Justin Gaines, one of the original members of head coach Dan McCarney’s staff at North Texas, has resigned.
Gaines coached UNT’s cornerbacks and recruited Louisiana throughout his tenure with the Mean Green.
Trent Delahoussaye, the head coach at Loreauville (La.) High School said Monday that Gaines was no longer recruiting his star player, wide receiver/defensive back Jermaine Antoine.
McCarney confirmed later in the day that Gaines had left the staff.
“Justin resigned to pursue other opportunities,” McCarney said. “We wish him well.”
UNT ranked fifth out of nine teams in the Sun Belt Conference last season with an average of 251.5 passing yards allowed a game and gave up at least 300 yards in four of its last seven games.
Gaines came to UNT from Montana State and is the second member of McCarney’s staff to leave the program since the end of the season. Kent Riddle, UNT’s special teams coordinator and tight ends coach, left the program to take over as the assistant head coach at Arkansas State.
McCarney hired Tommy Perry, the running backs coach and special teams coordinator at South Alabama, to replace Riddle.
“I have a lot of guys interested,” McCarney said of the staff vacancy. “I always have a list of coaches that I keep. I know who I want. There were hundreds of applications for Kent Riddle’s job, and I would anticipate it will be the same way for Justin’s job.”
Gaines’ departure comes less than a week before Wednesday’s national signing day. He was recruiting some of UNT’s top remaining targets, including Antoine.
Antoine committed to UNT on Jan. 23 but later decided to visit TCU.
Antoine, a first-team Class 2A all-state selection in Louisiana, said late Monday afternoon that he would decide between signing with UNT or TCU later in the day after discussing his options with his family.
Delahoussaye indicated that there is a good chance Antoine will back out of his commitment to UNT to sign with TCU.
“Coach Gaines had been here 10 or 12 times,” Delahoussaye said. “He [Antoine] felt comfortable with him. He wasn’t comfortable after that. He had a great visit with [TCU head coach Gary] Patterson and [TCU co-offensive coordinator Jarrett] Anderson. He really liked the idea of playing against LSU in the opening game next year.”
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .