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Arkansas hires Herring as defensive coordinator

Posted Sunday, December 5, 2004

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Herring led nation's top-ranked defense at NC State this season.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The architect of the nation's leading defense, NC State Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach Reggie Herring, has been named defensive coordinator at the University of Arkansas it was announced by UA head coach Houston Nutt on Saturday.

Herring has 24 years of full-time coaching experience including eight as a Division I-A defensive coordinator. He also has two years of professional football experience with the Houston Texans.

"We are extremely excited to add Reggie Herring to our staff," Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. "He brings a wealth of experience and impressive credentials to the job. He has been successful in some of the top leagues in the country including six years in the Southeastern Conference. What he was able to do at North Carolina State this season was truly remarkable in transforming his unit into the top defense in the country. I know it was a very difficult decision to leave North Carolina State, but he is excited to be a Razorback. I have known Reggie since we were graduate assistants together at Oklahoma State. I am confident that he will be a tremendous asset to our program."

In his one season at NC State, Herring guided the Wolfpack to a dramatic turnaround on the defensive side of the ball. North Carolina State owns the nation's top ranking in total defense this season allowing only 221.36 yards per game. In 2003 prior to Herring's arrival, N.C. State ranked 89th in the country allowing 421.0 yards per contest.

This season, NC State leads the country in pass efficiency defense (91.77) and ranks second in total pass defense (119.0 ypg.). The Wolfpack defense also ranks 13th in rushing defense (102.36 ypg.) and 25th in the nation in scoring defense (19.82 ppg.).

Prior to joining the NC State staff, Herring served two seasons as the linebackers coach for the National Football League's Houston Texans. In 2003, Texans' linebacker Jamie Sharper led the NFL with 164 tackles.

Herring spent eight seasons under head coaches Tommy West and Tommy Bowden at Clemson. From 1994-2001, he served as the linebackers coach. In 1997, he added the title of defensive coordinator. He coached NCAA leading tackler Keith Adams in 2000. He also was part of teams that played in the 1996 Gator Bowl, 1998 Peach Bowl, 1999 Peach Bowl, 2001 Gator Bowl and 2001 Humanitarian Bowl.

His first defensive coordinator experience came in a two-year stint at Texas Christian University (TCU) from 1992-93.

Herring served as linebackers coach under Pat Dye at Auburn from 1986-91. During that six-year span, the Tigers captured three SEC championships and recorded a record of 52-16-3. Auburn made three appearances in the Sugar Bowl and one appearance in the Citrus and Peach Bowls.

He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Jimmy Johnson at Oklahoma State in 1981. Johnson promoted Herring to the full-time linebackers coach in 1982. He served in that role for Johnson and Pat Jones until 1985. Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt was a fellow graduate assistant on the 1981 staff and worked with Herring at OSU from 1981-82 and from 1984-85.

As a player, Herring was a three-year starting linebacker at Florida State from 1978-80. While with the Seminoles, he played in three bowl games and was part of teams that finished in the top 15 for three consecutive seasons. In 1980, he was named team captain and was honored as a second team Associated Press All-American. He earned a B.S. in criminology from Florida State in 1981. For his contributions, he was inducted into the Florida State Hall of Fame in 1989.

Herring, 45, is married to the former Lisa Ward of Griffin, Ga. The couple has a daughter Caroline (18) and a son, Adam (15).

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Arkansas hires Herring as defensive coordinator
Reggie Herring
photo by Gene Galin