Missouri Southern State Football
Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
H.T. Kinney begins his second season as the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Missouri Southern. He came to Southern after a season at Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater.
In his first season as the offensive coordinator, Kinnney saw nine Lions named All-MIAA, with running back Chris Barnwell earning All-Region and All-American honors. Giresse Forchu was an Academic All-District selection and the Lions ended the 2013 campaign as Division II’s leader in time of possession, holding onto the ball for an average of 35:14 each game. Southern also ranked second nationally in both rushing yardage and fewest passes intercepted. In all, the Lions ranked in the top ten nationally in nine different categories, while ranking 14th in turnovers lost.
The Lions, in one fewer game, destroyed the old rushing record set in 2012 (3,043) by rushing for 3,684 yards in 2013. The team also broke a record set in 2012 in largest gain per rush by averaging 6.2 yards per carry, while also breaking the record for rushing attempts with 597. The Lions broke the single-game rushing record with 607 yards put up against Lincoln in 2013, besting the old record by more than 100 yards.
"I'm very excited to bring in a coach of H.T.'s caliber to our program," Daye said. "I've known him for a long time and have had the chance to work with him on a few different occasions. He's a very loyal man and will be a great fit for both the MSSU football program, as well as the Joplin community."
In 2012 at UWW, Kinney helped the Warhawks to a 7-3 mark and a 5-2 record in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. UWW threw the ball for 1,688 yards and rushed for 1,872, while adding 13 touchdowns both rushing and passing.
Before UWW, Kinney was the run game coordinator, as well as the tight ends and fullbacks coach for both the 2010 and 2011 seasons at Liberty, his second stint at the school.
Prior to that, he spent eight years as a coach at Nichols State University, serving as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach during his tenure. He was an assistant under Daye in Daye's final season at Nicholls. At Nichols, the Colonels ranked in the top 15 in Division I FCS in rushing offense each season. In 2005 the team advanced to the FCS playoffs where they rushed for 3,648 yards and 38 touchdowns, and were ranked second nationally.
Prior to Nicholls, Kinney coached two seasons at Hofstra as the running backs coach, but before that, he served his first term at Liberty, coaching seven seasons on the offensive side of the ball. There he was an assistant with Daye under Sam Rutigliano.
Prior to his first stint at Liberty, Kinney coached at Wagner for two years as secondary/special teams coach (1991-92). In 1989 and 1990, Kinney spent two years in an Italian professional league, where he was the defensive coordinator with the Bologna Rebels in 1989 and the head coach for the Tolentino Orange Blades in 1990.
Kinney broke into the college coaching rankings in 1988, when he served as an assistant coach at Monmouth College, where he worked with the linebackers and special teams.
Kinney is a 1988 graduate of Wisconsin-Platteville, where he was a four-year starter for the Pioneers, earning his undergraduate degree in health and physical education. In 1993, Kinney earned a master's degree in education from Wagner.
A native of Monmouth, Ill., Kinney is married to the former Christine Richard. The couple has two children: a daughter, Colby (18) and a son, Christian (9).
Running Backs Coach
Rodney Freeman is in his second year as an assistant coach at Missouri Southern on Coach Daryl Daye's football staff. He will be responsible for coaching the running backs.
A native of Houston, Texas, Freeman comes to Southern after serving for a season as the wide receivers and tight ends coach at Western State in Colorado. While there, Freeman was responsible for running and facilitating position meetings, while planning and scripting position segment practices. He also scripted plays for pass skill during practice and game planned and aided in film breakdown with offensive staff, while creating and aiding with the weekly scouting report.
Prior to Western State, Freeman spent a season as the co-offensive coordinator at Lutheran North High School in Houston. He also was the head freshman coach and assistant varsity coach at Eisenhower High School where he led the freshman team to a 9-0-1 record and a district championship.
Freeman played collegiately at both Abilene Christian and Stephen F. Austin. He helped lead ACU to a conference championship in 2008 as a wide receiver and a backup quarterback.
Offensive Line Coach
Charlie Hopkins comes to Missouri Southern after a season at Division II Brevard College in North Carolina. He will be responsible for coaching the offensive linemen at MSSU.
Hopkins spent a season on the staff at Brevard where he was the offensive line coach. The Tornados rushed for nearly 3,000 yards under Hopkins leadership and averaged 4.6 per carry.
Prior to Brevard, Hopkins spent two seasons as the Assistant Offensive Coordinator and Offensive Line coach at Division III Hamline University in Minnesota. He also served as the Recruiting Coordinator and Video Coordinator during his tenure with Hamline.
Hopkins was a four-year letterman as an offensive lineman at Georgia Southern, where he was a member of an offensive line that led the nation in rushing in five consecutive seasons. Hopkins was also a member of three Southern Conference Championship teams (2001, 2002, 2004).
