Maulers DL Coach Rick Courtright
The Maulers watched several players from the defensive line receive interest at the NFL level. Both Carlos Kemp, and Jeremiah Pharms were signed to NFL rosters. The more impressive feat in my opinion is the fact that both stuck on these teams.
Granted they’re on the practice squad, neither of those men are complaining about the foot in the door. Across that Maulers line was NFL level talent with Boogie Roberts and Terry Buckner Jr also in that unit. I would be willing to bet each and every player under coach would go to bat for him as a future Defensive Coordinator.
More than a DL Coach
Courtright has coached many different position groups, including assisting with the secondary for the Arizona Cardinals. He also can’t seem to get enough football given that he is serving as a part time assistant coach for a college program.
He is currently spending his off-season coaching defensive backs for Concordia College. This is only helping solidify his ability to coach any position group at the professional level. Don’t worry USFL fans coach assures he will be back in the USFL for 2023.
Interest in the Position
After serving as a coach, and scout at the NCAA and NFL level for around 30 years, Courtright is more than prepared for this challenge. When asked if he has interest in the positions available Coach has one word: “Absolutely!”
More importantly this wouldn’t be his first, second, or even third rodeo as a defensive coordinator. In fact this would be his 5th defensive coordinator position, and 7th coordinator position in general. Both Coordinators lost had backgrounds coaching defensive backs, a position Courtright could also take over along with the coordinator role.
During his time at Western Illinois University Courtright joined a team that had been 9-3 the season before. The first season was not what Courtright had in mind. Landing at 5-5. Struggling to stop the offense on 3rd down allowing a 41% conversion rate. This turned around extremely quickly.
By year two the team put up an 11-2 record. This coincided with a drop in 3rd down conversion rate by 8%. His unit produced 33 sacks, and 15 interceptions on the season and helped their offense to a great season. Brian Caesar had an amazing season with 24 tackles for a loss, and 10 sacks.
In the 2003 season they saw a slight regression winning 9 games. In his final season with Western Illinois he was a part of a 98-7 victory that still stands as a record for the school.
Perfect Fit: Houston
Houston lost its entire staff on defense. Every position coach and their coordinator. Bringing in Courtright would give you a coach who has many connections within the coaching realm. This could help the Gamblers rebuild their staff after watching four coaches leave for the XFL.
His background coaching each position would allow him to seek out his staff regardless of which positions they are familiar with knowing he can fill in the gap. Nearly every 2022 USFL defensive coordinator ran a position group as well.
He could in theory even be hired to coach DL/special teams. He has served as a special teams coordinator twice. Including once in the UFL. So it wouldn’t be unheard of to see him fill both roles for his next team.
Coach Courtright is a veteran coach that has been around the block. He has coached every position grouping on defense, AND even spent some time coaching special teams and tight ends. He has shown an ability to develop players over a short period of time, and this should not be a fact that is overlooked. His four previous stops as a defensive coordinator, and two stops as a special teams coordinator should only inspire confidence in his ability to coordinate a unit of his own. The Question in Houston is can he build a staff from scratch?