Mike Bangtson | Offensive Line
Mike Bangtson is entering his first season on the University of South Alabama football staff coaching the offensive line.
He comes to South from Virginia Tech, where he served on the staff in 2016 as a graduate assistant coach and an offensive quality control assistant the the following year. During that time, the Hokies compiled a 19-8 overall record highlighted by an 11-5 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference and back-to-back postseason bowl appearances.
In his first season with the program, his efforts helped the Hokies earn a berth in the ACC Championship Game and a victory over Arkansas in the Belk Bowl as they would end up 16th in both polls with a 10-4 record. Virginia Tech would finish 9-4, including a season-opening win over nationally-ranked West Virginia, a year later after playing in the Camping World Bowl.
Bangtson was also a graduate assistant at Memphis during the 2015 campaign, helping the Tigers go 9-4 — which included picking up a victory over nationally-ranked Ole Miss — en route to a berth in the Birmingham Bowl.
During the 2014 campaign, Bangtson was a an assistant working with the offensive line at Upper Iowa. In his only year with the program, the Peacocks set school season records for points and passing yards, and his unit — highlighted by first-team all-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference South Division selection Casey Beck — allowed just 12 sacks in 11 contests.
Bangtson was part of a staff that led Northwest Missouri State to the 2013 NCAA Division II national championship and a 15-0 mark, serving as a graduate assistant working with offensive line.
He was originally a student-athlete at Iowa State, and after suffering injuries that ended his playing career Bangtson aided the Cyclone coaching staff as a student assistant working with the offensive line. His efforts contributed to ISU making consecutive postseason appearances in the AutoZone Liberty and New Era Pinstripe Bowls, while he earned a bachelor’s degree from the school in communications studies in 2012.
Pete Bennett | Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator
In his first season on the University of South Alabama football coaching staff, Pete Bennett will work with Jaguar wide receivers while also serving as the program’s recruiting coordinator.
He comes to Mobile after four seasons in the same role at Central Arkansas under first-year Jaguar head coach Steve Campbell, where he helped the Bears go 33-15 overall and 24-3 in the Southland Conference including picking up the 2017 league championship. UCA went to the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs each of the last two years while he was on the staff, with individuals receiving all-Southland recognition on seven occasions during that stretch.
In his final season with the Bears, Bennett had one receiver named first-team all-conference and another be chosen honorable mention all-SLC as UCA won the Southland title with a 9-0 mark and finished 10-2 overall after earning the No. 4 seed in the FCS playoffs. Desmond Smith finished his career as the school’s all-time leader in receptions (226) and receiving yards (2,828) and was fourth in receiving touchdowns (20) after working under Bennett’s direction his last three years, also setting the program’s single-game record with 14 receptions against Stephen F. Austin in 2015. Bennett also aided Dezmin Lewis during his senior season, with the wideout playing in the 2015 Senior Bowl before going on to be selected in the seventh round of the National Football League draft that spring by the Buffalo Bills.
He first worked with Campbell as wide receivers coach at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College from 2008-13, during which time the Bulldogs finished in the top 10 of the final National Junior College every year, played in four postseason bowl games, claimed four Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) South Division titles and twice won the league’s championship contest. Three times in six seasons under Bennett’s direction MGCCC receivers were named NJCAA All-Americans including D’haquille Williams, the top-ranked junior-college recruit in 2013 who would sign with Auburn.
Bennett first coach at Webber International during the 2007 season, working with tight ends in his only year at the school. He played both quarterback and wide receiver at North Carolina Wesleyan before going on to earn a degree in sociology from Florida Southern in 2008, adding a master’s degree in sports management in 2011 from Southern Mississippi.
Bennett and his wife Megan have one son, Jack, and one daughter, Emma.
Harland Bower | Defensive Line
Harland Bower joins the University of South Alabama football coaching staff after serving two years as a defensive graduate assistant at Notre Dame.
In his second season with the Fighting Irish, the program finished with a 10-3 record after earning a 21-17 victory over Louisiana State in the Citrus Bowl.
