With what sources tell FootballScoop is the second-largest assistant coaches' salary pool in the rugged Southern Conference, new Western Carolina head coach Kerwin Bell quickly is piecing together a top staff in his early work to revive the Catamounts' program.
Sources on Saturday tell FootballScoop that Bell is adding his son, Kade Bell, to staff as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
The younger Bell most recently spent the past year at NCAA Division Tusculum College, helping lead the Pioneers' explosive offense behind quarterback Rogan Wells.
Tusculum averaged 37.6 points per game behind Bell and Wells in the program's five-game spring season.
Rylan Wells, who will serve as the Catamounts' tight ends coach, also arrives at Western Carolina via Tusculum.
John Peacock is going to coach WCU's offensive line, and JJ Lassiter is wide receivers coach. Lassiter most recently was at Gardner-Webb. Peacock also spent the past season at Tusculum, the Greeneville, Tennessee, school that competes in the South Atlantic Conference.
Rudell Small rounds out Bell's inaugural offensive staff as the Catamounts' running backs coach.
On the defensive side of the ball, as previously reported, Justin Hinds was a major hire for Bell as defensive coordinator. Hines arrives in Cullowhee, N.C., after being the defensive play-caller at Football Bowls Subdivision program Central Michigan.
Another Tusculum staff transplant, Larry Murphy, will coach defensive backs for WCU. Per sources, Darius Eubanks is set to coach safeties.
Bell and the Catamounts are still working to finalize their defensive line coaching position.
UPDATE: Bell has completed his staff with the hiring of Dennis Thomas for the defensive line coaching post. It's a bit of a return home for Thomas, who had been serving as co-defensive coordinator and line coach at Gardner-Webb.
Thomas previously spent three seasons at Western Carolina from 2013-15.
A former South Carolina Gamecocks player, Thomas began his career at his alma mater on the staff of legendary coach Steve Spurrier.
Western is slated to open its 2021 season under Bell Sept. 4, 2021, at home against Eastern Kentucky.