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Willie Fritz completes UH Football coaching staff

The first hires of newly hired head coach Willie Fritz’s staff were made official last week. | Anh Le/The Cougar

Houston football finalized its coaching staff under new head coach Willie Fritz last week, bringing on a total of 10 assistant coaches and six analysts.

Kevin Barbay will call plays as offensive coordinator while Shiel Wood will helm the defense. Fritz, a former special teams coordinator himself, will handle the kicking and punting units.

Derrick Sherman, one of seven former Tulane assistants under Fritz was hired as assistant head coach and wide receivers coach along with fellow former Tulane assistant and running backs coach Jordy Joseph. Former Baylor assistant Shawn Bell is now the Cougars’ quarterbacks coach as well as passing game coordinator.

Offensive line coach and run game coordinator Eman Neghavi will return for his second season at Houston after spending 2023 in the same role under former head coach Dana Holgorsen. Neghavi also spent the 2022 season as Tulane’s offensive line coach.

In addition to calling plays on defense, Wood will coach inside linebackers along with linebackers coach James Ross III. Joshua Christian-Young and Zac Etheridge will both coach defensive backs together. Ross and Christian-Young both followed Fritz after stints at Tulane and Etheridge spent 2019 and 2020 as cornerbacks coach.

Brian Early, another prominent returner from the Holgorsen staff, will coach his sixth season at UH as defensive line coach.

Donn Landholm, a 40-year coaching veteran who spent the entirety of Fritz’s previous stint at Tulane as Director of Player Development from 2016-23, was brought on as special assistant to the head coach.

Kurt Hester was selected to lead the strength and conditioning staff under Fritz. Hester, and two assistant strength coaches Tyler Kishbaugh and Ben Moortgat, spent the last years at Tulane with Fritz. Fellow assistant strength coach Kevin McCadams will enter his sixth year at UH.

Several analysts were also added to the staff: Brian Bell and Henry Stone were brought on as offensive analysts and Robert Beacham, who was on last year’s staff as well, will also stay as an analyst. Defensive analysts Will Weaver and Trey Holtz were also retained and Mike Krysl was hired as senior special teams analyst to assist Fritz.

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