JONESBORO, Ark. (1/18/19) – Arkansas State head football coach Blake Anderson has announced three additional assistant coaches as part of the Red Wolves’ staff, including defensive coordinator David Duggan, defensive ends coach Brandon Joiner and running backs coach Rashad Jackson.
The latest additions give A-State six new assistant coaches for the 2019 season with one vacancy left to fill, which Anderson said will coach the interior defensive line. Anderson has also announced that outside linebackers coach Nick Paremski and inside wide receivers coach Kyle Cefalo will move into special teams co-coordinator roles after both worked extensively in the area for A-State in the past.
Duggan comes to Arkansas State from Western Michigan, where he served as the Broncos’ linebackers coach the last three seasons and also the special teams coordinator since 2017.
“Coach Duggan is one of the most professional and hard-working individuals I’ve ever been around,” said Anderson. “He is selfless and makes everyone else around him better, both personally and professionally. I have worked with him for six years, known him for 10, developed a great trust with him and he is a perfect fit for what we want to do schematically.”
During his time with the Broncos, he helped lead the program to a pair of bowl games, a Mid-American Conference championship and a combined 26-13 record. His initial year with the program saw Western Michigan post an undefeated 13-0 regular-season record, a final No. 12 ranking and a berth in the Cotton Bowl, where it dropped a narrow 24-16 decision to Wisconsin.
Most recently, he was part of a 2018 coaching staff that directed Western Michigan to a 7-6 overall record and an appearance in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
During his time with the Broncos, he coached a pair of All-MAC linebackers in Robert Spillane and Asantay Brown, who was a two-time selection. They each signed NFL free agent contracts following the 2017 season. Duggan also saw four of his special teams players tabbed All-MAC, including the league’s Special Teams Player of the Year in kickoff and punt returner Darius Phillips.
Duggan spent two different stints with Southern Miss prior to Western Michgian, the last from 2013-16 as the Golden Eagles defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. While there, he was part of one of the best turnarounds in the FBS in 2015 as Southern Miss went from a 3-9 record in 2014 to a 9-5 mark, a berth in the Conference USA championship game and an appearance in the Heart of Dallas Bowl the following year. His defense ranked third in C-USA along with the top ranked player in interceptions as Kalan Reed had four.
A familiar face in Jonesboro and an Arkansas State University alumnus, Joiner was a two-year letterman for the Red Wolves from 2010-11 and helped lead the program to the 2011 Sun Belt Conference championship while being named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.
He spent the last three seasons at A-State as a graduate assistant coach (2016) and in a defensive line quality control position (2017-18) before being elevated to a full-time coaching role. During that time, Joiner helped lead the program to the 2016 Sun Belt Conference championship, three consecutive winning seasons and a trio of bowl game appearances, including the 2016 Cure Bowl, 2017 Camellia Bowl and 2018 Arizona Bowl.
“Seeing a young man fight through adversity as a player and go on to the NFL, and then to come back here to a quality control position and put himself in a situation to be elevated to a full-time coach, is a fantastic example of courage, perseverance and hard work,” said Anderson. “It was great to see not only the smile on his face when he earned the job, but also how ecstatic our players were when they found out. Coach Joiner is a guy who makes this place special.”
Joiner worked with the defensive line specifically all three seasons, helping mentor some of the top players in school history. Former defensive end Ja’Von Rolland-Jones was tabbed the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in both 2016 and 2017 while completing his career as the second all-time sacks leader in NCAA FBS history. Most recently, defensive end Ronheen Bingham was tabbed the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2018.
He also coached players such as defensive end Chris Odom, who was a First Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection in 2016 and signed an NFL free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers. Rolland-Jones, and former defensive tackle Dee Liner also signed free agent contracts with teams in the league following their playing career.
The Red Wolves have ranked among the top 13 teams in the country each of the last three years and actually led the nation in 2016 with 9.6 per game. The defensive line has also ranked among the top 27 teams in the country since 2016. Over that span, A-State placed seven different defensive lineman on the All-Sun Belt Conference Team at least once.
Following his stellar playing career, he signed an NFL free agent contract and spent three seasons with Cincinnati Bengals. While with the Bengals, he received the Mentorship Award in 2014 for his work with the “Boys to Men Program.”
The Killeen, Texas, native was also a NJCAA All-America selection at Navarro (Texas) College prior to transferring to Arkansas State. He earned his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Arkansas State University in 2012.
Jackson comes to Arkansas State after most recently spending the 2018 season at Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College as the Cardinals’ offensive coordinator.
His lone season at the school saw the team average 410 yards total offense per game, which ranked 12th in the nation. He also coached 11 total players, including seven on offense and four on special teams, who earned All-Southwest Junior College Football Conference (SWJCFC) honors.
Prior to Trinity Valley, he spent the 2009-17 seasons in a variety of roles on the East Central (Okla.) University, including the 2017 campaign as offensive coordinator. During his time with Tigers, he also coached quarterbacks (2009-11), wide receivers (2012-16) and wide receivers/tight ends (2017).
Jackson mentored 30 All-Great American Conference (GAC) and five All-Lone Star Conference players at East Central, including four who went on to either be an NFL draft pick or sign a free agent contract with a team in the league. He also coached two NCAA Division II All-America choices and five (QBs Tyler Vanderzee, Rocky Moore, and Spencer Bond; WRs Caleb Holley and David Moore) who set school records.
While working at East Central, he also gained three years of experience in the NFL carrying out summer coaching internships with the Seattle Seahawks (2016), Detroit Lions (2015) and Denver Broncos (2013). He worked with the tight ends, special teams and running backs during those stops.
Jackson went to East Central from Kansas State, where he was the Director of Player Development in 2008. He went to Kansas State after working two seasons at Reedley (Calif.) College, serving as the running backs and tight ends coach in 2005 and the wide receivers coach in in 2006 and 2007.
He helped lead the junior college program to the 2005 Valley Conference championship and Hawaiian Punch Bowl, as well as the 2006 State Center Bowl. He began his collegiate career as a coaching assistant at East Central from 2002-05, working with tight ends and tackles.
“Coach Jackson brings diverse experience from the different levels he’s coached, as well as the positions,” said Anderson. “He fits our recruiting footprint and has coordinated his own room in the past. He brings a lot of energy with him, and he is a great fit with Coach (Keith) Heckendorf on the offensive side of the ball.”
Jackson was an all-conference tight end at East Central and played one season at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science in 2002. He also earned his master’s degree in Sports Administration from East Central University in 2004.