Archive for January, 2014

Bulldog Challenge is coming!

January 31, 2014


Are you up to the challenge?

Are you up to the challenge?

Bulldog Challenge to be held March 1

It’s time to register to slog through thick pluff mud and dodge obstacles while encountering mental challenges around each corner of a six mile (10k) course. The annual Bulldog Challenge is accepting registrations. The grueling event is organized by active duty U.S. Marines who attend The Citadel as full time undergraduate students participating in the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program. Some of the obstacles include a fireman’s carry, a U.S. Marine Corps obstacle course and a rope climb. Competitors come from across the nation and are credited for helping raise thousands of dollars for charities. Registration is $40 per person and is raised to $50 after Feb. 26. This year’s proceeds will help establish the Semper Fidelis Society Scholarship for future Marine Officers at The Citadel. For more information or to volunteer for the event, please email for more information.


Citadel losing streak reaches nine with 80-67 loss to App State

January 24, 2014

by Jeff Hartsell, The Charleston Post and Courier
Thursday 1/23/14 10:42p

The Citadel carried its habit of making an All-America candidate out of opposing post players to extreme lengths Thursday night. This time, the beneficiary of the Bulldogs’ defensive efforts was Mike Kobani, a 6-8 freshman from Nigeria who had not played in five of Appalachian State’s last six games. Kobani scored a career-high 18 points, 12 of them in the final 7:04 of the game, as App State got its first win at McAlister Field House since 2006 with an 80-67 victory before 1,322 fans.

The Bulldogs (4-17, 0-6 Southern Conference) lost their ninth straight game by allowing the worst-shooting team in the league to make 55.7 percent of its shots, including 7 of 14 from 3-point range.
“I thought we’d play better defensively,” said Citadel coach Chuck Driesell. “We had been playing pretty well defensively. But tonight, our defense was non-existent. We’re disappointed in that and we’ll have to figure out why.”

App State (6-13, 2-4), which had not defeated a Division I team before Saturday’s 81-68 win over Georgia Southern, riddled the Bulldogs’ D inside and out. Guards Tab Hamilton and Mike Neal went for 18 and 13 points, respectively, while Kobani made 9 of 10 shots, all of them layups. App State entered the game averaging 71.1 points and shooting 41.5 percent from the field and 30.1 percent from 3-point range, both figures last in the SoCon.

“Our ball screen defense was very weak at the beginning, and it hasn’t been,” Driesell said. “Our post defense, we let a big man come off the bench and score 18 points, and he was averaging (five). We didn’t defend, and you are not going to win if you don’t play good defense.” With point guard Marshall Harris out with a sore foot, The Citadel got points from only four players. But all four were in double figures; Matt Van Scoyc matched his career high with 24 points, while Ashton Moore added 18, Quinton Marshall 13 and Brian White 12.

The Bulldogs’ defensive problems were illustrated by the plight of Van Scyoc, a 6-6, 218-pound swingman who at times found himself guarding the 250-pound Kobani and 6-8, 215-pound forward Michael Obacha. The Citadel’s two post players off the bench, C.J. Bray and P.J. Horgan, combined for no points and three rebounds in 21 minutes. In six SoCon games, the other team’s chief post player is averaging 23 points and 9.6 rebounds.

“We just didn’t have an answer for them in the paint,” said Van Scyoc. “I don’t even know the name of the guy who came in and scored 18. We’ve got to shore that up. There’s no excuse for a guy averaging five points to come in and get 18. We’ve got to get tougher.” App State, which entered the game 0-9 on the road, grabbed a 40-32 lead at the break with its best first half since the Mountaineers scored 53 against Bluefield College on Dec. 30. The lead reached 15 at 63-48 on a trey by Frank Eaves with 8:34 left in the game.

The Bulldogs got it back down to nine, but couldn’t handle Kobani down the stretch. App State broke The Citadel’s press time and again to get him the ball down low, and Kobani scored App State’s final eight points.

