- Sam Khan Jr., ESPN Staff Writer
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- With the AT&T Cotton Bowl approaching, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said he's in no rush to hire an offensive coordinator to fill the void left by Kliff Kingsbury, the former Aggies offensive coordinator who left Dec. 12 to accept the head coaching job at Texas Tech.
"We're not going to change what we're doing before Jan. 4, so anybody we brought in here from the outside would have to learn what we're doing, not us learn what what they're doing," Sumlin said during a pre-bowl news conference last week. "To have us learn what they're doing by Jan. 4 just doesn't make sense to me."
So as the Aggies prepare for their Cotton Bowl showdown with Oklahoma, a few minor adjustments have been made to the staff to fill the void left by Kingsbury for the time being. Running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Clarence McKinney, who worked Kingsbury and during game and oversaw the running game portion of the offense with offensive line coach B.J. Anderson, will call plays in the Cotton Bowl. Receivers coach David Beaty, who was involved in passing game preparations along with Kingsbury and offensive graduate assistant Klint Kubiak, will also assume the role of quarterbacks coach.
McKinney has been on Sumlin's staff since Sumlin first became a head coach in 2008 at Houston. Anderson joined Sumlin's Houston staff a year later while Beaty and Kubiak joined Sumlin this year for the first time.
The way the assignments were organized throughout the year means the transition in the meantime isn't drastic.
"During the week, Clarence McKinney and B.J. Anderson really did a lot during the year -- most of the run game prep and personnel and things for the game plan," Sumlin said. "David and Kliff and Klint Kubiak actually did a lot with the passing game. I think Kliff did a great job of organization during that time and the action during the game. Our guys have been around it.
"David and Clarence are really spearheading this deal, but B.J. has always been the run game guy as the line coach and the pass protection, sets the protection. So we work together the same way. Right now our guys are doing well, with David moving over and being in the quarterback room and Klint Kubiak, really right now, who has done a really fine job has been coaching the inside receivers the whole year with David on the outside. Now he's got more flexibility with the receiving core and has done a fine job the whole year."
When it comes to McKinney, Sumlin feels that he knows and understands the offense well having worked in it the last five seasons.
"I've seen it for five years," Sumlin said. "Like I said, there's a lot of things that go into decisions like that and we're not going to change what we're doing. We play Jan. 4, so anybody who came in here would have to learn what we're doing anyway. There's a lot of moving parts offensively. Continuity I think was important for our players, No. 1, with terminology for our quarterback and for everybody. And the success level and the confidence level that we have in what we're doing, there's no real need to change. With where we are with David moving into the quarterback room and spending more time there and Clarence being involved in the offense over the last five years, understanding it, communicating during the game with Kliff the whole time, he understands it. And B.J. has his hands full trying to block everybody. Everybody's got a role and the way we're set up right now from a personnel, signaling, Clarence up in the booth talking to Kliff about the run game, it's just a natural progression."