Patrick Dougherty Hired as Tight Ends and Special Teams Coach for Texas A&M Football
Rejoice, Texas A&M football fans! The Aggies finally have a special teams coach! After going without one for quite some time under Jimbo Fisher, the new head man for the Aggies has filled a coaching void that had concerned many of the Maroon and White faithful for quite some time.
The last two years especially were filled with muffed punts, missed kicks, and questionable coverages, leading to the outcry regarding this specific position. This was one of the hires that Aggie fans were most excited for, given that specific need.
According to Matt Zenitz of 247Sports, Mike Elko and the Aggies are targeting Patrick Dougherty, part of Elko's staff at Duke, to be the TE/ST coach in College Station. As Zenitz says in his tweet, "[u]nder Dougherty, Duke has ranked in the top-25 nationally in stats like punt and kick return defense, punt return average, and blocked kicks." Not too shabby, for my money!
Dougherty is a protégé of Pete Lembo, one of the premier special teams gurus in the nation, and now the ST coach at South Carolina. Dougherty first came to work for Lembo at Ball State in 2012 as an offensive GA, when Lembo was the head coach in Muncie. After a brief stint with Northwestern, Dougherty returned to Ball State, now as the TE coach and recruiting coordinator.
Though Lembo resigned the next year, Dougherty carried on his tradition of excellent special teams play for the Cardinals. He remained in Muncie as the special teams coordinator, and eventually the assistant head coach, until Elko gave him the call to come be part of his staff at Duke in 2022. He remained in Durham with Elko both years, and is now headed to join him in College Station.
This is yet another home run for Elko. At a position of need, he didn't just go out and get a decent coach—he got one of the best. Every single hire he has brought on board has made sense, which hasn't always been the case recently. I'm excited to see how the Aggie special teams look under coach Dougherty.