After a disappointing season, TCU’s co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham is leaving Fort Worth to take the sole coordinator job at Big 12 rival Kansas, as announced by the Jayhawks Thursday morning.
It’s a surprising move to say the least, as Meacham - who was pursued by several programs a year ago as a head coaching candidate - takes a similar role to his duties in Fort Worth at a moribund program who hasn’t won more than a single game in conference play since 2008. They have been TCU’s kryptonite through the years, playing even the top Gary Patterson teams as tightly as anyone in the conference.
Losing Meacham will certainly hurt TCU, who exploded onto the scene in 2014 with an explosive team led by Meacham and his partner Sonny Cumbie. They enjoyed two seasons of being one of the best offenses in the country before falling off this past year without Trevone Boykin, Josh Doctson, and Aaron Green, and the veteran offensive line that accompanied them. As Texas A&M transfer QB Kenny Hill struggled, the Frogs struggled to score consistently and went without a touchdown in their last two home games, losses to Oklahoma State and Kansas State. While it’s certainly naive to blame the issues solely on the coaching, there were concerns raised by fans over play-calling, especially late in the season.
Meacham, who spent his playing career at Oklahoma State as an offensive lineman, began his coaching career in 1997 at Jacksonville State, where his teams broke 21 passing and receiving records and experienced one of the biggest turnarounds in college football history. He took his high-powered offense to several stops before earning his first major college job, in 2005 at his alma-mater. After spending several years as a position coach, he graduated to passing-game coordinator in 2008, before matriculating to Houston, where he was the offensive coordinator and QB coach during the 2013 season.
Meach was hailed for his innovative offense and ability to develop QBs immediately upon his arrival at TCU, and more than lived up to his billing in his first two seasons in Fort Worth. The Frogs were a top-ten offense in both scoring and yards per game from 2014-2015, before declining this past year. He helped develop Boykin into one of the top-flight dual-threat QBs in football, helping him to an MVP caliber year and a top ten Heisman finish. TCU won the Peach Bowl and the Alamo Bowl - in dramatic fashion - under his watch, before falling to Georgia in Memphis last month. They were Big 12 champions in 2014, compiling a 32-3 record over the first two years before declining to 6-7 in 2016.
Doug’s departure comes at an interesting point, as it appeared the Frogs would hold on to most of their staff as the coaching carousel wound down. TCU is also on the verge of signing the most talented recruiting class in their history, which currently has three top rated receivers and one of the state’s best quarterbacks verbally committed. After rumored to be a candidate at Tulane and UNT a year ago, and there being buzz about a possible move to Cal or Auburn over the past several days, Kansas is a a shocker.
The Frogs have yet to make an announcement as to how they will address the staff change, but I would imagine Sonny Cumbie will be given the title of offensive coordinator, and Gary Patterson will look to promote or bring in a QB coach. It is crucial that the Frogs keep Cumbie, who is one of the best recruiters in college football, to run the offense and maintain a relationship with the commits TCU has and is continuing to pursue.
We wish Coach Meacham all the best going forward, except when the Frogs play Kansas. Then I hope he gets shut out.