Before going to Notre Dame, Bower served two years as the outside linebackers coach at Central Arkansas on the staff of first-year USA head coach Steve Campbell; his efforts there helped the Bears go 7-4 his second season, which included a 7-2 record in the league. He worked with future All-American and first-team all-Southland Conference selection George Odum, also aiding in the development of future first-team all-league honoree Chris Chambers.
Bower was a graduate assistant on the staff at Troy during the 2013 campaign, while the previous fall he served as a quality control coach at Rutgers. During the 2011 season he was an assistant defensive line and assistant strength and conditioning coach at Murray State after beginning his coaching career as an assistant at Georgia Military College the year before.
After beginning his collegiate playing career at Central Michigan in 2005, Bower transferred to Georgia Southern where he was credited with 56 tackles while earning four letters; that included being elected a team captain when he was a senior. He received a bachelor’s degree in general studies with minors in coaching, criminal justice and psychology from the school in 2009.
Bower — who is originally from Edison, N.J. — is married to the former Lauren Leigh Haines.
Kenny Edenfield | Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
After working the last 10 years at Sun Belt Conference rival Troy — including the last eight as offensive coordinator — Kenny Edenfield begins his first year on the University of South Alabama coaching staff. In addition to serving as the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator he will work with quarterbacks.
While at Troy, Edenfield helped the Trojans to five postseason bowl appearances including each of the last two years, four outright or shared Sun Belt Conference titles and its first-ever top-25 ranking, overseeing a unit that has finished among the top 20 nationally in total offense twice and passing yards per game on four occasions. Under his direction, Troy players set school season records for completions, completion percentage and receptions, and ended up among the top three in the program’s season record books in passing yards, passing touchdowns, receiving yards, total offense and all-purpose yards as well.
In 2017, Edenfield’s offense averaged nearly 270 yards per game passing and 420 overall while scoring 31.5 points per contest as Troy went 11-2 after a win in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, shared the league title with a 7-1 mark and helped the Trojans to a three-point win at No. 22 LSU. That performance came one year after the Trojans went 10-3 with a victory in the Dollar General Bowl, earning the first top-25 ranking in school and Sun Belt Conference history and the best win-improvement in the country.
In 2010, Edenfield’s first as offensive coordinator, the Trojans averaged 453.5 yards and 34.1 points per game while scoring 30 or more points 10 times including four contests with 40 or more, while in 2012 Edenfield’s unit recorded 721 yards of offense at Tennessee and 572 against Mississippi State — the Trojans finished 11th nationally with a school-record average of 498.8 yards per contest that year.
Under Edenfield the Trojan offense had 39 individuals earn all-league recognition including 12 first-team all-Sun Belt selections.
Before going to Troy, Edenfield was offensive coordinator at North Alabama from 2002-07 as the Lions qualified for the NCAA Division II playoffs on four occasions while twice winning the Gulf South Conference title while recording a 54-19 overall mark. In 2003, Edenfield guided the Lions to a 13-1 record, a GS championship and berth in the semifinals of the playoffs as UNA broke 11 school team records and 20 individual marks while producing the Harlon Hill Trophy winner in quarterback Will Hall. Two years later his unit broke 28 offensive records and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II playoffs as six Lions earned All-America accolades including Harlon Hill Trophy finalist Anthony Merritt, and in his final year on the staff quarterback A.J. Milwee was a finalist for the award after UNA went 10-2 after reaching the quarterfinals of the playoffs.
He was the tight ends coach and special teams coordinator at Tulsa during the 2001 campaign and also had a two-year stint at Nicholls State from 1993-94 that included serving as offensive play caller his second season with the program.
Edenfield was the head coach at Southwest Mississippi C.C. for two years (1999-00) after working as offensive coordinator at the school the previous two falls. He also has experience as a head coach at Dr. Phillips (Fla.) H.S. from 1995-97, and as an assistant at Jackson (La.) (1989) and Apopka (Fla.) (1990-92) Highs during his coaching career.
