Rich Renner is in his 10th season as defensive coordinator at Midwestern State in 2017 after serving two seasons mentoring the defensive line.
The defense has thrived under his tutelage with the Mustangs advancing to the NCAA Division II postseason on five occasions (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016) while also appearing in the 2010 Kanza Bowl.
In the first year under Renner's direction in 2008, the defensive unit ranked 48th in NCAA Division II allowing 322.4 yards per game in 2008, but was 11th in the country as run stoppers allowing just 86.2 yards on the ground.
His 2009 defense ranked fourth in the country allowing fewer than 20 points in nine of 12 games as opponents averaged a miniscule 13.6 points a game. That season, the Mustangs boasted NCAA II's 39th best defense (312.5 yards per game) ranking 12th in pass efficiency defense (97.49) and 30th against the run (110.75 yards per game).
The Mustangs rated fourth in the LSC and 89th nationally in total defense (372.58 yards per game) in 2010 while ranking third in the league in scoring defense allowing just less than 24 points a game.
Midwestern boasted one of NCAA Division II's top rushing defenses allowing just under 113 yards per game in 2011. The Mustangs rated third in the LSC and 64th nationally in total defense (357.4 yards per game) and were second in the league and 43rd in the country in scoring defense allowing 23.4 points per game.
In 2012, MSU ranked fifth in the LSC and 83rd nationally in total defense (372.27 yards per game) while ranking fourth in the league and 67th in NCAA II in scoring defense permitting 25.4 points a game.
In the 2013 campaign, the Mustangs led the LSC and ranked 34th in total defense allowing 341.7 yards a game, while leading the league and ranking 46th in NCAA II in scoring defense allowing 23.9 points an outing. MSU led the LSC and ranked 20th in pass efficiency defense with a 109.33 rating, led the LSC and was 25th nationally by allowing 188.5 passing yards a game, and led the LSC and ranked fourth in the Division II with a 1.5 turnover margin.
Midwestern's stout defense in 2014 ranking second in the LSC and 95th in NCAA Division II permitting 399.5 yards per game.
MSU topped the defensive charts playing a vital role in the Mustangs' 10-1 regular season run on the way to a LSC playoff title and a top seed in the NCAA Division II postseason. Midwestern led the LSC and ranked 80th nationally allowing 382.92 yards per game while holding the opposition to 23.4 points a contest.
The Mustangs boasted the top defense in the Lone Star Conference in 2015 holding the opposition to 382.9 yards per game (80th in NCAA Division II) while leading the league in scoring defense permitting 23.4 points per game (48th in NCAA Division II). The unit proved to be opportunistic forcing 29 turnovers (first in LSC, 21st nationally).
The Mustangs have ranked in the top four of the Lone Star Conference in total defense in eight of Renner's nine seasons as a defensive coordinator while boasting the league's top defense in 2013 and 2015.
Always noted for developing raw talent, Renner's defenses produced four-year starter Marqui Christian, who was taken in the fifth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.
The 2015 Cliff Harris Award winner as the Small College Defensive Player of the Year also earned top defensive honors in the LSC and was the league's defensive player of the year.
Christian is one of five MSU defensive players to earn D2CCA All-America honors during Renner's tenure as coordinator.
Christian earned first-team honors in 2015 while teammates Daniel Laudermilk and Dominique Rouse took second-team accolades.
Cornerbacks Micah Hill (2009) and Neiko Conway (2013) were also second-team All Americans.
Renner's defenses have also produced 15 all-region performers and 14 all-conference first-teamers.
Renner, who coached the defensive line in 2006 and 2007 prior to his appointment as defensive coordinator, produced a pair of All-LSC South first-team performers in Justin Williams and Donial Arps, a second-teamer in Todd Zoglmann and Cody Thompson gained honorable mention during the Mustangs’ postseason run in 2006.
In 2007, the defensive line unit helped the Mustangs develop the best defense in the NCAA Division II’s Southwest Region in terms of total yards allowed and boasted three All-LSC South second-team performers in Zoglmann, Kellen Belcher and Justin Foyt while Stephen Turner garnered honorable mention.
Under Renner’s mentorship, the Mustangs’ defensive line was superb against the rush.
