Less than a week after David Gibbs left Missouri to become the co-defensive coordinator at Central Florida, Eli Drinkwitz has found his replacement. Sources have indicated to PowerMizzou that Missouri will hire Aaron Fletcher to coach defensive backs. Fletcher spent the past six seasons coaching cornerbacks at Tulsa.
Fletcher is the third new assistant hired on the defensive side of the ball by Drinkwitz this offseason, along with defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and defensive line coach Jethro Franklin. Barring any more departures, the Tiger staff is now set for the 2021 season with the team set to kick off spring football practices Friday.
Fletcher has worked his way up the ranks from coaching high schools to Houston Baptist University to Tulsa. Fletcher played cornerback at Ranger junior college for two seasons, then spent two years at Texas A&M-Commerce, graduating in 2003. From there, he coached at several Dallas area high schools, including perennial powerhouse Dallas Carter. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if he also takes Gibbs’ place as one of Missouri’s Texas area recruiters.
Fletcher jumped to the college ranks in 2012 when he was hired as an assistant for Houston Baptist’s fledgling football program. After three seasons coaching defensive backs there, he got hired by Tulsa. There, he has coached both cornerbacks and special teams. Fletcher coached current Dallas Cowboys cornerback Reggie Robinson at Tulsa. Robinson was selected in the fourth round of last year’s NFL Draft.
Chris Harmon, publisher of insidetulsasports.com, had this to say about Fletcher: “Coach Fletcher has been a huge bright spot on Philip Montgomery ‘s coaching staff for the past six years. His position group has excelled throughout his tenure. Fletcher has developed players such as Reggie Robinson. … Tulsa’s two current starting corners, Allie Green and Akayleb Evans, are both likely to be drafted as well. Coach Fletcher is a great person and a strong recruiter as well.”
Fletcher will likely split coaching duties in the defensive backfield with Wilks and secondary coach Charlie Harbison. If Fletcher follows in Gibbs’ footsteps by primarily coaching the cornerbacks, he will take over a position group that brings back quite a bit of young talent from last season. Junior Jarvis Ware and freshmen Ennis Rakestraw and Jaylon Carlies all have starting experience. Sophomore Ishmael Burdine played regular snaps last year, as well. Missouri also signed five new cornerbacks in the class of 2021, including junior college standout Jadarrius Perkins, who could compete for early playing time.
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