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Vantz SingletaryCo-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line
College: Kansas State ('90)
Start Date: 1/5/12
Vantz Singletary has worked twice previously under Turner Gill, serving as a defensive tackles coach at Buffalo in 2008 and linebackers coach at Kansas in 2011.
At Liberty, Singletary will serve as co-defensive coordinator along with Robert Wimberly, while having direct coaching responsibilities over Liberty's defensive line.
Singletary's group will be a key component in Liberty's defensive success in 2012, with Gill switching Liberty's defense from a "3-4" to a "4-3" defensive scheme.
Singletary will certainly have experienced players under his tutelage in 2012, with the return of Francis Bah, Cory Freeman and Greg Schuster. Each member of the front line threesome played in 10 or 11 games in 2011, while the group combined to start 21 games last season.
Prior to coming to Liberty, Singletary spent one season under Gill at Kansas as the Jayhawks' 2011 linebackers coach.
During his season at Kansas, Singletary coached Steve Johnson, who flourished as a team captain and led the Big 12 in tackles with 124 stops. He finished his career with 229 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks. The former Kansas standout signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos after completing his playing days.
Singletary came to Kansas after spending two seasons at the NFL level with the San Francisco 49ers during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
As an inside linebackers coach, Singletary helped instruct NFL Pro Bowl linebackers Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes.
During the 2010 season, Singletary helped San Francisco finish the year ranked No. 13 in the NFL in total defense, as the 49ers allowed 327.9 yards per game. The team also ranked No. 6 in the league against the run (96.7 yards per game allowed).
San Francisco allowed a total of 1,547 rushing yards in 2010, the team's lowest total since 1997 (1,366 yards). The 49ers also forced the seventh-most three-and-out drives in the NFL that same season.
In 2009, Singletary's inside linebackers helped the 49ers rank No. 6 in the NFL in rushing defense (97.0 yards per game allowed) and No. 3 in rushing yards per attempt (3.6 average per game).
Willis set career highs in 2009 with three interceptions and three forced fumbles and tied a career best with four sacks. After leading the NFL with 152 tackles, Willis was named the NFL's Alumni Linebacker of the Year and he won the Butkus Award, given annually to the best linebacker in the NFL.
During his first coaching stint under Gill, Singletary served as interim defensive coordinator during the 2008 season, where he helped Gill capture the Mid-American Conference title and give the Bulls their first-ever bowl appearance. His defensive unit finished the year ranked No. 7 in the country and No. 1 in the MAC with 33 takeaways.
During the 2006 and 2007 seasons, Singletary worked as a defensive line coach at Chattanooga. In 2007, the Mocs led the Southern Conference in sacks, takeaways, passes defended and yards allowed per play. During his first year with the program, Chattanooga set a single game record with nine sacks against Elon.
Singletary spent seven seasons as a defensive line coach at Hawaii, working with the Warriors from 1999 to 2005. In 1999, Hawaii won the WAC Championship with a 9-4 record and won the Jeep O'Ahu Bowl after posting the NCAA all-time turnaround record following an 0-12 season the year prior.
Hawaii's defensive unit accounted for five touchdowns in 1999, 17 interceptions, 33 sacks and 17 fumble recoveries.
In 2003, defensive end Travis LaBoy finished No. 9 in the country with 13 sacks. He was named the WAC Defensive Player of the year and earned Associated Press and The Sporting News All-America honors.
LaBoy would be drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans and has played with the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers during his seven-year NFL career.
Singletary also coached Hawaii standout defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga, who was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round in 2004. While at Hawaii, Sopoaga was a finalist for the NCAA Defensive Tackle of the Year.
Singletary served as defensive line coach for two seasons at Southern (1997-98), where he coached NFL player Chris White, who was drafted in the seventh round by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1999. Southern won the NCAA I-AA Black College national championship in 1997 and back-to-back Southwestern Athletic Conference titles in 1997 and 1998.
Singletary began his coaching career at Trinity College in Deerfield, Ill. During his five-year run at Trinity (1992-96), Singletary helped lead the program to two Northern Illinois Intercollegiate Conference titles.
Under Singletary's tutelage, defensive end Herbert Coleman became Trinity's first-ever NFL Draft selection when he was selected in the seventh round by the 49ers in 1995.
Singletary also participated in seven different NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship programs, initiated by NFL Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh.
Singletary's first fellowship was with Tony Dungy and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1996, followed by additional fellowships with the Houston Texans, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals and two with the San Diego Chargers.
In 2004, Singletary was one of 12 hand-picked coaches to participate in the NCAA's Expert Coaching Program, a three-day coaching clinic in Indianapolis, Ind.
Singletary has been a part of seven different teams who have participated in bowl games: 1997 Heritage Bowl, 1998 Heritage Bowl, 1999 Jeep O'ahu Bowl, 2002 Conagra Foods Hawaii Bowl, 2003 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, 2004 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl and the 2009 International Bowl.
Singletary earned his Social Sciences undergraduate degree from Kansas State in 1990, where he played linebacker and defensive tackle during the 1987 and 1988 seasons. He transferred to Kansas State after spending two seasons at Blinn College, where he earned All-America honors.
Singletary, a native of Houston, Texas, and his wife, the former Shawndra Saulter, have four daughters – Courtney, LeShea, Briauna and Keona.
Singletary at a Glance
Year at Liberty: First
2011 (1 year) – Kansas (LB)
2009-10 (2 years) – San Francisco 49ers (NFL) (ILB)
2008 (1 year) – Buffalo (DT)
2006-07 (2 years) – Chattanooga (DL)
1999-05 (7 years) – Hawaii (DL)
1997-98 (2 years) – Southern (DL)
1992-96 (5 years) – Trinity (Def. Coord., DL, LB, Rec. Coord.)
Recruiting Area: Central Virginia, Western Maryland, Houston, Texas area, West Virginia, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Nevada and Hawaii
Education: B.S., Social Sciences (Kansas State, '90)
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Children: Courtney, LeShea, Briauna and Keona