Football Factoid #480—a good assistant coach can be as valuable to a team as an All-American quarterback. After all, the assistant coaches provide the bulk of the daily instruction, technique corrections, real-time feedback, game planning, and in-game adjustments. Coach Brian Jenkins deserves a ton of credit for quietly assembling a staff of outstanding assistants at Bethune.
Rob Spence replaces Marc Orlando as the Cats’ new offensive coordinator. Spence has coordinator experience at both the FCS and FBS level. Toledo, Hofstra, and Clemson enjoyed some of their most productive offensive seasons in school history under Spence’s guidance. He inherits the second ranked FCS offense from a year ago, but the Cats still have much room for improvement. The Wildcats averaged just 21 points against the MEAC’s top teams a year ago (14 vs. SCSU, 21 vs. NSU, 23 vs. Hampton, and 27 vs. FAMU). That was 17 points lower than their season average of 38 points per game. The Wildcats hope to increase their scoring output this year, specifically against upper echelon competition, under Spence’s leadership.
Autry Denson and Joe Dailey join Spence as new additions to the offensive coaching staff. Denson, a former standout running back at Notre Dame and in the NFL, will coach the same position for the Wildcats. Dailey, who started at quarterback for Nebraska before transferring to North Carolina, is listed as the new quarterbacks coach. Allen Suber, Lawal McCray, and John Powers return as second year offensive assistants and will coach the wide receivers, tight ends, and offensive line respectively.
New coaches on the defensive side of the ball include graduate assistant Buddy Collins and defensive line coach Earl Lane. While Collins is a coaching neophyte, Lane brings with him a wealth of coaching experience and a proven record of accomplishment. Lane served as defensive line coach for LSU during their 2007 BCS Championship season. He helped Glenn Dorsey win the Lombardi, Outland, and Nagurski awards in that same season. The remaining defensive coaches are the same as last year: Yogi Jones—defensive coordinator and linebackers, Terry Sims—special teams’ coordinator and secondary, Terry Williams—defensive backs.
Old and young, sustained success and hot newcomers; the Wildcats’ coaching staff has it all. Brian Jenkins will look to this diverse group of assistants to “coach up” his talented squad and hopefully deliver postseason success.