Harsin Hires Riddle Assistant Head Coach

Courtesy Arkansas State University Department of Athletics

JONESBORO, Ark. (12/31/12) – Arkansas State head football coach Bryan Harsin announced Monday that Kent Riddle has been named assistant head coach, tight ends coach and special teams coordinator for the Red Wolves.

Riddle comes to Arkansas State after spending the last two seasons as special teams and tight ends coach at North Texas, but has also coached at Colorado (2006-10), Boise State (2001-05), Army (1995-2000) and Oregon State (1993-94).  With over 20 years coaching experience at the FBS level, Riddle has coached in six bowl games and has been the position coach for three All-Americans, 10 all-conference performers and four NFL players.

“I worked with Coach Riddle at Boise State, we have a great relationship and he is a guy I highly respect as both a coach and person,” said Harsin.  “He was instrumental in the building process at Boise State and really helped develop that program during his time there.  He is experienced, has been very successful and is a great fit for Arkansas State.”

During his two seasons as special teams coach at North Texas, he oversaw the efforts of All-Sun Belt Conference players Brelan Chancellor and Will Atterberry.  Chancellor recorded a school-record 1,094 kickoff return yards in 2011 to become the first player in North Texas history to produce 1,000 yards in a season, while Atterberry earned all-conference honors in both 2011 and 2012 as a punter.

Riddle’s tight end corps combined to record 47 receptions for 415 yards and three touchdowns during his two years with the Mean Green, led by Andrew Power with 16 catches for 142 yards and a touchdown in 2011 and Drew Miller with 18 receptions resulting in 136 yards and two scores in 2012.

Riddle made the move from Boise State to Colorado in 2006 with then-head coach Dan Hawkins, spending five seasons with the Buffaloes as their tight ends coach and special teams coordinator.  At Colorado he coached two All-Americans, including placekicker Mason Crosby and punter Matt DiLallo.  In 2007, Colorado was one of just six schools in the nation to rank among the top half of all teams in net punting, punt returns, kickoff returns, punt return defense and kickoff return defense.

Riddle spent the 2001-05 seasons at Boise State as running backs and special teams coach, working alongside Harsin for the 2005 campaign when the Broncos played in the MPC Computers Bowl.  Many of his special teams units during those five seasons regularly finished ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation, including a kickoff return team that was in the top 21 every season and a punt return squad that placed in the top 18 his last four years.

He was able to assemble one of the most accurate kicking games in the country during that span as well as Boise State kickers converted 96.8 percent of their PAT kicks (330-of-341) and 73.1 percent of their field goal tries (68-of-93).

In 2005, Boise State ranked 12th in the nation in kickoff returns (24.2 avg.), anchored by Lee Marks, who was 10th nationally as an individual (27.9 avg.).  The Broncos were also 18th in punt returns (12.8 avg.), with Quinton Jones second in the country with 20.9 yards per return that included three touchdowns.  The coverage units were exceptional as well as Boise State was 17th in punt return defense (5.9 avg.) and 29th in kickoff return defense (18.7 avg.)

Riddle coached placekicker Tyler Jones at Boise State to an All-American season and a spot as one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award in 2005.  In 2003, the Broncos ranked 15th in the country in both kickoff and punt returns, following up a 2002 campaign when both finished 13th in the NCAA.

The Broncos also led the WAC in punt returns and kickoff coverage in 2003, allowing just 17.0 yards per return.  In 2001, David Mikell was seventh in the nation in kickoff returns (28.4 avg.), leading the team to a 19th-place national ranking.

His first three seasons at Boise State saw the Broncos produce a 1,000 yard rusher each year.  David Mikell earned honorable mention All-WAC honors in 2003 after rushing for 1,142 yards and 13 touchdowns.  Brock Forsey was named the WAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2002, rushing for 1,611 yards (11th in the NCAA) and a national-best 26 touchdowns.  Forsey was also a First Team All-WAC performer in Riddle’s first season after picking up 1,207 rushing yards.

Riddle joined the Boise State coaching staff after serving as an assistant coach at Army for six seasons.  At Army, his first full-time coaching position, he coached fullbacks from 1995-98 before making the move to special teams coach and recruiting coordinator for the 1999 and 2000 seasons.

He worked his first five years there under head coach Bob Sutton, and he was retained when Todd Berry was named coach in 2000.  In 1996, he helped coach Army to its only 10-win season in history as the Black Knights went 10-2 and made an appearance in the Independence Bowl.

Prior to joining the Army staff, Riddle began his coaching career in 1991 as a student assistant coach at Oregon State.  In 1992, he was promoted to a graduate assistant position, first serving one year as the video G.A. before working as an offensive G.A. coach in both 1993 and 1994.  He helped tutor the running backs while also overseeing the preparation of the defensive scout team his last two seasons.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Oregon State in 1992 after completing his playing career for the Beavers as a quarterback for coach Dave Kragthorpe.

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