Toledo running backs coach Anthony Johnson has been retained and Ohio Dominican running backs coach Ricky Ciccone has been hired in an off-field role under new Rockets coach Jason Candle, according to a source.
This season was Johnson’s second at Toledo after four seasons also coaching running backs at Sam Houston State. He was a quality control assistant at his alma mater, Texas, from 2007–09 and running backs coach at his alma mater, Jefferson (Texas) High, from ’05–06. Johnson played for Texas from ’01–05.
Ciccone had just completed his first season at Ohio Dominican after spending last season as an assistant at Olentangy High in Lewis Center, Ohio.
He also previously spent two seasons as co-offensive coordinator at Bluffton University and coached the defensive line and served as recruiting coordinator at Kenyon College. Ciccone was running backs coach at Marietta College from 2006–07.
Candle, a renowned recruiter, succeeds former Toledo head coach Matt Campbell, who took the head-coaching job at Iowa State last month. The 36-year-old Candle had been an assistant for the Rockets for the past seven seasons, the last four of which were as offensive coordinator.
Candle’s offense was consistently one of the best in the MAC, ranking second in the conference in scoring offense (35.3 points per game) this season and third in total offense (463.3 yards per game). The Rockets topped the MAC in both categories last season.
Candle will make his head-coaching debut when Toledo (9–2) faces Temple (10–3) in the Boca Raton Bowl on Dec. 22.