Grambling State Univ. - Football



Everett Todd  |  Defensive Coordinator / Defensive Line Coach

Everett Todd enters his fourth season as the defensive coordinator at Grambling State University.

The Tigers were named the HBCU National champion after winning the 2016 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl when they defeated North Carolina Central 10-9. The Tigers also went undefeated in league play, winning the Western division, and defeating Alcorn State University in the conference championship game.

The 2016 Tiger defense led the nation in the FCS in four defensive categories (sacks, tackles for loss, red-zone defense and fumble recoveries), while finishing in the top five nationally in nine total categories. Additionally, the Tiger defense led the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in 12 of 15 defensive statistical categories, while finishing second in the remaining three.

Six defensive players earned all-conference honors in 2016.  Blain Winston and Samuel Reese were name all-conference defensive linemen, while nose guard Donovan McCray was named the SWAC Defensive Player of the Year. McCray, Guy Stallworth, Arkez Cooper and Jameel Jackson were named to various All-American teams.

The 2015 defense shared the lead in the SWAC in yards per carry allowed at 3.8 yards.  The Tigers led the SWAC and the FCS nationally in turnovers gained with 32. They led the SWAC and finished third nationally in tackles for loss with 114.  Additionally, the Tigers led the SWAC in red-zone defense while finishing 10th nationally. The defense also finished second in the SWAC and sixth nationally with 3.16 sacks per game.  Jamison Goins, Michael Jolivet and Arkez Cooper were named to the all-conference team while Guy Stallworth was named to the All-SWAC and the Black College All-American teams.

In 2014, the defense led the nation and the SWAC in sacks with 3.75 per game.  The Tiger defense was the national and conference leader in tackles for loss with 10.1 per game. The Tiger defense also ranked fourth nationally in fumbles recovered and 19th nationally in turnovers gained. Linebacker Steve Orisakwe led the SWAC in tackles for loss (22.5), sacks (8.5) and fumbles recovered (three) for the 2014 season. His teammate Aaron Breed Jr. was second in the conference in tackles for loss, third in sacks and sixth overall in tackles. Safety Tyree Hollins led the conference in interceptions.

Todd joined the Grambling football coaching staff after serving as the defensive line coach at the University of Louisiana at Monroe for the previous five seasons. ULM posted the NCAA’s second best defensive turnaround from 2008 to 2009 as it improved by 97.7 yards of total defense between the two seasons.

ULM finished 20th in the NCAA against the run, just one season after ranking 112th.  The defense allowed 102.6 fewer yards per game on the ground in 2009 compared to 2008. The Warhawks also ranked 41st in sacks (a 67-spot improvement from 2008) and 44th in total defense (a 65-spot improvement from 2008). In 2011, the defense led the Sun Belt Conference in total and rushing defense, finishing in the top 25 nationally in both categories at 21st and 8th, respectively.

In 2009, Todd coached All-Sunbelt Conference pick and Amite, La. Native Aaron Morgan, who spent four seasons on NFL rosters at Tampa Bay, Jacksonville and Indianapolis. Todd also tutored ULM defensive end and Shreveport native Troy Evans Jr., defensive end Ken Dorsey, a New Orleans native, and nose guard Gerrand Johnson from Rayville. All were selected to several SBC all-conference lists.

Todd joined the Warhawks staff after seven seasons at New Mexico where he coached the defensive line (2007 -2008), served as special teams’ coordinator (2004-2005), and coached the cornerbacks (2002-2003). He also served as a compliance and operations specialists in 2006 and was New Mexico’s recruiting coordinator in 2004-2005. Todd also helped the Lobos to five bowl games during his time in Albuquerque, NM.

Todd joined the New Mexico staff in 2002 after spending four seasons as head coach and defensive coordinator at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. He compiled a 22-17 record for the Buccaneers, including a 9-2 mark and the Mineral Water Bowl title in 1999 when Blinn finished ninth in the final junior college national rankings. Prior to Blinn, Todd was the defensive line coach at Texas State from 1992- 1996, defensive tackles coach at Tulane in 1991, defensive line coach at Angelo State University in 1990 and defensive line coach at Lamar from 1986-1989. Todd also served as an NFL intern with the Chicago Bears in the summer of 1994.

Todd is a 1984 graduate of Rice University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in managerial studies and sports management. He was a four-year football letterman for the Owls from 1979-1983, playing defensive end the last three seasons. In 1984, the San Antonio Gunslingers of the United States Football League drafted Todd.

Todd received his master’s degree in physical education from Lamar University in 1990. He and his wife, Donna Kay, have two daughters, Emily and Evelyn.

Reginald Nelson  |  Offensive Line Coach

Reginald Nelson enters his fourth season as the offensive line coach at Grambling State University in 2017.

