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Friday, September 29, 2023


Cougars add new coach into fold

UH’s new linebacker coach, Vernon Hargreaves, had a close connection to the 2013 Super Bowl; one of his former players, linebacker Tavares Gooden of the San Francisco 49ers, was a University of Miami Hurricane while Hargreaves was on staff from 1998-2005.

“He’s a veteran of the game and he’s been known to develop linebackers that excel on the college and professional level as evident with seven NFL Pro Bowl honors shared by players he coached,” head coach Tony Levine said.

Hargreaves filled the final vacancy on the Cougar’s coaching staff when Levine announced he would be hired to coach linebackers. He replaces former defensive coordinator Jamie Bryant, who coached linebackers last season. Bryant was let go before the season began.

“I’m excited to join the Houston family and am really looking forward to getting to work with Tony and the rest of the staff,” Hargreaves said.

“I’m familiar with the program having coached against it in the past, so I know there is great potential in a great environment.”

Hargreaves was defensive ends coach and special teams coordinator at University of South Florida in the past three seasons and is a 28-year coaching veteran. Hargreaves’ 2001 linebackers helped to lead a Miami defense that allowed just 9.4 points per game en route to a national title.

Hargreaves is credited with helping some of the nation’s top linebackers become better players while coaching The Hurricanes. During his tenure, former Carolina Panther linebacker Dan Morgan won the Butkus Award, Nagurski Trophy and the Bednarik Award in 2000. New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos linebackers Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams finished as semifinalists for the Butkus Award in 2003 and all three were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.

In all, seven linebackers were selected while Hargreaves was at Miami.

In 2011, Hargreaves’ defensive ends helped USF finish second nationally in tackles for loss and fourth nationally in sacks while only allowing 107.3 rushing yards per game, good for 15th in the NCAA ranks.

“We are excited to add a coach of Vernon Hargreaves’ caliber,” said Levine.

“When you look at his resume, his track record speaks for itself.”

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