At the AFCA convention earlier this week, Matt Rhule made his intention to bring Texas players to Nebraska known. Every single staff member that made the trip to Charlotte was in the room for the annual Texas high school coaches gathering, getting face time with the most powerful coalition in recruiting.
He has hired a number of assistants with Texas high school connections, including wide receivers coach Garrett McGuire and tight ends coach Bob Wager, straight out of the Dallas-Fort Worth high school ranks.
And now here’s another move that will show Rhule’s intention to recruit Texas: sources tell FootballScoop that Rhule is working to hire University Interscholastic League athletic director Dr. Susan Elza as his chief of staff in Lincoln.
Elza is the chief of executive over athletics for the governing body of Texas high schools. A former high school softball coach, Elza transitioned to athletics administration at the school district level in the Dallas-Fort Worth area before making to the move to Austin.
The relationship between Rhule and Elza dates back to when Rhule first landed the Baylor job in 2017. An outsider to the Lone Star State, Rhule hired a number of Texas high school coaches, including current Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire and David Wetzel, a San Antonio high school coach who was the president of the Texas High School Coaches Association at that time. As part of that network-building, Rhule brought Elza and the UIL executive staff to Waco for a visit.
As Rhule’s chief of staff, Elza will represent Rhule in all off-field matters and serve as his right-hand in building the program. While Elza will not do any off-field recruiting, she’ll be an important part of the on-campus recruiting experience while, most importantly, making Texas high school coaches comfortable putting their players on a plane to Lincoln in the first place.
Elza is slated to join the the Texas High School Athletic Director Association Hall of Honor later this year.
In an interview with the THSCA last year, Elza credited former Rice, Tulsa, Pittsburgh, Arizona State and Hawaii head coach Todd Graham for pushing her into athletics administration. “I think it started with my parents,” Elza said. “When you’re a female, when you’re a minority, period — whether by gender or by race — sometimes you have some special challenges associated by that. I wanted to get into a field that was primarily male, primarily football coaches. Starting with Homer Johnson at Garland ISD believing in me to become an athletic director, Todd (Graham) helped with that vision, awarding me that assistant AD role.”
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.
story by The Texas Tribune Source link