As first reported by CoachingSearch.com, Larry Coker was able to fill the last missing piece of his coaching staff this weekend by adding former Eastern Illinois assistant head coach/offensive line coach Mike Markuson to the staff. Behind Larry himself, Markuson probably brings the second most impressive resume on the staff to the table.
Markuson spent the 2014 season at Eastern Illinois serving as assistant head coach and offensive line coach. In his only year at EIU, Markuson lead an offensive line that generated space to allow EIU running backs to average over 5 yards per carry en route to a 5-7 record. While Markuson's unit paved holes for the Panthers' running attack, the offensive line also gave up 21 sacks.
Markuson arrives at UTSA in a phase of rebuilding his career. Before coaching at EIU, Markuson spent a year at Northeast Mississippi Community College, a far step down from his previous job as Wisconsin's offensive line coach. Following an embarrassing 7-10 loss to Oregon State, Markuson was fired by Bret Bielema following the Badgers' second game of the 2012 season.
When viewed within the scope of the entirety of his coaching career, Markuson's failure at Wisconsin definitely seems like an aberration. Markuson spent 13 seasons successfully coaching SEC offensive lines at Ole Miss and Arkansas where he would develop six All-Americans, several first round draft picks and a Rimington award winner.
While Markuson's prompt dismissal from Wisconsin is concerning, it's hard to view this hiring as anything less than a homerun for UTSA. With a limited athletics budget and some of the lowest paid coaches in FBS, UTSA really has to be creative with their coaching hires if they want to attract solid coaching talent. By taking a chance on a guy that has seemingly only made one sizable mistake in his coaching career it seems that UTSA is making a safe bet to add one of the most impressive resumes in Conference USA to the staff.