Coming off of one of the most explosive offensives seasons in school history, it was expected that other colleges would attempt to poach Blue Raiders coaches in the offseason. For the most part, they were successful with Kodi Burns (WR Coach), Geep Wade (OL Coach), and Buster Faulkner (Offensive Coordinator) among the coaches to take jobs with new programs.
Head coach Rick Stockstill has been patient but also very diligent in finding replacements for recently departed coaches. His philosophy has paid off with California offensive coordinator Tony Franklin making the move to Murfreesboro to take over the Blue Raiders offense once again. Franklin's hire is significant and should improve the an offense that averaged 457.4 yards per game in 2015.
In addition, Stockstill went back to his Florida State roots in landing wide receivers coach Kez McCorvey, an all-american wide receiver at Florida State, and running backs coach Jeff Beckles, another former wide receiver at Florida State. Stockstill was a former quarterback for the Seminoles.
Beckles is the most recent hire and began his coaching career by working at four high schools in Florida and Georgia from 1994 to 1998. He then moved to the FCS ranks as the running backs coach at Nicholls State from 1999-2000. He spent time as a graduate assistant at South Florida and Georgia, while also joining Central Michigan's staff.
Beckles spent the 2006 season with Georgia Southern, before heading back to Central Michigan once again. He then joined Troy's staff as running backs coach from 2010-2014 and most recently coached at Samford in 2015. He has been on a long and winding path to get to MTSU.
The offensive hirings capped off a coaching reshuffle that included Rick Mallory moving from tackles/tight ends coach to offensive line coach and Mike Polly moving from running backs coach to tackles/tight ends coach.
The Blue Raiders return stud wide receiver Richie James, C-USA freshman of the year Brent Stockstill, tight end Terry Pettis, running back Shane Tucker, and SEC transfers I'Tavius Mathers and Brian Kimbrow. Both Mathers and Kimbrow are eligible in 2016 for one season only. In addition, the Blue Raiders return a group of offensive linemen that have made over 70 career starts. Seniors center Daniel Stephend and left guard Josh Chester are responsible for over 40 of those starts.
The Blue Raiders are expected to be in the hunt for a Conference USA East Division title after finishing second to Western Kentucky in 2015.
Here is your 2016 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders coaching staff.
- Head Coach: Rick Stockstill
- Offensive Coordinator/QB Coach: Tony Franklin
- Running Backs: Jeff Beckles
- Offensive Tackles/Tight Ends: Mike Polly
- Offensive Line: Rick Mallory
- Wide Receivers: Kez McCorvey
- Defensive Coordinator: Tyrone Nix
- Defensive Line: Tommy West
- Safeties: David Bibee
- Recruiting Coordinator/Cornerbacks: Steve Ellis