Per a report from Football Scoop, UTSA defensive coordinator Neal Neathery will be named defensive coordinator/linebackers coach at Eastern Michigan.
Through five years as UTSA's defensive coordinator, Neathery has put his stamp on the program's defense by building run-stopping defenses that gives its offense opportunities to win games in spite of the uptempo revolution that is lighting up scoreboards across the nation.
Neathery was likely UTSA's best coach and did a terrific job at UTSA despite what the program's win/loss record may dictate. Utilizing a modern 4-2-5 scheme built in the mold of Gary Patterson's dominating defenses from TCU, Neathery was able to combat offenses despite often having limited athleticism to employ.
Neathery will be assuming linebacker coaching duties at Eastern Michigan which shouldn't come as a surprise as he was able to turn JUCO transfers and undersized recruits into very strong linebackers. Neathery placed three of his athletes into professional football and his defenders regularly populated all-conference lists. Under Neathery, UTSA's defenses were effective and well coached.
With that being said, why is Neathery leaving UTSA for Eastern Michigan, arguably the worst program in FBS?
Personally, I feel like Neathery ditching the program reveals a deeper level of dysfunction inside the program than previously assumed. I had heard many rumors about Neathery floating his resume around throughout the past few months but I imagined it was because he felt he would be able to get a job at a Power 5 school or a defensive coordinator spot at a MWC or AAC school with a higher profile.
Leaving to Eastern Michigan where he will likely get paid equally or less than at UTSA shows that he was desperate to get out of UTSA's program.
Who could blame him? Through the past two seasons his defense has been continually left out to dry by inept offenses. His head coach offers little hands-on assistance and Coker's laid back persona starkly contrasts with Neathery's fiery go-getter attitude.
Neathery is a smart guy that can read trends and the trend surrounding UTSA's football program is very obvious and troubling. With the status quo standing where it is, Neathery is wise to jump ship before his value as a coach is ruined by another terrible season of UTSA football.
Without a change in leadership the Roadrunners' start up dreams will continue to diminish to that of mediocrity, as eloquently narrated by Buck Harvey in his latest editorial.
While Neathery's exit is concerning, it is just another nail in the coffin of UTSA's dreams of elevating itself to national relevance under the current regime.