OU adds Jay Boulware to coaching staff

NORMAN, Okla. -- Bob Stoops is making it clear his program needs an upgrade in its recruiting. And he’ll do anything to get that done. Including hiring a Longhorn.

Friday, Stoops made his third and final assistant coaching hire in Jay Boulware, who comes to Oklahoma from Auburn by way of Wisconsin. Boulware, 40, who took a job with the Badgers in January, is a native of Oklahoma City, and the opportunity to return was too much to pass up.

“To have a chance to join the Oklahoma staff is an unbelievable professional and personal opportunity,” he said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to the start of spring practice and the chance to work with the talented student-athletes and coaches on OU’s roster.”

It might take awhile for Boulware to get used to wearing crimson. He actually played his college ball for Texas, where he was a reserve offensive lineman.

Boulware will coach tight ends and special teams for the Sooners.

Auburn ranked second nationally in punt coverage this past season under Boulware, averaging 0.8 yards per return, and third in kickoff coverage (18.6 per return). The Tigers’ special teams were prolific in 2011, as well.

But Stoops indicated Boulware’s ability to recruit is what caught his eye.

“Jay owns an impressive track record as both a coach and recruiter,” Stoops said in a statement. “He possesses a wide range of coaching experience, competing in some of the nation’s toughest conferences. He also has strong ties in the state of Texas, as well as recruiting relationships across the country that will serve us well.”

It didn’t take long for Boulware to show he could evaluate and recruit. In his first job, he recruited future All-American running back and NFL star Michael Turner to Northern Illinois.

While at Auburn, Boulware heavily recruited the south, especially Florida, a place the Sooners are looking to recruit more heavily.

Boulware reportedly was set to make $225,000 annually.