MSU rated tops in the conference in 2006 and 2007 and was 46th in NCAA Division II in 2006 allowing 108.8 yards per game and was 12th in 2007 yielding a stingy 93.9 yards a contest.
Before moving to Wichita Falls, Renner served as a linebacker and defensive line coach and was the video coordinator at West Texas A&M University in Canyon.
His other coaching experience included a stop at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn. in 1999 after serving as a graduate assistant at the University of Louisville from 1997-99 where he helped the Cardinals to a Motor City Bowl appearance in 1998.
Renner showed true grit during his playing career at Louisville. He walked on in 1993 and before earning a scholarship for his final two seasons.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Renner was a two-year letterman before earning his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and later a master’s degree in sports administration in 1999 at the University of Louisville.
Renner and his wife, Jennifer, are the proud parents to a 8-year-old daughter, Addison Grace and 5-year-old son Grant Michael.
The family resides in Wichita Falls.
Randy Wilkins enters his eighth season as defensive line coach at Midwestern State heading into the 2017 campaign.
Under Wilkins' tutelage, the defensive front has played a pivotal role in helping the Mustangs to three Lone Star Conference championships, four NCAA Division II playoff appearances, an LSC playoff title and a Kanza Bowl showing since his arrival in Wichita Falls prior to the 2010 season.
Wilkins' impact was felt immediately as the Mustangs ranked 35th in NCAA Division II allowing 120.5 rushing yards per game while averaging more than six tackles for loss and two sacks per game in 2010. The defensive line produced a pair of All-LSC honorable mention performers in J.D. Corcoran and Kevin Birdow.
Birdow earned second-team all-league mention as a central figure on a defensive line that helped the Mustangs to their first unbeaten regular season and a Lone Star Conference championship in 2011. MSU ranked third in the LSC in total defense (357.4 yards per game) and were third in the league allowing 112.8 rushing yards a contest. Defensive tackles Mack Lafaele and Paul Gonzalez garnered All-LSC honorable mention.
The MSU defensive line unit paced by Armanti Yharbrough and Justin Flowers -- 24 tackles each -- contributed to a unit which ranked fifth in the LSC in total defense (372.3 yards per game) and fourth in the league in rushing defense (149.5 yards per game) in 2012 as the Mustangs claimed a second consecutive league title while advancing to the NCAA Division II playoffs.
In 2013, with a unit anchored by All-LSC second-teamer Yharbrough, the Mustangs led the LSC and ranked 34th nationally in total defense (341.7 yards per game), and ranked fifth in the league and 71st nationally in rushing defense (153.2 yards per game).
Senior Bernard Afutiti, an All-LSC first-teamer, led a front unit in 2014 on the league's No. 2-ranked total defense (95th in D2/399.5 yards per game). The Mustangs allowed 169.2 rushing yards per game to rank 93rd nationally and third in the LSC.
In 2015, junior defensive end Harold Wills earned first-team All-Lone Star Conference while Darian Childers-Brown, Edgar Luna and Tyler Massey gained honorable mention for the league's top-ranked defense while limited the opposition to 382.9 yards and 23.4 points per game. The Mustangs ranked third in the league in rushing defense (108th nationally) allowing 181 yards per game.
Childers-Brown returned to lead the defensive front unit in 2016 earning second-team Don Hansen Football Gazette All-Super Region Four honors and was a first-team All-LSC performer ranking second in the league with 7.5 quarterback sacks and 14.0 tackles for loss. Wills garnered second-team all-league mention with 4.5 tackles for loss, while Luna (4.0 tackles for loss) gained honorable mention.
Prior to his arrival at Midwestern, he served as defensive line coach at Texas A&M-Commerce from 2007-09 after completing two seasons as a graduate assistant at Troy University.
For three straight years under Wilkins, A&M-Commerce produced the LSC North Division Defensive Lineman of the Year. He coached All Americans Ricky Hope and William Green, five first-team All-LSC North selections and three conference players of the week. In addition, Hope set the school single-season record sack record in 2008 and Green set the school single-game record for tackles for loss and tied another for sacks in 2009.
Wilkins and the Lions defensive staff ranked fourth nationally in sacks per game (3.6) and ninth in tackles for loss (8.7) in 2009. Green finished the season ranked eighth nationally in tackles for loss and tied for 15th in sacks. Fellow defensive lineman Anthony DeGrate tied for 20th nationally in sacks and tied for 38th in tackles for loss.
