Chris Kapilovic returns for his fourth season as the leader of the offensive line but also added the duty of run game coordinator in the spring of 2010 as a promotion. If anyone on the staff knows a thing about the running game, it is Kapilovic.
Under his direction, the offensive line helped the Golden Eagles reach the 5,000-yard mark in total offense for the fifth consecutive year while setting the school-record for offensive production again in 2010 with 5,894 yards. Kapilovic and company broke the previous record of 5,636 yards they set in 2008. It was also the fourth-straight year that the unit rushed over 2,000 yards.
Kapilovic did all this behind a completely rebuilt offensive line that returned only one starter, senior center Cameron Zipp, from the previous season. Rising junior and sophomore players provided the team with the bulk and ability to lead the Golden Eagles in the trenches to one of their best offensive statistical seasons in school history. In his fourth year, Kapilovic returns three starters to that same offensive line but will be without his general in Zipp. If history is any indicator, the offensive line will again be a strength of the Golden Eagles.
Kapilovic came to Southern Miss after spending two seasons as the offensive line coach as well as run game coordinator at his alma mater, Missouri State, where the Bears ranked No. 24 in total offense (414.3), No. 25 in rushing offense (202.9) and No. 10 in scoring offense (36.3) in 2007.
Prior to his stint in Springfield, Kapilovic worked with the offensive line as an assistant coach for five years at Alabama State. He also had offensive coordinator duties for the Hornets in his last three seasons. ASU led the league in rushing yards in two of his final three seasons and the Hornets averaged over 32 points per game during his time of sharing offensive coordinator duties.
The Hornets finished No. 16 nationally in total offense in 2004 and No. 9 in 2005 and led the SWAC in fewest sacks allowed in 2004.
Eight offensive linemen Kapilovic has coached have gone on to the NFL and former Alabama State quarterback Tavaris Jackson was a second-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in 2006.
Kapilovic started his coaching career as a student assistant at Missouri State. After leaving MSU, Kapilovic spent time as offensive coordinator at Deer Valley High in Glendale, Ariz., as offensive line and strength coach at Phoenix College and a graduate assistant coach for the offensive line at the University of Kansas.
As a player, Kapilovic lettered for two seasons, 1989 and 1990, for the Bears and was a member of the school's only Gateway Conference championship teams those two seasons as they also made their only appearances in the Division I-AA playoffs those years. He was a starter and Gateway first-team selection during his senior campaign in 1990. He also played two seasons at Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College.
Kapilovic, and wife, Fiona, have two children, Carsen and Colin.
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