One of the most respected high school coaches in Texas for 14 years, Bruce Chambers has continued that success at Texas. Chambers is in his ninth season as UT's tight ends coach after spending the previous five years working with the running backs. He also became UT's co-recruiting coordinator in 2005. Chambers took over as the recruiting coordinator just prior to the 2012 Alamo Bowl.
Three of the Longhorn RBs and TEs Chambers has worked with are currently in the NFL.
Chambers' tight ends combined for 33 receptions for 376 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011. D.J. Grant and Blaine Irby, returned to action after each missed the 2009 and 2010 seasons with injuries. Both players caught three touchdown passes to tie for the team lead.
In 2012, the Horns rotated four tight ends with Grant and Barrett Matthews, sophomore Greg Daniels and redshirt freshman M.J. McFarland all seeing significant action. Those four combined for 27 receptions, including four touchdowns, and 12.5 yards per reception.
During the 2010 season, senior Greg Smith and Matthews saw a majority of the snaps at tight end with redshirt freshman Dominique Jones contributing late. Smith ended up spending time with the Carolina Panthers.
In 2009, Smith saw the majority of snaps at tight end and provided excellent blocking and timely receiving for a position that had seen its share of injuries over the course of two seasons. In 2008, Irby emerged following the loss of Jermichael Finley to the NFL. Through the first three games, Irby caught 10 passes for 95 yards and two TDs, but his season was then cut short by injury. With injuries also to young TEs Josh Marshall and Ian Harris, Smith moved over from the offensive line and combined with senior Peter Ullman to provide solid blocking.
In 2007, Chambers led a tight ends group highlighted by Finley. The sophomore started all 13 games and caught 45 passes (No. 2 on the UT single-season list) for 575 yards (No. 3 on the UT single-season list) and two TDs.
Chambers had the difficult task of replacing statistically the greatest tight end in UT history for 2006 after David Thomas' graduation. However, under Chambers' guidance, Finley broke all of the freshman tight end receiving records. He finished with 31 receptions for 272 yards and three TDs and was named honorable mention Freshman All-America.
In 2005, Chambers guided Thomas to one of the best seasons by a tight end in UT history. Thomas, who earned first-team All-Big 12 honors, set the single-season record for receptions by a tight end with 50, finished second on the single-season list with 613 yards and tied for third with five TD receptions. In all, Thomas rewrote the record book, finishing his career as Texas' all-time tight-end leader in receptions (98), yards (1,367) and TDs (15).
During his second season as tight ends coach in 2004, Chambers helped improve the productivity of senior Bo Scaife and Thomas, who was in his junior season. Scaife was named first team All-Big 12 after catching 26 passes for 348 yards and two TDs, while Thomas earned second team All-Big 12 honors with 25 receptions for 430 yards and five TDs. The tight ends were also instrumental in the running game in 2004. Their blocking helped UT finish second nationally in rushing (299.2 ypg).
In 2003, Chambers guided a unit that combined to catch 30 passes for 415 yards and five TDs. Scaife and Thomas each earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors from The Associated Press.
In his first five seasons at Texas, Chambers coached three of the nine 1,000-yard rushers (Ricky Williams, 1998 / Hodges Mitchell, 1999-2000 / Cedric Benson, 2001-02) in school history and became the first position coach since Fred Akers (with Roosevelt Leaks and Earl Campbell in `73 and `74-75, respectively) to have two different backs earn first-team all-conference honors in three consecutive seasons (Williams, 1998 / Mitchell, 1999-2000). He coached a 1,000-yard rusher in each of his five years as UT's running backs coach.
The Longhorns featured one of the Big 12's top backfields in Chambers' first year at UT, as Williams, the Heisman Trophy winner, led the nation in rushing (193.1 ypg) and posted the fifth-highest rushing total in NCAA history (2,124 yards). Williams went on to earn Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year accolades and first-team All-America honors for the second consecutive year and was a first-round selection (No. 5 overall) of the New Orleans Saints in the 1999 NFL Draft. Williams' success was due in part to his lead blocker and versatile backfield mate Ricky Brown, who earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors despite limited carries in `98.
In 1999, Mitchell stepped to the forefront of the Longhorns backfield. Not only did he earn first-team All-Big 12 accolades under Chambers' direction, but he also became only the eighth running back in UT history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and the first in school history to rush for 1,000 yards and tally 300 receiving yards in a single season. Mitchell's 1,343 rushing yards in 1999 also marked the fifth-highest rushing output in UT history, while his 1,824 all-purpose yards rank seventh on the school's single-season chart.
Under Chambers' direction, Mitchell again earned first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2000. He posted a pair of 200-yard rushing games, set a Big 12 and UT single-game all-purpose yardage record (375, at Kansas), registered another 1,000-yard rushing season (1,118/No. 11 on UT's all-time list) and posted the third-most all-purpose yards in a season (1,931). Mitchell finished his career sixth on UT's all-time rushing chart (2,664 yards) and fourth on the career all-purpose yardage list (4,945).
In 2001, Chambers faced the task of preparing true freshman Cedric Benson for action. Benson went on to become the first freshman in UT history to rush for 1,000 yards and was tabbed the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, the Longhorns Offensive MVP and third-team All-Big 12. His 13 UT freshman records were highlighted by his 1,053 rushing yards, 12 rushing TDs and five 100-yard rushing games (all in a row). Benson also rushed for a UT freshman-best 213 yards against Kansas.
Under Chambers' direction, Benson followed up his fine freshman season with 1,293 yards (No. 6 on UT's season list) in 2002.
In Chambers' first five seasons, the Longhorns turned in 19 games of 200 or more yards rushing, including a 434-yard rushing day against Rice in 1998 and a 396-yard effort at Kansas in 2000. He also guided three different UT players who rushed for 200 yards in a game.
Chambers joined the UT staff from Carter High School in Dallas, where he helped coach one of the state's most successful football programs for 14 seasons. He was the head coach and athletics director during his final two years and also taught speech and journalism classes at the school.
Chambers' tie to high school coaching and his understanding of young men, parents and the job of the high school coach made him a prime candidate when Mack Brown was forming his staff at UT.
In his 14 seasons at Carter, the Cowboys advanced to the state playoffs each year, won the 1988 State Championship, earned four regional titles and claimed 13 district crowns.
A graduate of North Texas, Chambers was Carter's head coach in 1996 and `97, compiling a record of 18-6. His Cowboys teams were bi-district finalists and District Champions both years.
From 1993-95, Chambers served as Carter's varsity offensive coordinator and assistant head coach. The Cowboys were area finalists and District Champions during all three of those years.
Prior to that, Chambers coached on the defensive side of the ball from 1989-92 and served as coordinator. During that time, Carter was a state semifinalist and two-time District Champion.
A four-year letterman as a wide receiver and a two-time letterwinner in track & field at North Texas, Chambers earned his degree in journalism in 1982. He began his coaching career in 1984 as a freshman coach at Carter and then moved over to tutor the junior varsity's offense from 1986-88.
While at Carter, Chambers helped develop future NFL players Jessie Armstead (LB, New York Giants & Washington Redskins), Jirmetrius Butler (CB, St. Louis Rams), Greg Hill (RB, Kansas City Chiefs & Detroit Lions), Kendall Jacox (OL, New Orleans Saints) and Darryl Jones (WR, New York Giants).
Chambers' wife's name is Cathy.
THE BRUCE CHAMBERS FILE
College Bowl Experience