University of Houston hires Vernon Hargreaves as new linebackers coach

February 5, 2013 8:51:41 AM PST
University of Houston head football coach Tony Levine filled the remaining open position on his staff Tuesday as he announced the hiring of Vernon Hargreaves as the program's linebackers coach.

The 28-year coaching veteran spent the last three seasons at the University of South Florida where he coached defensive ends and oversaw the program's special teams units.

"We are excited to add a coach of Vernon Hargreaves' caliber," said Levine. "When you look at his resume, his track record speaks for itself. He's a veteran of the game and he's been known to develop linebackers that excel on the college and professional level as evident with seven NFL Pro Bowl honors shared by players he coached. Just last night I watched Tavares Gooden, who he coached in college, playing in the Super Bowl for the 49ers."

Coaching staffs that included Hargreaves have advanced to bowl games in 12 of the last 15 seasons including back-to-back BCS National Championship appearances while at Miami in 2001 and 2002. Hargreaves' 2001 linebackers helped to lead a Miami defense that allowed just 9.4 points per game en route to a national title.

"I'm excited to join the Houston family and am really looking forward to getting to work with Tony and the rest of the staff," said Hargreaves. "I'm familiar with the program having coached against it in the past, so I know there is great potential in a great environment. The future for this program is definitely an exciting one."

In his last three seasons at USF, Hargreaves helped to lead a defense that finished among the Big East leaders. In 2011, Hargreaves' defensive ends helped USF finish second nationally in tackles for loss and fourth nationally in sacks while only allowing 107.3 rushing yards per game, good for 15th in the NCAA ranks. The unit helped South Florida win its fourth bowl game in school history with a 31-26 win over Clemson in the 2010 Meineke Car Care Bowl.

A native of New Haven, Conn., Hargreaves earned a bachelor's of science degree in sociology from Connecticut in 1986. Prior to graduation, he was a four-year football letterman for the Huskies, who earned All-America honors as a junior and senior linebacker.

Hargreaves is the fourth new staff member of Levine this offseason, joining offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, defensive coordinator David Gibbs and offensive line coach Glen Elarbee.