Mike Houston Announces 2014 Citadel Football Coaching Staff
CHARLESTON, SC -
The Citadel's head football coach Mike Houston assembled his staff for the 2014 season by announcing the hiring of eight new assistant coaches and retention of two others on Friday.
Houston's staff is comprised of five assistants who came with him from Lenoir-Rhyne – Brent Thompson (offensive coordinator/quarterback/B-backs), Blake Harrell (special teams coordinator/inside linebackers), Lou Conte (slot backs), Ron Boyd (offensive line) and Roy Tesh (defensive line).
Former Citadel cornerback and assistant coach Maurice Drayton (defensive coordinator/cornerbacks), former South Carolina State defense backs coach Joel Taylor (safeties/pass defense coordinator) and former East Carolina graduate assistant Tripp Weaver (outside linebackers) are also joining the staff.
Houston also announced that JP Gunter (recruiting coordinator/wide receivers) and 1993 Citadel graduate Scott Yielding (tight ends) will be retained on the staff.
The Bulldogs take the field under the new coaching staff when they open spring practice on Feb. 18. Spring football, which will consist of 16 practice dates, will culminate with the annual Blue-White Spring Game at Johnson Hagood Stadium on March 15.
Below are the biographies on each of the new Bulldog coaches joining the staff for the 2014 season. The view the entire Citadel coaching staff click HERE.
Brent Thompson is entering his first season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks/B-backs coach at The Citadel after spending the past four seasons with Coach Mike Houston at Lenoir-Rhyne.
Operating out of the triple option offense, Thompson's attack was tops in rushing in Division II in 2013, averaging 370.9 yards per game, and set the NCAA record for all divisions in rushing yards in a single season with 5,563.
In 2012, L-R compiled 4,515 yards on the ground and finished second in the nation in rushing at 376.2 per outing. The Bears also had their highest output of total offense in a season (430.6 ypg) since 1994 and averaged 35.2 points per game.
In 2011, Thompson guided L-R to nearly 400 yards of offense per game (397.0 ypg) while the squad averaged 33.6 points per outing. The Bears also ranked third in the nation in rushing (287.1 ypg) and quarterback Major Herron was named to the all-league first team.
Thompson headed up a Bear's attack in 2010 that averaged over 400 yards of total offense for the first time in 18 years and led Division II in rushing at 319.5 yards per game.
Thompson came to L-R after serving as an assistant coach at Bucknell for seven seasons (2003-09).
In 2009, Thompson served as the Bison's offensive coordinator in addition to his duties as recruiting coordinator and offensive line coach.
Four years ago, Thompson was Bucknell's assistant head coach, and he started his career at the Lewisburg, Pa., school as the wide receivers coach in 2003.
As quarterbacks and fullbacks coach in 2004, Thompson mentored quarterback Daris Wilson to first-team All-Patriot League honors.
Prior to Bucknell, Thompson coached two seasons (2001-02) at Northeastern where he oversaw the running backs and was the team's video coordinator. In 2002, Thompson helped lead the Huskies to the Atlantic 10 Championship.
Thompson also coached All-American L.J. McKanas, who broke the school's career rushing record and was second in the nation in rushing in 2001.
Thompson, a 1998 graduate of Norwich (Vt.) with a degree in peace, war and diplomacy, was a two-year letterman as a defensive back on the football squad. He began his coaching career at Dickinson in the fall of 1998 as a graduate assistant and worked with the outside linebackers. Thompson also served as wide receivers coach for one year (2000) at Stony Brook.
Thompson is married to the former Tiffany Lebengood.
Maurice Drayton – Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks
Maurice Drayton is entering his first season as the defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach at his alma mater.
Drayton received his bachelor's degree in physical education from in 1998 and master's degree in education in 2007 and spent a total of 12 seasons at The Citadel as a player, assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.
In 2012, Drayton coached the secondary at Southern Mississippi under Citadel graduate and former head coach Ellis Johnson.
Prior to Southern Miss, Drayton spent two seasons (2010-11) at Coastal Carolina where he served as the assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach.
In his first season at Coastal Carolina, he molded the special teams unit into a feared weapon with Niccolo Mastromatteo earning second team All-Big South honors. Mastromatteo set a Big South record with 32 punt returns while averaging an impressive 24.1 yards per punt return.
Drayton was just as successful with his receiving corps. Brandon Whitley was named second team All-Big South, catching six touchdown passes to rank second best in the conference, while Marquel Willis averaged 15.4 yards on his 29 receptions and Matt Hazel hauled in five TDs, including three in an upset win over Liberty.
