Adam Austin enters his fifth season as offensive coordinator in 2017 after serving two seasons as quarterback coach at Midwestern State.
In his first season as the OC, the Mustangs led the Lone Star Conference and ranked 10th nationally in rushing offense, averaging 261.9 yards per game. The Mustangs were second in the LSC and 20th in scoring offense, chalking up 39.2 points a contest. MSU turned the ball over just 12 times on the season, leading the LSC in turnovers lost and ranking fifth in NCAA II.
It was also during this initial year that Austin coached AFCA All-American running back Keidrick Jackson to his third straight 1,000-yard season with his 1,177 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns. Jackson became the Mustangs all-time leading rusher and just the eighth LSC player to run for over 4,000 yards finishing at 4,004.
Midwestern State improved its rushing and passing totals in Austin's second season as offensive coordinator in 2014 as the Mustangs boasted the 13th best attack in NCAA Division II rolling up 493.7 yards per game while scoring 39.8 points a contest. MSU ranked second in the LSC averaging 274.5 rushing yards per game pced by Chancey Harris (701 yards) and Dante Taylor (677 yards). Senior Jake Glover (1,647 yards, 12 TDs) led a trio of signal callers to see action as the Mustangs ranked fifth in the LSC in passing offense (219.2 yards per game).
MSU pounded out 400 yards per game behind the one-two quarterback punch of Hagen Hutchinson and Quade Coward on the way to a 10-2 record, a Lone Star Conference playoff title and an NCAA playoff appearance in 2015. LSC Freshman of the Year Vincent Johnson led the rushing attack with 588 yards behind a front unit led by LSC Offensive Lineman of the Year Alfredo Moreno.
Coward led a gritty unit which produced go-ahead score in the final minute of five games in 2016 as the Mustangs advanced to the NCAA Division II Playoffs for the second straight season with and 8-3 record. Coward passed for 2,381 yards and 18 touchdowns as MSU upped is passing average to 237.1 yards per game -- the highest during Austin's tenure as offensive coordinator. Johnson ran for 745 yards and 19 touchdowns to pace the LSC's No. 2 rushing attack behind an offensive fortified by Rimington Award winning Akoakoa Paleka-Kennedy. Overall, the Mustangs ranked third in the conference and 55th nationally with 426.1 yards of total offense.
Austin's mentorship of Brandon Kelsey, a 2011 Harlon Hill Trophy finalist, proved pivotal in two of the finest offensive seasons in school history.
The Mustangs boasted NCAA Division II's top offensive attack while rolling to its first perfect regular season (10-0) in 2011. MSU ranked first in total offense (531.9 yards per game) and scoring offense (48.6 points a game) with Kelsey at the controls.
Kelsey was named Daktronics Super Region Four and Lone Star Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors passing for 1,951 yards and rushing for 967 more while accounting for 28 touchdowns for the nation's No. 3 rushing attack advancing to the second round of the NCAA Division II playoffs while claiming its second LSC championship.
MSU rolled to a second-straight league title on its way to a 9-1 regular season while claiming another playoff berth with another stout attack in 2012.
The Mustangs ranked 21st nationally in total offense (459 yards per game) and were 16th in scoring (38.6 points per game) with Kelsey garnering second-team All-LSC accolades. He passed for 1,359 yards and seven touchdowns while rushing for 823 yards and 15 TDs.
Austin, a native of Mundelein, Ill., has served graduate assistantships at Marshall and Grambling before serving as the receivers coach for USA Football in the summer of 2011.
Austin served as an offensive graduate assistant at Marshall in 2009 and 2010 and also served in the capacities of strength and conditioning and quality control during his time in Huntington, W. Va. on coach Doc Holliday's staff.
The Herd amassed a 12-13 record during Austin's two seasons at Marshall rolling up 349 yards of total offense per game in 2009 and 314 in 2010.
Austin served a season as a graduate assistant under coach Rod Broadway at Grambling where he helped the Tigers to an 11-2 mark with a season-ending 10-game winning streak in 2008 while charged with tight ends.
As an FCS member, Grambling racked up 309.7 yards of total offense while helping the Tigers to National Black College and Southwestern Athletic Conference championships.
As a player, Austin worked his way up the depth chart as a walk-on signal caller at the University of Arizona. He appeared in six games as a senior in 2006 earning wins in lone starts against Stephen F. Austin and Stanford while passing for a career-high 192 yards against UCLA.
Austin was the starting quarterback for the 2007 U.S. Men's National Team that earned a gold medal in Kawasaki, Japan in the IFAF Senior World Championship.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Arizona in 2007 then completed a Master of Science in Occupational Leadership from Marshall in 2010.
Alex Herron enters his sixth season as an assistant coach handling the offensive line chores in 2017. He added the duties of ground game coordinator in 2013.
His offensive line units have produced four of the last five Lone Star Conference Offensive Linemen of the Year including Ken Van Heule in 2012, Shadow Stokes in 2014, Alfredo Moreno in 2015 and Akoakoa Paleka-Kennedy in 2016.
Peleka-Kennedy also became the program's second player in as many years to earn a national honor claiming the Rimington Award as the best center in NCAA Dvision II.
Under Herron's direction, the Mustangs posted the top rushing offense in the Lone Star Conference in 2013, averaging 261.9 yards a game that ranked 10th in NCAA Division II. It was a part of the 64th ranked total offense in Division II (415.9 yards a game) and the 20th best scoring offense in the nation (39.2 points per game).
