Inside the Headset: NAIA Regional Coach of the Year Panel

This week on Inside the Headset, we are featuring our NAIA regional coaches discussion. The coaches recap their seasons, their team’s culture, and reflect on some influential leaders in their life. The regional selections for NAIA are: Region 1: Mike Jasper, Bethel University (Tenn.) Mike Jasper recently led his Bethel Wildcats to an 11-1 record and a berth in the NAIA playoffs. Coach Jasper is a graduate of Bethel and was the first-ever Wildcat drafted to the NFL in 2011 when selected by the Buffalo Bills. He spent three years in the National Football League with the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants and Carolina Panthers. Region 2: Jordan Langs, Indiana Wesleyan University Jordan Langs had successful stops at previous institutions such …

Inside the Headset: Jeremy Hawkins

This week on Inside the Headset, we are featuring the Defensive Line Coach and Defensive Run Game Coordinator from Eastern Kentucky, Jeremy Hawkins. Coach Hawkins discusses the adversity faced in the profession, the financial sacrifice of being a coach, and his professional development with the AFCA. Jeremy Hawkins joined Eastern Kentucky’s staff as the defensive line coach in January 2020. Coach Hawkins has also spent time as player personnel director at LSU and UAB. He was a four-year letter winner at Troy and earned his bachelor’s degree in sports and fitness management in 2009 and a master’s degree in sports administration in 2014. Coach Hawkins was also recently selected as a member of the 2022 AFCA 35 under 35 class …

Bryan Nardo

Inside the Headset: Bryan Nardo

This week on Inside the Headset, we are featuring the Defensive Coordinator at Gannon University, Bryan Nardo. Coach Nardo discusses his start in coaching and his career path, his defensive and recruiting philosophy, and the impact the AFCA has had on his career. Bryan Nardo is currently coaching at Gannon University as the Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers coach. He was appointed in February 2022 after 2 years at Youngstown State and 8 years at Emporia State. Coach Nardo was named the Great Lakes Football Conference Assistant Coach of the Year in 2011 while working at Missouri S&T in Rolla, MO. He was also selected as a member of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) 35 Under 35 Coaches Leadership Institute …

Inside the Headset: Eli Gardner

This week on Inside the Headset, we are featuring Stonehill College’s head football coach Eli Gardner. Coach Gardner discusses the new changes in a coach’s career, the change to Division 1 FCS for Stonehill College, and his experience with the AFCA 35u35. Coach Gardner is in his seventh year as the head coach at Stonehill. He served in other roles at Stonehill before taking over the head coaching position with experience as the special teams & defensive coordinator and associate head coach. Coach Gardner was a part of the 2018 AFCA 35U35 class at the 2018 AFCA Convention in Charlotte, NC. Coach Gardner is a 2008 graduate of Western New England University, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sports …

Inside the Headset: Julian Griffin

This week on Inside the Headset we are featuring Julian Griffin, the running backs coach at UTSA. Coach Griffin discusses his role as NFL Liaison, his recruiting approach, and the importance of having mentors in the profession. Julian Griffin played wide receiver at ULM from 2008-2012 before becoming a coach at Texas A&M Kingsville. His coaching stops include ULM, Central Methodist, SMU, Arkansas, and is now present at UTSA as the running backs coach. Coach Griffin earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and exercise fitness from ULM in 2012 and his master’s degree in education from Texas A&M-Kingsville in 2015. 2:11 What do NFL scouts look for? 4:07 Experience with PRO Days 6:29 Working with athletes outside of current discipline …

Inside the Headset: Juwan Lewis

This week on Inside the Headset we are featuring Davenport University’s running backs coach, Juwan Lewis. Coach Lewis discusses his passion for educating others, shares how his faith guides him to pour into both his players and his family, and reflects on the impact his community has had on his coaching career. Coach Juwan Lewis joined the Davenport staff in 2021 as the running backs coach and high school recruiting coordinator. Prior to coaching at Davenport Coach Lewis was an influential leader at the University of Findlay. Coach Lewis has also coached at Hiram College and Mount Union. Coach Lewis started coaching following a career in Arena Football. Coach Lewis played college football at Eastern Michigan University and Ferris State …

Inside the Headset: Mike Dovenberg

This week on Inside the Headset, we are featuring The College of San Mateo’s Offensive Coordinator & QB’s coach, Coach Mike Dovenberg. Coach Dovenberg was also part of the inaugural AFCA 35 under 35 class. Coach Dovenberg discusses his win against cancer, the unique experience and challenges of coaching players in junior college football, and where he gained a lot of his insight and guidance as a young coach in the profession.