In 2016, Nelson’s offensive line helped to pave the way for more than 2,000 rushing yards, which led to the Tigers to averaging 203 rushing yards per game. The unit also allowed Devante Kincade to average 283 passing yards per game and anchored an offense that averaged 39.8 points per game.

A native of Alexandria, La., Nelson was a four-year letter winner as an offensive lineman at McNeese State from 1995-98 and later served on the Cowboys coaching staff for five years. Nelson coached the offensive line at McNeese State from 2007 to 2011.

As the offensive line coach at Grambling State University, Nelson helped to develop 2016 All-American offensive lineman Justin Miller and All-SWAC tackle Trent Scott.  During his five years at McNeese State, Nelson developed two first team All-Americans and seven first-team all-conference players and two second-team all-conference players. Offensive tackle Kyle Link signed with the New York Jets in 2009 but was forced to end his career due to injury.

As a player at McNeese State, Nelson was selected as the team captain, awarded the Senior Scholastic Award and was a Consensus AP All-American in 1998. Additionally, he was a two-time AFCA All-American (1997,1998), two-time Sports Network All-American (1997, 1998), two-time ESPN News All-American (1997,1998), Three-time All Louisiana pick (1996,1997, 1998), three-time All-Southland Conference team member (1996, 1997, 1998) and a two-time All-Southland Conference Academic Team award recipient (1997,1998). Nelson started an NCAA record 52 consecutive games at McNeese State University. Nelson was also selected to the Southland Conference’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Football Team in 2013.

Following his career at McNeese State, Nelson was drafted in the fifth round of the 1999 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers.  Nelson spent his entire rookie season with the Chargers. His second year was spent between the Minnesota Vikings for the first five weeks of the season and the Jacksonville Jaguars for the remainder of the 2000 season.  He was allocated to the Frankfurt Galaxy during the spring of 2001, played for the Barcelona Dragons during 2002 and was on the preseason roster of the Green Bay Packers in 2002.  In 2005, Nelson played offensive tackle for the Ottawa Renegades of the CFL.

Nelson graduated from McNeese State in 1998 and then followed with a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology in 2005.  He is married to the former Nikki Hunter and has two children Reggie (16) and Noah (14).

Kendrick Nord  |  Quarterback Coach

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Terrence Graves  |  Linebackers / Special Teams Coordinator

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Lee Fobbs  |  Running Backs Coach

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Brian Ware  |  Safeties Coach

Brian Ware is entering his fourth season at Grambling State University and third as the defensive backs coach. Ware has been part of a staff that has seen consistent improvement in the defense in the last three years.

In 2016, the Grambling State Tigers won the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) West Division and SWAC Championship on their way to winning the 2016 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl claiming the title of HBCU National Champions with an 11-1 record. During the 2016 season, the Tiger defense was statistically one of the best FCS defenses for the entire season. The Tigers led the FCS in four defensive categories nationally, while finishing in the top five in nine total categories nationally. In the SWAC, the Tigers finished first in 12 of 15 defensive categories and second in the remaining three categories.

In 2016, the Tigers’ pass defense saw considerable improvement. The Tigers’ pass defense ranked third nationally in pass efficiency defense (100.3) as well as second in the SWAC in pass defense (211.2 ypg) and interceptions (13), while only allowing 12 passing touchdowns in 2016. Safeties Guy Stallworth and Jameel Jackson garnered All-SWAC First Team honors during the 2016 campaign. Ware also mentored defensive back Abubakkar Conteh who was selected in the third round (23rd overall) of the Canadian Football League to the Winnepeg Blue Bombers.

Ware took over as the full-time defensive backs coach for the 2015 season in which the Tigers finished 9-3 and claimed a perfect regular-season conference record of 9-0 and a SWAC West Division title. The Tigers were among top in the conference statistically in tackles for loss and red zone defense. The Tigers’ pass defense was able to snag 12 interceptions, improving on its season total from the year prior.  In 2015, safety Guy Stallworth totaled 102 tackles and three interceptions en route to earning All-SWAC First Team honors and being named a first-team black college All-American.

Ware joined the Grambling State staff in 2014 as a graduate assistant working with the defensive backs. The 2014 season saw a six-game win improvement for the Tigers who finished 7-5 overall and 7-2 in conference play. Ware assisted with the defensive backs and special teams. In 2014, standout defensive Bback Tyree Hollins led the SWAC with five interceptions.  

Before joining the Grambling State University staff, Ware was the defensive coordinator at Division II Kentucky Wesleyan College for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. During those two seasons, he was responsible for all aspects of the defensive game plans, installations, as well as overseeing the defensive backs. In 2012, safety Cuda Dimmett captured second-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) honors while totaling 43.5 tackles and two interceptions.

