AJ Blazek’s departure leaves Wyoming in search of another offensive line coach | National

LARAMIE — Less than a month after filling the position on his coaching staff, Wyoming coach Craig Bohl is looking for another offensive line coach.

That’s because A.J. Blazek is leaving for the same position at Vanderbilt, Bohl confirmed Wednesday. Blazek’s move was first reported by 247Sports.

Although Vanderbilt has yet to officially announce Blazek’s hiring, Bohl said Blazek informed him during recent conversations between the two that he intended to take the job on the Commodores’ staff.

“Those were his intentions. That’s what he told me,” Bohl said. “We wish him well.”

Bohl moved quickly to hire Blazek away from North Dakota State once Bart Miller, who served as UW’s offensive line coach for two seasons, left to join Bret Bielema’s staff at Illinois in late December. But Blazek’s departure, which comes less than a month after he joined the Cowboys’ staff, continues a recent string of tough luck for Bohl hiring assistants who’ve quickly moved on to higher levels in the sport.

Whoever Bohl ends up hiring to replace Blazek will be UW’s fourth offensive line coach in the last two years, though Miller is the only one that’s coached in a game for the Cowboys. Blazek is the third assistant coach during that span to last three months or less on UW’s staff, all of them leaving for jobs at a Power Five program or the NFL.

Klayton Adams was hired as UW’s offensive line coach in February 2019, but his stint at UW lasted less than a month before the Indianapolis Colts hired him as their assistant offensive line coach, a position he still holds. Former Rutgers defensive coordinator Jay Niemann joined the Cowboys’ staff as linebackers coach shortly thereafter but left after spring practice to join Kirk Ferentz’s staff at Iowa, where Niemann, whose two sons played at Iowa, has spent the last two seasons as an assistant defensive line coach and defensive recruiting coordinator.

Blazek is joining first-year coach Clark Lea’s staff at Vanderbilt, making for his first coaching stop in the SEC. The move also reunites Blazek with Vanderbilt offensive coordinator David Raih, a college teammate of Blazek’s at Iowa.

Meanwhile, Bohl is again in the market for an assistant that will oversee one of the more experienced positions on UW’s roster. The Cowboys are in line to return all five starters along the offensive line, including all-Mountain West center Keegan Cryder.

That also includes senior right guard Logan Harris, whom Bohl said is planning to return to UW for another season of competition. The same goes for senior right tackle Alonzo Velazquez, who missed all of the 2020 season with a shoulder injury. The NCAA extended the eligibility of all fall-sport athletes in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Follow UW athletics beat writer Davis Potter on Twitter at @DavisEPotter.