University of Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck announced additions and changes to his staff today.
In 2017, Austin Peay – which was a combined 1-45 from 2013-16 – posted an 8-4 record. The eight wins tied a program record for the Governors and the team’s seven conference wins were a program record.
The defense, led by West, held its opponents to 24.8 points per game (fifth-best in the OVC), which is impressive considering the Governors played at undefeated Central Florida and gave up 73 points to the Knights. Excluding Central Florida, Austin Peay gave up 20.3 points per game in 11 games and gave up only 16.6 points per game in its eight wins.
In 2017, Austin Peay totaled 63 tackles for loss, 24 sacks, nine interceptions, 14 forced fumbles and 10 fumble recoveries as the team posted a historic turnaround. West’s defense ranked third in rushing (123.2 yards per game), fourth in total defense (310.1 yards per game) and fifth in passing defense (186.8 yards per game).
Prior to his time at Austin Peay, West spent seven seasons at Chattanooga where he coached the defensive line. His stint in Chattanooga coincided with the team’s rise and culminated with conference championships in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The defensive line played a critical role in the team’s success, as it notched more than 30 sacks in three of West’s seven seasons in Chattanooga (feat was accomplished only one time prior to West since 1985).
At Chattanooga, West mentored two Southern Conference Defensive Players of the Year in Josh Beard (2009) and Davis Tull (2012-14). He also coached five All-Americans and 14 All-Southern Conference selections. Beard led the FCS and set a school record with 12 sacks in 2009. Tull broke Beard's record totaling 12.5 sacks as a sophomore in 2012 and ended his career with a school record 37.0 sacks. Keionta Davis would then break Tull's single-season school record with 13.5 sacks in 2015.
Prior to his time at Chattanooga, West coached the defensive line at Wartburg College in 2008, where he helped the Knights to a 10-3 record, a conference championship and a spot in the Division III quarterfinals.
West joined the Wartburg coaching staff following a playing career that spanned three professional leagues. His career included one-season stints with the Indianapolis Colts (NFL), Amsterdam Admirals (NFL Europe) and Hamilton Tiger Cats (CFL).
West was a stand-out University of Memphis defensive lineman and earned All-Conference USA honors in 2004 and 2005. He was a team captain his senior season and earned the program’s Defensive Player of the Year award after a 2005 campaign that saw him earn honorable mention All-America honors.
West is married to N.C. State women’s basketball associate head coach Nikki West.
WEST AT A GLANCE
2018-present: Minnesota - Defensive Line Pass Rush Specialist
2016-17: Austin Peay - Assistant Head Coach / Co-Defensive Coordinator / Defensive Line
2009-15: Chattanooga - Defensive Line
2008: Wartburg College - Defensive Line
Playing Experience: Memphis (defensive line), 2002-05; Indianapolis Colts (2006); Amdterdam Admirals (2007); Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2007)
Birthday: Nov. 6, 1983
Hometown: Columbus, Miss.
High School: Columbus High School, 2002
Alma Mater: Memphis, 2006 (Interdisciplinary Studies)
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