Tuesday, December 13, 2016

WT announces new head football coach

Colorado State-Pueblo defensive coordinator, Hunter Hughes, a name familiar to WT fans, has been named the new head football coach at West Texas A&M.  We will update with links as they are made available.

Check out Kale Steed's twitter feed for the most current news.  Link to his twitter feed

Kale has a story on the Amarillo Globe News website

From the the WT website:
Hughes Intro Graphic

West Texas A&M Hires CSU-Pueblo Defensive Coordinator Hunter Hughes as Head Football Coach

CANYON, Texas – West Texas A&M Director of Athletics, Michael McBroom, announced Tuesday at a press conference in Legacy Hall of the Jack B. Kelley Student Center that Hunter Hughes has been hired as the 28th head football coach in program history.

"We are thrilled to welcome Hunter to WT, the Texas Panhandle and we are excited about the future of Buffalo Football," McBroom said.  "Hunter has a proven track record of emphasizing academic success, of consistently winning at a high level over an extended period of time and promoting a balanced and positive student-athlete experience that includes integration into the campus and community."

Hughes spent the last ten years as the defensive coordinator at Colorado State University-Pueblo and was the defensive mastermind behind the ThunderWolves' 13-0 shutout of then-No. 1 Minnesota State in the 2014 NCAA Division II National Championship, which handed CSU-Pueblo its first NCAA national title in school history.  Hughes was hired in 2007 prior to the first season of CSUP football in 2008 to help build the inaugural class.

Since the 2008 season, Hughes has consistently put defenses on the field that not only lead the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, but rank among the top units in the nation.  He was named Football FootballScoop.com Division II Coordinator of the Year finalist in 2014 and guided the ThunderWolves' defense that lead all of Division II in scoring defense (12.8 points allowed per game), passes intercepted (29), defensive touchdowns (7) and turnovers gained (43).  The defensive line totaled 3.8 sacks per game to finish fourth nationally and CSUP ranked 13th in total defense allowing just 296.8 yards per game.

In his nine seasons coaching at CSUP, the defense has produced 14 All-Americas and 67 All-RMAC performers. 
"I am excited about being the head coach at West Texas A&M," Hughes said.  "I know they have the type of players to compete and win a national championship. It is hard to leave a place that I was part of building from scratch, but the people here at West Texas A&M, and their commitment to the student-athletes, made this a simple decision."

Hughes and the ThunderWolves' defense continued to dominate in 2015 as he helped guide the team to its third appearance in the NCAA Quarterfinals in the previous four seasons.  CSUP finished top 20 nationally in nine different defensive categories, which included third in scoring defense (15.8 ppg) and passes intercepted (24).  The ThunderWolves also were 10th in rushing defense (94.6 ypg) and 11th in turnovers gained (31).

One of the most decorated Division II coordinators in the nation, Hughes earned FootballScoop.com Division II Coordinator of the Year in 2011 as the ThunderWolves went 11-0 in the regular season.  CSUP allowed a national-best 10.33 points per game and tallied 26 interceptions which also was tops in Division II.

In the first four years Hughes was at CSUP, the ThunderWolves finished in the top 25 nationally in points allowed three times including ninth in 2010.  In 2008, Hughes squad allowed the 37th-fewest points in the nation during the program's first season of competition. 

Prior to CSUP, Hughes quickly rose through the coaching ranks as he was on staff at two of the most prestigious Division II programs in the country –University of Colorado and University of Tennessee.

While at Colorado, Hughes was a defensive graduate assistant from 2003-2006, assisting in coaching various defensive positions, as well as recruiting.  At Tennessee, he served as a defensive graduate assistant focusing on linebackers and defensive backs in the fall of 2006 and spring of 2007.

Hughes graduated from Middle Tennessee State in 1991 and earned a master's degree from MTSU in 2001.

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