With no designated special-teams coach anymore, the duties have been split among the team’s coaches. Coach Paul Johnson has taken on more of a role, as well.
“With the young guys in right now, until we get started, I want to make sure that we’re doing it the way I want to do it,” Johnson said Wednesday, after the team’s third workout of spring practice, conducted in helmets but no pads. “I’m probably a little more involved in special teams than I have been.”
Ray Rychleski served as special-teams coordinator for the past two seasons before he left by mutual agreement. Following the departure, Johnson hired Ron West to coach the offensive line with Mike Sewak, restoring his preferred format of two coaches for the offensive line.
A-backs Lamar Owens will coordinate special teams and will coach the punt team. Linebackers coach Andy McCollum will coach the punt-return team. Secondary coach Joe Speed will handle the kickoff unit and wide receivers coach Buzz Preston will lead the kickoff-return team. Defensive coaches will handle the field-goal and extra-point block team and Sewak and West will be in charge of the field-goal and extra-point unit.