Tony Gilbert has earned quite a reputation as Arkansas State's recruiting coordinator. The numbers speak for themselves as the seasons go for ASU. Statistics, records, NFL players and athletic accolades all add up for Gilbert and the staff as they rate the recruits.
In fact, Rivals.com ranked ASU's 2007 recruiting class as the second best in the Sun Belt Conference and three players signed NFL contracts in 2008, including second round NFL Draft selection Tyrell Johnson. Most recently, David Johnson was selected in the 2009 NFL Draft, marking the third consecutive year an ASU player has been taken in the draft, and Alex Carrington is a highly-rated NFL prospect as the 2010 NFL Draft approaches.
Not only that, Gilbert is quite a coach when it comes to ASU's cornerbacks and defensive backfield. He helped coach an ASU secondary that led the 2006 defense to the 12th best pass defense in the country and also ranked ninth in passes intercepted. The 2008 and 2009 squads followed that up with a No. 2 pass defense ranking in the Sun Belt Conference both seasons.
Most recently, the 2009 ASU defense ranked third in the Sun Belt Conference in passing defense and featured cornerback Daylan Walker, an All-Sun Belt Conference selection that finished his career with 16 pass break-ups. Under Gilbert's direction, the Red Wolves have seen a cornerback named all-conference six times.
During the 2002 season, Gilbert coached Sun Belt Conference Newcomer of the Year Jonathan Burke and All-Sun Belt Conference player Chuck Allen. In 2003, Burke was a first-team All-Sun Belt selection. In 2005, fleet-footed James Johnson was a second-team All-Sun Belt selection. The 2006 and 2008 campaigns saw cornerback Dominique Williams earn all-conference recognition as well.
Gilbert joined the ASU coaching staff January 2, 2002 as the cornerbacks coach and recruiting coordinator.
Before coming to ASU, Gilbert served as the assistant head coach at Central Arkansas and also coached receivers. In 2001, UCA finished with a record of 9-3 and the school's first-ever trip to the NCAA Division II playoffs.
Although he coached at UCA, Tony Gilbert is no stranger to Steve Roberts. The two coached together at Southern Arkansas where Gilbert was Roberts' defensive coordinator. While there, his defense was ranked No. 1 in 1997 and 1999.
Prior to that, he served four years as the running backs coach at Southeast Missouri State where he coached four consecutive 1,000-yard rushers. He started his career as a graduate assistant at Southwest Missouri State.
An all-conference pick at running back at SMSU, Gilbert helped his team to a 1989 Gateway Conference championship. He was named all-conference in 1986 and 1989 and was SMSU's all-time leading kick returner. Following graduation in 1989, he signed a free agent contract with the New York Giants in 1991.
He received his master's degree in communication from Southwest Missouri State in 1998.
Tony is married to the former Regina Kuykendall of Blytheville and they have two children-Jacqueline, who attended St. Louis University on a basketball scholarship and graduated with a degree in communication technology , and Tony II. Regina earned her Bachelor degree from Arkansas State in December of 2006.