AMES, Iowa -Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads announced the hiring of former North Carolina secondary coach Troy Douglas Thursday, citing Douglas’ quarter of a century in collegiate coaching, with most of that experience coming in the secondary. The hire fills out the Cyclone staff under Paul Rhoads.
“Troy possesses a dynamic background after years of coaching the secondary at the BCS level,” Rhoads said. “His experience recruiting the state of Florida is important to our program. He coached with (Iowa State defensive coordinator) Wally Burnham at South Florida, so he came highly recommended.”
Douglas’ Iowa State tenure begins in his 25th season as a college coach. His initial Cyclone season marks his 23rd year in the defensive backfield. He has coached in a total of 10 bowl games, including six straight postseason appearances. Douglas recently completed his third season as Carolina’s defensive backs coach. He has tutored 16 players who have players in the National Football League.
Seven pupils of Douglas’ teaching are currently in the NFL: Eric Smith (New York Jets), Tracy Porter (New Orleans Saints), Mike Jenkins (Dallas Cowboys), Nate Allen (Philadelphia Eagles), Jerome Murphy (St. Louis Rams), Kendric Burney (St. Louis Rams) Da’Norris Searcy (Buffalo Bills).
Under Douglas’ direction, Carolina’s defensive backs developed into one of the top units in the ACC. In 2010, Carolina was among the national leaders in interceptions with 19 for the second straight season. Searcy led the team with four picks.
Douglas came to Chapel Hill after serving three years as the defensive backs coach at South Florida. During his tenure in Tampa, USF earned three bowl bids and won 26 games. Douglas coached under Iowa State defensive coordinator Wally Burnham when both were at South Florida, 2006-2008.
“I was intrigued by the upward direction the Iowa State football program is heading under Paul Rhoads,” Douglas said. “Paul Rhoads is known as a guy who has worked the defensive side of the ball and in the secondary specifically and that also made this an attractive opportunity. Finally, I have worked under Wally Burnham and he has my greatest respect. Each played a role in my decision to come here.”
Under Burnham at South Florida, Douglas played a major role in developing one of the nation’s top defenses. In 2008, the Bulls finished 10th in the country in overall defense and in 2007, USF led the country in turnovers, interceptions and fumble recoveries. His secondary produced 17 of the 23 interceptions, including three by Jenkins, a first-team All-American; and four by Allen, a third-team All-Big East safety. Williams, a second-team All-Big East corner, had four interceptions. Jenkins was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft and Williams was picked in the fifth round by Jacksonville. Two more of Douglas’ pupils were picked in the 2010 NFL Draft, including Allen, a second-round choice and Murphy, a third-round pick.
Douglas also has coached at Indiana (2004-05), South Carolina State (2003), Michigan State (2001-2002), SMU (1997-2000), UTEP (1995-1996), East Tennessee State (1992-1994) and West Chester (1989-1991). At Indiana, he coached Porter who became a second-round pick at cornerback of the New Orleans Saints in 2008. Porter picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown in the Super Bowl win over Indianapolis. During his two years as the secondary coach at Michigan State, the Spartans still ranked 14th in the nation in pass defense despite losing four cornerbacks through the 2001 season.
In his one year at South Carolina State, Douglas was instrumental in building a defense that led the FCS in pass efficiency defense.
At SMU, Douglas coached running backs for one season (1997) before moving to the defensive side of the ball. In 1998, SMU was ranked 14th nationally in defense.
In his two seasons at UTEP, Douglas coached the secondary in 1995 and running backs in 1996, after three seasons as the secondary coach at East Tennessee State. At ETSU, the Buccaneers ranked third in the nation in pass efficiency defense, and one of Douglas’ players – Donnie Abraham – went on to a very successful career with the New York Jets that included a Pro Bowl appearance.
Douglas began a full-time coaching career as the defensive backs coach at West Chester (Pa.) in 1989, where he coached Lee Woodall, a Pro Bowl player in 1995 and 1997 as a 49er.
A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Douglas was a four-year starter at wide receiver for Appalachian State from 1983-86. He led the team in receiving as a junior and senior. When he graduated, he ranked third all-time at ASU with 90 career receptions for 1,401 yards.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications arts (1988) and was a graduate assistant at his alma mater before his first full-time position at West Chester.
Douglas and his wife, Rebecca, have two children – Tanner and Taryn.
The Douglas File
Date and Place of Birth: Sept. 23, 1965 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Family: Wife, Rebecca; son, Tanner; daughter, Taryn
Education: Appalachian State, bachelor’s degree, 1987
Playing Experience: 1983-86, Appalachian State, wide receiver
1988 Appalachian State (graduate assistant coach)
1989-91 West Chester (assistant coach/defensive backs)
1992-94 East Tennessee State (assistant coach/defensive backs)
1995 UTEP (assistant coach/secondary)
1996 UTEP (assistant coach/running backs)
1997 SMU (assistant coach/running backs)
1998-2000 SMU (assistant coach/defensive backs)
2001-02 Michigan State (assistant coach/defensive backs)
2003 South Carolina State (assistant coach/defensive backs)
2004-05 Indiana (assistant coach/defensive backs)
2006-08 USF (assistant coach/defensive backs)
2009-2011 (assistant coach, North Carolina/defensive backs)
2012 (assistant coach, Iowa State/defensive backs)