If you have not yet been introduced to the new face of the Mean Green, take this opportunity to meet coach Seth Littrell.
Littrell began his college career playing for the University of Oklahoma from 1998 to 2001 as a running back. During his time as a Sonner, he served as team captain during the same year that the team won the national championship under coach Bob Stoops
Immediately following his time at Oklahoma, Littrell spent two years as a graduate assistant for the Kansas Jayhawks. His short stint at Kansas would be followed by a position at Texas Tech as the running backs coach from 2005-2008. During his final year at Tech, the Red Raiders finished the regular season 11-1 with a victory over the number one ranked Longhorns that fans still talk about today.
After spending a year as the running backs coach for Arizona, Littrell was given his first opportunity as an offensive coordinator for the Wildcats. He then went on to spend two seasons as the offensive coordinator for Indiana, and two more as the assistant head coach and tight ends coach for North Carolina. His time at North Carolina concluded with a trip to the ACC championship while his Tar Heels were ranked tenth in the nation.
I don't want to sound too optimistic, but Seth Littrell is an offensive genius. Each team that he has been a part of has produced one of the nation's top offenses within one or two years of him being there. The graph below shows the rankings by year for Littrell's offenses in white, and the rankings before/after he was the coordinator in gray.
This chart is insane. First, note the improvement from 58th in yards per game to 16th in just his first two years while serving in his first offensive coordinator position ever. Second, observe the drop-off that occurred in Indiana after Littell had left. Without knowing much about the situation at Arizona in 2011, one could argue that his offensive success could be attributed to other factors. However, there is no argument about his impact on the Indiana offense. Improving an offense from 101st in points per game to 17th in two years is impressive enough to begin with. Having that team drop back down to 90th the first year that you are away from the program shows the offensive value that Littrell provides to his team's. Across the board, Littrell has taken mediocre, and sometimes awful, offenses and turned them into high powered threats.
North Texas just finished a rough season that displayed significant offensive struggles. The Mean Green finished the 2015 season ranked 118th in yards per game and 125th in points per game. Even an offensive mind as talented as Littrell might have to take a few years to get to a place where the Mean Green could become an offensive conference leader. However, he seems to be enjoying his new home in North Texas, and Mean Green fans are certainly loving their new coach and his enthusiasm. If Littrell can repeat the job that he has at each one of his previous schools, while recruiting the talented Texas high school football base, he could very possibly create a program that can consistently be successful.
We must now wait to see how effectively Littrell can recruit in the Lone Star State. In just the short week that he has been the coach of the Mean Green, Littrell has spoken repeatedly about his intentions to build local relationships with high school coaches and put together a staff that understands the recruiting base of Texas high school football.
Littrell has certainly managed to energize a fan base that was nearly drained of all optimism after a devastating 1-11 season. Although much is to still be proven, with a good staff around him and young players stepping up during the offseason, Coach Littrell and the Mean Green just might have big things happening in Denton, Texas.