|Other Position:||Wide Receivers Coach/Special Teams Coordinator|
Luke Paschall is beginning his fourth season as Arkansas State's special teams coordinator. The 2017 season will be his first as the Red Wolves' outside wide receivers coach, taking on a more specialized role after overseeing the entire until his first three seasons.
Under his direction, the Red Wolves' receiving corps and special teams units have both excelled, helping the team break the school record for total offense and scoring offense while ranking among the top teams in the nation in numerous special teams' statistical categories the last three seasons. Paschall has been a part of A-State's coaching staff that has compiled 24 victories, won two Sun Belt Conference championships and made three bowl-game appearances.
The 2016 campaign came to a close with senior receiver Kendall Sanders earning Cure Bowl MVP honors after recording three touchdown receptions that tied the school record for a postseason game. Sanders, also named an Honorable Mention All-Sun Belt Conference selection, was among four A-State's receivers that caught at least 20 passes and produced over 300 yards. Sanders led the way with 38 catches for 553 yards and seven touchdowns, but seven others hauled in at least one scoring catch. The group helped A-State post 3,148 passing yards, the fourth most in school history.
His 2015 receiving corp was responsible 154 of the team's 207 receptions, producing 2,192 combined yards for a squad that finished the season with the fifth most passing yards in school history. The group also recorded 19 receiving touchdowns, including Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection Tres Houston with a school-record-tying 10. He also coached First Team All-SBC selection J.D. McKissic, who signed as a free agent with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, for the final two years of his career. McKissic stands as the Sun Belt Conference's all-time leader in receptions and A-State's all-time leader in receiving yards. The 2015 season also saw sophomore Dijon Paschal earn Honorable Mention All-SBC honors, giving the Red Wolves three all-conference wideouts.
A-State's 2014 receivers combined to account for 223 receptions, 2,685 yards and 14 touchdowns as the Red Wolves completed the year with a school-record tying 25 passing touchdowns and the third most passing yards (3,381) and completions (276) in the program's history.
Paschall tutored eight receivers, including honorable mention All-Sun Belt Conference choice Houston and Sun Belt Conference Newcomer Team member Paschal, who set career-best numbers for receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. Among the group, Houston caught a team-high 53 passes that were the 10th most in school history, McKissic moved into third place at Arkansas State for career receiving yards and former walk-on Booker Mays recorded three touchdown receptions in the GoDaddy Bowl for the second most ever by an A-State player in a single game.
Three of his receivers, including Houston, McKissic and Paschal, all recorded over 600 receiving yards and posted at least 37 catches. Paschal averaged 17.4 yards per reception as a freshman, which was the 40th highest in the nation. The receivers also helped A-State rank No. 39 in the nation in passing offense with 260.1 yards per game.
Overseeing special teams as well, Paschall helped the Red Wolves rank among the top 31 teams in the nation in at least four statistical categories each of the last three seasons.
Most recently, the 2016 season saw A-State rank third in the nation in kickoff return defense (16.13 average) and among the top eight teams in both blocked kicks (5 total) and blocked punts (2 total). Coaching Blaise Taylor for the third consecutive season, Paschal saw the junior earn second team All-Sun Belt honors after breaking the school record for career punt return yards with 781 to his credit. Taylor has returned a punt for a touchdown each of the last three seasons, ranking him among the top seven active players in the nation in the stat.
The 2015 Red Wolves ranked No. 7 in blocked kicks (4), No. 8 in kickoff returns (25.9 ypg), No. 13 in net punting (40.39 avg.), No. 18 in kickoff return defense (18.7 avg.), No. 23 in punt return defense (4.70 avg.) and No. 30 in punt returns (11.5 avg.). The squad posted 413 punt return yards, which were the third most in school history and the most by an A-State team since 1975. The Red Wolves also averaged a school-record 25.9 yards per kickoff return, while returning two kickoffs and one punt for a touchdown.
Under the direction of Paschall, McKissic was a First Team All-Sun Belt choice at the all-purpose position and sophomore Taylor completed the season with a career-best 322 punt return yards that were the second most in A-State history.
The year prior, A-State ranked No. 4 in the nation in kickoff return defense (16.31 ypr), No. 9 in punt return defense (3.10 ypr), No. 19 in net punting (39.82) and No. 31 in kickoff returns (22.49 ypr). Additionally, the Red Wolves' 41.6 team punting average was the second highest in school history, while their 22.5 yards per kickoff return ranked tied for the fourth highest.
