The departure of defensive backs coach Wesley "Crime Dog" McGriff - yes, he does actually go by that - to the New Orleans Saints meant that the Ole Miss coaching staff would need to find a replacement for that position that is both a talented defensive coach and an established recruiter. Today, it appears that they have done just that, with the hiring of Jason Jones, the defensive backs coach of the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Jones has been with the Cowboys since 2008. He coached three different Cowboy corners to first-team All-Big 12 honors since 2009, with Perrish Cox earning the honor in 2009, Andrew McGee in 2010 and Brodrick Brown in 2011.
Before OSU, he coached at the University of Tulsa where he was the cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator.
Upon announcing Jason Jones' 2008 arrival in Stillwater, Mike Gundy (who is still a man, and is now 45-years-old) listed one of the reasons Oklahoma State hired him away from Tulsa as Coach Jones being a "great recruiter in the state of Texas."
Jones also has significant playing experience in the Southeastern Conference, having played for Alabama in the mid-1990's, contributing to the 1996 and 1999 SEC Western Division Championship winning Crimson Tide teams.
So, while I am still sad to see Coach McGriff leave (for an admittedly fantastic career upgrade), Hugh Freeze was able to replace him with guy who has BCS-level coaching experience and SEC playing experience. I'll take it.
It's also interesting to see lateral movement from a coach at Oklahoma State. It says at least a little bit about the way our program is currently viewed by coaches, though I'm not sure that should be overstated. Still, it's nice to see that coaches want to come to Oxford. I guess that's what winning does. Who knew?
Welcome to Oxford and Hotty Toddy, Coach Jones.