Oklahoma Sooners set to make special teams coordinator hire

It looks like the Oklahoma Sooners have found their next special teams coordinator.

After Jay Nunez left OU for Alabama, the Sooners had a position on staff to fill. Brent Venables and the Sooners have reportedly zeroed in on San Diego State special teams coach Doug Deakin.

According to Collin Kennedy and Matt Zenitz of 247Sports, Oklahoma and Deakin are closing in on a deal.

The Oklahoma Sooners are closing in on another potential key hire for the football program. According to sources, Sooners Illustrated on the 247Sports Network has learned that OU has zeroed in on Doug Deakin, formerly of San Diego State, as its next special teams analyst hire.  — Collin Kennedy, 247Sports and Sooners Illustrated

Deakin has spent the last 17 years with San Diego State in a variety of roles after starting his playing career with the Aztecs as as walk on. For the last six seasons, he’s coached one of the best special teams units in the country. According to the San Diego State football website, the Aztecs finished in the top 10 in ESPN’s special teams efficiency rating each of the last three seasons.

In 2023, under Deakin’s coaching, Jack Browning was a second-team All-Mountain West performer and a semifinalist for both the Ray Guy and Lou Groza awards. Returners Mekhi Shaw and Kenan Christon earned all-conference honorable mention honors.

In 2022, Jordan Byrd was the only player in the Football Bowl Subdivision to return a kick and a punt for a touchdown. Byrd earned All-MWC first-team honors as both a kick and punt returner.

In 2021, Matt Araiza won the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s best punter.

Doug Deakin has a strong track record of success during his time as a special teams coach. Special teams was an issue for OU in 2023. In every facet of special teams play, the Sooners underwhelmed at different times during the season.

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Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire