Aaron Wilkins was promoted to a full time assistant coach in January 2018 as part of Liberty's FBS transition process and he spent the spring working with the Flames' defensive line. Just prior to the start of the 2018 season, Liberty Head Coach Turner Gill named Wilkins the news new SPUR and Nickels position coach.
Wilkins joined Liberty's staff during the summer of 2014 as the program's defensive quality control staff member, a position he held for two years. As part of Liberty's FBS reclassification process, Wilkins transitioned into the role of defensive line graduate assistant during the 2017 season.
Liberty captured its seventh Big South title during the 2014 season and made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA FCS Playoffs. The Flames advanced to the second round of the playoffs and finished the year ranked No. 17 in the country, its highest ranking since 2008. Wilkins also helped the Flames capture the program's eighth Big South title in 2016.
In 2014, both placekicker John Lunsford and punter Trey Turner were named All-Big South first team honorees. Lunsford earned All-America honors as he ranked No. 5 in the country in field goals per game (1.58) and set a program record with 94 consecutive extra points made.
Wilkins started working with Liberty's defensive units in 2015, helping Chima Uzowihe become the program's first player to be named the Big South Defensive Player of the Year.
Uzowihe closed out his stellar four-year career at Liberty in 2015 as the program and Big South record holder with 25.0 career sacks. The defensive lineman also ranks second in school history and third in the Big South record books with 44.0 career tackles for a loss.
Uzowihe, a three-time All-Big South defensive end, was a finalist for the STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year award in 2015 and earned All-America honors from STATS FCS and the Associated Press.
Wilkins helped Liberty capture the program's eighth Big South title in 2016 and he was a part of Liberty's staff that led the Flames to a thrilling 48-45 win over Baylor to open the 2017 season.
CAREER BEFORE LIBERTY
Wilkins started his collegiate coaching career at Reedley College, a junior college located in Reedley, Calif. During the 2013 season, he served as the Tigers secondary coach and recruiting coordinator.
Wilkins broke into the coaching rankings at Firebaugh High School in Firebaugh, Calif. During his time at Firebaugh (2008-11), he worked in a variety of athletics roles, including defensive coordinator and secondary coach, head women's basketball and baseball coach, men's basketball assistant coach and sprints and jump coach for the track & field program.
Wilkins also worked at his high school alma mater, Yosemite High School in Oakhurst, Calif., in 2012. During his time with the Badgers, he worked as defensive coordinator and secondary coach for both the junior varsity and varsity teams.
Wilkins is a 2007 graduate of Fresno State where he completed his degree in kinesiology with an emphasis on physical education.
Wilkins at a Glance Coaching Experience: 2014-17 (4 years) – Liberty (Def. QC/GA) 2013 (1 year) – Reedley College (Secondary/RC) 2012 (1 year) – Yosemite High School (DC/Secondary) 2008-11 (4 years) – Firebaugh High School (DC/Secondary) Recruiting Area: California (Junior Colleges), Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington Education: B.A., Kinesiology (Fresno State, '07) Hometown: Oakhurst, Calif. Wife: Carissa