Darren Hiller enters his 10th season as the offensive line coach at ASU, but this year has added the role of run game coordinator to his responsibilities.
Generally speaking, the offensive line is not viewed as the group that fans spend most of the game watching. Hiller has changed that. Hiller, who came to A-State in January 2002, has turned the o-line into an all-star lineup.
Most recently, three ASU offensive lineman were named All-Sun Belt Conference, including first team selection Derek Newton and second team choices Tom Castilaw and Sifa Etu. The Red Wolves' o-line paved the way for a school-record 4,841 yards of total offense that also ranked 40th in the nation.
In 2008, the offensive line helped lead ASU to the nation's 18th best rushing attack and a then school record for total offense. ASU also finished the 2008 season ranked 39th in the nation. Under Hiller's direction, the offensive line paved the way for ASU's 2007 running game that finished ranked 29th in the country.
Since coming to Arkansas State, the Red Wolves offensive line has improved considerably in terms of skill and depth. Evidence includes three first-team All-Sun Belt Conference performers in Tanner Jenkins, Newton and Matt Mandich, who was on the 2008 Rotary Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy watch lists as well as a four-time all-league selection.
Jenkins also started the 2006 season as a member of the Rotary Lombardi Award and Dave Rimington Award watch lists. In addition, he was a member of several preseason All-America and All-Sun Belt Conference teams and was regarded as one of the top centers in the nation.
Joining Mandich on the 2008 All-Sun Belt Conference Team was tackle Mark Clemons, and the 2009 campaign saw Newton placed on the all-conference squad as well.
In 2004, Hiller coached Steven Gibbs who joined the Seattle Seahawks. In 2003, he coached first-team All-Sun Belt Conference performer Kimani Jones, who has experience playing in the AFL. In 2002, Hiller coached All-American Garry Johnson who went on to the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals as well as second-team All-Sun Belt player John Crossley.
Hiller joined the staff at Northwestern (La.) State in the spring of 2001 after spending two seasons as the line coach at Arkansas-Monticello.
While at UAM, Hiller helped the team finish in the top five in Division II in total offense and scoring offense. During that time, UAM also broke 30 offensive school records.
A two-year starter at offensive guard at West Texas A&M (previously West Texas State), he also coached there from 1994-98 and helped his teams to national rankings in Division II and led that division in several offensive categories.
Born in Fremont, Calif., Hiller attended Washington High School where he played offensive guard and inside linebacker. A team captain, he received all-league honors. He went on to Chabot Junior College in Hayward, Calif., where he received all-conference honors at offensive guard. A team captain, he was also a member of the GTE Academic All-America team.
While at Chabot, his team played in the 1991 Merced Elks Bowl against Palomar Junior College for the national championship.
Born February 8, 1972, Hiller enjoys fishing and golfing and his chocolate labrador named Champ.
He is married to the former Tracie Lenhart of Lubbock, Texas, and they have two daughters, Hailey Marguerite (6) and Aubrey Kay (3), and one son, Colton Keith (8 months).