Monday August 11, 2008 (Tight End Coaches)
"Deserving Credit" is a series highlighting some of terrific and/or lesser known coaches throughout the country that based on their hard work are worthy of national recognition.
Billy Napier (Clemson University): Billy Napier enters his 3rd season coaching the tight ends and fullbacks at Clemson University. Napier also serves as the Clemson recruiting coordinator. Only twenty-eight years old, Napier's talents have caught the eye of just about every college coach in the southeast. Coaches in the profession say that Napier is a diligent thinker and tireless worker that could be a world renowned salesman. A former All-Southern Conference quarterback at Furman University, Napier is among the most efficient recruiters in the country. His tight ends helped the Clemson offense lead the ACC in scoring, total offense, and rushing offense during the 2007 season. Prior to joining the Clemson staff, Napier coached the quarterbacks at South Carolina State in 2005. At South Carolina State, the offense finished 12th in the nation in rushing and 15th in passing efficiency. Most importantly, the offense reduced the number of turnovers from 33 (2004) to only 11 in 2005. There is a reason Tennessee head coach Phil Fulmer was interested in hiring Napier last season.
Pete Sundheim (Liberty University): Veteran coach Pete Sundheim has served on the staff at Liberty University for the last 19 years. Heck, this coach is "deserving credit" just for being loyal to a tremendous university. Over the last three seasons, Sundheim has taken on the responsibility of instructing the tight ends. Under his guidance, tight end Chris Luck has earned Big South all-conference selections the last 3 seasons and coaches within the conference will tell you that it's well deserved. More importantly, since Sundheim moved over from the defensive side of the ball, the Flames have developed a more physical mindset and become a dangerous rushing team. Last season, Liberty University finished 14th in the nation in total offense and 1st in the Big South. The Flames were able to rush for over 215 yards per game, good enough to finish 16th in the nation in rushing offense and an 8-3 record. For many reasons, Pete Sundheim is "deserving credit."
Joe Rudolph (Wisconsin): With the addition of tight ends coach Joe Rudolph, the Wisconsin Badgers have already improved their offense. Over the last four years while progressing in the profession, Rudolph has developed a solid reputation for coaching tight ends and working with the run game. A tough and hard nosed coach, Rudolph joined the Wisconsin staff after a year at Nebraska. During the 2004 and 2005 season, Rudolph assisted with the offensive line at Ohio State while serving as a graduate assistant. Coaches within the profession particularly like the teaching progression and fundamentals Rudolph believes in. Look for Wisconsin to get even more physical up front with in addition of Rudolph.