Originally from Clinton, La., Edenfield and his four children, son K.D. and daughters Caitlin, Christina and Kiley. He received his bachelor’s degree from Troy in mathematics education in 1989, where he was a three-year letterwinner in football while helping the Trojans to a 32-13-1 overall record and the 1987 NCAA Division II national championship.
Larry Hart | Outside Linebackers
Larry Hart begins his first season on the University of South Alabama football coaching staff working with Jaguar outside linebackers.
He came to USA after serving on the staff of first-year head coach Steve Campbell at Central Arkansas as defensive line coach during the 2017 season, where his efforts helped Chris Terrell earn All-America honors from two different organizations as well as first-team all-Southland Conference accolades.
He first worked as a coach as a graduate assistant for two seasons at Arkansas State, where he helped the Red Wolves to 16 wins, a pair of postseason bowl appearances and the 2015 Sun Belt Conference championship after going 8-0 in league play. In 2016, Hart was the defensive line coach at Holmes (Miss.) C.C.
After earning all-state honors as a player in each of his two years at HCC, he transferred to Central Arkansas where he would go on to record 21½ sacks in two seasons — a total that still ranks among the top five in the school’s career record books. Hart was chosen an All-American and the Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year as both a junior and senior, recording 21 tackles for loss including 12 sacks during the 2008 campaign, and was later named to the league’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s.
Following his senior season, Hart was chosen in the fifth round of the National Football League draft — going 143rd overall, the highest selection in UCA’s history — by the Jacksonville Jaguars, going on to also sign with the Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders. He also played in both the Canadian and United Football Leagues before entering the coaching profession.
A 2009 graduate of Central Arkansas with a degree in health sciences, Hart received his master’s degree in media and communications from Arkansas State in 2016. He is married to the former Juliet Rentz.
Chad Huff | Tight Ends
Chad Huff enters his first season as the University of South Alabama football program’s tight ends coach.
He was the head coach Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. for four years before coming to South, where he led the Bulldogs to a 26-14 overall record which included a 17-7 mark in Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) play. Huff was a member of the school’s coaching staff for a total of 14 years — serving as offensive coordinator from 2004-13 — during which time he helped the program to 113 victories, three state championships, seven MACJC South Division titles and the 2007 National Junior College Athletic Association championship.
Huff’s units broke or equaled school offensive records for four consecutive seasons starting in 2007, pushing the scoring mark from 440 points to 505 in that time. In his second year on the staff MGCCC went 7-3 after advancing to the MACJC championship game and earning a postseason bowl bid, adding seven more wins the following season. His efforts helped the Bulldogs go 12-0 en route to state and national titles in 2007, with the Bulldogs claiming both the MACJC South Division and state championships while going 10-2 the next fall.
MGCCC again won 10 games during the 2010 campaign, ending the year third in the final NJCAA poll after winning the state title and defeating Grand Rapids (Mich.) C.C. in the Mississippi Bowl. That season, Huff’s offense totaled a school-record 505 points — scoring fewer than 30 on only two occasions — to rank second in the country not only in scoring but with 455.9 total yards per game. He helped the Bulldogs win 10 games, the MACJC South Division championship and the Mississippi Bowl the following year, adding another division title in 2012 as well.
In his first year as head coach, Huff guided MGCCC to an 8-2 finish after advancing to the state playoffs, and a year later the Bulldogs finished 8-3 while earning the league’s South Division title and a berth in the state championship contest.
During Huff’s tenure at Gulf Coast, the program had 14 former players advance to compete at the professional level, with a higher total continuing their careers at four-year schools.
Huff entered the coaching profession as an assistant coach at Delta State in 1998, helping the Statesmen win the Gulf South Conference championship before a three-year stretch working under first-year Jaguar head coach Steve Campbell that saw DSU go 27-8 included a 14-1 record in 2000 when the program claimed the NCAA Division II national title.
Huff has also served as an assistant coach at the U.S. Naval Academy (2001) and North Alabama (2003), and in between was the head coach at Indianola (Miss.) Academy for one year.
