Chargers promote from within to fill coordinator, assistant jobs

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, May 25, 2016

After getting the biggest promotion of all this offseason, Oxford first-year football coach Chris Cutcliffe has promoted three of his assistants to fill vacancies on the Chargers’ coaching staff.

Jason Russell will be Oxford’s offensive coordinator, Matt McCrory will take over as defensive coordinator and Logan Dodson will be a full-time assistant after serving as a volunteer coach last season. The positions for all three were approved by the Oxford School District at its board meeting Monday.

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Cutcliffe, the former Oxford quarterback and assistant who was chosen as Johnny Hill’s successor in January, said he talked with outside candidates in addition to those already on staff in his search for new coordinators but felt like “the most qualified people were here.”

Russell, who is also the assistant head coach, takes over play-calling duties following the departure of Stan Hill, who was hired as Northwest Mississippi Community College’s offensive coordinator in February. Russell has served as Oxford’s offensive line coach since joining the staff in 2008 and will continue to do so.

“Jason Russell has always done just an outstanding job in the many roles he’s played here, so I know he’ll step into that role and handle it extremely well,” Cutcliffe said. “He’s always very detailed and organized and gets a lot out of the kids that he works with. I know he’ll do a fantastic job.”

McCrory is entering his second season on the Chargers’ staff after previously serving as the offensive coordinator at Grenada. McCrory moved to the defensive side of the ball as the Chargers’ secondary coach last season, which made McCrory an appealing option to replace former defensive coordinator Steve Herring.

“He has experience as an offensive coordinator at the 6A level, which is very interesting because he has both perspectives,” Cutcliffe said. “I think it helps him as a defensive coordinator to see things from the offensive point of view and helps him put our guys in the right positions. He does a really good job of that.”

Dodson joined the staff last season helping coach tight ends and will now take over on a full-time basis as the wide receivers coach, a position Cutcliffe held the previous five seasons.

“Logan brings a ton of energy every day,” Cutcliffe said. “He knows the game and knows how to teach it.”

The Chargers’ staff isn’t yet complete. Oxford has two more varsity assistants whose recommendations still have to be approved, Cutcliffe said.