NORMAN — Neither Jerry Montgomery nor Jay Boulware sought ends to their relatively brief tenures on Big 10 coaching staffs, but neither could pass on the opportunity to coach under Bob Stoops at Oklahoma.
Montgomery, the Sooners' new defensive line coach, and Boulware, who will coach tight ends and special teams, met with reporters Wednesday for their first interviews since joining OU's staff.
Montgomery arrives in Norman after a two-year run as Michigan's defensive line coach; Boulware, meanwhile, came to Oklahoma after a short, two-month stint on Wisconsin's staff. He coached the past four seasons at Auburn.
“We're big brother now,” said Boulware, who has also coached at Northern Illinois, Arizona, Stanford, Utah and Iowa State.
“I've been at places where you're little brother, as some people say, or you're equal or whatever ... but this is my first time at a place where you're definitely the big dog on the street and everybody knows it.”
Oklahoma begins spring practices Saturday with some new faces, enhanced responsibilities for others and loftier expectations for all.
Stoops' three new assistant coaches — Montgomery, Boulware and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh — must also quickly adapt to their unfamiliar surroundings and players.
Montgomery confirmed Wednesday that he'll coach Oklahoma's entire defensive line; his predecessor, Jackie Shipp, only coached defensive tackles.
The OU defensive line was senior-dominated in 2012, so it returns very little experience. The unit could also change dramatically if the Sooners, as expected, shift to a 3-4 defensive system.
Oklahoma currently has just three defensive tackles on campus — junior Torrea Peterson, sophomore Jordan Phillips and redshirt freshman Jordan Wade, none of whom have much game experience.
Montgomery wouldn't talk specifically about any schematic or personnel changes, but did say coaches would “move some guys around.”
“We'll move some things around a little bit, but I like what I have to work with and look forward to starting spring ball Saturday,” Montgomery said.
Boulware inherits a tight end group that didn't contribute much last season. Senior Brannon Green caught a touchdown in Oklahoma's season opener, but didn't consistently produce throughout the year.
Freshman Taylor McNamara had shoulder surgery in October and missed the rest of the season. Boulware wouldn't comment on McNamara's status for spring football.
“You know what, OU's had a number of great players at the tight end position over the course of the years, and I think OU fans and the communities around here should expect to see that here again in the near future,” Boulware said.