Jerry Gray returns to Texas football

Updated: January 17, 2011, 5:21 PM ET
ESPNDallas.com

Texas alum Jerry Gray is returning to the school to join the Longhorns staff as an assistant head coach and defensive backs coach, head coach Mack Brown announced Monday.

Gray is a 23-year veteran of the NFL, having played nine seasons for the Rams, Houston Oilers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Most recently, Gray was a defensive backs coach with the Seattle Seahawks.

"This is truly an exciting opportunity for me and my family," Gray said. "Not very many guys get the chance to come back and coach where they played and to do that at a place that is as special as Texas ... it's just an unbelievable opportunity. I've enjoyed getting to know Coach Brown, and I've been so proud watching everything they've been accomplishing since he took over, and to have a chance to be a part of that is a dream come true."

Gray joins a Texas staff that already holds other former Texas players, including co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite and defensive ends coach Oscar Giles.

"We're excited to bring back one of our own in Jerry Gray," Brown said. "He is a member of the Texas High School Hall of Fame, the Longhorn Hall of Honor and is one of the greatest defensive backs and players to come out of the University of Texas and this state. He went on to be a Pro Bowl player for many years in the NFL and then to becoming one of the league's best defensive coaches.

"Jerry brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our program having spent 14 years coaching in the NFL, including five as a defensive coordinator, and helping develop our own Earl Thomas this past year in Seattle. We've all had a chance to get to know Jerry over the years on his visits back to Austin and really look forward to him joining our staff. I know our guys will be excited to move forward with such a great Longhorn."

Gray's position as defensive backs coach became available when former coach Duane Akina resigned from the position, Brown confirmed Monday. It is expected that Akina will accept a similar role at the University of Arizona. Akina spent 14 years coaching at Arizona before joining the Texas staff in 2001.