Prior to Coastal Carolina, Drayton spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons at South Carolina State where he helped the Bulldogs to two straight playoff appearances and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles as the defensive backs and special teams coach.
In 2009, South Carolina State ranked seventh nationally in pass defense while ranking fifth in overall defense. The Bulldogs also ranked 17th in both punt and kickoff returns while Oliver Brown was 12th individually in kick returns. In Drayton's first season at South Carolina State, Aaron Haire ranked 14th in punting and two of his players ranked among the top 10 in the league in interceptions.
Prior to his stint at South Carolina State, he was the assistant principal and assistant coach at Goose Creek High School (2007) after spending the 2006 season as the defensive coordinator for the Seinajoki Crocodiles of the European Football League in Seinajoki, Finland. He also served a stint with the Charleston Swamp Foxes of the Arena 2 Football League in 2000-02 and has done internships with the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers of the National Football League.
In three seasons as a member of the football team (1996-98), including his final two as a starting cornerback, Drayton compiled 145 tackles, 17 pass breakups and three interceptions.
Ron Boyd – Offensive Line
Ron Boyd is entering his first season as offensive line coach at The Citadel after spending the last nine years as the offensive line coach at Lenoir-Rhyne, including three under Coach Mike Houston.
Boyd also served as the Bears' tight ends coach, strength & conditioning coach and equipment manager.
In 2013, Boyd led an offensive line that paved the way for a rushing attack which averaged 370.9 yards per game and set the NCAA record for all divisions in rushing yards in a single season with 5,563.
Under the direction of Boyd, a Bear offensive lineman has received the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, given annually to the top offensive lineman in the South Atlantic Conference, in each of the past four seasons, including 2013 recipient and Division II All-American Joe Ray.
In 2012, Boyd's offensive line helped L-R average 376.2 rushing yards per game, the second-highest mark in Division II. In all, the Bears set a school single-season record with 4,515 rushing yards in 2012, and Kaleb Myrick won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy.
Two seasons ago, the Bears ranked third in the country in rushing (over 287 yards per game) while two-time All-American Chandler Rearden won his second straight Jacobs Blocking Trophy.
In 2010, the offensive line helped L-R lead Division II in rushing at just over 319 yards per outing. In addition, Rearden became the first-ever Bear to win the Jacobs Blocking Trophy.
Four years ago, the Bears finished second in the nation in rushing at 294.3 yards per outing and were fifth in 2008 at 259.3 a contest while Rearden became the first L-R offensive lineman named to the SAC first team since 2002.
Prior to L-R, Boyd was the offensive line coach at West Virginia Wesleyan from 1998 to 2004.
During his tenure at West Virginia Wesleyan, the Bobcats won a pair of West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) championships in 2002 and 2003, and the squad put together a 17-game league winning streak.
Boyd's offensive lines helped West Virginia Wesleyan set several school rushing records, and five players earned All-WVIAC honors in 2003 including three who received first-team all-conference accolades.
During its two championship seasons, West Virginia Wesleyan finished 14th and 20th overall in Division II in rushing with 220 and 214 yards per game, respectively.
Boyd also coached the offensive line at West Virginia Tech (1996-97), Cumberland College (1995) and West Virginia Wesleyan (1993-94) in his first stint there.
Boyd, a native of Delmont, Pa., and a 1992 graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan, was a three-year letterwinner, two-year starter and team captain his senior year. He is an active member of the American Football Coaches Association and has served on several of the organization's committees.
Boyd is married to the former Erin Shebatka.
Lou Conte – Slot Backs
Lou Conte is entering his first season as the Bulldogs' slot backs coach after spending the past three seasons as the running backs coach and last two as recruiting coordinator under Coach Mike Houston at Lenoir-Rhyne.
Last season, Conte helped lead a Bears' rushing attack which ranked first in Division II in 2013, averaging 370.9 yards per game, and set the NCAA record for all divisions in rushing yards in a single season with 5,563.
In 2012, Conte's stable of running backs helped L-R finish second in Division II in rushing yards (376.2 ypg) while Jarrod Spears and Isaiah Whitaker both earned all-league accolades. L-R's 4,515 yards rushing on the year was second most in the nation.
In 2011, L-R's backs spearheaded the Bears' running game which finished third in the nation in rushing at 287.1 yards per outing while fullback Isaiah Whitaker garnered All-South Atlantic Conference honors.
Conte came to L-R after serving as defensive coordinator at Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Mass., in 2010.
