COLUMN: Prince’s assistants furthered his demise


    There were a lot of reasons for the collapse of the Ron Prince era, but the biggest might have been his lack of quality assistant coaches.
    Tim McCarty, who was Ron Prince’s offensive line and assistant head coach, announced Thursday that he would return to Division II school Eastern Central University in Oklahoma. McCarty coached at ECU in 2004 and 2005, compiling a 9-11 record.
    McCarty is not taking a job as an offensive line coach at some other BCS school. He is not even taking an assistant job for a Division I-AA team. He’s heading back to Division II.
    Now, there’s a chance that McCarty and his family really like ECU and that McCarty is taking this job for reasons other than money or recognition.
    However, doesn’t that paint a bad picture of the man who was the Wildcats assistant head coach? Prince’s second in command doesn’t have enough ambition to go after a BCS job elsewhere?
    But it’s not just McCarty. Take a look at the other assistants on Prince’s final staff. Where do you think they’ll end up?
     Tim Tibesar, the former defensive coordinator, has no big-time experience as a college football coach outside of his three troubled seasons at K-State.
     Dave Brock,     Prince’s offensive coordinator, will probably get another shot at a top assistant job.
    He’s coached at North Carolina and was the offensive coordinator at Temple.
     Cornell Jackson, former linebacker coach, will most likely land on his feet too. He’s coached at BCS schools Baylor, Washington and New Mexico.
    Mo Latimore and Jeff Rodgers will be retained by Bill Snyder.
    Ricky Rahne, Warren Ruggiero and Frank Leonard all lack significant BCS experience outside of their time with the Wildcats.
    It’s hard to tell where they’ll end up, but it’s likely it won’t be as assistants at BCS schools.
    It’s possible that five of Prince’s nine assistants will have to take lesser jobs. This fact explains why K-State struggled so much this season.
    Snyder built K-State with great assistant coaches. At one point he had Bob Stoops, Mark Mangino and Jim Leavitt on the same staff.
    Judging from the early hires, Snyder’s staff looks much more impressive than Prince’s final group of assistants.
    From 2005-2008 co-defensive coordinator Vic Koenning coached Clemson to top 25 finishes in scoring and total defense.
    The other co-defensive coordinator Chris Cosh has been a defensive coordinator in four BCS conferences.
    Considering Koenning and Cosh are inheriting one of the worst defenses in college football, experience will be valuable.
    If Prince’s failures were linked to his assistants, the staff Snyder is assembling is a good sign for the future.

Jon Garten is a senior in print journalism. Please send comments to