The Citadel ends a three-game homestand Saturday against Western Carolina (11-10, 4-2), which dropped an 82-77 decision to Davidson on Thursday. Marshall Harris had a streak of 61 straight starts snapped as he sat out the game with a sore foot. Freshman Warren Sledge made his first start and had no points and four assists in 30 minutes.

Citadel bench players went 0 for 5 from the field (all the shots from Horgan) and were shut out for the first time this season. Forward Bray played for the first time in four games and guard Rae Robinson for the first time in six games. Forward Dylen Setzekorn (staph infection) is back with the team but did not dress. He hasn’t played since Dec. 29.

Guard Ashton Moore is Citadel basketball’s Iron Man

January 23, 2014
He is Iron Man

He is Iron Man

Jeff Hartsell The Charleston Post and Couried
Posted: Wednesday 1/22/14

At the 6:33 mark of the second half in The Citadel’s loss at Elon on Jan. 11, something unusual occurredBulldogs guard Ashton Moore came out of the game for a substitute. Moore was back in the game 83 seconds later, but that one minute of game action is the only minute the 6-0 junior from Suffolk, Va., has missed over the Bulldogs’ last three games.

In fact, over The Citadel’s last five games, Citadel basketball’s Iron Man has played 204 of a possible 210 minutes, sitting that one minute against Elon and playing 40 of 45 minutes in an overtime loss at UNC Greensboro. “You would think,” Moore said Wednesday when asked if he was tired.

But as the Bulldogs take another crack Thursday against Appalachian State at snapping a losing skid that’s reached eight games, Moore has proved too valuable to spend much time on the bench. Over that busy five-game stretch, Moore has averaged 19.2 points and made 16 of 30 shots from 3-point range, boosting his season averages to 12.2 points and 39.4 percent from long distance.

“He’s probably the best-conditioned player on our team and one of the hardest working guys we have,” said coach Chuck Driesell, whose team is 4-16 overall and 0-5 in the Southern Conference heading into Thursday’s game against App State (5-13, 1-4). “The biggest thing for Ash has been confidence, and that’s really coming together for him at this time.”

That confidence has been a while coming. Moore started the first nine games of the season and averaged 9.9 points over that span. But after a 90-77 loss to Division II West Alabama on Nov. 30, Moore found himself coming off the bench in the next two games, playing only 23 total minutes against Navy and Gardner-Webb. A turning point came in a 77-62 loss at Big Ten foe Nebraska on Dec. 21, when Moore hit 8 of 16 shots and scored 21 points. He hasn’t played less than 27 minutes in the seven games since then, scoring in double figures in six of them.

“It’s definitely been a journey,” said Moore, who scored 25 points in the Bulldogs’ last game, a 76-71 loss to Furman on Saturday. “At first, I was a little wary and didn’t have the confidence. But as I produced in a couple of games, my confidence grew. And our games have been so close, our team feels like we can play with anybody.”

Moore’s journey to The Citadel began when he was spotted at a summer camp in Virginia by Driesell’s dad, famed coach Lefty Driesell. Ashton wasn’t sure who Lefty was when the ex-Maryland coach approached, but Moore’s father, who played football at the University of Hartford, sure knew. “My dad told me, ‘That’s the legendary Lefty,'” Moore said. “That was big for me, and especially for my dad.” Chuck Driesell said his dad still scouts games and sends him box scores clipped from the paper in Virginia Beach, looking for prospects. “I think he offered Ashton a scholarship,” he joked. “I told him, ‘I’m not sure you can do that.’ But I think when Lefty recommends a player, it’s worth a trip.”

Navy recovers pilot’s body from helicopter wreckage

January 22, 2014
Sean Snyder, '05

Sean Snyder, ’05

’05 Grad Dies in Training Exercise Crash

By Lauren King
The Virginian-Pilot
© January 15, 2014


Navy divers have recovered the remains of Lt. Sean Christopher Snyder, the fifth crewmember of a MH-53E Sea Dragon that crashed off the coast of Cape Henry last week.

Divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2, operating aboard the Grasp, located the aircraft’s cockpit late Monday and used a remotely-operated vehicle to confirm the presence of his remains inside the wreckage, according to a Navy news release. Salvage operations were suspended late Monday because of deteriorating weather conditions, but resumed recovery efforts Tuesday morning.

Snyder, 39, of Santee, Calif., was the only crewmember who was missing following the crash on January 8. The Snyder family issued a statement that said, “Sean was a man of honor and a true hero, not only to his country, but also to his wife, children, family, and friends.”

Four other sailors were rescued shortly after the helicopter plunged into the Atlantic Ocean. They were taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Lt. Wesley Van Dorn, 29, a pilot, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Collins, 25, a crew member, died. The other two crewmembers have since been released from the hospital. A memorial service for the three sailors killed in the crash was being planned for Friday at Norfolk Naval Station.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Citadel fans wage campaign to bring Corps of Cadets back to home side of Johnson Hagood Stadium

January 21, 2014


By Jeff Hartsell The Charleston Post and Courier
Posted: Monday, January 20, 2014 6:26 p.m.

Glenn Addison checked his email one day last week only to find “it had blown up” with messages from several hundred Citadel football supporters. “They were unanimous in that they’d like the issue to be considered,” said Addison, a member of The Citadel’s Board of Visitors and chairman of the board’s athletics committee.

The issue prompting the messages flooding Addison’s inbox — and those of other Citadel officials — is the location of the Corps of Cadets at Bulldog football games at Johnson Hagood Stadium. Some Citadel fans are waging a campaign to bring the cadets back to the “home side” of Johnson Hagood Stadium. Since 2008, when the renovated Johnson Hagood opened, the cadets and school band have been seated on the “visitors” side of the 21,000-seat stadium, behind the visiting team’s bench.

Before Johnson Hagood was renovated, the Corps was seated on the home (or west) side at one end of the stadium. “There are multiple reasons why the Corps was moved to the other side,” Addison said. “They were tied to the marketing of the stadium with permanent seat licenses and other concerns.” But with the hiring of new coach Mike Houston, some Citadel supporters are seizing the moment to try to bring the Corps back to the home side, arguing that it would energize the game-day atmosphere at Johnson Hagood.

And they are being heard, Addison said. “Any time you have a large number of alumni voicing concern over something, you have to take a look at it and investigate it,” he said. “It will be discussed and the people that need to will look into it. It will be looked at and given a lot of attention to see if it’s feasible, and to see if it’s the right thing to do and doesn’t impact the other things we’ve done.”

Supporters of the proposed move argue that cadets will feel more a part of the game on the home side than on the visitors’ side, where they are removed from the team and have to stare into the sun during day games. The move also would help bridge the perceived disconnect between the Corps and the football team, they say.

Those supporters also seem to have Southern Conference rules on their side. SoCon administrative regulations say: “Bands will not be seated in the arena/stadium quadrant which includes the visiting team bench.” “Areas behind the visiting team bench shall be reserved for visiting fans … In no case may the home team’s fans, student or band sections be located immediately behind the visiting team’s bench.”

Geoff Cabe, the SoCon’s senior associate commissioner, said those rules are aimed chiefly at basketball. He said the league’s football policy calls for a “buffer section” of visiting team seats or empty space behind visiting team benches. More specific rules are being discussed, he said. But Cabe also said removing the Corps of Cadets from behind the visiting team bench at Johnson Hagood would meet the “spirit” of SoCon rules. “Moving all students and official groups from the visiting side to the home side would absolutely meet the spirit of the rules,” he said.

Whatever the decision, Addison said he’s encouraged by the show of interest from Citadel fans. “The alumni are very passionate about football and their cadets,” he said. “With a new coach coming in, a lot of them see a great chance to engage. I’m very optimistic that we have a solid group of alums and that they are excited about making things better, whatever we do.”

Citadel All-America wrestler Ugi Khishignyam reinstated by NCAA

January 20, 2014


Staff reports;The Charleston Post and Courier
Saturday, January 18, 2014 10:22 p.m.