At Williston Northampton, Conte also served as assistant athletics director, sports information director, physical education teacher, junior varsity wrestling and assistant varsity lacrosse coach.
Conte was also a graduate assistant coach at Springfield (Mass.) for two seasons (2008-09) and served as assistant head coach (2005-07) and head men's lacrosse coach at Maine Maritime Academy for three years, 2006-08.
As a graduate assistant, Springfield won the ECAC Northeast Championship Bowl Game in 2009.
Conte is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the American Football Coaches Association and United States Lacrosse.
Conte was a three-year letterwinner on the Springfield football team which captured the FFC Conference championship twice (2002 and 2003) and the ECAC championship in 2004. Springfield was also the top team in the East Region and was ranked No. 4 nationally in 2004.
Roy Tesh – Defensive Line
Roy Tesh is entering his first season as defensive line coach at The Citadel after spending the last six years as an assistant football coach at Lenoir-Rhyne, including three under Coach Mike Houston.
In 2013, Tesh helped coach an L-R defense that led the South Atlantic Conference in total defense (317.5 ypg), rushing defense (101.5 ypg), quarterback sacks (52) and scoring defense (17.9 ppg) and boasted a Division II All-American in defensive tackle Blake Baker.
Tesh coached the defensive line in 2012 for the fourth straight year after overseeing the running backs in his first season in 2008.
In 2011, defensive lineman Brandon Martin earned first-team All-SAC honors for the third straight season, and the Bears led the league in scoring defense (17.3 ppg) and turnovers caused (39).
The defensive line helped the Bears lead the league in total defense in 2011 and was anchored by Martin. L-R gave up just 98.1 rushing yards per outing and 284.4 yards total, both figures ranking in the top 10 in the nation.
Tesh's defensive line, spearheaded by two all-league honorees, helped the Bears lead the SAC in total defense and finish fourth in Division II in rushing defense (75.7 ypg) three years ago in addition to ranking third in the country with a conference-leading 39 sacks.
L-R's stable of tailbacks in 2008 fueled the team's fifth-place national ranking in rushing offense with 259.3 yards per outing.
Prior to L-R, Tesh was the defensive line coach at Brevard for two seasons (2006-07).
Tesh coached three seasons (2003-05) at his alma mater, Greensboro College, where he headed up the linebackers and was the team's strength and conditioning coordinator.
Tesh, a four-year all-conference selection as an offensive lineman with the Pride, graduated in 2004 and played for the Carolina Ghostriders of the American Indoor Football League. Tesh was a defensive lineman and fullback during his playing days in the AIFL.
Tesh and his wife, Kimberly, have one daughter: Sadie.
Joel Taylor – Safeties/Defensive Passing Game Coordinator
Joel Taylor is entering his first season as the safeties coach and defensive passing game coordinator at The Citadel after spending the past four years as the defensive backs coach at South Carolina State. Taylor is a graduate of S.C. State where he played defensive back and spent four years on the coaching staff.
Prior to S.C. State, Taylor spent one season as outside linebackers coach at L-R under Coach Mike Houston.
Taylor helped guide the Bulldogs to a No. 18 national ranking in defensive pass efficiency in 2012. Safety Jakar Hamilton signed a free agent deal with the Dallas Cowboys to become the fifth S.C. State defensive back in four years to make an NFL roster, joining Phillip Adams (drafted in the 7th round by 49ers), Rafael Bush (Saints), Christian Thompson (drafted in the 4th round by the Ravens) and Dominique Ellis (Buffalo Bills).
In 2011, the secondary led by Thompson and Ellis finished 10th in the nation in defensive pass efficiency and both earned All-MEAC honors. The previous season, Taylor helped develop a secondary that included four new starters into a unit that finished with the No. 1 pass defense and No. 2 pass efficiency defense in the nation. Additionally, the Bulldog defense finished first in the nation in total defense and 17th in interceptions spearheaded by All-MEAC players Ellis and Semaj Moody.
Taylor had a productive career as a defensive back at S.C. State, reaping several honors during his four- year career (2001-04). He lettered all four seasons and was team captain and defensive MVP in 2004. He was also a starter in the secondary on the 2003 Bulldog squad which finished number one nationally in pass defense efficiency.
Taylor earned a bachelor's degree in computer science at S.C. State in 2004 and a master's in rehabilitation counseling in 2008.
Tripp Weaver – Outside Linebackers
Tripp Weaver is entering his first year at The Citadel after spending the 2013 season as a defensive graduate assistant at East Carolina.