School.
He was a four-year starter and two-time captain at West Virginia. He was a finalist for the 2005 Ronnie Lott Trophy and was named to the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award that same season. A three-time all-BIG EAST performer, Addae received first-team accolades his final two seasons (2004-05) after garnering second team honors as a sophomore (2002).
He is a young guy, just 5 years removed from his playing days, with a clearly visible passion for the game. A person doesn’t walk away from a full time teaching position to take GA role, as a video coordinator no less, if this isn’t what they want to do with their life. He was a hell of a player in his time.
I will be the first to admit that being a player does not make you a coach, but it does lend an air of credibility to his position for the players on the team now.
The special teams coordinator job needs to be filled and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Jones take over those duties if for no other reason than I don’t see anyone on the staff who can get that done. That being said I haven’t looked over everyone’s bio’s looking for previous special teams coordinators, but none of them have reputations as such that I am aware of.
This whole thing is a little bit weird from the outside. I hadn’t heard much in the way of rumors or warnings about this happening. It could be that Zacharias had to resign due to personal reasons, or it could have been friction with the rest of the staff creating an untenable working environment in record time. Its hard to tell, but it is easy to see why this is such a weird development coming in front of the camp season for recruiting and then the start of the actual season in August.