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 SNW article on coaching changes 
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texas st gets a rundown on wright as the new coach. good read. ... 075311.htm

Texas State

Out With the Old: After resurrecting the Bobcat program with a 21-15 record in three seasons, including a semifinal finish in 2005, David Bailiff made the move up to the FBS when he accepted the head coaching position at Rice University on Jan. 19. Bailiff led the Bobcats to an 11-3 record in 2005, and closed out his Texas State tenure with a 5-6 record in 2006.

In With the New: Texas State moved quickly and kept it in house by promoting assistant head coach Brad Wright to the head coaching position just three days after Bailiff departed. Wright, a 1981 graduate of Texas State, returned to his alma mater to serve on Bailiff’s staff for the past three seasons. Wright spent most of his career as a high school head coach before returning to Texas State.

Who’s Gone/Who’s Back: The Bobcats were largely a work in progress a year ago after losing almost the entire core of the team from a national semifinal run in 2005, but they return in better shape this year. They return 14 starters overall, and should be set at the skill positions with quarterback Bradley George (1676 yards, 11 TD, 10 INT), running back Stan Zwinggi (735 yards, 3 TD) and wide receiver Morris Crosby (391 yards, 3 TD) among the returning players. The defense takes a hit in the secondary with Walter Musgrove and Epsilon Williams gone, and also loses linebacker Jeremy Castillo. Daniel Varval (64 TT, 2 INT), who sat out the spring with a shoulder injury, is the top returning tackler.

Level of Expectations: Up until Bailiff turned it around, there would have been no real expectation for Wright to win right away. The Bobcats posted three winning seasons and never advanced to the playoffs from 1985-2004, and never really showed they could be a threat at the FCS level. But Bailiff engineered a quick turnaround to come one overtime loss, or one bended knee, away from advancing to the national championship game two years ago. The program had an understandable fall back to a 5-6 mark last year, but the run to the semifinals did wonders for the Bobcats in the San Marcos area. They tallied nearly 13,000 fans per game for the past two seasons, and set a new attendance mark last year. They don’t have to make a long run in the playoffs every year, but Wright’s leash will be a little shorter now that the Bobcats have experienced some success. Another extended stretch without a playoff berth wouldn’t go over very well.

Prognosis for Tenure: Just two years removed from a playoff run, the Bobcats shouldn’t fall to the depths of the Southland Conference anytime soon. There isn’t a consistent powerhouse in the league to keep them down, and the program should have benefited from the exposure of the 2005 run in the last two recruiting years. But while the Southland Conference lacks a dominant team, there aren’t any perennial bottom-feeders, either. Texas State can compete with the likes of Sam Houston State, McNeese State and Northwestern State, but the Bobcats aren’t going to overlap those programs or anyone else in the Southland Conference. That should leave the Bobcats somewhere in the middle of their past struggles and the 2005 success. Wright will have years where he leads the team to the top of the Southland standings and playoff contention, and some where the teams languishes near the bottom. Most seasons should settle in the middle, as the Texas State program lands with the rest of a balanced Southland Conference.

Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:25 pm
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