The Valdosta Daily Times
Replacing coaches is nothing new for Valdosta State and head football coach David Dean.
However, the Blazers do face a little tougher issue in replacing defensive coordinator Seth Wallace who left 18 days ago to be recruiting coordinator and assistant coach at Iowa.
“You never want to lose coaches, but when you lose them in the summer especially after you’ve gone through spring practice, it’s always very difficult,” Dean said this past week. “We’ll find good coaches, that’s not going to be a problem.”
The process for finding Wallace’s replacement is still ongoing Dean said, adding that his search is for a secondary coach, not necessarily for a defensive coordinator.
Wallace, who served as the Blazers’ secondary coach his first four years at VSU, coached the defensive line a year ago following the departure of co-defensive coordinator Earl Chambers to James Madison. But Wallace, previously a graduate assistant with the Hawkeyes, returned to coaching the defensive backs this spring following the departure of Doug Belk. The former Lowndes standout took a graduate assistant job coaching defensive backs at Alabama. Dwight Smith was hired from Middle Tennessee State, where he was a graduate assistant, to coach the VSU defensive line.
If the new hire is only in charge of coaching the secondary and not tasked with serving as defensive coordinator, the most likely in-house candidate for that job would be linebackers coach Bubba Walker. Walker has been on the Blazers staff for five years becoming a full-time assistant in 2010 after previously serving as a graduate assistant. Walker also spent a year as a graduate assistant at Georgia and three years as an assistant at Georgia Southern.
“Whether he’s a secondary coach and a defensive coordinator or whether we move somebody up from within and we just hire a secondary coach, that’s just through the interview process of where we’re going to go,” Dean said. “What’s the best fit and what works best for our program.”
Regardless of the staff makeup, Dean’s biggest concern is how the VSU players handle the shakeup, especially without much time getting used to the new voice prior to fall practice beginning. However Dean added that he is routinely impressed with the Blazers’ resiliency.
“I feel for those guys that work hard with those coaches and build that respect and then those guys leave,” he said. “But for some reason, our kids always adjust and they do a great job of overcoming adversity. I think they’ll do the same thing and whatever coach we bring in, I think they’ll embrace him and work hard for him.
“And we’re going to bring in a good one.”