University of Utah football coach Ron McBride solved the problem created when Ute offensive coordinator Rick Rasnick left to be come head coach at Eastern Michigan last month.
Tuesday McBride elevated longtime assistant Fred Graves to the offensive coordinator position and hired Tommy Lee as the quarterback coach.The 45-year-old Graves played for the Utes from 1968-71, leading the team in receptions his senior year. He has been a Ute assistant for 13 years under four different head coaches. Most recently he was the assistant head coach and receivers coach. He'll continue to oversee the receivers.
"Freddy has earned the position here," said McBride. "He is a guy, who through his work and intelligence, has earned the respect of the players. They will follow him."
Lee spent the past two years with Toronto of the Canadian Football League, where he was offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. He also spent five years at Montana and two years at Portland State in similar positions. Lee also has eight years of head coaching experience at Williamette University from 1975-82.
With two-year Ute starter Mike McCoy graduated, the new quarterback coach will be instrumental in the development of a quarterback for the '95 season. Four quarterbacks, Brandon Jones, Ryan Shea, Mike Fouts and Ryan Hawkins, will be vying for the open QB job.
"Lee has had success with quarterback after quarterback wherever he has been," said McBride, referring to Lee. "In hiring Lee there were about seven or eight things we were looking for. His particular strengths are calling plays and developing and dealing with quarterbacks."
Utah's spring practice will run through most of the month of April with fall drills set to start in mid-August prior to the Sept. 2 opener against Oregon.