The Mustangs offensive line paved the way for All-American running back Keidrick Jackson to post his third consecutive 1,000-yard season and become just the eighth runner in LSC history to gather 4,000 career yards with his 4,004. The unit, paced by first-team All-Lone Star Conference and All-Super Region 4 performers Bryan Keith and Shadow Stokes, along with All-LSC second-teamer Will Harris, plowed their way to a third straight conference rushing offense title.
MSU's offensive line flourished in 2012 as each starter gained All-Lone Star Conference mention which included three first-teamers in Van Heule, Joe Unga and Justen Tyler and a second teamer in Tino Tuilata while Bryan Keith gained honorable mention.
The offensive line paved the way for NCAA Division II's third-ranked rushing attack at 323.9 yards per game while leading the nation in sacks allowed permitting four in 11 games.
Van Heule also garnered LSC Offensive Lineman of the Year honors and earned Daktronics All-Super Region Four first-team honors.
Four members of the unit gained All-America mention including Van Heule (Associated Press, Daktronics, Hansen's Football Gazette, D2Football.com, Beyond Sports Network), Tuilata (Hansen's Football Gazette), Tyler (Beyond Sports Network) and Unga (Beyond Sports Network).
In 2014, D2Football.com second-team All-American center Shadow Stokes paced an offensive line unit that paved the way for the nation's ninth-best rushing attack (274.5 yards per game) to fuel NCAA Division II's 13th-best total offense at 493.7 yards per game. Stokes, a first-team all-conference performer, was joined by Case Winkler (second team) and John Rowell (honorable mention) as All-LSC performers.
Herron mentored a pair of first-team All-LSC performers in 2015 including offensive lineman of the year Alfredo Moreno and Rowell while Denzell Dotson-Sopko earned second-team honors. Joel Onyia and Paleka-Kennedy garnered honorable mention as the Mustangs rolled up 400.1 yards of total offense per game (83rd in NCAA Division II) including 191.4 rushing yards a game to rank 49th nationally and third in the LSC.
Moreno earned first-team All-America accolades from Don Hansen's Football Gazette, second-team honors from D2CCA (sports information directors) and was an honorable mention pick by D2Football.com.
Paleka-Kennedy and Onyia gained first-team All-LSC honors while Dotson-Sopko, Kevin Fisher and Islam Sbeih garnered honorable mention as the Mustangs continued to roll in 2016. The unit paved the way for the league's second-best rushing attack churning out 189 yards per game on the ground (39th in NCAA Division II) allowing the second fewest tackles for loss (6.8) and sacks (1.0) per game in the LSC. Overall, MSU boasted the third-best total offense in the LSC with 426.1 yards per game (55th in NCAA Division II).
Prior to arriving at Midwestern State, Herron served three seasons as an offensive graduate assistant first at West Virginia in 2007 before moving on to Michigan in 2008 and 2009. He also spent the 2011 season as an offensive assistant at the University of Cincinnati.
Herron enjoyed a standout collegiate career at South Florida as four-year starter at center for the Bulls earning All-Conference USA third-team honors as a senior in 2004. He was the team's 2002 Offensive Lineman of the Year and earned USF's First Teamer Award as a senior.
Herron graduated from USF in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications.
Beginning his first season at Midwestern State, Donte Ellington brings a great amount of experience to the Mustangs' staff both as a player and as a coach.
The wide receivers coach spent the past two seasons in the junior college ranks competing in the highly respected Jayhawk Conference.
Ellington served as associated head coach and director of football operations while mentoring wide receivers last season at Independence Community College (Kan.). The Pirates came on strong to win the last four games of the season to finish with a 5-4 mark while amassing 334.6 yards of total offense per game.
Ellington served the previous campaign coaching running backs and offensive linemen while taking on the role as special teams coordinator at Garden City Community College (Kan.) in 2015. The Broncbuster special teams unit thrived under his guidance blocking seven kicks and two punts while recovering five fumbles and an on-side kick.
Prior to Garden City, Ellington spent two seasons (2014, 2015) at Menlo College in Atherton, Calif. During his first campaign with the Oaks, he worked with running backs and kick returners. His rushers ran for 1,494 yards and 12 touchdowns. Two of those backs made the move from NAIA to NCAA Division II.
He also mentored one of the top NAIA kick returners in the country in Daniel Jones, who amassed 764 kick return yards and also made the move to Division II when Menlo discontinued its football program.
Ellington began his collegiate coaching career leading defensive backs during the 2013 campaign with the Oaks. That season, Menlo made the trek to Wichita Falls and took a 64-7 loss to Midwestern State.
Prior to Menlo, he spent ten seasons coaching the wide receivers and defensive backs at his alma mater, San Jose High School. In his last two seasons he acted as the offensive and defensive coordinator.
Ellington competed professionally with the San Jose Sabercats of the Arena Football League (AFL), Arizona Adrenaline of the Indoor Football League (IFL) and the San Jose Wolves of the American Indoor Football League (AIFL) from 2009-12. During his indoor tenure, he earned opportunities to work out with various NFL teams.
Ellington is also a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer working at D1 Sports Training where he trained various talents from Vernon Davis of the NFL's Denver Broncos to Daniel Winnick of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs. He also managed his own performance training business, GroundUP Training, where he trained various college athletes and NFL free agents.
Ellington played collegiately at San Jose City College and then nationally ranked NCAA Division II Northwood University in Michigan. He was trained thoroughly by veteran wide receivers coach Keith Williams, who currently on Mike Riley's Nebraska Cornhusker staff.
Graduate Assistant / Tight Ends
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Graduate Assistant / Running Backs
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