UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. – Richmond football coach Russ Huesman will have a lot of familiarity with the Commonwealth of Virginia on his new staff as Huesman announced seven additions to the Spiders’ staff for the 2017 season.
Huesman will bring five members of his staff at Chattnooga, Jeff Durden (Offensive Coordinator), Adam Braithwaite (Defensive Coordinator), Adam Ross (Offensive Line), Carey Bailey (Defensive Line) and Rod West (Dimes), as well as keeping Dave Legg (Special Teams/Cornerbacks/Recruiting) and Sparky Woods (Running Backs) on board with the Spiders.
“I’m thrilled to have assembled the nucleus of the staff and excited to get to work with the guys we have on board already. We have a few more spots to fill, but to be able to bring five guys with us from Chattanooga and to keep high-caliber coaches in Coach Legg and Coach Woods, it’s a tremendous start and we’re ready to get to work,” Huesman said.
Jeff Durden – Offensive Coordinator
Coach Huesman won’t be the only member of the coaching staff with experience in winning national championships after bringing Durden on board as the Spiders’ new offensive coordinator. Durden helped the Mocs build a powerful offense, which led to three straight SoCon Offensive Player of the Year awards and three straight FCS Playoff appearances.
Durden was also on staff at JMU when the Dukes won the national championship in 2004. He spent nine years at JMU, along with time at VMI, Morehead State, California (Pa.), West Georgia and Georgetown (Ky.).
“I’m really excited to have Jeff join the staff here at Richmond. He’s got outstanding knowledge of his league after spending time at JMU. He did an excellent job with us at Chattanooga for the past four years. We’re going to spread the ball around offensively, use a lot of movement and get a lot of people involved. I’m glad I got a chance to bring Jeff with us.”
Adam Braithwaite – Defensive Coordinator
Braithwaite, a Virginia native, returns to his home state after spending the past five seasons as the defensive coordinator at Chattanooga. Under his leadership, the Mocs ranked in the top-25 each of the past five seasons, including three straight in the top-15 in the country.
In addition to his time at Chattanooga, Braithwaite spent time at Christopher Newport, Michigan, William & Mary, West Liberty State, West Virginia and Hampden-Sydney.
“I’ve known Adam for a long time and joined my staff as a position coach at Chattanooga before I elevated him to our coordinator spot. He did a fantastic job with our defensive unit, we were a top-25 defense every year Adam was with us at Chattanooga. He also knows the league, playing at William & Mary where I coached him, so we’ve known each other for a while. I’m excited to have him on staff here at Richmond.”
Carey Bailey – Defensive Line
Bailey comes to Richmond after spending one season on Huesman’s staff at Chattanooga. During his time with the Mocs, he coached All-American and SoCon Defensive Player of the Year Keionta Davis, who was a key cog in the UTC defense that ranked in the top-10 in the country.
Bailey brings a wealth of knowledge and experience after spending three years as the head coach at Howard, as well as time at Lamar, Minnesota, Oklahoma State, Middle Tennessee State, Louisiana-Lafayette, VMI and West Virginia.
“Cary and I spent one year together at Chattanooga. He’s an outstanding football coach, but what’s important about having Cary on staff is that he was the head coach at Howard for three years so he has the head coaching experience and has excellent knowledge and relationships in the D.C. area. It will be huge for us recruiting to build those relationships that Cary already has established.”
Adam Ross – Offensive Line
Ross comes to Richmond after one season at Chattanooga, where he coaches All-American Corey Levine and helped the Mocs build a powerful offense en route to a top-10 ranking for much of the 2016 season.
Prior to his time at UTC, Ross spent two seasons at West Alabama and 11 at FCS power Jacksonville State.
“Adam’s an unbelievable football coach and I’m excited to have him come to Richmond. He’s been on my radar for several years now and he has excellent knowledge in the Georgia area for recruiting. He’s a players coach, really builds those relationships up, coaches them hard and did a fantastic job for us. He’s one of the better coaches I’ve ever been around.”
Rod West – Dimes Coach
West also comes to Richmond after spending time on Huesman’s staff at Chattanooga, where he spent two seasons as the cornerbacks and dimes coach. He was an integral part of the Mocs’ defensive unit that ranked in the top-10 each of the past two seasons.
Prior to his time at UTC, West spent time at Morehead State and Texas A&M-Commerce, as well as Morehouse, Delta State and Kentucky Christian.
“Rod’s a great young coach who I worked with at Chattanooga for two years. He’s an outstanding recruiter and really has a great knowledge of what we want to do defensively. We’re excited to have him get to work here at Richmond.”
Dave Legg – Recruiting Coordinator/Defensive Backs/Special Teams
Legg will be a part of the Spiders program for an 11th consecutive season. He’ll continue his supervision of the special team and cornerbacks, as well as taking on recruiting coordinator duties. During his time at Richmond, Legg has helped lead the Spiders to the tops interception total in three seasons.
He was a part of Huesman’s defensive coaching unit when the Spiders won the national championship in 2008, as well as working with him at William & Mary.
“Coach Legg was a no brainer for me. I’ve worked with him several times over my career and I know what type of coach he is and the type of person he is. He was one of my first phone calls and I was hoping he would stay aboard and be a part of our staff. There was no question I was keeping him.”
Sparky Woods – Running Backs Coach
Woods, a veteran coach, will remain on the Spiders’ staff and coach the running backs, a position that Richmond has been incredibly successful with during Woods’ two seasons. This past season, redshirt freshman Deontez Thompson stepped in and piled up over 1,000 yards and earned freshman All-American accolades.
“The last conversation Sparky and I had was when he was at VMI and I was really impressed with the offense they were running. After getting a chance to talk to him and get to know him more, I felt great about keeping him on staff and bringing his knowledge and experience on board.”