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Marshall RobertsAssistant Coach - Defensive Backs
College: Rutgers ('93)
Start Date: Feb 2004
Marshall Roberts is the senior veteran on Liberty's coaching staff, as he enters his 11th year coaching on Liberty Mountain.
He brings a vast array of knowledge to the staff, having previously worked with football programs from the NFL, NFL Europe, Canadian Football League, Arena Football League, collegiate and high school ranks.
During his decade-plus of coaching at Liberty, Roberts has helped the Flames win six Big South titles and help position the program to move into the next level of competition.
Roberts has seen several adjustments in his coaching position responsibilities during his time at Liberty. His most recent adjustment came when Turner Gill named him Liberty's new recruiting coordinator in January 2012.
Roberts' on-field coaching task will remain the same for the upcoming year, as he will be coaching Liberty's defensive backs.
During a three-year span (2009-11), Roberts served as Liberty's special teams coordinator, coaching some of the most talented special teams players in program history.
In 2011, two-time All-American kicker Matt Bevins graduated, leaving the program as Liberty's all-time leading scorer with 309 points, to go along with the career records for most field goals (58) and most field goal attempts (77).
Additionally in 2011, Roberts instructed another All-America special teams player in Kevin Fogg, who led the country with three kickoff returns for a touchdown and averaged 33.5 yards per kickoff return.
Since joining the Flames' coaching staff in 2004, Roberts had coached Liberty's defensive backfield.
Roberts played a significant role in helping Liberty set eight defensive team records in 2006, including fewest points allowed (172), fewest total touchdowns allowed (21), most shutouts (3) and fewest total average offensive yards per game (306.0).
During his decade with the Flames, Liberty's defense has ranked top 20 in the country multiple times, including No. 12 in scoring defense in 2006 (15.64 points per game allowed) and No. 5 in 2013 (17.6).
Roberts' defenders played a vital role in Liberty's record-setting 10-2 campaign in 2008, helping the Flames finish the season ranked No. 14 nationally in the final polls. Three of the Flames top six defenders were from the secondary, an impressive figure considering Liberty's ran a linebacker-heavy 3-4 defensive scheme.
Individually, Roberts has had an impact on several of his players, with 13 defensive backs taking home Big South all-conference honors under his tutelage.
Roberts also help provide a rising star in the professional ranks in three-time All-Big South Walt Aikens. The former standout cornerback for the Flames finished his career at Liberty with 162 tackles (120 solo, 42 assisted), 13 pass breakups, seven interceptions and six forced fumbles.
On May 10, Aikens was selected in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins (No. 125 overall pick). He became the seventh player in Liberty's history selected in the NFL Draft and the third highest overall.
Roberts came to Liberty from East Stroudsburg University in East Stroudsburg, Pa., where he served as the secondary coach/special teams coordinator from 2000-03. He helped guide the Warriors to back-to-back Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East Division titles in 2002 and 2003.
Prior to his collegiate days, Roberts served as a coaching intern for the Pittsburgh Steelers for two months during the summer of 2002 and the secondary coach with NFL Europe's Frankfurt Galaxy during the 2002 season.
In 1999, Roberts served as the head football coach at Abington High School in Abington, Pa., while overseeing the defense, special teams and the passing game. He started his master's degree at East Stroudsburg in 1998, serving as a graduate assistant with the Warriors and was responsible for the secondary.
Roberts played professionally in the Arena Football League for four years and another year with the Canadian Football League. He played with the AFL's Orlando Predators during the 1994 and 1995 seasons as a defensive/return specialist. He spent the 1996 season with the Albany Firebirds as a defensive specialist and played for the Milwaukee Mustangs as a receiver/defensive back in 1998. He coached the receivers and defensive backs with the Anaheim Piranhas in 1997. He also played for the CFL's Sacramento Gold Miners as a defensive back and punt returner in 1993.
Roberts is a 1993 graduate of Rutgers, where he was a four-year letterwinner under former Flames' Defensive Coordinator Steve Carson. The four-year starter at cornerback and punt returner finished as Rutgers' all-time leader in career punt returns with 1,018 yards and 91 returns (averaging 11.1 yards per return).
He was an All-ECAC, East and AP corner and return specialist in 1991 and was named to the 1992 BIG EAST preseason all-conference team, while finishing the season ranked 12th in the country in punt returns.
Roberts, a native of Abington, Pa., and his wife, Alicia, have two children – son, Tripp, and daughter, McKenzie.
Roberts at a Glance
Year at Liberty: 11th
2004 – Present (10 years) - Liberty (DB, ST, CB, Rec. Coord.)
2000-03 (4 years) – East Stroudsburg (DB, ST)
2002 (2 months) – Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL) (Intern)
2002 (1 year) – Frankfurt Galaxy (NFL Europe) (DB)
1999 (1 year) – Abington HS (HC)
1998 (1 year) – East Stroudsburg (DB)
1997 (1 year) – Anaheim Piranhas (AFL) (WR/DB)
1996 (1 year) – LaSalle HS (DB)
1994-95 (2 years) – Abington HS (Asst. Coach)
Recruiting Area: Lynchburg/Central Virginia areas, Upstate South Carolina, Eastern North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Idaho and Montana
Education: B.S., Administration of Justice (Rutgers, '93); M.A., Education (East Stroudsburg, '03)
Hometown: Abington, Pa.
Children: Tripp and McKenzie