March 1, 2013 8:34:37 AM
Matthew Stevens - [email protected]
STARKVILLE --Tim Brewster is leaving what was supposed to be his tight ends coaching position at Mississippi State University football program for the same job at Florida State University.
Brewster, 52, accepted the job offer as FSU's tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Wednesday evening. He informed the MSU staff Thursday morning of his decision to work for FSU coach Jimbo Fisher.
Fifteen days ago, MSU coach Dan Mullen announced the restructuring of his staff, which included the hiring of wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales from the University of Illinois. The movement included transferring Brewster from wide receivers coach to tight ends coach. Brewster also received an assistant head coach title.
"I'm in a great place in my career where you know, I can help where is needed," Brewster said Feb. 13. "When Dan brought this situation up, it was absolutely natural to bring in a guy like Billy Gonzales. I go coach the tight ends and help Dan do some things administratively."
When The Dispatch contacted Brewster days before the hiring announcement of Gonzales, the former University of Minnesota coach said in text responses he was unaware of any movement within Mullen's staff at MSU.
Noles247.com first reported Wednesday night news of Brewster's departure. MSU athletic administration officials told The Dispatch that Brewster was interviewing that day with FSU.
"You never know when opportunities are going to present themselves to you," Brewster said Feb. 13. "I've had opportunities come up, but where I'm at in my career the grass isn't always greener. I have been absolutely thrilled with Mississippi State and Starkville, Miss. Living here and my wife is very comfortable. Who knows what the future will hold, but we're very excited to be a part of Dan Mullen's program, and I think we're on the cusp of really doing something special with this football program, and it's a great place for me and my family to be."
All messages left with Mullen and Brewster weren't returned at press time.
On National Signing Day, Mullen told The Dispatch he was very pleased with Brewster's ability to extend the recruiting brand beyond the state of Mississippi. Days later, 247Sports.com named Brewster one of the nation's top 50 assistant coach recruiters.
"Tim is a great recruiter and did do a good job," Mullen said Feb. 6. "I think all our staff did a great job this year within recruiting. One thing Tim brings us is being a head coach it kind of makes my life a little bit easier at times. He knows what I'm going through, and he knows the thought process and sometimes what the head coach is dealing with."
Less than four days after the scandal and ensuing resignation of Angelo Mirando, which occurred 13 days before the start of the 2012 season, MSU hired Brewster. Last season, MSU receivers set school records for receptions, as seniors Chad Bumphis, Arceto Clark, and Chris Smith combined for 141 catches, 1,973 yards, and 15 touchdowns. Bumphis set a school record with 12 receiving touchdowns. Youngsters Robert Johnson and Jameon Lewis also developed into reliable pass catching options.
Before taking the Minnesota opening in 2007, Brewster spent three seasons coaching tight ends in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos. He worked for head coaches Marty Schottenheimer and Mike Shanahan.
"The opportunity to coach in the SEC is very much like the opportunity I had to coach in the National Football League because you know you're coaching against the best," Brewster said the day his hiring at MSU was announced. "The Southeastern Conference is the best league in America, and there's no dispute there guys."
Prior to working in the NFL, Brewster worked for 14 years as the tight ends at the University of Texas and University of North Carolina under coach Mack Brown.
Brewster is the third assistant coach to leave MSU since the end of the 2012 season. Defensive coordinator Chris Wilson took the position of defensive line coach at the University of Georgia, and cornerbacks coach Melvin Smith left for Auburn University.
Brewster was expected to make just under $250,000 this season after he and secondary coach Tony Hughes received the additional title of assistant head coach. The Dispatch has been told Brewster won't get a significant pay raise at FSU.
FSU saw seven assistant coaches leave after the 2012 season. Most recently, tight ends coach Billy Napier went to the University of Alabama less than two months after Fisher hired him. Brewster's addition rounds out FSU's offensive staff as it prepares for spring practice next month.