Andre Coleman is a full-time, on-field assistant again — for at least one game, anyway.
Coleman, a Kansas State great at wide receiver who spent last season as the school’s offensive coordinator, has served as an analyst at Texas this fall. On Sunday, with the shakeup of the Longhorns’ coaching staff, Coleman earned a promotion: He will be the team’s wide receivers coach for its yet-to-be-announced bowl game.
Coleman takes on the job of two coaches who were reassigned by head coach Tom Herman Sunday: pass game coordinator Drew Mehringer, who also was the Longhorns’ outside receivers coach, was fired; inside receivers coach Corby Meekins will remain with the program, but he’ll now be in an administrative role instead of coaching.
Herman also dismissed defensive coordinator Todd Orlando Sunday. Craig Naivar, the Longhorns’ co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach, will take over for Orlando on an interim basis.
“I’m truly grateful for everything Todd, Drew and Corby have done, not only for us here at Texas, but in building the program at Houston, as well,” Herman said in a release. “These were very difficult decisions and certainly not an indictment of them as coaches, I just believe we need a fresh set of eyes and infusion of new ideas and energy to help us grow across the board.”
Herman also made one other change to his staff, removing the title of offensive coordinator from Tim Beck, who still will remain Texas’ quarterbacks coach through the bowl game.
Coleman and Jeremiah George, who will be the Longhorns’ interim linebackers coach (Orlando’s position group), not only will guide their units for the bowl game, but will take on other responsibilities as well. Most importantly, that involves recruiting full-time in the lead up to the early signing period, which will take place from Dec. 18 to 20.
The upheaval comes two days after Texas wrapped up a disappointing 7-5 regular season, a far cry from a team expected by many to compete for a Big 12 title and potentially a spot in the College Football Playoff.
“After taking time, looking back and evaluating the season in its totality, I am very disappointed in our performance in a number of areas in 2019; 7-5 will never be our standard at Texas,” Herman said, “and I take full responsibility for any and all of our shortcomings and know we need to do a better job coaching across the board. With that said, I do believe the future is very bright, have decided to make some changes to our staff as we head into bowl preparation and look to finish strong in the final weeks of fall recruiting.”
It is not known at this time whether Coleman is a candidate to take over as the Longhorns’ full-time receivers coach or if it only will last through the bowl game later this month. Even so, it marks the first on-field coaching opportunity for Coleman in more than a year.
Coleman was the Wildcats’ offensive coordinator during the final season of the Bill Snyder era in Manhattan last fall. During his one-year stint at the helm, Coleman’s unit struggled.
K-State finished the 2018 regular season ranked last in the 10-team Big 12 in numerous offensive categories, including points per game (22.5), yards per game (344.7), touchdowns (32), total points (270), total yardage (4,136) and passing yards (1,945).
There was one bright spot: the rushing attack, which featured then-junior running back Alex Barnes topping the conference in a plethora of statistics: total yards (1,355) and yards per game (112.9). His 12 touchdowns were second-most among Big 12 players behind Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger’s 13; Ehlinger, however, played in one more game after the Longhorns made it to the Big 12 title contest versus Oklahoma.
Coleman took over as offensive coordinator after the departure of Dana Dimel, who became the head coach at Texas-El Paso. From 2013 to 2017, Coleman guided the Wildcats’ wideouts, adding the title of pass game coordinator in 2016 and continuing in that role the following season.
He became part of K-State’s staff in 2013 after spending three seasons at Youngstown State. Coleman coached the Penguins’ tight ends in 2010 before shifting over to tutor the team’s wide receivers during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
In his first season with the Penguins, Coleman helped the school set a single-season record for touchdown passes with 27. The 227.5 yards per game were the second-most in a single campaign in the program’s history. Under Coleman’s tutelage, freshman Christian Bryan set school freshman records for receptions (46) and yard (722); in addition, Bryan’s yardage total was tops among freshmen at the FCS level that season. Coleman left quite a legacy as a player himself.
Starring for the Wildcats from 1990 to 1993, he tallied 3,443 all-purpose yards. That total included 1,556 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns on 95 receptions and 1,458 kickoff-return yards on 60 returns. Entering this season, Coleman still ranked among the top 10 in school history in 12 offensive or return categories, holding the top single-game marks for all-purpose yards per play (27.0 versus Missouri in 1993) and career all-purpose yards per play (18.2). He’s also third in the Wildcats’ annals in career kickoff-return attempts and fourth in kickoff-return yards.
Coleman went on to play five seasons in the NFL, taken in the third round of the 1994 draft by the San Diego Chargers. Coleman earned All-Rookie honors during his debut season, helping San Diego win the AFC Championship Game and earn a spot opposite San Francisco in Super Bowl XXIX.
In that contest, he set eight Super Bowl records, including a then-unmatched 98-yard kickoff return touchdown. That made Coleman the first former K-State player to score a touchdown in a Super Bowl. Coleman also was named to the Pro Bowl two times in his five-year NFL career.
A native of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, Coleman completed his bachelor’s degree in social sciences at K-State in the summer of 2011.