The Skyhawks football team signed three new coaches to its coaching staff in preparation for the new season.
Current staff member Jordon Hankins replaced Jeff Byrd as the team’s new associate head coach and defensive coordinator. Hankins was previously the special team’s coordinator and linebacker position coach.
In addition to Hankins’ promotion, the Skyhawks welcomed Ben Larson. Larson will be taking over special teams duties, as well as serving as the team’s defensive line coach. Prior to coming to UTM, Larson served as the special teams’ special assistant at the University of Texas at Austin for four years. During his tenure for the Longhorns, he worked with punter Michael Dickson, who garnered All-American honors for his outstanding performance. With Larson’s help, Dickson became the Big 12’s leading punter and UT’s all-time single-season record holder. Larson is a native of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. He played linebacker at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.
Head Coach Jason Simpson added Dominique Bowman to the coaching staff as the team’s defensive backs coach. Bowman comes from the University of Arkansas at Monticello where he was the defensive backs coach during the 2016 season. Bowman is a Memphis native and a former coach of Cordova High School in Memphis, Tennessee. He was named the defensive coordinator for the Liberty Bowl Memphis Metro All-Star Game both in 2014 and 2015. Bowman played defensive back and received his degree from Lambuth College in 2008.
Lastly, the Skyhawk’s welcomed Derek Carr, former UTM quarterback. Carr returns to the Skyhawks after serving as an assistant coach for Ohio Valley Conference rival Tennessee Tech. He now serves as the team’s wide receivers coach and pass game coordinator. Carr also served as offensive graduate assistant for the Temple Owls. A native of McKenzie, Tennessee, Carr graduated from UTM in 2013 with a degree in university studies.
The Skyhawks finished the 2016-2017 football season with a 7-5 overall record. They made it to the OVC conference championship versus Jacksonville State University after accumulating six conference wins. The team was a recipient of the Sargent York Trophy after beating the majority of the conference teams in the state of Tennessee. However, the Skyhawks were denied an at-large bid to the FCS playoffs for the third year in a row.