In 2011, Ware coached former Grambling State University graduate assistant and now Division II Chowan University defensive backs coach Eric Rhodes who led the team with three interceptions at the cornerback position. That season, safety Khalid Harris and New Orleans native, cornerback Sarge Huntley earned second-team All-Great Lakes Football Conference (GLFC) honors. 

Ware joined the Kentucky Wesleyan College staff as the Outside Linebackers coach in 2010. There he helped tutor linebacker Quadarius Wallace who finished the season 58.5 Tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and two interceptions on the season, earning him second-team All-GLFC honors.  

Prior to his arrival at Kentucky Wesleyan College, Ware spent two years at his alma mater Division III Texas Lutheran University where he served as the running backs coach in 2007 and the linebackers coach in 2008.

While coaching the running backs, Ware helped second-team All-American Southwest Conference (ASC) performer Anthony Smith rush for 1,000 yards. Smith also ranked fifth in the nation in all-purpose yards, averaging 198.9 all-purpose yards per game and scoring 10 touchdowns.

In 2008 Ware moved to the defensive side of the ball and led Linebacker Jarrad McAddams to second-team All-ASC status as he led the team in tackles with 70 total, six tackles for loss and grabbed two interceptions.

Ware was a three-year letterman at Texas Lutheran where he played safety, linebacker and fullback from 2003 to 2006.

A native of Austin, Texas, Ware earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Texas Lutheran in Seguin, Texas and is currently working on his master’s in sport administration at Grambling State University.

Quentin Burrell  |  Corner Backs Coach

Quentin Burrell enters his second season with the Grambling State University football team, and his first season as the cornerbacks coach.

In 2016 as a defensive analyst, Burrell served as a mentor to the Tigers’ swarming linebacker corps and special teams units. The linebackers were instrumental in the success of Grambling’s stifling defense, which led the nation in the FCS in four defensive categories (sacks, tackles for loss, red-zone defense, and fumble recoveries) while finishing in the top five nationally in nine total categories.  The Tiger defense led the SWAC in 12 of 15 defensive statistical categories, while finishing second in the remaining three.

Prior to joining the GSU staff, Burrell coached at his alma mater, Southwest Dekalb High School, in Decatur, Ga.  He coached there from 2006 to 2011 and was a part of two No. 1-ranked defenses in the state. Southwest Dekalb made playoff appearances in each of Burrell’s six seasons with the program.

In 2011, he became the defensive coordinator at Miller Grove high school, in Lithonia, Ga. and led Miller Grove to its first winning season in the school’s short history. Burrell has mentored over 20 all-state players, three high school All-Americans, and was instrumental in helping all receive their college degrees.

The former Notre Dame defensive back was a two-year starter, three-year letterman, and earned the privilege of being a captain his senior year. During his career at Notre Dame, Burrell made two bowl game appearances with the Fighting Irish – the 2003 Gator Bowl and the 2004 Insight Bowl – and had five career interceptions.

Burrell also played professionally four years in the arena football league with the AF2 League Alabama Vipers and finished his professional career playing with the AF1 League Georgia Force in 2012.

As a senior at Southwest Dekalb, he made 90 tackles to go with seven interceptions and 13 passes broken up. He won four letters in football as a defensive back and wide receiver. Burrell was a two-time team captain and helped the team to a pair of league crowns and was an honorable mention pick on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Georgia Class 5A all-state squad. His other high school accolades include being a Class 5A First Team All-State pick as a junior, two-time all-Atlanta and four-time all-league pick. Additionally, he was selected for the Georgia-Florida prep all-star football game.

Burrell earned his bachelors in the College of Arts and Letters from Notre Dame in 2005.

Born in Monroe, La., Burrell is no stranger to North Louisiana. A Grambling native, he is the great-grandson of legendary coach Eddie Robinson.

Darrell Kitchen  |  Tight Ends Coach

Darrell Kitchen is entering his third season with the Grambling State University football program. He spent the previous two seasons as a defensive graduate assistant and will be the full-time tight ends coach for the 2017 season.

As a graduate assistant with the defense, Kitchen played a huge role in the implementation of defensive game plans to stop opposing offenses. In 2016, the Tiger defense led the nation in the FCS in four defensive categories (sacks, tackles for loss, red-zone defense, and fumble recoveries) while finishing in the top five nationally in nine total categories.

Grambling’s defense led the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) in 12 of 15 defensive statistical categories while finishing second in the remaining three. The 2015 defense shared the lead in the SWAC in yards per carry allowed at 3.8 yards.  The Tigers led the SWAC and the FCS nationally in turnovers gained with 32. Grambling led the SWAC and finishing third nationally in tackles for a loss with 114.

