Nevada football has reportedly zeroed in on its next offensive line and special teams coaches.
The Wolf Pack has agreed to make Rice assistant Bill Best its next offensive line coach, according to multiple reports, including FootballScoop.com. Also joining the staff will be Arkansas-Pine Bluff special teams coordinator Thomas Sheffield, according to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg. Nevada has not made either hiring official.
Best spent the last two seasons as Rice's tight ends coach, which was his first full-time job at the FBS level. Prior to that, he was the offensive line coach and run game coordinator at Stephen F. Austin of the FCS level. He also spent two seasons at Central Arkansas as offensive line coach and seven years at West Texas A&M, first as a grad assistant before being elevated to associate head coach and offensive line coach. He was the team's offensive coordinator for one season. He's also spent time at Ranger College and coaching high school in Louisiana.
Best replaces Angus McClure, who coached Nevada's offensive line the last two seasons before leaving for the same position at Cal last week. Best inherits a group that ranked 123rd out of 130 FBS teams in Pro Football Focus' offensive line rankings. The good news for him is Nevada returns its entire starting line. The Wolf Pack rushed for only 3.4 yards per carry last season, its lowest figure since 2000, while allowing 33 sacks, 103rd in the nation. Best is Nevada's eighth offensive line coach in the last 12 seasons.
Sheffield comes from Arkansas Pine Bluff, where he was the special teams coordinator, tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator for the FCS team. Prior to that stint, Sheffield was the special teams/offensive graduate assistant at North Texas. He also had a three-year stint at University of Mary Hardin Baylor after starting his career as a quality control assistant at Sam Houston State from 2011-12.
Sheffield replaces Tommy Perry, who left for the special teams job at Texas-San Antonio earlier this week. In Perry's three seasons, Nevada's special teams ranked 125th, 88th and 86th in ESPN's Football Power Index special teams rankings.
Nevada still has three open coaching positions on its staff, including defensive coordinator and two defensive assistant jobs.