NORMAN — Former Texas offensive lineman Jay Boulware enthusiastically praised his new employer's facilities, tradition and powerful recruiting brand last week in a session with local reporters.
The elephant in the Adrian Peterson Team Meeting Room took just a few questions to come up.
Is he adapting to his new wardrobe?
“I'm used to it,” said Boulware, sporting a crimson pullover. “I love it.”
Boulware, who was born in Oklahoma City and still has lots of family in the area, joins an exclusive club of men who've seen the Red River Rivalry from both sides. OU football historian Mike Brooks said Boulware is the fourth former Texas player to coach at Oklahoma, joining Jim Helms (1973-75); Harry Phillips (1945); and Swede Lee (1966).
Boulware will coach special teams and tight ends under Bob Stoops.
Boulware said he lived in Oklahoma the first six or seven years of his life before moving to Texas.
He was a reserve Longhorns offensive lineman two seasons, and slated to earn a starting position in 1993 before a medical condition prematurely ended his playing days.
His coaching career began at Texas shortly thereafter; he was a graduate assistant before stops at Northern Illinois, Arizona, Stanford, Utah, Iowa State and Auburn, where he coached special teams and tight ends the last four seasons.
Boulware said before accepting the Oklahoma job, he didn't have any history with Stoops, but did know OU assistant Bobby Jack Wright.
Wright spent 13 seasons at Texas in various positions before joining Stoops' first OU staff in 1999.
“When I went to Texas, he was a there,” Boulware said. “He knew me back in the day. ... He knew me when I had snot on my nose and didn't know how to put one foot in front of the other.”
Boulware, Wright, Helms, Bobby Warmack, Rex Norris, Clarence James and current Longhorns head coach Mack Brown — Switzer's offensive coordinator in 1984 — are believed to be the only seven men to have coached at both OU and Texas.
And, of course, there's Darrell Royal, an Oklahoma gridiron star from 1946-49 who became Texas' greatest head coach and stadium's namesake.
Asked if he'll feel weird Oct. 12 in the Cotton Bowl, Boulware firmly answered in the negative.
“It's not gonna be weird at all,” Boulware said. “If you see my little 5-year-old daughter ... every time I look at her, she gives me a big old hug and kiss.
“This is how I feed my family. So when I look at that little girl, and then I like across that field, all I'm thinking about is this is how I feed my family.
“It's gonna be real easy for me to go out and try to beat them down a little bit.”