RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. - Three new coaches will join the Arkansas Tech football staff and three coaches will be retained as members of the new staff, head coach Raymond Monica announced Thursday.
Offensive coordinator Dean Norsworthy and wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator Kyle Shipp will be retained in their previous roles, while Clint Reed will move from coaching the defensive line to the offensive line.
"I'm excited about being able to retain three coaches on this staff," said Monica. "I know they will all be a good fit. Dean Norsworthy has a solid track record with his offenses at Southeastern and Midwestern State, and his offensive background is a good fit with what I want to do. Clint Reed was an all-conference player here, he knows the terrain, and Kyle Shipp, in his role as recruiting coordinator, knows the ins and outs of how things are done here. They all know the area, and will be valuable members of the staff."
The new coaches to join the Wonder Boys staff will be Scott Symons, Raleigh Jackson, and Kurt Corbin.
"We need to improve on defense," said Monica. "I wanted to hire somebody who has experience running defenses similar to what I would like to run. I talked to a lot of people and we kept coming back to Scott (Symons). Kurt (Corbin) has a good bit of FCS experience. He's a very good technician, an Arkansas Tech alum, and he will head up our strength and conditioning program. I also knew Raleigh Jackson from Slippery Rock. I am happy he called me. He has family close by and recruited Arkansas and Oklahoma while he was at Missouri Southern. I am really excited to have them here."
Symons will join the Wonder Boys staff as defensive coordinator. No stranger to the Great American Conference, Symons spent 2008-2011 as an assistant at GAC rival Harding University, where he served as receivers coach in 2008, defensive backs coach in 2009 and co-defensive coordinator/recruiting coordinator in 2010 and 2011.
During his tenure at Harding, he coached a receivers corps that averaged over 460 yards and 30 points per game, helping the Bisons offense to a number two national rank in passing offense. He also served as the program's video coordinator and as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.
In his second year, Symons moved to the defensive side of the ball, serving as defensive backs coach. After mentoring first team all-American Josh Jones, Symons was named co-defensive coordinator in 2010, and under his watch the Bisons were one of the top defenses in the Gulf South Conference. In 2010, he mentored a defense that ranked first in the nation in sacks (43 in 10 games), eighth in the nation in 3rd down efficiency (27.1%), 11th in the nation in tackles for loss (8.3 per game), 13th in the nation in rush defense (90 yards per game), and third in the GSC in total defense, allowing just 315 yards per game.
In his final season at Harding, the Bisons led the Great American Conference in total defense and sacks per game, while ranking second in the league in rushing defense and turnovers gained. Harding's defense was ranked 29th nationally in first down defense, allowing just 17.1 per game.
Symons spent the 2012 season on the staff of coach Gus Malzahn at Arkansas State, serving as a defensive quality control coach. His duties included serving as a strong safety coach, while preparing scouting reports, film breakdown, and other game planning tasks. The past season was a banner year for the Red Wolves, as Arkansas State posted a 10-3 record, won its first bowl game since 1970, and picked up its first win over a ranked opponent since joining the FBS in 1992.
Symons was a two-year starter at Lindenwood University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in History in May, 2008. He later received his Masters of Science and Education in Kinesiology from Harding University in 2009.
Joining the Wonder Boys staff as linebackers coach is Raleigh Jackson. Jackson spent the last season as linebackers coach at Slippery Rock, as The Rock posted a 6-5 overall record and a 5-3 record in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference play.
Last season, Slippery Rock's defense ranked seventh in the 16-team PSAC in total defense, fifth in rush defense, and eighth in sacks.
Before joining the staff at Slippery Rock, Jackson spent one season as the outside linebackers and tight ends coach at his alma mater, The Citadel. Jackson helped The Citadel finish the 2011 season ranked fourth nationally among FCS-member institutions in rushing, averaging 286.6 yards a game. The Citadel also improved its scoring average from 14.9 to 23.5 points per game in 2011.
Prior to joining The Citadel staff, Jackson served three years at Missouri Southern State University in such capacities as defensive run game coordinator, recruiting coordinator, defensive line Coach and linebackers coach. Under Jackson's tutelage, linebacker Jared Brawner and defensive tackle Brandon Williams achieved All-America status in 2008 and 2010, respectively. Jarious Jarvis, Kenny Smith and Dave Benham were also selected as All-MIAA picks during his tenure.
In 2010, the Missouri Southern defense led the MIAA in total defense, rush defense, tackles for loss and sacks by defensive linemen.
A 2007 graduate of The Citadel, Jackson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. A four-year letterman, Jackson was a starter as a senior (2006) and helped lead The Citadel to its first winning record in the Southern Conference in 15 seasons.
The final addition to the assistant coach staff is former Wonder Boys player Kurt Corbin. This will be Corbin's second stint at Arkansas Tech as an assistant coach, having previously spent the 2005 season as the receivers coach and recruiting coordinator. He will serve as the defensive line coach.
Corbin spent 2009-2012 as the defensive line coach/recruiter at Stephen F. Austin State University, guiding a unit that recorded more sacks over his three-year tenure than any other unit in Division I. The Lumberjacks won back-to-back Southland Conference titles, and during his tenure finished among the nation's top-20 in tackles for loss and top-10 in sacks.
Before joining the SFA staff, Corbin spent two seasons as a defensive coach at Northwestern State. During his time in Natchitoches, La., Corbin helped produced one of the league's more intimidating defenses.
In 2006, the Demons led the league in six defensive categories, including total defense, rushing defense, pass defense efficiency, opponent first downs and opponent third downs. Corbin helped produce two of the better players in the nation in All-Americans Ed Queen and Tori Collins.
Corbin coached the Demon linebackers and took on the added responsibility of defensive coordinator the following season. Northwestern State posted similar numbers leading the SLC in four defensive categories. The Demons finished the year tops in the league in total defense, pass defense, opponent first downs and opponent third downs.
Corbin began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Northwestern State in 2001. After spending his first two seasons with the Demons, he was named the defensive line and linebackers coach at Arkansas-Monticello.
Corbin received his bachelor's degree from Arkansas Tech in 2001. He graduated with a master's degree from Northwestern State in 2003.
The Wonder Boys coaching staff is currently recruiting and will announce the newest signees of Wonder Boys football players on national signing day, Wednesday, February 6, 2013.