|Other Position:||Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach|
Rhett Lashlee enters his first season at Arkansas State as the Red Wolves' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Lashlee comes to ASU after serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2011 at Samford, where he installed a high-tempo offense that improved the Bulldog's national ranking in total offense from No. 57 in the nation to No. 36 over the course of just one year. Samford's offense averaged 17 points per game the year prior to Lashlee's arrival, but put 28 points per game on the scoreboard in 2011 to help the Bulldogs improve their record from 4-7 to 6-5.
Under Lashlee's direction, Samford averaged 391 yards per game just one year after averaging 355. The Bulldogs also averaged 255 passing yards per game to rank No. 45 nationally, while they were ranked No. 72 in 2010 with 179 yards per game. Lashlee's offense also averaged 166 rushing yards per game, good enough to rank among the top 50 teams in the nation as well.
The Bulldogs posted a 4-4 Southern Conference record in 2011, matching their best ever as a member of the league. Samford broke the school record for points scored in a league game with 52 against Western Carolina as Lashlee helped the school jump from No. 100 in the nation in scoring offense to No. 43.
Lashlee coached Samford wide receiver Kelsey Pope, who broke the school record for receptions in a game with 17 in 2011. Under Lashlee’s leadership, quarterback Dustin Taliaferro broke Samford's career record completions during the 2011 campaign as well.
"I just feel like this is a great opportunity at a special place and a special time," said Lashlee. "Timing is everything, and my wife and I are both from Arkansas and this is home to us. Offensively, get ready, because it's going be exciting and explosive."
Lashlee has spent five of the last eight seasons working closely with Malzahn and his offense in a variety of capacities, including the 2009 and 2010 seasons as an offensive graduate assistant at Auburn.
"Rhett is one of the brightest minds and up and coming coaches in college football," said Malzahn. "I've said it for a long time that Rhett has the 'it' factor and he is going to be a head coach at this level someday. We are just going to enjoy him for the time that we have him."
He assisted Malzahn with all aspects of the offense and coached the slot receivers in 2010. In 2009, the Tigers finished 8-5 winning the Outback Bowl. During the 2010 season he helped the Tigers finish 14-0, winning the Southeastern Conference championship and the BCS National Championship behind Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Cam Newton.
Prior to working at Auburn, Lashlee's college coaching career began in 2006 at Arkansas, where he served as Offensive Student Graduate Assistant while working with Malzahn. He helped lead the Razorbacks to a 10-4 record and an SEC Western Division championship behind Heisman Trophy runner-up Darren McFadden and fellow All-American Felix Jones. Prior to working at Arkansas, he worked under Malzahn at Springdale High School in Arkansas in 2004 and 2005, working with the quarterbacks and 2005 Gatorade, Parade Magazine and Rivals.com National Player of the Year, Mitch Mustain.
Lashlee was a backup quarterback at the University of Arkansas from 2002-04, when his career was cut short due to a shoulder injury.
Prior to attending Arkansas, Lashlee graduated from Shiloh Christian high school in Springdale, Ark. in 2002. He played quarterback for Malzahn and Chris Wood at Shiloh Christian High School from 1999-2001, posting a state-record 40 career wins (40-3-2 as a starter) while leading his team to three straight state championship game appearances that included two state titles. He was also named the 2001 AP Arkansas Player of the Year. To date he still owns virtually every state passing record and when his career had finished he had broken the national record for career touchdown passes (171), career touchdowns (200), most passing yards in a game (672) and was second with 13,201 passing yards.
Lashlee graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2006 with a degree in Marketing and Business Administration. He received his Masters degree in Higher Education from Auburn University in 2009.
Lashlee is married to the former Lauren Lee, of Rogers, Ark., and they have 15-month old twin boys, Thomas Price and Hudson Rhett.