Mitch Rodrigue is in his fifth season as the offensive line coach for the Southern Miss football program and his 11th season overall with the Golden Eagles' football program. During his tenure, he has proven to be a valuable member of the staff, not only on the field, but also as a recruiter, as he was named one of rivals.com top-10 recruiters from a non-BCS conference in 2006.
Last season, Rodrigue mentored an offensive line that allowed just 10 sacks all season - ranking 18th nationally - while his team helped the Golden Eagles rush for an average of 169.9 yards a game, which ranked first in Conference USA and 25th nationally. The unit also collected its first two All-Americans since the 1950s, with the naming of George Batiste and Travis Cooley to different squads as the duo spearheaded the Golden Eagles to a school-record 4,635 yards of total offense, over 2,000 yards rushing for the first time since 1987 and the school's first 1,000-yard rusher since 2002.
In 2005, Rodrigue guided the offensive line to another strong season, as the offense finished with 4,288 yards of total offense, the sixth-best performance in school history. The offensive line, led by All-Conference USA performers Batiste and Cooley, only allowed nine sacks in 2005, ranking No. 12 in the nation, and did not allow a sack in six games on the year.
In 2004, the offensive line continued its strong play, as it gave up only seven sacks for the season. Senior Jeremy Parquet was selected All-Conference USA second team, and Chris Clark was named to the all-freshman squad. Parquet was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL Draft.
Rodrigue made his first year as the offensive line coach at Southern Miss a memorable one, as the Golden Eagles won their fourth Conference USA title, was invited to the Liberty Bowl for the third time and earned a bowl bid. The program lost three starting offensive lineman to the National Football League from the 2002 squad, and he was charged with retooling the line.
The offensive line made significant progress as the season went along and earned notice and praise from Head Coach Jeff Bower for its outstanding play throughout the second half of the season.
The line also earned respect from the rest of Conference USA, with three players garnering allleague honors. Parquet was named to the first team, while center Jim Hicks took home second-team honors. Chris White was the team's selection on the third team, and Cooley was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team.
Before taking over as the offensive line coach in 2003, Rodrigue coached the running backs in 1999 and the tight ends from 2000-02. He assisted with the offensive line during his initial stint at Southern Miss, serving as the program's graduate assistant in 1989 and 1990 under former head coach Curley Hallman.
A native of Thibodaux, La., and a veteran of several seasons as both offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at Nicholls State, Rodrigue helped the Colonels lead the Southland Conference in passing.
In addition to his time as the Colonels' offensive coordinator, he also served at various times as recruiting coordinator and, after the resignation of Rick Rhoades in 1995, interim head coach.
As offensive line coach, Rodrigue's linemen blocked for the school's first 1,000-yard rusher in 1996. Prior to his coaching stint at Nicholls State, Rodrigue worked for two seasons as an assistant coach at Pearl River Community College. At PRCC, he served as offensive line coach, as well as strength and conditioning coach.
Rodrigue played at Nicholls State and helped the Colonels reach the second round of the Division I-AA playoffs in 1986 as well as win the 1984 Gulf Star Conference title. He played one season at Copiah-Lincoln Community College prior to his career at Nicholls State. He was an all-district performer at Thibodaux High School.
Rodrigue and his wife, Deidi, have three children, Maci, Madden, and Mallori.
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