University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football coach Russ Huesman used to have one spot to fill on his staff following the departure of running backs coach Jamaal Fobbs. Now, in a sense, he has three.
Offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Geep Wade is leaving UTC after two years for a job on Doc Holliday's staff at Marshall. Wade will be coaching the Thundering Herd's centers and guards.
"It's a big loss," Huesman said. "We all love Geep and he did a great job here, in every aspect. Whether it was recruiting, whether it was coaching the offensive line, whether it was game planning - he did a fantastic job."
Because of his affection for the Mocs' players and coaches - Wade and offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield have been the best of friends for many years - the decision was a very difficult one, Wade said.
"It was really hard," said Wade, who played center at UTC. "I told Coach Huesman this, I felt vested here. My first year here maybe not as much, but this year I felt really vested, really ingrained in the program.
"Going to Marshall is a great opportunity, but it's not easy to leave Chattanooga."
Wade will join another former Mocs assistant, safeties coach Fred Tate, on Holliday's staff. Wade also will be reunited with Herd receivers coach Gerad Parker, who was at UT-Martin with Wade and Satterfield.
The Mocs lost Fobbs to Liberty in early January. Huesman said he wanted to get through signing day before turning his attention to filling that spot. The top priority now, he said, was finding an offensive line coach.
UTC already has a stack of resumes to work through.
"We're going to hire an offensive line coach first, and fast. That one's going to move quick," Huesman said. "We'll get rolling on the running back job at the same time."
Wednesday was national signing day, the end of a laborious process that resulted in 15 players signing with the Mocs, and Huesman said that at the moment he had "no idea right now" who was going to be UTC's new recruiting coordinator.
Huesman wants to have the offensive line and running backs jobs filled well before spring practice begins on Feb. 24.