A staffing announcement out of South Main. Current offensive coordinator Jerry Mack has been named Rice football Associate Head Coach.
The title of Associate Head Coach was vacated during the offseason when Pete Lembo departed Rice for Memphis to work on Mike Norvell’s staff as the special teams coach. That left some reconfiguring to do for Mike Bloomgren for the first time since he built his staff upon his arrival at South Main.
The first beneficiary of the change is Jerry Mack. The former head coach at North Carolina Central, Mack took over the Owls’ offense last season. He will retain his role as offensive coordinator alongside being named the Associate Head Coach.
For Mack and the offense, 2018 was a year of adjustments. The Owls experienced their fair share of growing pains as they transitioned to a more physical, run-dominant offense. Mack guided the offense through multiple quarterback injuries and a fluctuating offensive line.
Rice averaged 318.4 yards per game, finishing seventh in Conference USA with 143.6 yards per game on the ground. Both of those numbers are expected to improve next season with a fortified offensive line, which will include three graduate transfers, and a more stable quarterback situation.
The team ended on a high note, defeating Old Dominion in the final game of the regular season. They registered 275 rushing yards against the Monarchs, the most of any conference game that season.
Mack’s promotion does not involve special teams responsibilities. As previously reported, the candidate pool has been narrowed to two names with interviews forthcoming, held off until after National Signing Day. The decision on how that coaching spot will be filled is expected to be made in the coming weeks.