|Other Position:||Running Backs Coach | Special Teams Co-Coordinator|
Kyle Cefalo enters his third season at Arkansas State in 2019, but his first as the running backs coach and co-special teams coordinator after spending the previous two years as the inside wide receivers coach.
A former graduate assistant coach at A-State who helped lead the program to a pair of Sun Belt Conference championships in 2013 and 2015, rejoined the program as an assistant coach in 2017. He helped guide the Red Wolves to a combined 15 wins, as well as back-to-back bowl game appearances the last two years.
Cefalo’s first season back at A-State saw the Red Wolves play Middle Tennessee in the Camellia Bowl to cap a seven-win season in which the A-State offense ranked fifth in the nation in passing offense (342.2 ypg), 10th in total offense (494.8 ypg) and 13th in scoring offense (37.8 ppg).
The 2018 A-State squad ranked 17th in the country in total offense (466.2 ypg) and 21st in passing yards (281.5 ypg) on its way to the Arizona Bowl, where it played Nevada. The inside wide receivers coached by Cefalo were a big part of A-State’s success that led to a school record for total offense average in 2017 and the program’s fourth most yards per game in 2018.
His 2017 unit was headlined by Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection Chris Murray, who led the team in both receptions (50) and receiving touchdowns (9). In fact, the senior’s receiving touchdown total not only ranked as the fourth most in school history for a single season, they tied the 25th most in the nation.
Cefalo also tutored Christian Booker, who turned in the best season of his career in 2017 with 25 receptions for 363 yards and six touchdowns. Booker and Murray combined for 15 of the team’s 38 receiving touchdowns that ranked as the fifth most in the nation.
Cefalo coached First Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection Kirk Merritt in 2018, the same season he was named the league’s Newcomer of the Year after recording 83 receptions for 1,005 yards and seven touchdowns. Merritt ended his first season with the Red Wolves with the third most receptions and receiving yards in school history, while also ranking 20th in the nation in receptions per game.
Cefalo returned to Arkansas State in 2017 to work on the offensive side of the ball after previously spending the 2016 season as a graduate assistant coach at Maryland, which doubled its win total over the previous season and made an appearance in the Quick Lane Bowl. During his six seasons as a member of the A-State (2013-15, 2017-18) and Maryland (2016) coaching staffs, Cefalo has been a part of 45 combined victories and coached in six bowl games.
Cefalo worked on the offensive side of the ball, primarily with quarterbacks and wide receivers, at both Maryland and Arkansas State from 2013-16. His three seasons as a graduate assistant coach at A-State saw the Red Wolves compile three of the top five marks at the time in school history for total offense, including a school-record 6,194 yards in 2014 during Anderson’s first season at the helm of the program.
Additionally, the Red Wolves produced a school and Sun Belt Conference-record 520 points in 2015 with Cefalo on the sidelines. His first year as a graduate assistant at A-State saw the squad pile up 379 points, the ninth most in program history, and the 477 points recorded by the squad in the 2014 stands as the second most.
Arkansas State compiled a 22-15 record during Cefalo’s first stint with the program and played in three consecutive bowl games, including the 2014 and 2015 GoDaddy Bowl and the 2015 New Orleans Bowl. The Red Wolves also collected 18 All-Sun Belt Conference selections on the offensive side of the ball during Cefalo’s initial three years with the program.
Cefalo spent the first six months of 2013 as a recruiting intern at Boise State before entering the coaching profession at A-State. Prior to Boise State, he enjoyed a successful playing career at the University of Colorado, where he walked on in 2009 before earning a scholarship in the fall of 2011. He originally signed to play baseball at Oregon State, but suffered a season-ending arm injury and transferred to Colorado to begin his collegiate football career.
Cefalo caught two touchdown passes during his senior season, including the go-ahead touchdown in a victory over Colorado State. He was awarded the Gold Group Commitment award in 2009, which is given out by the Colorado coaching staff and recognizes excellence with class in a variety of areas.
A native of Boston, Mass., Cefalo earned his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Colorado in the spring of 2012. He was named to the Athletics Director’s Honor Roll in 2012 as well.