Walt Stewart, who both played for and launched his coaching career under Butch Jones, is set to rejoin his mentor at Arkansas State.
Sources tell FootballScoop that Stewart is set to be the Red Wolves’ defensive line coach as A-State transitions into its second year under Jones, who first coached Stewart at the University of Cincinnati and then gave Stewart his start in coaching as a defensive graduate assistant at the University of Tennessee.
Stewart, on Rocky Top in 2013-14 as the Vols routed Iowa for a Gator Bowl win after the ’14 season that represented the program’s first postseason win since 2007, most recently coached at Temple University, where he worked with the Owls’ defensive line.
Spending the past three seasons at Temple, Stewart also owns experience at Eastern Kentucky under former coach Mark Elder and on Rod Carey’s Northern Illinois staff since leaving Tennessee and getting his first full-time job with the Colonels in 2015.
Jones and Arkansas State are coming off a disappointing 2-10 2021 campaign in Jones’ first season back as a head coach since 2017.
But last month, the Red Wolves responded by signing the Sun Belt Conference’s top-rated recruiting class, with well-regarded A-State Director of Player Personnel Matt Wilson having reunited a year ago with Jones to implement Jones’ vision for the program moving into the future.
The Red Wolves are scheduled to open their 2022 season at home against FCS foe Grambling State, which is led by new head coach and former NFL head man Hue Jackson.
The very next week, Jones makes his coaching return to the state of Ohio – he led Cincinnati to two bowl games in three seasons before taking the Tennessee job after the 2012 campaign – with a battle at perennial power Ohio State.