He graduated from Georgia Southern in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Video Production and Broadcasting.
Wide Receivers Coach
Chandler Tygard is entering his second season with the Missouri Southern football team and will be responsible for coaching the wide receivers after coaching the defensive line in 2013. He assists head coach, Daryl Daye, with special teams and also coordinates the video department for the Lions football program. In 2013, Coach Tygard was an assistant on the 7-3 Lions team whose defense was 2nd in total defense, 3rd in rushing and passing defense, and 5th in scoring defense in the MIAA.
He will be recruiting local high schools in Southwest Missouri for the Lions, including Springfield, Missouri and Northwest Arkansas schools.
He comes to Southern after serving as the defensive line coach and coaching special teams at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky. Cumberlands finished the 2012 season with a 10-2 record and #7 NAIA national ranking. The defense ranked 8th in sacks, 10th in rushing defense, and blocked 8 total kicks, setting a school record. Coach Tygard coached two Mid South Conference All-Conference defensive linemen, Nick Smith and Jared Stippert. Smith was also named a NAIA All-American.
Prior to the Cumberlands, Tygard coached at the University of Tennessee where he worked as the defensive quality control coach for the Volunteers from 2010-2011. He was the right hand man to defensive coordinator, Justin Wilcox, and assisted linebackers coaches, Lance Thompson and Peter Sirmon. He coached A.J. Johnson and Curt Maggitt, the first true freshman linebackers to ever start for the Tennessee Volunteers. Both players were chosen as first-team Freshman All-SEC selections.
In 2009, Tygard was the special teams quality control coach assisting special teams coordinator, Eddie Gran and managing the defensive playbook for defensive coordinator, Monte Kiffin. For the 2009 "Chick Fil' A Bowl," he was the interim special teams coordinator for the bowl game after the departure of Eddie Gran to Florida State.
From 2005-2008, Tygard worked as the student assistant to defensive coordinator, John Chavis, and defensive backs coach, Larry Slade. His primary role was to assist with opponent film breakdown and running the offensive scout team.
During Tygard's tenure at Tennessee, fifteen defensive players were drafted into the NFL including six first round picks: Jason Allen, Justin Harrell, Jerod Mayo, Robert Ayers, Dan Williams, and Eric Berry. In 2010, while coaching linebackers, Tygard helped coach Nick Reveiz to a team-leading 108 tackles. Reveiz also was a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy, presented to a former walk-on having the biggest impact on his team.
Chandler hails from Nashville, Tennessee and is a graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy. He is a 2009 graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in History. He is married to the former Lauren Castle of South Pittsburg, Tennessee.
Rashad Watson is in his third season as an assistant coach at Missouri Southern and was elevated to the post of defensive coordinator in 2014. Watson will be responsible for running the defense at Southern.
The 2013 MSSU defense ranked second in the MIAA in total defense, allowing just 326 yards per game and the team ranked fifth in scoring defense, allowing just 23.3 points per game. The 233 total points allowed was third-lowest in the league. Elijah Swen ranked second in the MIAA in passes defended with 1.2 per game.
He came to Southern after serving two seasons coaching the defense at Benedict College. While at Benedict, the secondary at Benedict led all of Division II in interceptions at the end of the regular season. Free safety Marquez Gibson led the team with six while being selected first-team All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Previously, Watson came to Benedict by way of Nicholls State University. He coached the defensive backs at Nicholls having two players selected to the All-Conference Teams. He also held the positions of NFL liaison, making way for Antonio Robinson's free agent selection and Robinson later earned a Super Bowl ring while be a part of the Green Bay Packers.
Watson spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons with Morehouse College, specializing with the secondary and assisting with special teams. During his time there, his unit produced the SIAC's 2008 Defensive Player of the Year, Jeffrey Cargile, and three All-Conference selections.
Prior to his stint with Morehouse College, Watson spent five years coaching on the prep level in Alabama. He spent 2004-05 with Anniston High, coaching both the offensive and defensive backfields, and then moved on to Midfield High where he served as the school's defensive coordinator. Watson held that post until 2007.
Watson played on the collegiate level at Alabama A&M from 1997-2001, and was a four-year letter winner, earning a starting role as a redshirt freshman. The Bulldogs' 2000 defensive unit put together one of the best season's in school history, finishing eighth nationally in total defense. The 2000 unit still holds the NCAA record for least amount of rushing yards allowed in a season (39.7 yards/game).
Watson is married to the former Katrina Woods of Greensboro, Ala. The couple have two sons, Amari and Aiden.
Aaron DeBerry enters his first season as a member of the Missouri Southern football coaching staff. He will be responsible for coaching the defensive linemen.
