In the landscape of today’s college football where coaches are now accepting jobs only to leave before even coaching a single game, Texas A&M had a relatively quiet offseason of coaching staff turnover. Of Jimbo Fisher’s full-time staff, only two coaches on the roster for 2019 will be new faces following the program’s debut season under Fisher.
Both of the new coaches, tight ends coach Joe Jon Finley and offensive line coach Josh Henson, come with outstanding reputations for their coaching ability, recruiting acumen and have experience coaching in the Southeastern Conference. That checks off the boxes for what Fisher was looking for when looking to make his new hires this offseason.
Finley joins the A&M staff after coaches tight ends for Missouri the previous three seasons, where he recruited and coached All-SEC tight end Albert Okwuegbunam. Prior to getting into coaching, Finley played tight end in the NFL following his playing career at Oklahoma.
Here is what Fisher had to say in regards to Finley during his Thursday introductory spring press conference.
“Tremendous coach, his players are very productive, everywhere he has been — not just catching the ball but complete players,” Fisher noted. “He himself was a great player, he had great knowledge of this state. His dad was a great coach in this state, good people connections. So from a recruiting base, a cultural fit, from a coaching standpoint, I think he also, even though he’s a tight ends coach, he has a big picture view of the game. He understands the game like a coordinator does and he brings a lot to the table for us.”
Henson was hired off of Oklahoma State’s staff, where he served as the offensive line coach last season. Before landing in Stillwater, Henson was Missouri’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach under Gary Pinkel. Prior to working for Pinkel, Henson served under Fisher and Nick Saban at LSU in the capacity of the program’s tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. He has been named a top 25 recruiter nationally on multiple occasions.
“Josh has been great, he’s been in the system before. Josh and I have coached together before when we were at LSU many years ago,” Fisher said of his new offensive line coach. “Josh is a very accomplished line coach but also a very accomplished coordinator. When Missouri went to two SEC Championship Games, he was calling the plays so for an offensive line coach seeing that outside is very good. He’s recruiting well, he’s doing a great job. The transition has been very easy.”