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It's almost assistant coach pilfering season

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Brett Vito, Staff Writer

One of the more impressive aspects of what Seth Littrell has accomplished in his first two seasons at North Texas is the way he has been able to put together a solid staff and rebuild when his top guys are plucked away.

Littrell's first staff guided UNT to the Heart of Dallas Bowl. The Mean Green lost Mike Ekeler (North Carolina), Brad Davis (Florida) and Derrick LeBlanc (Kentucky) and parted ways with Tommy Perry (Nevada).

UNT reloaded and earned a spot in the New Orleans Bowl this season.

Could the Mean Green be back in the same spot this season? Maybe. Maybe not.

But it is definately something to keep an eye on in the next few days as teams turn their attention to the offseason. A host of new head coaches have been or will be hired over the next few weeks. Other coaches will move around.

The success UNT has had the last two years will make several of its assistants highly marketable. Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Graham Harrell took a lightly recruited quarterback in Mason Fine and turned him into the Offensive Player of the Year in Conference USA.  He's also got a ton of connections in Texas, where he has a great reputation from his days as a quarterback at Texas Tech.

Plenty of people have already pointed out that Texas Tech is looking for an offensive coordinator after Eric Morris left to become the head coach at Incarnate Word.

One would think Tech would at least consider Harrell. And he's just one of several coaches on UNT's staff who could be appealing to a Power Five program.

Wide receivers coach Joel Filani has built his resume and played in the NFL. Linebacker coach Jeff Koonz was the co-defensive coordinator at Cincinnati before coming to UNT. Associate head coach/passing game coordinator Tommy Mainord coached at Kentucky and Texas Tech.

UNT could end up bringing its staff back intact next season, but the odds seemed stacked against it with the way coaches move around. Every time the Mean Green have a run of success, its staff tends to be raided.

That's what happened in the early 2000s when UNT went to four straight New Orleans Bowls. It happened again last season after UNT played in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

We'll find out in the next few weeks if UNT's staff gets pilfered again.

FEATURED PHOTO: North Texas head coach Seth Littrell pumps his fist after his team defeats Texas-San Antonio at Apogee Stadium earlier this season. (Jeff Woo/DRC)