For the most part, college football assistants stay under the radar, aside from offensive and defensive coordinators. But many times, these somewhat anonymous position coaches are the most vital pieces of programs, especially on the recruiting trail. These relatively quiet, high-paid assistants are the piece of the puzzle that makes everything go.
Which is where former Cal assistant Tosh Lupoi comes in. Unless you follow recruiting closely, Lupoi probably isn't a household name. He took root at Cal and quickly became the Golden Bears' ace recruiting. This year's top-15 class after a season that was nothing spectacular? Lupoi was the man behind-the-scenes, piling up highly-touted recruits along the way.
Despite Cal not having a winning Pac-12 record in the last three years, Lupoi's efforts landed Cal many top recruits who would have previously never seriously considered Cal as a destination. The loss of the coach who is arguably the best recruiter in the country is already having implications for the Golden Bears.
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Combined with Justin Wilcox -- Lupoi has a long-standing relationship with the new Washington defensive coordinator -- the Huskies have put together a superb team of assistants on the defensive side of the ball. Lupoi is one of those somewhat anonymous, well-paid assistants because he simply delivers, striking a bond with recruits and hauling in big-name prospects.
While Lupoi will coach the defensive line and coordinate the run game on the defensive side of the ball, make no mistake about it: this was a hire for recruiting purposes. And with the former Cal ace in Montlake, the Bears' huge recruiting class may be in peril. You can bet Lupoi will go after some of the kids he recruited, and plenty of other Pac-12 coaches will be circling the wreckage, trying to flip kids until the last possible moment.