published Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Marcus West locked to UTC football

UTC defensive line coach Marcus West leads defensive linesman Will Mix through a drill during practice on at Scrappy Moore Field in August 2012.
UTC defensive line coach Marcus West leads defensive linesman Will Mix through a drill during practice on at Scrappy Moore Field in August 2012.
Photo by Staff File Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Marcus West isn't going anywhere, at least not until after the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's 2013 football season at the earliest.

His wife, former associate head women's basketball coach Nikki West, is headed to North Carolina State with Wes Moore, who was hired as the Wolfpack's head coach Friday.

The Mocs' defensive line coach, who has been with coach Russ Huesman since 2009, said he's committed to UTC.

"I'm here for the season and we're going to win the [Southern Conference], hopefully, and at the end of the year we'll sit down and evaluate where we are, where we're going and where we go from there," Marcus West said after practice Saturday morning.

The Wests got married in June 2011. It likely was inevitable that a job change for one would come along at some point. A former all-conference end at the University of Memphis, Marcus said "we always said we would cross the bridge when we got there."

His commitment to the Mocs is about more than just loyalty and the fact he has a job. No position coach on the UTC staff has more talent to work with than he does, starting with end Davis Tull, the 2012 SoCon defensive player of the year, as well as All-SoCon tackle Derrick Lott and other players who could earn all-conference honors this season.

"Honestly, I'm not just saying this to say the right thing -- my focus is this season," West said. "These guys have worked hard for this season and to be successful. The front's dominant, we've got depth and it's going to be fun coaching these guys.

"I want to see Davis Tull get drafted. I think that day coming is going to be one of the best days Chattanooga football has seen. I want to see that."

Spouses living apart isn't uncommon in coaching. After Huesman was hired in December 2008, he lived in Chattanooga for several months before his family was able to join him.

Huesman not happy

After reviewing the video of Friday's scrimmage, UTC's first of the spring, Huesman didn't like a lot of what he saw. He still felt good about the play of the running backs, who ran hard and popped some big plays, but across the board he said the Mocs made too many mental miscues.

"We aren't even that complicated and we've got mental errors on both sides of the ball," he said before offering a laundry list of things he saw that bothered him.

Huesman conceded that UTC is playing a lot of young guys on offense and defense, so mental mistakes are bound to happen, he said. But that doesn't mean they're acceptable.

His good feelings about the running backs were somewhat squashed by a lackadaisical effort on their part during Saturday's practice. They did extra running after practice.

The team is off today and will conduct its eighth practice of the spring Monday.

Contact John Frierson at jfrierson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6268. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/mocsbeatCTFP.

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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