The Citadel’s All-America wrestler Ugi Khishignyam will be back in the lineup when the Bulldogs open Southern Conference action Sunday against Appalachian State.

Khishignyam, who finished fourth in the NCAA Wrestling Championships last year at 141 pounds, was reinstated by the NCAA earlier this week. He had been ruled ineligible by the NCAA for this season because of questions about his wrestling experience in Mongolia.

The NCAA ruled this week that Bokh wrestling, the traditional form of wrestling in Mongolia, and American wrestling are separate sports, and that Khishignyam should not have been charged with a season of competition for participating in a Bokh event in 2010.

Coach Houston Announces 2014 Citadel Football Coaching Staff

January 18, 2014

Maurice Drayton named Defensive Coordinator

Brent Thompson – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterback/B-backs


Brent Thompson is entering his first season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks/B-backs coach at The Citadel after spending the past four seasons with Coach Mike Houston at Lenoir-Rhyne.
Operating out of the triple option offense, Thompson’s attack was tops in rushing in Division II in 2013, averaging 370.9 yards per game, and set the NCAA record for all divisions in rushing yards in a single season with 5,563. In 2012, L-R compiled 4,515 yards on the ground and finished second in the nation in rushing at 376.2 per outing. The Bears also had their highest output of total offense in a season (430.6 ypg) since 1994 and averaged 35.2 points per game. In 2011, Thompson guided L-R to nearly 400 yards of offense per game (397.0 ypg) while the squad averaged 33.6 points per outing. The Bears also ranked third in the nation in rushing (287.1 ypg) and quarterback Major Herron was named to the all-league first team.

Thompson headed up a Bear’s attack in 2010 that averaged over 400 yards of total offense for the first time in 18 years and led Division II in rushing at 319.5 yards per game. Thompson came to L-R after serving as an assistant coach at Bucknell for seven seasons (2003-09). In 2009, Thompson served as the Bison’s offensive coordinator in addition to his duties as recruiting coordinator and offensive line coach. Four years ago, Thompson was Bucknell’s assistant head coach, and he started his career at the Lewisburg, Pa., school as the wide receivers coach in 2003.
As quarterbacks and fullbacks coach in 2004, Thompson mentored quarterback Daris Wilson to first-team All-Patriot League honors. Prior to Bucknell, Thompson coached two seasons (2001-02) at Northeastern where he oversaw the running backs and was the team’s video coordinator. In 2002, Thompson helped lead the Huskies to the Atlantic 10 Championship.

Thompson also coached All-American L.J. McKanas, who broke the school’s career rushing record and was second in the nation in rushing in 2001. Thompson, a 1998 graduate of Norwich (Vt.) with a degree in peace, war and diplomacy, was a two-year letterman as a defensive back on the football squad. He began his coaching career at Dickinson in the fall of 1998 as a graduate assistant and worked with the outside linebackers. Thompson also served as wide receivers coach for one year (2000) at Stony Brook. Thompson is married to the former Tiffany Lebengood.

Maurice Drayton – Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks1drayton

Maurice Drayton is entering his first season as the defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach at his alma mater. Drayton received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from in 1998 and master’s degree in education in 2007 and spent a total of 12 seasons at The Citadel as a player, assistant coach and recruiting coordinator.

In 2012, Drayton coached the secondary at Southern Mississippi under Citadel graduate and former head coach Ellis Johnson. Prior to Southern Miss, Drayton spent two seasons (2010-11) at Coastal Carolina where he served as the assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach.
In his first season at Coastal Carolina, he molded the special teams unit into a feared weapon with Niccolo Mastromatteo earning second team All-Big South honors. Mastromatteo set a Big South record with 32 punt returns while averaging an impressive 24.1 yards per punt return. Drayton was just as successful with his receiving corps. Brandon Whitley was named second team All-Big South, catching six touchdown passes to rank second best in the conference, while Marquel Willis averaged 15.4 yards on his 29 receptions and Matt Hazel hauled in five TDs, including three in an upset win over Liberty.
Prior to Coastal Carolina, Drayton spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons at South Carolina State where he helped the Bulldogs to two straight playoff appearances and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference titles as the defensive backs and special teams coach. In 2009, South Carolina State ranked seventh nationally in pass defense while ranking fifth in overall defense. The Bulldogs also ranked 17th in both punt and kickoff returns while Oliver Brown was 12th individually in kick returns. In Drayton’s first season at South Carolina State, Aaron Haire ranked 14th in punting and two of his players ranked among the top 10 in the league in interceptions.

