John Grass Announces Jax State Football Coaching Staff

JACKSONVILLE - Jacksonville State Head football coach John Grass announced he has completed his coaching staff for the 2014 season. The offensive staff includes Jimmy Ogle (assistant head coach/running backs), former Vanderbilt quarterback Larry Smith(quarterbacks), former Alabama receiver Nick Williams (wide receivers/assistant special teams), former South Alabama lineman Trey Clark (offensive line) and former Notre Dame, Tennessee and Alabama recruiting analyst J.R. Sandlin (tight ends/recruiting coordinator). David Blackwell and Brandon Hall will serve as co-defensive coordinators, while Blackwell will also coach inside linebackers and Hall will coach safeties. Other members of the defensive staff are former Alabama standout Todd Bates (defensive line), former Tennessee analyst Nick Gentry (outside linebackers), and former Citadel assistant Aashon Larkins (special teams coordinator/cornerbacks). "We have a great mix of guys who will bring a lot of energy to our program," Grass said. "It's a good mix of experience and young coaches who are going to be really good, and our players will benefit from that. You are only as good as the people around you, and I think we have some of the very best coaches out there." Grass served as the Gamecocks' assistant head coach and offensive coordinator in 2013 and orchestrated an offense that set numerous school, OVC and National records and is pleased with his new staff. Ogle, Smith, Clark and Gentry were all part of the record-setting Gamecock football team from last season. The Gamecock offensive unit was the most prolific in JSU history, breaking school records en route to helping the Gamecocks post an 11-4 record and advance to the Quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs in 2013. JSU rolled over No. 16 Samford, 55-14, in the first round before a convincing 31-10 win at No. 6 McNeese State in the second round. After a loss at No. 3 Eastern Washington in the Quarterfinals, the Gamecocks were ranked No. 10 in The Sports Network FCS Top 25, the highest in the program's Division I history, while a No. 12 ranking in the FCS Coaches Poll tied the previous high set in 2010. The Gamecocks finished the year with an 11-4 record, the most wins in the program's Division I history and tying the 1977 team for the fourth-most wins in a season in school history. Grass' offense was record breaking in every phase and highlighted a season that saw the Gamecocks set a total of 49 school records, 13 Ohio Valley Conference records and three NCAA records. A quick-strike attack that scored 24 times on drives of less than one minute, the Gamecock offense amassed 6,637 yards of total offense, 1,755 yards more than any team in school history, and racked up 528 points, 107 more than the previous record set in 1991. JSU's 65 touchdowns were a new school record, while its school-record 48 rushing touchdowns also broke the OVC mark. Grass also reached out to other successful football programs for other members of his staff, including Alabama, Auburn, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and FCS schools Fordham and The Citadel. Jacksonville State will open spring practice on Thursday, March 6, and will hold its annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 12. 2014 GAMECOCK FOOTBALL COACHES Offense Trey Clark, Offensive Line Jimmy Ogle, Assistant Head Coach/Runningbacks J.R. Sandlin, Tight Ends/Recruiting Coordinator Larry Smith, Quarterbacks Nick Williams, Wide Receivers/Asst. Special Teams Defense David Blackwell, co-Defensive Coordinator/Inside Line Backers Todd Bates, Defensive Line Nick Gentry, Outside Linebackers Brandon Hall, co-Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Aashon Larkins, Cornerbacks/Special Teams Coordinator (Courtesy: JSU Sports Information)

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