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Graham brings six former assistants from Rice to Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. -- New Tulsa head football coach Todd Graham on
Sunday tapped six of his former assistants at Rice to join him on
the Golden Hurricane coaching staff.

Assistants Dean Jackson, Danny Phillips, Jason Jones, Jess
Loepp, Bo Graham and strength and conditioning coordinator Yancy
McKnight will follow Graham to Tulsa from Rice. Jackson is the only
offensive coach coming from the Owl's staff.

In addition, longtime Oklahoma high school coach and former
Tulsa quarterback Bill Blankenship and West Virginia's Herb Hand
will join TU's offensive coaching staff, the university said.

"We're extremely excited about putting together what I think
will be one of the best coaching staffs in Conference USA and the
country," Graham said.

Graham was named Tulsa's head coach on Friday and replaces Steve
Kragthorpe, the new head coach at Louisville.

Graham ran Kragthorpe's defense for three years at Tulsa before
taking the Rice job last year. He turned around the Owls program,
taking a team that had been 1-10 in 2005 and leading it to a 7-6
season and its first bowl game in 45 years.

Phillips will serve as co-defensive coordinator and linebacker
coach, while Jason Jones will coach cornerbacks, Graham safeties
and Jess Loepp the outside linebackers.

Offensively, Hand will serve as co-offensive coordinator and
offensive line coach. Jackson will coach the Hurricane tight ends
and Blankenship will coach the wide receivers.

Danny Phillips returns to Tulsa after one season as Rice's
defensive line coach. Phillips spent three seasons at Tulsa,
helping the Hurricane win the 2005 C-USA Championship.

Graham has two more coaching positions to fill at Tulsa.