Stockstill to coach Middle Tennessee

Updated: December 12, 2005, 1:32 PM ET
Associated Press

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- Top recruiter Rick Stockstill was hired Monday as head football coach at Middle Tennessee.

He won't find recruiting as easy as it was at the bigger schools, but Stockstill is ready to try his luck.

"I have a plan for success and am well prepared for this job," he said after being introduced as coach of the Division I-A Blue Raiders. "I understand the challenges that await and I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work."

Over the past six years, Stockstill has recruited 16 players later drafted or signed as free agents in the NFL. He was at South Carolina the last two years, helped sign a top-20 recruiting class and was recognized among the top-25 recruiters in the country by

He also coached receivers in 2004, and spent this season coaching tight ends for Steve Spurrier. Stockstill was at Clemson between 1989 and 2002, and was offensive coordinator for East Carolina in 2003. He also was at Central Florida from 1985 to 1988.

Stockstill replaces Andy McCollum, fired Nov. 21 near the end of his seventh season. McCollum went 34-45 and oversaw the Blue Raiders' move to Division I-A.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press