Thurmond Named Defensive Coordinator, Hoefer and Sloan Join Staff

Feb. 6, 2012

Rice head football coach David Bailiff announced on Monday that cornerbacks coach Chris Thurmond has been promoted to Defensive Coordinator and also announced the hiring of Larry Hoefer as safeties coach and David Sloan as tight ends coach.

Bailiff also indicated that Offensive Coordinator John Reagan will switch from tight ends to coach the Rice running backs while linebackers and special teams coordinator Darrell Patterson has been named Assistant Head Coach.

"When we made the change at Defensive Coordinator, there were a number of options that were considered, but Chris was clearly the best candidate for the job. His impact on our cornerbacks was obvious from the first day he came to Rice, and that was proven out last fall. We lost some key veterans early in the year, but the younger players were able to step in and play well. I can't wait for Spring Practice to start so our entire defense can begin to embrace the schemes he wants to employ." Bailiff stated.

Hoefer brings 35 years of college coaching experience to South Main. His last coaching stop was at Baylor, where he coached the safeties from 2003-07 and the linebackers from 2008-10. He also served as Defensive Coordinator in 2007. "Larry is a Texas football coach to his core and he is respected by high school coaches throughout the state. He was born in Abilene, played college football here and has made his mark at several schools in the state. He coached with Spike Dykes at Texas Tech and had some great years at UTEP as well as produced some fine players at Baylor," Bailiff said.

Sloan, who went from a lightly-recruited junior college tight end to become an All-Pro with the Detroit Lions, was promoted to the staff after serving two years with the Owls in a support role. "David showed how badly he wanted to get into coaching. I don't know a lot of All Pros with a family who would choose to live the life of a graduate assistant, but he did. Our tight ends have the benefit of learning from someone who became an All-Pro through hard work. I know they are thrilled to have him as their position coach," Bailiff added.

Bailiff is currently interviewing candidates to replace defensive line coach Derrick Jackson, who is leaving Rice to take a coaching position at Wake Forest.

The Owls will open 2012 Spring Drills the first week of March.

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