Arms of coaching tree touch both programs
Tigers begin preseason camp in 10 days
Get ready for your 2014 Memphis Tigers football season with this behind-the-scenes look at the team's winter and summer workouts.
Don't miss the 2014 season opener on August 30 when the Tigers host Austin Peay at 6 PM at the Liberty Bowl!
The University of Memphis football team wrapped-up its final day of two-a-day practices on Wednesday. Head coach Justin Fuente talks about the final two-a-day practice.
The Tigers suited up in full pads for the first time today in preparation for two-a-days starting tomorrow.
Memphis opens up the 2013 season hosting Duke on September 7.
Day two of preseason camp is in the books for the Memphis Tigers football team and it was another scorcher. Watch highlights and interviews from day two right here on the Memphis Tiger Network.
The Memphis football team opened up their preseason camp today. Check out some highlights from the first day and hear from junior DB Bobby McCain and head coach Justin Fuente.
In his third season coaching the Tigers' offensive linemen is Vance Vice.
Last year, the Tigers averaged 313 yards of offense as the Tigers made the move to the American Athletic Conference. Vice's linemen blocked for a running back who rushed for more yardage than any other back since the 2009 season and a quarterback who became just the second rookie to throw for more than 2,000 yards.
Brandon Hayes, who received a sixth year of eligibility and returns for the 2014 season, rushed for 860 yards to lead the Tigers in 2013. Redshirt freshman quarterback Paxton Lynch passed for 2,056 yards. The passing total marked just the 10th time in school history a Memphis quarterback had passed for better than 2,000 yards.
Ahead of the 2014 season, Memphis returns eight offensive linemen with experience including three starters off the 2013 squad.
In Vice's initial season coaching the offensive line in 2012, Memphis raised its offensive yardage total in conference games 26 percent over the previous season. The Tigers averaged 327.1 yards per league game. Memphis raised its rushing offense total by 63 percent in C-USA games.
Overall, the Tigers averaged 318.33 yards of total offense during Vice's first year. The season total represented a 44-yard improvement from the 2011 season.
Memphis ranked next to last nationally in rushing offense in 2011 but almost doubled its rushing average this season, improving its ground-game total to 151.75 yards per game in 2012.
Memphis' 71.43 fourth-down efficiency percentage ranked tied for seventh nationally. Only five teams converted on fourth down more times than the Tigers.
Vice mentored offensive tackle Jordan Devey who received the DeAngelo Williams Most Valuable Player Award at season's end. Devey, who played every snap of his two-year career, went on to play in the East-West Shrine Game. Devey was an All-Conference USA Second Team selection while Taylor Fallin was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team in 2012.
Memphis' 4-8 overall record marked the program's best finish since 2008. The Tigers won more league games in 2012 than the previous three seasons combined, posting a 4-4 record in the program's final season in Conference USA.
Vice and head coach Justin Fuente have a long history together. Vice coached the offensive line at Murray State in 1999 when Fuente was a senior quarterback for the Racers, and the two also worked together on the offensive staff at Illinois State from 2001-04.
Prior to joining the Memphis coaching staff, Vice spent the previous three seasons as the offensive line coach at Louisiana-Monroe (2009-11). Under Vice's guidance, the Warhawks offensive line experienced unprecedented success since moving to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in 1994.
In two of the three seasons at Louisiana-Monroe, Vice's offensive lines paved the way for over 20 rushing touchdowns and nearly 4,700 yards of total offense. The 392.3 total yards per game recorded in 2009 was the program's highest offensive output since joining the FBS.
Behind the Vice-led offensive line, the 2009 Warhawks rushed for a school Sun Belt (SBC)-era record 21 touchdowns. Louisiana-Monroe also set the school's single-game, SBC-era record with five rushing touchdowns against Texas Southern. The Warhawks tallied the fifth-highest yards-per-game average (392.3) in school history and the program's highest since moving to FBS.
In 2009, Louisiana-Monroe finished the season ranked 28th in the NCAA in sacks allowed, yielding just 16. The Warhawks rushing attack averaged 183.9 yards per game in 2009, ranking third in the SBC and 31st nationally. Running back Frank Goodin finished the season with 1,126 yards and 13 touchdowns, the fourth and second-best marks, respectively, in Louisiana-Monroe history.
Two of Vice's linemen were named All-Louisiana for the first time in their careers. One of those linemen, Mitch Doyle, was named to the All-Louisiana Team as an offensive lineman after switching from tight end the previous spring.
In the 2009 season opener versus Texas, the Warhawks offensive line did something that only two other teams had done in the previous 40 games, limiting the Longhorns defense to no sacks. The unit also paved the way for the Louisiana-Monroe ground game to run for 101 yards against Texas, which had allowed only 83.5 yards per game rushing the previous season (nation's No. 3 rushing defense).
Vice's 2010 offensive line led the way for quarterback Kolton Browning to total 2,937 yards (2,552 passing/385 rushing), the third-highest yardage total by a freshman in the NCAA that season. The 2,937 total yards also were the second-most for a season in Louisiana-Monroe history.
Vice, a 20-plus year coaching veteran, joined the Louisiana-Monroe staff after four seasons at Utah State (2005-08) in a similar role. He guided a pair of Utah State players that moved on to NFL careers. Guard Shawn Murphy was a 2008 NFL Draft fourth-round pick by the Miami Dolphins, and Donald Penn was a 2005 free agent signee by the Minnesota Vikings and currently plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
During Vice's four seasons with the Aggies, four offensive linemen earned All-Western Athletic Conference (WAC) honors, and Ryan Tonnemacher was a two-time Rimington Trophy Watch List nominee, awarded annually to the nation's top center.
Under Vice's guidance, Murphy was invited to play in the East-West Shrine Game. He was the first Utah State player selected to the Shrine Game since 2002 and the first Aggies offensive lineman chosen to the all-star game since center Tim Ruiz in 1986.
Prior to Utah State, Vice spent five seasons coaching the offensive line at Illinois State (2000-04). He was promoted to assistant head coach his final two seasons with the Redbirds. At Illinois State, three linemen earned All-America honors and eight garnered All-Gateway Conference accolades. In 2003, the Redbirds established a school record with 248.1 yards per game rushing and allowed just five sacks on 367 pass attempts.
Vice started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Georgia from 1990-91, before working at Hart County (Ga.) High School from 1992-95. He returned to the collegiate level from 1996-98, coaching tight ends at Clemson. Vice then spent one year (1999) at Murray State as the offensive line coach, where his line protected Racers quarterback Justin Fuente.
Vice was a defensive lineman and tight end at Oklahoma State, where he participated on Cowboys teams that featured future NFL stars Thurman Thomas and Barry Sanders. He played in three bowl games with the Cowboys.
The three-time All-Big Eight academic selection graduated from Oklahoma State in 1990 with a degree in secondary education. He earned a master's degree in education administration from Georgia in 1993 and an education specialist degree from Clemson in 1999.
He and his wife, Kerry, have two daughters, Savannah and Sydni, and a son, Brock.