HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss football coach Todd Monken announced Wednesday the hiring of Luke Meadows as assistant coach. Meadows, who will coach the offensive line, joins the Golden Eagles staff after serving as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Florida Atlantic last season.
"Luke was the obvious candidate," Monken said. "We played against FAU this year and saw him coach in person. He is a good fit with our staff and what we are trying to do here. We're happy to welcome him to the Southern Miss family."
Meadows comes to Hattiesburg with a wealth of experience, after spending the last two seasons (2012-13) at FAU. He was elevated to offensive coordinator midway through the 2013 campaign.
When he joined the FAU staff, he was asked to build something from scratch for the first time in 10 years. While he returned several starters, the line was asked to protect for a new system, and for the first time the Owls' line had to work with a mobile quarterback, who finished fourth in the league in total offense and as the top rushing quarterback in C-USA with 767 yards.
Meadows had begun the year with two linemen that had earned significant playing time. He inserted a junior college transfer as well as the emergence of two younger players and the starting five remained intact except for one player missing an early season game in the schedule.
This stability paid off with more than a 100-yard improvement in FAU's total offense and a national rank jump of 22 spots. The line's pass protection saw the quarterback pass efficiency rating improve by 55 spots while the sacks allowed ranking jumped 21 spots. The running game maintained its production despite losing FAU's all-time rushing leader. The line was a true help in this matter by eliminating the sacks and a negative 179 rushing yards lost by the previous season's quarterbacks.
Prior to FAU, Meadows worked at South Dakota State for 10 years, serving as an offensive line coach from 2002-05 before being promoted to assistant head coach/offensive coordinator (2006-11). He was the longest-tenured assistant on John Stiegelemeier's SDSU coaching staff for 10 seasons, six as an assistant head coach and offensive coordinator.
In that time, four players earned All-American honors, one academic honor, 19 were selected All-Conference and 16 receive Academic All-Conference recognition while two All-Newcomers were awarded to offensive linemen.
A Hot Springs, S.D. native, Meadows began his coaching career as an undergraduate student at SDSU. After earning a bachelor's degree in 1999, he continued as a graduate assistant with the Jackrabbits during the 1999 and 2000 seasons, coaching the running backs, including Jackrabbit career rushing leader and All-American Josh Ranek.
In 2005, Meadows coached an offensive line that helped pave the way for the leading rushing attack in the Great West Football Conference, averaging 227.4 yards per game. During Meadows' time on staff, the Jackrabbits have posted four of the top 10 single-season rushing totals in school history and five of the top 10 single-game rushing performances. In addition, SDSU has recorded four of the top-10 scoring averages in the program's history, including 35.6 points per game in 2008. The 2008 squad also set an SDSU single-season record with 427 points in 12 games, scoring 40 or more points in a game six times.
With Meadows on the coaching staff, SDSU established 11 team single-game and single-season offensive records, including rolling up 689 yards of total offense in the 2005 Hobo Day victory over Missouri-Rolla. Jackrabbit players he has coached also established 30 new individual school records during his tenure. Under Meadows' guidance, Jackrabbit offensive linemen combined for seven First-Team All-Conference selections, 10 Second-Team selections and a pair of All-Americans. Mitch Erickson, who ended his collegiate career in 2007 with his third straight First-Team All-Great West Football Conference selection, was nearly a consensus All-America pick within the Division I Football Championship Subdivision as a senior. Likewise, center Ryan McKnight earned multiple All-America honors during his senior season in 2010, including First-Team recognition from the Walter Camp Football Foundation.
Also during the 2010 season, the Jackrabbit offensive line ranked second in the Football Championship Subdivision, yielding only six sacks the entire campaign. Erickson was signed as a free agent by the Denver Broncos and later spent time with the Seattle Seahawks. Casey Knips and Casey Bender, both starters on the Jackrabbits' 2009 FCS playoff team, received invitations to NFL camps in 2010 with the Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns, respectively. Bender is currently a member of the Indianapolis Colts, while McKnight recently signed a free agent contract with the Cincinnati Bengals.
After working as a graduate assistant for South Dakota State (1999-00), Meadows spent a season as offensive line coach at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.
Meadows and his wife Rochelle have two children, Daulton and Addyson.
|2013||Florida Atlantic||(Offensive Coordinator / Offensive Line)|
|2012||Florida Atlantic||(Offensive Line)|
|2006-11||South Dakota State||(Assistant Head Coach / Offensive Coordinator)|
|2002-05||South Dakota State||(Assistant Coach/Offensive Line)|
|2001||Wartburg College||(Offensive Line)|
|1999-00||South Dakota State||(Graduate Assistant)|
|Bowl/Postseason Games as a Coach|
|Professional Players Coached|
|Steve Heiden||San Diego Chargers||(Active/3rd year)|
|Josh Ranek||Dallas Cowboys||(Free Agent)|
|Ben Studer||Chicago Bears||(Free Agent)|
|Andy Wagstrom||Miami Dolphins||(Free Agent)|
|Paul Keiser||Buffalo Bills||(Free Agent)|
|Mitch Erickson||Denver Broncos||(Free Agent)|
|Casey Bender||Cleveland Browns||(Free Agent)|
|Casey Knips||Arizona Cardinals||(Free Agent)|
|Ryan McKnight||Cincinnati Bengals||(Free Agent)|
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