Vantz Singletary is a 25-year collegiate and NFL coaching veteran hailing from the coaching trees of Turner Gill and Mike Singletary.
Singletary's experience includes having coached with two conference Defensive Player of the Year award winners (Hawaii's Travis LaBoy in 2003 and Liberty's Chima Uzowihe in 2015).
Singletary also worked alongside his uncle and NFL Hall of Famer, Mike Singletary, when he served as the inside linebackers coach of the San Francisco 49ers (2009-10). While coaching with the 49ers, Singletary worked with NFL Pro Bowlers Takeo Spikes, Patrick Willis, and NaVarro Bowman.
Upon joining Gill's staff at Liberty, Singletary was named the program's co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach.
Singletary has helped mold some of the top defensive linemen in the conference, resulting in eight all-conference selections, three all-state honorees and the program's first-ever Big South Defensive Player of the Year honoree.
Under Singletary's guidance, Liberty's entire defensive line has been named Big South Defensive Player of the Week following the Flames' shutout wins against Gardner-Webb (2013) and Norfolk State (2014).
Under Singletary's guidance, Uzowihe, the 2015 Big South Defensive Player of the Year, closed out his stellar four-year career at Liberty as the program and Big South record holder with 25.0 career sacks. He also ranks second in school history and third in the Big South record books with 44.0 career tackles for a loss.
Uzowihe was showered with honors during his senior year. The three-time All-Big South defensive end was named the 2015 Big South Defensive Player of the Year and was a finalist for the STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year award. He earned All-America honors from STATS FCS and the Associated Press.
Singletary's front line defense has helped the Flames be a top 20 ranked defensive unit. Liberty finished the 2012 season ranked No. 15 in the country in total defense (314.7 yards allowed per game) and No. 9 in 2013 (313.9).
The Flames have also ranked among the national leaders in rushing defense under Singletary's leadership. In 2012, Liberty ranked No. 24 in rushing defense (126.1 yards allowed per game), while ranking No. 15 in the country by allowing only 12 rushing touchdowns and in red zone defense (66.7 conversation percentage) in 2013.
Since Singletary joined the staff in 2012, Liberty's defensive linemen have continually led the team in getting behind the line of scrimmage. Liberty's front four have accounted for 53.4 percent of the team's tackles for a loss (151.0 of 283.0) and 84.8 percent of the team's sack total (78.0 of 92.0).
Liberty ended the 2014 season atop the Big South rankings in sacks (29), the team's highest sack number since finishing with the same total in 1997. All 29 sacks were recorded by Liberty's defensive linemen.
Four of Singletary's biggest stars on the defensive line have had the chance to showcase their talents at the professional level. Cory Freeman (Cleveland Browns) and Francis Bah (Chicago Bears) received NFL tryouts following the 2014 NFL Draft.
Dominique Davis, who received an invitation to participate in the Inaugural College Gridiron Showcase, signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015 and the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016.
Uzowihe joined this group following the 2016 NFL Draft when he received tryouts with the Detroit Lions, San Diego Chargers and the Indianapolis Colts.
Prior to Liberty's move to the FBS level, Singletary helped Liberty win four Big South titles (2012-14, 2016) and the program's first-ever appearance in the NCAA FCS Playoffs in 2014. Liberty finished the 2014 season ranked No. 17 in the country — the program's highest year-end ranking since 2008. The Flames were 9-5 in 2014, matching the second-highest win total in program history.
Singletary helped Liberty kicked off its two-year FBS transition process in grand style when the Flames posted a 48-45 win at Baylor on Sept. 2, 2017. The stunning victory was ranked as the seventh biggest upset in college football over the last 25 years in an article on ESPN.com (Sept. 6, 2017).
Liberty also finished the 2014 season ranked No. 17 in the country, the program's highest year-end ranking since 2008. The Flames were 9-5 in 2014, matching the second-highest win total in program history.
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, coaching under his uncle Mike Singletary.
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.
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.
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.
Over the course of his career, Singletary has coached in seven different 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, Shawndra, have four daughters – Courtney, LaShea, Briauna and Keona.
Singletary at a Glance Coaching Experience: 2012-present – Liberty (DL) 2011 – Kansas (LB) 2009-10 – San Francisco 49ers (NFL) (ILB) 2008 – Buffalo (DT) 2006-07 – Chattanooga (DL) 1999-05 – Hawaii (DL) 1997-98 – Southern (DL) 1992-96 – Trinity (Def. Coord., DL, LB, Rec. Coord.) Recruiting Area: Virginia (Fredericksburg/Eastern Shore), Arkansas, Georgia (Atlanta/DeKalb), Hawaii, Texas (Houston – Below Beltway) Education: B.S., Social Sciences (Kansas State, '90) Hometown: Houston, Texas Wife: Shawndra Children: Courtney, LaShea, Briauna and Keona