Prior to his stint at South Carolina State, he was the assistant principal and assistant coach at Goose Creek High School (2007) after spending the 2006 season as the defensive coordinator for the Seinajoki Crocodiles of the European Football League in Seinajoki, Finland. He also served a stint with the Charleston Swamp Foxes of the Arena 2 Football League in 2000-02 and has done internships with the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. In three seasons as a member of the football team (1996-98), including his final two as a starting cornerback, Drayton compiled 145 tackles, 17 pass breakups and three interceptions.

Blake Harrell – Special Teams Coordinator/Inside Linebackers

Blake Harrell is entering his first season as the special teams coordinator and inside linebackers coach at The Citadel after spending the last three seasons at the same capacity at Lenoir-Rhyne, while also serving as the program’s defensive run game coordinator in 2012.
In 2013, Harrell helped coach a L-R defense that led the South Atlantic Conference in total defense (317.5 ypg), rushing defense (101.5 ypg), quarterback sacks (52) and scoring defense (17.9 ppg) and boasted the league’s defensive player of the year in defensive back Michael Green. Green was joined as a Division II All-American by defensive tackle Blake Baker.

In 2012, Harrell coached both inside linebackers (Tanner Botts and Demetrius Green) to All-SAC first-team honors while senior placekicker Zach Neumann was named to the all-league second team. Harrell coached Green to South Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2011, and the Bears led the league in total defense for the second straight season.
On special teams, the Bears finished fifth in the country in both punt return (17.4) and kickoff return (25.1) average. In the spring of 2008, Harrell assumed the duties as the program’s coordinator of recruiting and held the position for four years. Prior to L-R, Harrell coached two seasons at Franklin (N.C.) High School in 2005 and 2006 where he headed up the linebackers and was defensive coordinator the second season.

Harrell was part of a Franklin squad that went a combined 22-4 (11-2 each season) and the 2006 defense held opponents to just nine points per game.Harrell also coached at Fuquay-Varina (N.C.) High School (2004), McDowell (N.C.) High School (2003) and had his first stint at Franklin in 2001 and 2002.

Harrell graduated from Western Carolina in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and
earned his MBA from Lenoir-Rhyne in 2012. Harrell was also a student assistant for the Catamount football squad in 2000. Harrell and his wife, Jessie, have one daughter: Kennedy, born this summer.

Ron Boyd – Offensive Line Coach

Ron Boyd is entering his first season as offensive line coach at The Citadel after spending the last nine years as the offensive line coach at Lenoir-Rhyne, including three under Coach Mike Houston. Boyd also served as the Bears’ tight ends coach, strength & conditioning coach and equipment manager.
In 2013, Boyd led an offensive line that paved the way for a rushing attack which averaged 370.9 yards per game and set the NCAA record for all divisions in rushing yards in a single season with 5,563. Under the direction of Boyd, a Bear offensive lineman has received the Jacobs Blocking Trophy, given annually to the top offensive lineman in the South Atlantic Conference, in each of the past four seasons, including 2013 recipient and Division II All-American Joe Ray.

In 2012, Boyd’s offensive line helped L-R average 376.2 rushing yards per game, the second-highest mark in Division II. In all, the Bears set a school single-season record with 4,515 rushing yards in 2012, and Kaleb Myrick won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy. Two seasons ago, the Bears ranked third in the country in rushing (over 287 yards per game) while two-time All-American Chandler Rearden won his second straight Jacobs Blocking Trophy. In 2010, the offensive line helped L-R lead Division II in rushing at just over 319 yards per outing. In addition, Rearden became the first-ever Bear to win the Jacobs Blocking Trophy.