DeBerry comes to Southern after two seasons at Independence Community College where he served as the defensive coordinator and coached the defensive line. Under his tuteledge, more than 15 of his players signed four-year scholarship offers to continue their playing careers.
He previously spent six seasons as a coach on the high school level. DeBerry kicked off his football coaching career in 2006-09 serving as the co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Indian River High School in Chesapeake, Va. While at Indian River, DeBerry guided the school to two playoff berths, one resulting in a state semifinals run. In his four seasons at IRHS, DeBerry helped produce seven All-District candidates, three All-Tidewater selections and one All-State nominee.
During the 2010 and 2011 seasons, DeBerry served as the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Creekside High School in Fairburn, Ga. During those two seasons, he would assist CHS to one playoff appearance while also producing eight All-Region nominees, three All-State selections and one Under Armor and Army All-American candidate.
DeBerry attended Liberty University from 1999-2003 where he would be a four-year starter. He played under ICC head coach Steve Carson, who was defensive coordinator, during his senior season in 2003. He holds three current school records at Liberty, including career sacks (26), most sacks in a game (4) and career tackles for loss (44).
He finished his playing career in the Canadian Football League with the British Columbia Lions in 2004. DeBerry was married on June 21, 2014 to the former Yashica Hampton.
Defensive Backs Coach/Recruiting Coor.
Charles Alexander comes to Missouri Southern after two seasons at Division II East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. He will be responsible for coaching the defensive backs, as well as being the recruiting coordinator at Missouri Southern.
Alexander spent two seasons at ESU where he coached the defensive line. In 2013, the Warriors' defensive line recorded 75 tackles for a loss of 300 yards. They had 32 sacks for 190 yards lost and the team had 12 fumble recoveries for a loss of 43 yards with 14 quarterback hurries.
In his first season at ESU, the Warriors led the PSAC and were tied for ninth in NCAA Division II with 3.0 sacks per game (30 in 10 games). Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Bryan Thomson was named PSAC East Defensive Player of the Year, was a consensus first team All-Region selection and named to the Football Gazette All-America third team.
Prior to ESU, Alexander coached for seven years. He helped Lehigh to the Patriot League championship, NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs and Lambert Cup in 2011. He coached the team’s safeties, including an All-Conference safety, as well as the defensive backfield and served as the video coordinator.
Alexander worked at Gettysburg College for three years, from 2008-10, as the defensive backs coach and assistant strength and conditioning coach. He spent 2007 as an assistant defensive line and film coach at Division I FCS Villanova.
Prior to that, Alexander was the offensive graduate assistant at Clarion in 2005 and 2006, working with the running backs and tight ends while recruiting western Pennsylvania and Ohio. He helped an All-Conference and All-Region tight end in his tenure at the school.
A native of Newark, Ohio, Alexander was an All-Region tight end before playing two years at Butler University in Indianapolis. He transferred to Ohio State University, where he earned a bachelor’s in Education while majoring in Sport and Leisure Studies in 2002. He earned his Master’s degree in Education from Clarion in 2006.
Alexander served as an assistant coach at Newark High School in 2004 and was the volunteer defensive coordinator at Wilson Middle School in Newark in 2002 before embarking on college coaching.
Alexander was married to the former Milinda Meade on July 18, 2014 and the couple reside in Webb City.
Frank Wilson is in his first year with the Lions. He joined the staff in the spring of 2014 and will coach the cornerbacks, while coordinating the Lions' walk on program.
He spent the 2013 season as the defensive backs coach at East Stroudsburg University. In his first year working with the secondary, the Warriors finished the season ranked 31st in the nation in total pass defense, an improvement of 133 spots. The secondary contained the co-leaders of the conference in interceptions, as well as the pass break up leader.
Prior to East Stroudsburg, Wilson was a recruiting intern with the University of Minnesota. While there, he produced unique mailers, built recruiting databases, researched recruits, and worked recruiting events and camps. He helped with the 2014 class for the Gophers that resulted in the signing of the Rivals' 44th ranked player in the country and 12, 3-Star Rivals recruits.
During the 2012 season Wilson was a graduate assistant, while working on his master's degree in sport management at East Stroudsburg. He worked with the secondary, special teams units, and as a graphic designer for the team and university.
Before returning to his passion, football, Wilson worked as a national sales manager in the medical/dental industry and in sales for well-known consumer product brands. Wilson also helped launch a 501c non-profit as well as a social media app.
Wilson played at the University of Dayton (DI - FCS), from 2002-2005. The Flyers were 37-7 during his four seasons, won a Pioneer League title and the NCAA Mid-Major National Championship in 2002. He started at corner, while also playing safety and on special teams at Dayton. In high school, Wilson played at Georgetown High School, TX (5A). There he was a two time All-District pick, once unanimous, and was selected as All-Central Texas.