Josh Aldridge, a William V. Campbell Trophy Award Semifinalist during his playing days at Harding, joined head coach Hugh Freeze's coaching staff as the defensive line coach in 2019.
Aldridge came to Liberty after serving as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Lenoir-Rhyne during the 2018 season.
The Bears posted a 12-2 record and ranked No. 1 in the country in turnovers caused and No. 9 in scoring defense, while advancing to the NCAA Division II Super Region 2 finals.
Prior to leading Lenoir-Rhyne's defense, Aldridge served as defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at West Georgia (2014-17).
Working alongside fellow Liberty coaching staff members Sam Gregg, Rickey Hunley and Scott Symons, Aldridge helped West Georgia to three NCAA Division II playoff appearances (2014, 2015, and 2017), back-to-back 12-win seasons, two NCAA Division II Super Region 2 titles (2014 and 2015) and a Gulf South Conference crown in 2015.
Harding graduated from Harding in 2012 with a degree in social sciences, where he was a four-year letterwinner and a two-time All-Great American Conference honoree. He started his coaching career at Ouachita Baptist and Lindenwood in 2013.
Flames Flashback: 2019 Year in Review • Aldridge's defensive linemen played a vital role in Liberty finishing its first full season at the FBS level with an 8-5 record, including a win over Georgia Southern in the 2019 FBC Mortgage Cure Bowl. • With the Cure Bowl victory, Liberty became the third team in NCAA history to win a bowl game during its first full season at the FBS level. • Defensive lineman Jessie Lemonier finished his two-year career at Liberty with 20.5 sacks, which ranked third among FBS players nationally in total sacks recorded during the 2018 and 2019 campaigns. • Following the 2020 NFL Draft, Lemonier signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Chargers. • Along with Lemonier, three other free agent signees and fourth-round draft selection Antonio Gandy-Golden (WR), Liberty had five players sign with NFL franchises in 2020, the most in program history. • Lemonier and true freshman defensive lineman TreShaun Clark were two of the 11 Liberty players named to the Phil Steele FBS Independent All-Conference teams. • Lemonier was also named to the VaSID all-state team and became the first player in program history to be named to the Associated Press All-Bowl Team after being named the MVP at the Cure Bowl. • Aldridge helped develop nose guard Ralfs Rusins, who finished fourth on the team with 60 tackles in 2019, after recording only 21 tackles during his previous 25 career games played. • The Flames finished the season ranked No. 28 in the country in sacks (2.69 per game) and No. 31 in interceptions (12).
Aldridge at a Glance Coaching Experience: 2019-present – Liberty (DL) 2018 – Lenoir-Rhyne (DC/LB) 2014-17 – West Georgia (DL/Rec. Coord.) 2013 – Ouachita Baptist (DL) 2013 – Lindenwood (GA) Education: Bachelor's degree in social sciences (Harding, '12) Wife: Jessica Children: Braxton and Nora Hometown: Jackson, Tenn.