Four years ago, the Bears finished second in the nation in rushing at 294.3 yards per outing and were fifth in 2008 at 259.3 a contest while Rearden became the first L-R offensive lineman named to the SAC first team since 2002. Prior to L-R, Boyd was the offensive line coach at West Virginia Wesleyan from 1998 to 2004.

During his tenure at West Virginia Wesleyan, the Bobcats won a pair of West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) championships in 2002 and 2003, and the squad put together a 17-game league winning streak. Boyd’s offensive lines helped West Virginia Wesleyan set several school rushing records, and five players earned All-WVIAC honors in 2003 including three who received first-team all-conference accolades.

During its two championship seasons, West Virginia Wesleyan finished 14th and 20th overall in Division II in rushing with 220 and 214 yards per game, respectively. Boyd also coached the offensive line at West Virginia Tech (1996-97), Cumberland College (1995) and West Virginia Wesleyan (1993-94) in his first stint there.

Boyd, a native of Delmont, Pa., and a 1992 graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan, was a three-year letterwinner, two-year starter and team captain his senior year. He is an active member of the American Football Coaches Association and has served on several of the organization’s committees. Boyd is married to the former Erin Shebatka.

Lou Conte – Slot Backs

Lou Conte is entering his first season as the Bulldogs’ slot backs coach after spending the past three seasons as the running backs coach and last two as recruiting coordinator under Coach Mike Houston at Lenoir-Rhyne. Last season, Conte helped lead a Bears’ rushing attack which ranked first in Division II in 2013, averaging 370.9 yards per game, and set the NCAA record for all divisions in rushing yards in a single season with 5,563.

In 2012, Conte’s stable of running backs helped L-R finish second in Division II in rushing yards (376.2 ypg) while Jarrod Spears and Isaiah Whitaker both earned all-league accolades. L-R’s 4,515 yards rushing on the year was second most in the nation. In 2011, L-R’s backs spearheaded the Bears’ running game which finished third in the nation in rushing at 287.1 yards per outing while fullback Isaiah Whitaker garnered All-South Atlantic Conference honors.

Conte came to L-R after serving as defensive coordinator at Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Mass., in 2010. At Williston Northampton, Conte also served as assistant athletics director, sports information director, physical education teacher, junior varsity wrestling and assistant varsity lacrosse coach. Conte was also a graduate assistant coach at Springfield (Mass.) for two seasons (2008-09) and served as assistant head coach (2005-07) and head men’s lacrosse coach at Maine Maritime Academy for three years, 2006-08. As a graduate assistant, Springfield won the ECAC Northeast Championship Bowl Game in 2009.

Conte is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the American Football Coaches Association and United States Lacrosse. Conte was a three-year letterwinner on the Springfield football team which captured the FFC Conference championship twice (2002 and 2003) and the ECAC championship in 2004. Springfield was also the top team in the East Region and was ranked No. 4 nationally in 2004.

Roy Tesh – Defensive Line

Roy Tesh is entering his first season as defensive line coach at The Citadel after spending the last six years as an assistant football coach at Lenoir-Rhyne, including three under Coach Mike Houston.
In 2013, Tesh helped coach an L-R defense that led the South Atlantic Conference in total defense (317.5 ypg), rushing defense (101.5 ypg), quarterback sacks (52) and scoring defense (17.9 ppg) and boasted a Division II All-American in defensive tackle Blake Baker. Tesh coached the defensive line in 2012 for the fourth straight year after overseeing the running backs in his first season in 2008. In 2011, defensive lineman Brandon Martin earned first-team All-SAC honors for the third straight season, and the Bears led the league in scoring defense (17.3 ppg) and turnovers caused (39).

