TCU is losing its linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator DeMontie Cross to the University of Missouri. Cross played for the Tigers as a safety in the mid-90s alongside newly-named Missouri head coach Barry Odom.
TCU co-DC & LBs coach DeMontie Cross will be new DC for Missouri coach Barry Odom per source. https://t.co/CgaK7Dp2G0— Thayer Evans (@ThayerEvansSI) December 18, 2015
Cross joined the TCU staff in 2013, after a brief stint with Kansas, as the linebackers coach. He was promoted to co-defensive coordinator along with Chad Glasgow back in February, after long-time defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas retired.
Cross was a critical part of the defensive staff, working with guys like Paul Dawson and Marcus Mallet over the past two years, and this year proving his abilities by getting guys like Montrel Wilson and Ty Summers ready to play linebacker on the fly.
Obviously, coach Patterson has a lot of input with the linebackers as well, but there's no denying that Cross was a major part of this coaching staff.
Beyond coaching, Cross was also one of TCU's best recruiters, and he was the recruiter for current 3-star safety and TCU commit Innis Gaines, according to Cross' profile on 247Sports.
One option to replace Cross would be former TCU linebacker and current Graduate Assistant Jason Phillips. Phillips played for TCU from 2005 to 2008, finishing his collegiate career with 315 total tackles, including 38 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round of the 2009 draft, and spent several seasons in the NFL.
Of course, Phillips has only one year of coaching experience at this point, so it's likely that TCU will put together a search for a linebackers coach. It'll also be interesting to see if the new coach is given Cross' co-defensive coordinator title, or is Chad Glasgow will become the sole DC.