Kitchen played under current Grambling head coach Broderick Fobbs when Fobbs was an assistant coach at Northwestern State in the early 2000s. As a defensive back for the Demons, Kitchen was a part of the 2004 Southland Conference Championship team that made an appearance in the FCS Playoffs.

After attending Galveston-Ball High School in Galveston, Texas, Kitchen earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State and a master’s degree from Grambling State.

Kitchen has one son, Chase.

Michael Armstrong  |  Director of Operations / Recruiting Coordinator

Michael Armstrong is entering his second season on the Grambling State University football staff. He will serve as the director of football operations/recruiting coordinator for the Tigers.

From 2012 to 2015, Armstrong was a part of the staff at Ave Maria University in Naples, Fla. He held numerous positions during his tenure, including defensive line coach, secondary coach, tight ends coach, video coordinator, recruiting coordinator and director of football operations. He helped guide Ave Maria to the NAIA Independent Conference Championship during the 2013 season with a 9-2 overall record.

Armstrong played defensive end for Chowan University in North Carolina, graduating with a degree in sport management in 2010.

Diedra Gardner  |  Administrative Secretary

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Ryan Burton  |  Offensive Graduate Assistant

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Damon Harrington  |  Head Strength & Conditioning Coach

Damon Harrington is entering his first season at Grambling as the head strength and conditioning coach.

He previously spent four seasons as the head strength and conditioning coach for the University of California Berkley football program from 2013-16. Harrington oversaw all aspects of the Cal football strength and conditioning program year-round on a day-to-day basis and supervised five assistant strength and conditioning coaches in his role.

Harrington was instrumental in Cal's seven-win turnaround on the field from a 1-11 record in 2013 to an 8-5 mark in 2015 that is tied for the second best in school history behind only the eight-win improvement from a 2-10 mark in 1946 to a 10-1 record in 1948. Harrington's focus at Cal was on designing a program to prepare the team's players to be as physically and mentally tough as possible in order to play hard for four quarters and make the plays at the end of games that ultimately lead to victory.

The team’s conditioning level paid off with 10 comeback victories between 2014-16 including six in the fourth quarter. The team also won five games determined by plays in the final two minutes including three times on its final play and a pair of overtime contests. Three of Cal's wins in 2016 came in dramatic fashion at home against nationally-ranked Texas and Utah, as well at Oregon.

Harrington also implemented the Swagger Games that became a staple of the team's strength and conditioning workouts in January of 2014 during his first full offseason at Cal. In addition to the physical conditioning prowess the team gained, the program helped football student-athletes develop a great sense of pride, teamwork and camaraderie, both in and out of the weight room. The program featured football student-athletes incorporating six areas of competition (academic, agility, combative, self-discipline, speed, strength) into a program designed to improve leadership and mental fortitude. Harrington credited the staff he built at Cal for much of the success.

Harrington had two stints as the head strength and conditioning coach at his alma mater Louisiana Tech prior to his arrival at Cal, serving in the role from 2006 through the team’s 2013 spring workouts and also from 2002-03 after spending two previous seasons as an assistant in the Bulldogs’ strength and conditioning program (2000-01). He was also the assistant director of player development at Georgia Tech from 2004-05.

Harrington was instrumental in improving Louisiana Tech’s strength and conditioning program, with Bulldog football players breaking 26 strength records (by position) during his final seven years with the school. During the same period, Louisiana Tech had seven fourth-quarter come-from-behind wins. Harrington and his staff implemented the Dawg Fight Program, which incorporated ATTITUDE, TEAM, DISCIPLINE, TOUGHNESS and EFFORT, during his time at Louisiana Tech.

Harrington began his collegiate playing career at Louisiana Tech as a walk-on in 1995 before earning a scholarship for his sophomore season. He started every game at linebacker during his final two campaigns and combined to make 243 tackles in those two seasons with 121 stops as a 1998 junior and 122 during his senior season in 1999. Harrington earned All-Louisiana honors both campaigns, while also being named to the All-Independent team by Football News as a 1999 senior.

Harrington earned his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana Tech in fitness and wellness in 2000 and completed his master’s degree from the school in sports science in 2002. Harrington holds a certification in strength and conditioning from the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCa).

Harrington and his wife, Meg, have one son, Luke, and one daughter, Addie.

Justin Miller  |  Offensive Graduate Assistant

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Laderricka Morris  |  Graduate Assistant for Football Operations

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Jay Gafford  |  Defensive Graduate Assistant

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Jamaal Forbes  |  Defensive Analyst

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Donovan McCray  |  Graduate Assistant of Operations

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Brandon Landers  |  Offensive Analyst

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