The defensive line helped the Bears lead the league in total defense in 2011 and was anchored by Martin. L-R gave up just 98.1 rushing yards per outing and 284.4 yards total, both figures ranking in the top 10 in the nation. Tesh’s defensive line, spearheaded by two all-league honorees, helped the Bears lead the SAC in total defense and finish fourth in Division II in rushing defense (75.7 ypg) three years ago in addition to ranking third in the country with a conference-leading 39 sacks. L-R’s stable of tailbacks in 2008 fueled the team’s fifth-place national ranking in rushing offense with 259.3 yards per outing. Prior to L-R, Tesh was the defensive line coach at Brevard for two seasons (2006-07). Tesh coached three seasons (2003-05) at his alma mater, Greensboro College, where he headed up the linebackers and was the team’s strength and conditioning coordinator.

Tesh, a four-year all-conference selection as an offensive lineman with the Pride, graduated in 2004 and played for the Carolina Ghostriders of the American Indoor Football League. Tesh was a defensive lineman and fullback during his playing days in the AIFL.
Tesh and his wife, Kimberly, have one daughter: Sadie.

Joel Taylor – Safeties/Defensive Passing Game Coordinator

Joel Taylor is entering his first season as the safeties coach and defensive passing game coordinator at The Citadel after spending the past four years as the defensive backs coach at South Carolina State. Taylor is a graduate of S.C. State where he played defensive back and spent four years on the coaching staff.

Prior to S.C. State, Taylor spent one season as outside linebackers coach at L-R under Coach Mike Houston.

Taylor helped guide the Bulldogs to a No. 18 national ranking in defensive pass efficiency in 2012. Safety Jakar Hamilton signed a free agent deal with the Dallas Cowboys to become the fifth S.C. State defensive back in four years to make an NFL roster, joining Phillip Adams (drafted in the 7th round by 49ers), Rafael Bush (Saints), Christian Thompson (drafted in the 4th round by the Ravens) and Dominique Ellis (Buffalo Bills).

In 2011, the secondary led by Thompson and Ellis finished 10th in the nation in defensive pass efficiency and both earned All-MEAC honors. The previous season, Taylor helped develop a secondary that included four new starters into a unit that finished with the No. 1 pass defense and No. 2 pass efficiency defense in the nation. Additionally, the Bulldog defense finished first in the nation in total defense and 17th in interceptions spearheaded by All-MEAC players Ellis and Semaj Moody.

Taylor had a productive career as a defensive back at S.C. State, reaping several honors during his four- year career (2001-04). He lettered all four seasons and was team captain and defensive MVP in 2004. He was also a starter in the secondary on the 2003 Bulldog squad which finished number one nationally in pass defense efficiency.

Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science at S.C. State in 2004 and a master’s in rehabilitation counseling in 2008.

Tripp Weaver – Outside Linebackers

Tripp Weaver is entering his first year at The Citadel after spending the 2013 season as a defensive graduate assistant at East Carolina. Weaver is a 2012 graduate of East Carolina

The Citadel to debut the Lowcountry’s first mechanical engineering program

January 17, 2014


14 Jan 2014

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Citadel is now accepting applications for the college’s new Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering program. The courses will begin in the summer of 2014 with focused tracks in power and energy, manufacturing, aeronautical systems, materials (composites), and mechatronics. There are two different ways for students to pursue the degree. Current or incoming members of the S.C. Corps of Cadets can register now for the courses that begin in the fall of 2014. Or, as part of an entirely separate avenue of study, the new degree is being offered to non-cadets through the college’s established evening undergraduate studies in conjunction with Trident Technical College and other participating technical colleges with the courses beginning the summer of 2014.

“Charleston will continue to outpace other regions in manufacturing and technology jobs, according to projections. The flourishing industries tell us they want more top-notch, home-grown talent,” said Ronald Welch, dean of The Citadel School of Engineering. “Very specifically, they need more mechanical engineers. The Citadel’s evening undergraduate studies program provides a solution for employed students wanting to live, work and learn locally.”

