MARSHALL, Texas – Bringing on staff one of the youngest and brightest defensive minds in the American Southwest Conference, East Texas Baptist University has hired Kyle Coats to be the defensive coordinator under new head football coach Scott Highsmith. Coats has been on the defensive staff at Hardin-Simmons University the past four years.
“We are honored to add Kyle Coats to the ETBU Tiger Football coaching staff. Kyle is a talented, energetic coach who believes in the mission of East Texas Baptist University and has a heart for Christian discipleship with his players,” Vice President for Athletics Ryan Erwin said. “We strived to find a coordinator who has had been successful and strong ties to college and high school football in our region and across the state of Texas. We are excited to have a coach of his caliber and commitment to excellence and passion lead our defensive unit.”
Coats has been a part of one of the top defensives and special teams staffs in the ASC the last four years. At HSU he has been the special teams coordinator, defensive backs and football strength coach. His special teams units have been some of the best in the nation. This past season HSU’s kickoff return average of 31.4 yards per game was the best in the nation. He has also been able to coach two ASC special team players of the year and three All-Americans. Defensively, in 2015, HSU had the top scoring defense in the ASC at 17.4 points per game.
“Kyle Coats is one of the great up and coming coaches in the game today. His enthusiasm, attention to detail and defensive expertise make him an excellent hire. But more than that he's a dedicated Christian who is committed to do his part in running a CHRIST centered program. Obviously, I'm thrilled to have him,” comments Highsmith.
Spending one year at Trinity University in 2012, Coats was the outside linebackers and special teams coach. Trinity went 7-3 in that season. He received his start in college coach at Hardin-Simmons in 2011 while earning his master’s degree in Kinesiology, Sport, and Rec Management. He was the graduate assistant that helped Bob Fello coach the defensive backs.
“I am very excited for the opportunity to lead the defense at ETBU. I have been fortunate in my career to be a part of some great teams with great coaches and players at HSU, and I look forward to the opportunity to join another great team here in Marshall. I plan to bring a structured system to the defense that allows our guys to play fast, play physical, and make a lot of plays. Again, I'm very thankful for this opportunity and am looking forward to getting to Marshall soon to get to work. #GoTigers,” says Coats.
His playing career came at Trinity University where he graduated in 2010 with a degree in marketing. The three-year letterman was a two-time All-SCAC second team selection and a two-time Academic All-American. He helped guide Trinity to the 2007 SCAC championship going 9-2 on the year and making the NCAA playoffs. Trinity won 32 games in four years with their best season in 2007 at 9-2.
Coats will begin his position as defensive coordinator immediately.