Wyoming football assistants Mike Bath, Gordie Haug adjust to new coaching roles
LARAMIE — Spring camp is often a time for college football players to undergo position changes, and this one is no exception for Wyoming football. Tyler Hall has moved from cornerback to nickel back, running back Milo Hall swung out to receiver, and Jahmari Moore and Austin Lopez have moved from the defensive side of the ball to fullback.
Some Wyoming assistants are making moves, too.
Earlier this year, Wyoming announced that director of player personnel Gordie Haug had added the title of running backs coach, while the previous running backs coach Mike Bath would shift to fullbacks and tight ends. Haug officially became Wyoming’s 10th on-field assistant coach, something that the NCAA permitted as of Jan. 9.
“It was something that (head coach Craig Bohl) approached me with,” Bath said. ”... I had coached tight ends before. I was more than open to it. When he approached me about it, I just told him that, as most of our players would do right now, whatever was going to be best for us, I was fine with that. One hundred percent fine with that. It’s been good. It’s been a fun deal so far.”
Bath previously coached tight ends at Miami (Ohio). Haug previously stepped in as Wyoming’s interim wide receivers coach in 2015.
“Working out the kinks and getting used to all the guys and just getting back into the (coaching) realm of things is a little bit different,” Haug said, “but it’s gone really well so far.”
The new position also allows him to take his recruiting acumen on the road.
“So to kind of explain it, it’s like a 60 percent recruiting, 40 percent coaching type deal,” Haug said. “Now (in spring camp), that’s obviously not the case, but it allows me to go out and recruit during the season and then also to be able to get out on the road for summer camps and evaluate. With all the time I’ve spent evaluating tape, it will be a benefit for our program to be able to have me out and be able to go evaluate live.”
Haug said he wasn’t sure whether being an on-field coach is a long-term desire of his.
“That is the question I still don’t know the answer to,” he said. “I just kind of wanted to stick with Coach Bohl and this staff for the longest time I can. So, whatever Coach asks me to do, I’m going to do. But I do really enjoy having the relationship with players and then being able to develop relationships now on the road with recruiting players, as well, is kind of what is really exciting for me.”
Both Bath and Haug have the benefit of being able to work alongside the coaches who previously held their roles. Graduate assistant Jacob Claborn coached Wyoming’s tight ends the past two seasons and is now focused primarily on helping offensive line coach Scott Fuchs.
“He’s a really neat guy, and he’s a good ball coach,” Bath said. “So we worked together today with tackles and tight ends. He’s been great throughout this whole thing. He’s probably a little bit of an O-line guy at heart, so to get back with that has been something exciting for him.
“But he’s been great through the transition. Really has been. Whenever I have a little bit of a question in regards to how he coached things, in comparison to how I coach things, we’ll have a conversation about it, and he’s been great. He’s a really good person.”
And Bath, of course, is the former tailbacks coach.
“I’ll always bounce some ideas off him and what he saw and what was good with some of these guys that were maybe different than what I saw,” Haug said. “But, yeah, it’s a great working relationship. There will be times that the fullbacks will come over with me, and we’ll still dual-coach a little bit with that fullback position.
“He’s taking those guys, and you can really concentrate on working the (running) backs and maybe some different things where he had to spend time on some fullback stuff, where now, it’s strictly footwork, playmaking ability, making people miss, those kind of things at work.”
Said Bath: “And with the kids, I still get to coach them on special teams. They’re a great group of young men. I love being around them, so I still get to coach up Trey (Woods) and Kellen (Overstreet) and Milo and Nico (Evans) and all those guys. I still get to coach them up, so it’s fun.”