Students in The Citadel’s evening mechanical engineering program will attend a technical college, such as Trident Tech, the first two years, transitioning to The Citadel for their final two years of study. The new program mirrors The Citadel’s established evening 2+2 offerings in civil and electrical engineering. “Prospective students can come directly to us, or contact Trident Tech to learn more and begin their applications,” Welch said.

The Citadel School of Engineering, the fifth oldest in the nation, is currently composed of the department of electrical and computer engineering, the department of civil and environmental engineering and the department of engineering leadership and program management. The military college was the forerunner in engineering education in the state of South Carolina, including engineering as part of the college’s curriculum since 1843.

The accreditation process for the mechanical engineering program will begin as soon as the first student has graduated from the program which is estimated to occur in May of 2016. The request to construct a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering program was approved by the South Carolina Committee on Higher Education last fall.

Two new faculty members have been hired and more are being recruited. The programs administrators and faculty will establish the student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers during the 2014-2015 academic year

Sources: Citadel to add two new assistant coaches

January 16, 2014

Citadel Alum Maurice Drayton is back home!
Citadel Alum Maurice Drayton is back home!

by Jeff Hartsell
Posted on January 15, 2014

Sources say new Citadel football coach Mike Houston is rounding out his staff with a couple of new hires from outside the program.

Former Citadel player and assistant coach Maurice Drayton and South Carolina State assistant coach Joel Taylor, who worked with Houston at Lenoir-Rhyne, will join the Bulldogs’ staff, sources say. also reported the Drayton hire.

A native of Moncks Corner and a Berkeley High School graduate, Drayton played in the secondary for the Bulldogs, graduating in 1998. During coaching stints at The Citadel, South Carolina State and Coastal Carolina, Drayton earned a reputation as an effective recruiter. He coached the 2012 season at Southern Miss, where he coached the secondary for former Citadel head coach Ellis Johnson, now the defensive coordinator at Auburn.

Coach Taylor

Coach Joel Taylor

Taylor, who played defensive back at S.C. State and graduated in 2004, was an assistant coach at S.C. State from 2004-08 before going to Lenoir-Rhyne for the 2009 season, when Houston was the Bears’ defensive coordinator. Taylor returned to S.C. State in 2010, and has been the secondary coach since then.

The Citadel has made no official announcement on assistant coaches, other than former L-R offensive coordinator Brent Thompson as the Bulldogs’ OC.

Other coaches expected to join The Citadel from Lenoir-Rhyne are OL coach Ron Boyd, LB coach Blake Harrell, DL coach Roy Tesh and RB coach Lou Conte. Citadel recruiting coordinator J.P. Gunter and TE coach Scott Yielding are expected to stay on.

Citadel AD on minority candidates in coaching search

January 16, 2014
Citadel A.D. Larry Leckonby

Citadel A.D. Larry Leckonby

by Jeff Hartsell
Posted on January 14, 2014

Citadel athletic director Larry Leckonby discussed the role that minority candidates played in his search for a new football coach, which ended with the hiring of Mike Houston last week:

Q: What role did minority candidates play in the search? Did you interview one or more?
A: “I can say first and foremost, we were looking for the best football coach we could find. There were a lot of talented guys out there, including African-American coaches. In the group I presented to the search committee at our first meeting, before we really got into it, there were two prominent African-Americans in that group.
“One of them in that time period did not want to speak to us due to a bowl game. But we spoke through intermediaries, and in the end that young man withdrew from the search. The other young man was in that first group, all of whom I did phone interviews with. During and after that first meeting, we reduced the group for face-to-face interviews to a shorter list of five, from about 15 to five, and went from there.”

Q: So there were no minority candidates in the final five for face-to-face interviews?
A: “No.”

Q: Do you feel comfortable that all candidates were treated fairly in the process?
A: “Absolutely. Everyone was vetted and discussed at length by the search committee and by me. I’ve been around a long time, I talked to a lot of people around the country. Part of this whole thing was to focus in on option-based philosophies, and that really narrows the field.”