A four-year letterwinner at Delta State, Huff was selected to play in the 1997 Snow Bowl — Division II’s Senior Bowl — following the conclusion of his collegiate career before going on to earn both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the school in math and physical education, respectively. He and his wife, Renee, have two sons, Gaines and Grayson.
Josh Jones | Cornerbacks
Josh Jones is in his first season coaching cornerbacks at the University of South Alabama after serving in the same role during the previous two years under current Jaguar head coach Steve Campbell.
During that time, Jones helped the Bears go 20-5 overall and 17-1 in the Southland Conference. In his first season on the staff, he helped both Tremon Smith and Tyler Williams earn first-team all-league accolades — the latter was named to multiple All-America teams as well after leading the nation in passes defensed — as UCA ended the campaign 10-3 following a first-round victory over Illinois State in the opening round of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. The next fall, after the Bears finished the year 10-2 — earning the fourth seed in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs — including a 9-0 mark en route to the Southland Conference title, Smith was named first-team All-American by one organization and third-team All-American by another while again picking up first-team all-league honors under his guidance.
In his only season as an assistant coach at Henderson (Ark.) State, Jones helped the Reddies to an 11-2 mark and a first-round victory in the 2015 NCAA Division II playoffs. He began his coaching career as an assistant as his high school alma mater — Bishop Montgomery in Torrance, Calif. — during the 2010 and ’11 seasons before taking a graduate assistant position both coaching and working with the strength and conditioning program at Arkansas Tech for one year. In 2014, Jones served as a graduate assistant coach at Missouri Western, working in the same capacity at Troy during the spring and summer the following year.
He received All-America honors at two different schools during his collegiate playing career, first accomplishing the feat at Minnesota State-Moorhead in 2007 after leading NCAA Division II with 10 interceptions before being honored following his senior season in ’09 at Harding (Ark.) when he was credited with 94 tackles and 11 passes broken up to go along with eight interceptions. Jones played two seasons in the professional ranks — one in the Indoor Football League, one in the Arena Football League —before entering the coaching profession.
Jones is a 2013 graduate of Arkansas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in professional studies.
Matt Kitchens | Safeties/Special Teams Coordinator
Matt Kitchens enters his first season on the University of South Alabama football staff as safeties coach and special teams coordinator.
He comes to the school after working in the same role from 2015-17 under first-year Jaguar head coach Steve Campbell at Central Arkansas, where his efforts helped the Bears posted a 27-9 overall record and a 24-3 mark in the Southland Conference while making two NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoff appearances including picking up a first-round victory in 2016. UCA never finished lower than second in the league standings over that stretch.
In his last season with the program, Kitchens aided as the Bears posted a 10-2 finish, won the Southland championship — going 9-0 in league play — and earned the fourth seed in the NCAA FCS playoffs. He played a role in George Odum earning both All-America and first-team all-SLC honors, and Juan Jackson receiving second-team all-league recognition. The previous year, Odum was a first-team all-conference selection after UCA went 10-3 overall after defeating Illinois State in the opening round of the postseason.
Kitchens was first a graduate assistant coach at Arkansas Tech from 2010-11 before taking on a full-time position on the school’s staff working with linebackers the following year. He then spent two years as a graduate assistant at Southern Mississippi before accepting the position at Central Arkansas.
A four-year letterwinner at Arkansas Tech, Kitchens recorded 46 tackles including 7½ stops behind the line of scrimmage as a senior to help the team to a overall record of 9-3 after earning a first-round victory in the NCAA Division II Playoffs. He received his undergraduate degree in communications from the school in 2009.
Kitchens is married to the former Jaclyn Blake; the couple has one son, Trey.
Greg Stewart | Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
Greg Stewart begins his first year as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at the University of South Alabama.
He comes to the program from Central Arkansas, where during a four-year stint in the same role on the staff of current Jaguar head coach Steve Campbell his efforts helped the Bears to a 33-15 overall record, a 24-3 mark in Southland Conference action the last three seasons — including going undefeated to claim the 2017 league title — two berths in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs and a first-round playoff victory in ’16.
