East High graduate Tyler Hughes is making a return to head coaching at the collegiate level.
Hughes, who led Snow College to a 20-4 record as head coach from 2011-12, was named as the head coach of Latter-day Saint school Southern Virginia on Monday. He takes over a Knights program that finished the 2013 season 8-2 and ranked No. 1 in the in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Coaches' Poll.
"Following an extensive national search, we are confident that coach Hughes is the right person to lead our football program into a new era of NCAA Division III competition," Southern Virginia President Paul K. Sybrowsky said in a statement. "We believe that coach Hughes will build an elite football program here at Southern Virginia without sacrificing our academic standards or commitment to LDS values."
Hughes heads to Southern Virginia after spending last season at Ohio State as a quality control assistant under head coach Urban Meyer.
Among his duties with the Buckeyes, he conducted advanced scouting, film analysis and data analytics to increase offensive efficiency and productivity. Ohio State finished the year seventh in the country in total offense (511.9 yards per game) and third nationally in scoring (45.5 points per game).
"I am very excited for this opportunity and would like to thank President Sybrowsky and the administration at Southern Virginia University for giving me the responsibility of leading this program," Hughes said. "We will represent everything this great university stands for and build a championship-caliber program. I think this position is something special and I can't wait to get started."
During his two years as head coach of the Snow Badgers, Hughes coached eight National Junior College Athletic Association All-Americans and led the Badgers to two bowl victories. He was also named the 2012 Western State Football League Coach of the Year.
Prior to becoming the head coach at Snow, Hughes served as the team's offensive coordinator from 2005-10. He played wide receiver for the Badgers in 1999 and 2000.
"We are coming off our most successful football season in program history, but we expect a big step up in terms of competition as football enters its first season in the New Jersey Athletic Conference," said Southern Virginia associate athletic director Jason Lamb. "Despite the increased level of competition, we are confident that coach Hughes can build upon last season's momentum and take our football program to even greater heights."
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