DENTON, Texas - University of North Texas head football coach Dan McCarney has announced the first official hires to his coaching staff today. Clint Bowen will serve as defensive coordinator and safeties coach, while Nick Quartaro will be the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach. They join associate head coach and offensive coordinator Mike Canales as the first three assistants to be named officially.
Canales was the first coach McCarney named to his North Texas staff, making the announcement at his initial press conference after being hired. Canales was the Mean Green's interim head coach for the last five weeks of the season and was responsible for improving the team's offense in a short time. Canales took a team that was averaging 16.9 points per game and averaged 33.8 in the last five weeks. He also helped improve the team's total offense from 348.7 yards per game to 412.4 yards per game and the rushing offense from 173.4 yards per game to 242.4 yards per game.
"Mike Canales is one of the most talented offensive coordinators in America," McCarney said. "His expertise is only outmatched by his energy and passion. We were together when we took South Florida to No. 2 in the nation and I know he will produce a wide-open, big play offense at North Texas."
Bowen will be charged with getting the North Texas defense back to its prominent place in the Sun Belt Conference where it dominated the league from 2001-03. Bowen has been a defensive coordinator for the last five years, including four years at Kansas and one year at Western Kentucky. Coaching Jayhawk safeties from 2003-09, Bowen had at least one of his players earn postseason All-Big 12 Conference recognition each year. His 2007 defense ranked fourth in the nation in scoring defense and ranked in the top 10 nationally in both passing defense and rushing defense. In just one year at Western Kentucky, he helped the Hilltopper defense improve in every statistical category - going from 120th to 77th in passing defense, 118th to 86th in rushing defense, 118th to 69th in total defense and 119th to 99th in scoring defense. His 2010 unit led the Sun Belt Conference in total defense and passing defense in conference games. Bowen concluded a successful playing career at Kansas in 1993.
"I know firsthand from coaching against Clint in the Big 12 of his special abilities," McCarney said. "He brought his fiery, enthusiastic approach as a player to the sidelines as a coach and the transition has been very successful. Our defense must lead the way for the turnaround at North Texas to be successful."
Quartaro has over 30 years of college coaching experience, including seven years as a head coach. Most recently, Quartaro was the associate head coach and offensive coordinator at Kansas from 2002-06, where he helped the Jayhawks earn two bowl game appearances. During his time at Kansas, 19 offensive players earned Big 12 All-Conference accolades. Quartaro was with McCarney at Iowa State from 1998-2001 as the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach. He was also at Kansas State from 1989-93 and helped head coach Bill Snyder direct one of the greatest turnarounds for a college football program ever. Quartaro was the head coach at Drake University from 1986-88 and at Fordham University from 1994-97.
"Nick brings major successful experience as an assistant, coordinator and head coach," McCarney said. "He was by my side at Iowa State and contributed greatly to our dramatic turnaround. With his leadership, our receivers will play with tremendous fundamentals and passion."