Friday, March 5, 2021

Ole Miss Hires Coleman Hutzler as Special Teams Coordinator

Coleman Hutzler, photo courtesy of Ole Miss Football.

Ole Miss head football coach Lane Kiffin announced Thursday that Coleman Hutzler will join the program as special teams coordinator.

Hutzler comes to Oxford after spending the 2020 season at the University of Texas at Austin where he served as the co-defensive coordinator and linebacker coach.

Hutzler’s defense ranked top No. 9 in the FBS in fourth-down conversion defense (.333). Longhorn junior Joseph Ossai earned consensus All-America honors under Hutzler’s guidance. Ossai ranked No. 14 in the country with 58 tackles for loss and led the Big 12 in forced fumbles.

Hutzler previously worked in the SEC at South Carolina where he spent four seasons as the special teams coordinator and linebackers coach. 

In 2019, Hutzler’s special teams unit ranked in the top 20 nationally in two categories, including rating No. 10 in net punting (41.96 ypp) and No. 16 in punt return average (13.27 ypr). Punter Joseph Charlton earned second team All-SEC honors on his way to setting the school record in punting average, ranking second in the nation at 47.7 yards per punt.

Placekicker Parker White also continued to improve, posting the third-best field goal percentage in the SEC at 81.8% after connecting on 81.2% in 2018, which was a significant increase from a 56% success rate in 2017.

In 2018, Hutzler mentored return specialist Deebo Samuel. Samuel tallied his school-record fourth career kickoff return for a touchdown, tying the SEC mark, and was named first-team All-SEC as a return specialist.

In 2017, Hutzler was nominated for the Broyles Award, which goes to the nation’s top assistant coach. Charlton logged another one of the school’s top single-season punting averages at 43.5 yards per punt, while ranking among the nation’s top 30. Samuel returned each of his two kickoffs for touchdowns in the season’s first two games.

Under Hutzler’s tutelage in 2016, the South Carolina kickoff return team led the SEC and ranked eighth in the nation, averaging 25.8 yards per return. A trio of players, Samuel, A.J. Turner and Rashad Fenton, all returned a kick at least 50 yards, with Samuel posting a 100-yard touchdown return. Placekicker Elliott Fry became the school’s all-time leading scorer, while snapper Drew Williams was recognized as a fourth-team All-American.

Hutzler spent the 2015 season as the special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach at Boston College. During his year in Chestnut Hill, Hutzler was part of a staff that produced the nation’s stingiest defense, as the Eagles allowed just 254.3 yards per game and 24.1 percent of third down conversions and were second in rushing defense at 82.8 yards per contest. Freshman Michael Walker ranked in the top 10 in the nation in kick return average. BC also blocked three punts on the year.

Previously, Hutzler logged two stints at Florida, first from 2010-11 as an assistant to the linebackers and special teams coordinator, then again for the 2014 season, handling special teams and outside linebackers.

In 2014, Florida had the second-best punt return average in the SEC and the 17th-best unit in the nation. Punter Kyle Christy earned second-team All-SEC honors after averaging 44.3 yards per punt, the nation’s 14th-best average.

Between his stints in Gainesville, Hutzler was the special teams’ coordinator and outside linebackers coach at New Mexico from 2012-13. He coached punter Ben Skaer to first-team All-Mountain West accolades and returner, Carlos Wiggins, to MWC Special Teams Player of the Year and a second-team All-America honors in 2013.

Hutzler began his coaching career at the University of San Diego, working as a defensive assistant in 2006. He moved to Palo Alto to become a recruiting assistant at Stanford in 2007 and served as an assistant on the defensive side of the ball for the Cardinal in 2008 and 2009.

A native of Las Vegas, Hutzler played football at Middlebury College in Vermont, earning his degree in psychology. A linebacker from 2002-05, he was a team captain as a senior and left the program second in career tackles.


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