Over his final two years at the school, Stewart’s UCA units ranked in the top 10 nationally both seasons in defensive touchdowns and tackles for loss, also standing among the top five in the country after the 2016 campaign against the run allowing just 72.8 yards per outing (second) and with 14 fumble recoveries (third). The Bears were also eighth in the nation that fall with 28 takeaways, and ended up among the top 25 in the final statistical rankings each year in scoring, total and third-down conversion defense as well as total sacks.
In 2017, three of Stewart’s players picked up All-America honors while eight were honored by the Southland Conference including five first-team selections. Eight Bears garnered all-league recognition following the 2016 season as well, with six individuals honored the prior year.
Stewart was the defensive coordinator at Louisiana from 2011-12, and during those two years his efforts helped the Ragin’ Cajuns to a pair of nine-win seasons that culminated in wins at the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. He also served two stints on the staff at Jacksonville State, first as a defensive assistant from 1989-97 — during which time the Gamecocks made four NCAA Division II playoff appearances in a five-year span, winning the national title in 1992 — then as defensive coordinator from 2000-10. During Stewart’s second stretch with the program, he coached 13 All-Americans and had 33 individuals earn all-Ohio Valley Conference honors after joining the league in 2003 as JSU advanced to the NCAA FCS playoffs on three occasions.
Stewart also worked at Delta State from 1998-99, serving as defensive coordinator as the Statesmen went 14-7 over that stretch including qualifying for the NCAA Division II playoffs his first season with the program after winning the Gulf South Conference title.
He earned four letters as a defensive lineman at Troy, where he was a part of national championship teams in both 1984 and ’87 while helping the Trojans go 40-8-1 overall including 29-3 in Gulf South action.
Stewart — who received a bachelor’s degree in sociology/history from Troy in 1988 — and his wife Angela have four daughters; Jessie Kate, Hannah, Kinsey and Holly.
Larry Warner | Running Backs
Larry Warner enters his first season on the University of South Alabama football coaching staff working with Jaguar running backs.
He comes to South after working the same role at Central Arkansas during the 2016 and ’17 campaigns with first-year South head coach Steve Campbell. During that time, his efforts helped the Bears go 20-4 overall and 17-1 in the Southland Conference as UCA qualified for the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs both seasons highlighted by a win in the first round in 2016.
In his last year with the Bears, Warner helped the team’s top two running backs combine for more than 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns as Carlos Blackman picked up second-team all-Southland Conference honors and Kierre Crossley was chosen honorable mention all-league. Not only did UCA rank among the top 25 in the country in rushing offense that fall, but the team earned the fourth seed in the NCAA FCS playoffs while ending the year 10-2 overall and Southland champions after going 9-0 in the conference. The Bears also ended the 2016 season 10-2 after a 31-24 win over Illinois State top begin the playoffs that fall.
Warner twice worked on the staff at Carbondale (Ill.) High as an assistant, first in 2009 and then from 2012-13. In between, he was a graduate assistant for two seasons at Southern Illinois — where he helped Jewel Hampton surpass 1,000 yards rushing on the way to being named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Newcomer of the Year — before returning to the program as a full-time assistant from 2014-15.
Warner played for Campbell at Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. during the 2005 and ’06 seasons, earning All-America honors as a sophomore after ranking fourth in the country in rushing as he gained 1,244 yards and scored 10 touchdowns on 169 attempts. Upon receiving his associate degree from the school, he transferred to Southern Illinois where in two years he was part of a porgram that went 21-5 overall and 12-2 in league play, making the NCAA FCS playoff field on both occasions including winning a pair of games in 2007. In two seasons at at the school, Warner rushed for 1,790 yards and 15 touchdowns — averaging more than six yards per carry — and he also returned 28 kickoffs, including three for scores, still ranking among the top 20 on the Salukis’ career rushing record list. After running for 1,265 yards and 10 touchdowns while standing second nationally with an average of 31.2 yards per kickoff return he was named first-team All-America by the Associated Press and finished 10th in the voting for the Walter Payton Award.
A 2009 graduate of Southern Illinois with a degree in recreation, Warner and his wife Dominique have two daughters, Penny and Alivia.