Since joining Liberty's football staff in 2012, Josh Bookbinder has served in multiple roles, including his current position on the coaching staff as Liberty's linebackers coach. During his first season at Liberty, Bookbinder served as the football program's defensive quality control staff member.
Shortly after the 2012 season, Head Coach Turner Gill promoted Bookbinder to the position of special teams coordinator before shifting him to outside linebackers coach in February 2013. Bookbinder worked alongside Flames' defensive coordinator Robert Wimberly with Liberty's linebackers in 2013, before Gill gave Bookbinder full reins to the position in the spring of 2014.
During his first year as a member of the coaching staff, Bookbinder helped the Flames rank No. 5 in scoring defense (17.6 points allowed per game), No. 9 in the country in total defense (313.9 yards allowed per game), and No. 16 in passing yards allowed per game (178.6).
The 2013 season saw the Flames finish the year ranked No. 3 in the country in turnover margin (1.3) and No. 5 in passes intercepted (19).
Linebacker Nick Sigmon earned his third-straight all-conference honor in 2013 and second-consecutive first-team All-Big South selection. He finished the year tied for the team lead with 62 tackles (30 solo, 32 assisted) and led the team with 10.5 tackles for a loss. Scott Hyland followed Sigmon on the All-Big South team, earning second-team honors to cap off his stellar four-year career.
Sigmon continued to excel in 2014, earning All-Big South and VaSID All-State second-team honors. The four-year starter finished his playing career with 216 career tackles and 30.5 career tackles for a loss.
Bookbinder has helped Nick Newman follow in Sigmon's footsteps, as Newman earned All-Big South second team honors in 2014 and 2015. Newman transitioned from safety after his freshman season and finished 2015 as Liberty's leading tackler (74 stops).
Prior to Liberty's move to the FBS level, Bookbinder 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.
Bookbinder 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).
CAREER BEFORE LIBERTY
Bookbinder worked as an undergraduate coach at Baylor during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, specifically with the Bears' linebackers.
In 2009, Bookbinder served in defensive quality control at the University of Richmond, working directly under Spiders defensive coordinator Vic Shealy. He helped the Spiders finish the 2009 season with an 11-2 record, a Colonial Athletic Association title, and a run to the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs.
Bookbinder came to Liberty after spending two seasons at Carson-Newman. In 2009, Bookbinder served as the Eagles' linebackers coach before being promoted to special teams coordinator and defensive ends assistant coach for the 2010 season. He also served as assistant recruiting coordinator.
While at Carson-Newman, Bookbinder had the opportunity to work under NCAA Division II Football Hall of Fame coach Ken Sparks. During Sparks' three-decade tenure there, the Eagles won five national championships, 21 South Atlantic Conference titles, and produced more than 100 Division II All-Americans.
Bookbinder at a Glance Coaching Experience: 2012-present – Liberty (Def. QC, OLB, LB) 2010-11 – Carson Newman (LB, ST, DE) 2009 – Richmond (Def. QC) 2007-08 – Baylor (Under. Grad/LB) Recruiting Area: Virginia (Bedford/Roanoke County), Idaho, Montana, North Carolina (Charlotte/Mecklenburg/Union), Oregon, South Carolina (Lower State/Midlands), Texas (Houston – Above Beltway/North/Central) and Washington Education: B.A., Sports, Sponsorships and Sales (Baylor, '09) Hometown: San Antonio, Texas Wife: Ashley