Paschall coached Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference return specialist Taylor as well, who ranked second in the league and 35th in the nation in punt return average. The true freshman's 234 punt return yards were the fifth most in school history at the time, and he returned three punts for a season-high 104 yards (school-record 34.7 yards per return) and one touchdown against Appalachian State. Taylor's touchdown return was the first by an A-State player since 2007.
Pascall tutored junior punter Luke Ferguson, A-State's second all-time leader in punting average, the final two years of his career as well. Paschall's leadership also helped backup quarterback Stephen Hogan break the school record for punting average in a game (58.0) during the 2014 campaign.
Paschall spent the previous two seasons working with current head coach Blake Anderson as a graduate assistant coach at North Carolina, but he has also served on the coaching staffs at Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community over a seven-year period before arriving at A-State.
A former player under Anderson at Middle Tennessee, Paschall has been a part of seven bowl games and helped each of his former schools compile statistical numbers that ranked among the top teams in the nation.
Working primarily with the special teams while also assisting with the wide receivers during his two seasons at North Carolina, Paschall was part of a coaching staff that led the Tar Heels to 15 victories and a win over Cincinnati in the 2013 Belk Bowl.
The 2013 UNC squad led the nation in punt returns (18.13 ypr) and ranked fourth in punt return defense (2.9 ypr), 10th in net punting (40.3 average), 19th in kick return average (23.8 ypr) and 28th in passing offense (277.4 ypg). The 2012 Tar Heels finished first in the ACC and 10th in the nation in net punting during Paschall's first season at the school.
Paschall's time at North Carolina saw him work with some of the team's most productive players at the wide receiver and special teams positions. All-Atlantic Coast Conference wide receiver Quinshad Davis ranked 22nd in the nation with 10 touchdown receptions and 13th in the ACC with 730 receiving yards in 2013. Davis led the team in receiving in 2012 with 61 receptions for 776 yards and five touchdowns to earn Freshman All-America honors from CollegeFootballNews.com as well.
Heavily involved with UNC's special teams, Paschall coached FWAA Freshman All-American and CFPA Punt Returner of the Year Ryan Switzer in 2013. Switzer turned in one of the most impressive seasons in school history, breaking the ACC record and tying the NCAA's best mark for punt returns for touchdowns (5). He finished the season with a school-record 502 punt return yards and a 20.9 yard average per attempt.
The Tar Heels' 2012 special teams unit included second team all-conference punter Tommy Hibbard and their punt return team, led by All-ACC return man Giovani Bernard, ranked 10th in the country. Bernard was also named the CFPA Punt Returner of the Year.
Paschall arrived at UNC after spending one season at Ole Miss as an offensive graduate assistant coach under Houston Nutt. He was primarily responsible for working with the wide receivers and tight ends, but also assisted with the Rebels' special teams. Ole Miss ranked third in the nation in punt returns and 24th in net punting Paschall's lone season at the school, where he worked with wide receiver Donte Moncrief during his Freshman All-America season.
Paschall spent the 2008-10 seasons at Oklahoma State in a quality control position (2010) and as an offensive graduate assistant (2008-09). He was primarily responsible for helping coach the wide receivers and quarterbacks positions as a graduate assistant coach, working with former NFL quarterback Zac Robinson and current Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant during his tenure. He helped lead OSU to the 2008 Holiday Bowl and the 2009 Cotton Bowl, while the Cowboys also played in the 2010 Alabama Bowl. Oklahoma State's 2008 team ranked sixth in the nation in total offense (487.7 ypg) and ninth in scoring offense (40.7 ppg).
The 2007 season saw Paschall serve as wide receivers coach at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, where he helped lead the Bulldogs to an NJCAA national championship victory over Kilgore in the H.O.T. Bowl played in Copperas Cove, Texas. The Bulldogs ranked 20th in the NJCAA in total offense that season.
Prior to joining MGCCC, Paschall was a four-year letterman at the wide receiver position at Middle Tennessee. The former walk-on who earned a scholarship as a sophomore hauled in a personal-best 13 receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown as a senior. The Dickson, Tenn., native earned a psychology degree in 2006 and a master's in sports management in 2007 from Middle Tennessee State University.
Luke and his wife, Lauren, have one daughter, Emma Rose.