Coach Justin Fuente Adds Five Assistants To Tiger Football Staff
Dec. 19, 2011
MEMPHIS, TENN. - Head football coach Justin Fuente announced today the hiring of five new assistants for his coaching staff. He has added Barry Odom and Chris Vaughn for the defense; Holman Wiggins and Vance Vice for the offense; and James Shibest for special teams. As previously announced, Galen Scott, who coached with Fuente at Illinois State, has been retained after serving the last two seasons on the Tiger staff as the linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator.
Odom is slated to serve as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach, while Vaughn will guide the cornerbacks and Scott will continue to coach the linebackers. Shibest is set to lead the special teams unit and tight ends, while Wiggins will coach the running backs and Vice will guide the offensive line.
Odom joins the staff from the University of Missouri, where he has served the last nine seasons at his alma mater. From 2009-11, Odom directed the safeties after serving his first six seasons in various administrative roles. While at Missouri, Odom also was the lead recruiter on a handful of signees with MU's 2010 recruiting class, which was ranked 21st nationally by Rivals.com - marking the highest-ranked class in Tiger history.
Under his guidance, senior strong safety Kenji Jackson developed into an unquestioned leader of the Missouri Tiger defense in 2011. Jackson ranked fourth on the team with a career-best 71 tackles, and he led the Tigers with three interceptions on his way to earning honorable mention All-Big 12 honors.
The 2010 season saw the Tiger defense emerge as one of the most improved in the nation, as well as one of the top overall units in the Big 12 Conference. Despite playing against high-scoring Big 12 offenses each week, the Tigers led the Big 12 and ranked sixth nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 16.08 points per game. Additionally, thanks to the play of his safeties, Mizzou ranked 11th nationally in pass efficiency defense, holding opposing quarterbacks to a rating of just 108.45.
Fuente added two assistants who were previously on Houston Nutt's staff at Ole Miss. Shibest worked with special teams and tight ends at Ole Miss from 2008-11, and also worked eight seasons under Nutt in the same capacity at his alma mater Arkansas (2000-07). In addition, the 22-year coaching veteran has eight years at the junior college level, including four seasons (1996-99) as the head coach at Butler County (KS) Community College.
Special teams has served as a strength in Shibest's short time in Oxford, highlighted by an NCAA statistical champion, four All-SEC honorees, two freshman award winners and Shibest being distinguished as college football's top special teams coach. He has also tutored the top two kickoff returners - based on season and career yards - in Ole Miss history in Mike Wallace and Jesse Grandy.
In 2010, Tyler Campbell was crowned as the nation's punting champion with a 46.37-yard average. The All-SEC second team pick became the 19th NCAA statistical individual champion in Ole Miss history. In addition, Grandy ranked 10th in the NCAA in punt return average en route to All-SEC third-team status, and freshman Jeff Scott finished 20th in the nation in kickoff returns. Kickoff specialist Andrew Ritter's 13 touchbacks were fourth-most in the SEC.
Shibest led the Butler County Grizzlies to a four-year record of 34-10 and back-to-back National Junior College Athletic Association national championships in 1998 and 1999, while being named NJCAA National Coach of the Year both seasons. He also earned Jayhawk Conference Coach of the Year honors in 1996 and 1998. During his tenure at Butler County, Shibest coached 19 NJCAA All-Americans and 34 NCAA Division I signees, including Jermaine Petty, who earned first-team All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association.
Also joining the Tigers from Ole Miss is Vaughn, who served the last four seasons (2008-11) as the safeties coach and recruiting coordinator for the Rebels. Vaughn's time at Ole Miss is highlighted by a 2009 unit that was one of the toughest to pass against in the nation. With corners Marshay Green and Cassius Vaughn, Ole Miss ranked No. 11 in the NCAA in pass efficiency defense and No. 15 in pass defense.
Overall, the Rebels finished fourth in the SEC and 15th nationally in scoring defense (17.7 ppg) and fourth in the league and 21st nationally in total defense (314.7 ypg). After the season, both Green and Vaughn went on to sign NFL contracts with Arizona and Denver, respectively.
As recruiting coordinator, Vaughn helped assemble a 2009 signing class that was ranked 18th in the nation by Rivals.com, which also named Vaughn one of the Top 25 Recruiters in the Country. The Rebels' 2010 class earned even higher praise, tabbed No. 15 by Scout.com, while the 2011 group dominated the state of Mississippi like none ever has, inking the top five recruits and eight of the "Dandy Dozen." The latest class also included a school-record four U.S. Army All-Americans.
Vaughn, who played at Murray State under Nutt, served on Nutt's Arkansas staff for nine seasons, including four as recruiting coordinator. On the field, Vaughn's coaching responsibilities with the Razorbacks included the outside linebackers (2000-04), the outside linebackers and strong safeties (2001-03) and all safeties (2005, 2007). He spent the 2006 season as the director of on-campus recruiting.
Wiggins joins the Tigers from C-USA foe Tulsa, where he spent the 2011 season as the running backs coach. Wiggins helped the Golden Hurricane to an 8-4 overall record and a 7-1 mark in C-USA. He guided the Tulsa running backs corps to an average of 204.6 yards per game and 20 rushing touchdowns during the 2011 campaign. Tulsa ranked 25th nationally and second in Conference USA in rushing this past season, and will face BYU in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.
Fuente and Wiggins worked together during part of Wiggins' five-year stint (2006-2010) at Illinois State. Wiggins guided the Redbirds to a 9-4 record in his first year at the school, including a Football Championship Series quarterfinal appearance. His backs averaged 169 yards per game during his first season, and Pierre Rembert rushed for a school-record 1,743 yards, receiving All-America accolades by the Associated Press.
Vice, a 21-year coaching veteran, spent the last three seasons as the offensive line coach at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Under Vice's guidance, ULM's offensive line experienced unprecedented success since moving to the FBS level. In two of the three seasons, Vice's offensive lines have paved the way for over 20 rushing touchdowns and nearly 4,700 yards of total offense. The 392.3 yards per game recorded by ULM in 2009 was the most since joining the FBS.
ULM finished the season 28th in the NCAA in sacks allowed after yielding just 16 in 2009. The Warhawks averaged 183.9 yards per game on the ground that year, good for third in the Sun Belt and 31st in the NCAA. Running back Frank Goodin finished the season with 1,126 yards and 13 touchdowns -- fourth and second best in ULM history.
Prior to his tenure at ULM, Vice spent four seasons as the offensive line coach at Utah State. Vice coached two future-NFL lineman, Shawn Murphy and Donald Penn, while on the Aggies' staff. Vice has also had collegiate coaching stints at Illinois State (offensive line coach, 2000-04), Murray State (offensive line, 1999) and Clemson (tight ends, 1996-98). Vice was the offensive line coach in charge of protecting Fuente's quarterbacks at Illinois State in the early 2000s, and led the o-line at Murray State when Fuente was a senior quarterback in 1999.