In 2008, in his second year, the A&M-Commerce defense ranked second in the nation in tackles for loss (10.2 per game) and sixth in the nation in sacks (3.8 per game) as well as 24th nationally in rushing defense (104.7 ypg). Hope led the LSC with 10.5 sacks and six forced fumbles as well as ranking second in tackles for loss with 19.5. Nationally, Hope was tied for second in tackles for loss per game (1.95) and tied for sixth in sacks per game (1.05). Hope was joined by Green on the All-LSC North first team.
Wilkins made an immediate impact in his first season in 2007 as the Lions defensive unit finished ranked 25th nationally in rushing defense and 30th in total defense. Defensive end Marcus Smith was named LSC North Defensive Lineman of the Year. In addition to Smith, defensive tackle A.J. Johnson was tabbed a first-team All-LSC North performer.
Prior to A&M-Commerce, Wilkins was a graduate assistant at Troy University, where he spent two seasons coaching the defensive line. He directed the defensive ends for a unit that tied for 15th in the country in sacks and 18th in tackles for loss. Wilkins was also involved in the scouting and film breakdowns of the upcoming opponent. During his tenure, the Trojans earned a 41-17 New Orleans Bowl victory over Rice.
The Jacksonville, Fla. native played collegiately under legendary coaches Bobby Bowden and Mickey Andrews at Florida State, where he worked his way into the defensive line rotation as a walk-on before earning a scholarship prior to his junior season. Wilkins was a member of five bowl teams and appeared in four national championship games. He saw action both as a defensive end and as a nose guard while serving as a crucial backup to an eventual All American. Wilkins also played on special teams units as a three-year letter winner.
Wilkins graduated from FSU with a double major in business management and marketing in 2000. He earned his master's degree from Troy University in sport and fitness management in 2007.
Wilkins married the former Jessica Rowlett on June 29, 2013. The couple resides in Wichita Falls.
Freddie Banks begins his second season at Midwestern State as an assistant coach in charge of defensive backs in 2017. He also fills the role of recruiting coordinator.
Banks' youthful secondary played a key role in helping the Mustangs to an NCAA Division II Playoff appearance in 2016. Led by sophomore Sir'Vell Ford, a first-team all-league performer, and freshman Jaydon Cunigan (All-LSC honorable mention), the unit rated second in the league and 37th in NCAA Division II allowing a scant 190.1 passing yards per game.
Prior to MSU, Banks spent a year as defensive coordinator at Livonia (La.) High School helping the Wildcats to an 8-4 record while holding the opposition to 19.8 points per game.
The Harvey, Ill. also brings four years of collegiate coaching experience to MSU as logged two seasons (2013 and 2014) mentoring defensive backs as the passing game coordinator at Nicholls State in Thibodaux, La. The Colonels rated second in the Southland Conference in pass defense in 2013.
Banks also spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Minnesota State-Moorhead acting as defensive backs coach/defensive play caller in 2012 and cornerbacks coach in 2011. Along with defensive duties, Banks also helped out with the special teams while assisting the strength and conditioning program. He also served as assistant director of development working mainly with alumni relations during his time at Moorhead.
Banks enjoyed a solid playing career culminating with three years at powerhouse North Dakota State (2008-10) after playing his freshman season at NCAA Division II Mercyhurst (Pa.) in 2006.
Banks worked his way up the depth chart to start 12 games at cornerback for NDSU's first FCS playoff qualifying team in 2010. The 5-9, 179-pounder amassed 48 tackles with on interception and six pass breakups as the Bison ranked No. 1 in total and scoring defense permitting a scant 140.6 yards a game to rank second in FCS in pass defense.
Banks contributed to three wins over Football Bowl Subdivision members Central Michigan (2007), Minnesota (2007) and Kansas (2010) while competing in 27 games at North Dakota State.
Banks posted 33 tackles including 1.5 for loss with an interception as a true freshman at Mercyhurst before transferring to NDSU. He is a 2006 graduate of Thornwood High in South Holland, Ill.
He earned a degree in sociology with a minor in advertising and public relations at North Dakota State in 2010.
Banks is married to Candace Rena Banks.
Graduate Assistant / Assistant Defensive Backs
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