MT names Stockstill new Blue Raider Head Football Coach

December 12, 2005 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee Director of Athletics Chris Massaro announced today that Rick Stockstill will take over the reins as head coach of the Blue Raider football program. Stockstill, who takes over for Andy McCollum, becomes the second coach in the I-A era and the 14th overall in the program's history.

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    "We are thrilled to have a coach like Rick Stockstill come on board to lead our football team," said Massaro. "It was evident from day one how much he wanted to be Middle Tennessee's head football coach. He is very passionate about the game and doing what is right for our student-athletes. His skills fit what our program needs and we are fortunate to have a guy of his character join our Blue Raider family."

    Stockstill, who makes his way to Murfreesboro after spending the past two years at South Carolina, has coached under the likes of Lou Holtz, Steve Spurrier, Danny Ford, Tommy Bowden, Ken Hatfield, and Tommy West.

    "I am excited and enthusiastic about this opportunity," said Stockstill. "I have a plan for success and am well prepared for this job. I understand the challenges that await and I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work."

    Stockstill, who has demonstrated the ability to develop and coach big-time players throughout his 24-year college coaching career and has recruited 16 players that have been drafted or signed as free agents over the last six years, joined the Gamecock staff in December, 2003 and immediately made an impact in recruiting. Stockstill coached the Gamecock tight ends and served as recruiting coordinator in 2005, and was the wide receiver coach in 2004.

    Prior to joining Holtz' staff at South Carolina, Stockstill was the offensive coordinator at East Carolina in 2003 where he had a 1,000-yard rusher, a receiver to break the single-season receptions mark, and a quarterback who set a new completion percentage record.

    In his first year at South Carolina, Stockstill coached Troy Williamson to one of the best seasons ever for a Gamecock receiver, as Williamson made 43 receptions for 835 yards (75.9 per game average) and seven touchdowns. Williamson's 835 receiving yards stand as the fourth-highest single-season total in school history and his seven touchdowns are tied for sixth on Carolina's single-season list.

    In addition to his on-field coaching at Carolina, Stockstill coordinated the signing of a top-20 recruiting class for the Gamecocks in his first season and was recognized as one of the top 25 recruiters in the nation by Rivals.com.

    Stockstill was on the coaching staff at Clemson from 1989-2002, where he helped lead the Tigers to some of their most proficient offensive performances in school history. He served in a variety of capacities during his tenure with Clemson, working as recruiting coordinator, wide receivers coach, co-offensive coordinator, passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. One of his prize pupils was All-America wide receiver Rod Gardner, who now stars with the Carolina Panthers and was the number 15 pick of the 2001 NFL Draft. Stockstill played an integral role in Clemson's offense setting more than 100 school records from 1998-2002.

    Also recognized as a top-notch recruiter, Stockstill is credited with recruiting Clemson's all-time leading rusher (Raymond Priester), all-time leading passer (Woodrow Dantzler), and all-time leading receivers (Derrick Hamilton and Rod Gardner). Stockstill has coached in 12 bowl games during his career.

    Stockstill also has coaching experience at the University of Central Florida (1985-88), where he tutored wide receiver Shawn Jefferson, who went on to a 13-year career in the NFL, and at Bethune-Cookman (1983-84).

    Born Dec. 23 in Sidney, Ohio, Stockstill grew up in Fernandina Beach, Fla. Stockstill was a three-year letterman at Florida State as a quarterback where he was team captain and earned honorable mention All-America honors in 1981 under Coach Bobby Bowden. During his career at FSU, the Seminoles had two top 10 final Associated Press rankings and had wins over powers Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Ohio State, and Nebraska. Stockstill, who received his bachelor's degree from FSU in 1982, made three bowl trips with the Seminoles.

    Stockstill and his wife, the former Sara Fleischman, have a son, Brent, and a daughter, Emily.


    Steve Spurrier
    Head Coach at South Carolina
    "I really enjoyed our time together at South Carolina. Rick is known as one of best recruiters in country and I think he will be one of the best head coaches as well. We wish him the best at Middle Tennessee and feel like the Blue Raiders got a great man to lead their program."

    Tommy Bowden
    Head Coach at Clemson
    "Middle Tennessee could not have hired a better guy. He is an excellent coach. The players he coached at Clemson improved over their careers and his coaching ability had a lot to do with it. He will bring Middle Tennessee's talent to a new level because he is an excellent recruiter. Rick has always had a great relationship with his players and their families, no matter where he has coached. And, the surrounding community will really like Rick. He will embrace the community and the community will embrace him."

    Danny Ford
    Former Head Coach at Clemson
    "Rick comes from a great football family and did a super job during his time on my staff. He is very thorough, is an excellent teacher, and is one of the best recruiters I have been around. Rick is just a fine person who I know will do a great job leading the Middle Tennessee program."

    Lou Holtz
    Former Head Coach at South Carolina
    "Rick is a very classy individual who possesses true character, integrity, and honesty. He is a great recruiter, has a calm demeanor, and is excellent with the student-athletes in all facets. Middle Tennessee made an excellent choice in Rick Stockstill because he has high standards, is an excellent teacher, and possesses a great football mind."

    Bobby Bowden
    Head Coach at Florida State
    "I think Middle Tennessee made a great choice. When you're looking for a coach to lead your program, it's good to have someone with a lot of different experiences. Rick has that, having worked with different coaches at different schools. He knows football, he's a terrific recruiter, and he knows a lot of people. He'll do great."

    Tommy West
    Head Coach at Memphis
    "Rick is one of the classiest guys in the business. He is a great coach and a great recruiter who relates extremely well with his players. Rick is one of the best assistant coaches I have ever been associated with during my time as a head coach."

    Bobby Johnson
    Head Coach at Vanderbilt
    "I think Middle Tennessee is making a great choice by naming Rick Stockstill as the head coach. I really enjoyed my year at Clemson coaching with Rick. We have kept in touch and I have definitely followed his coaching career. Rick is an outstanding football coach. He will do a great job for Middle Tennessee."

    Skip Holtz
    Head Coach at East Carolina
    "I am a huge fan of Rick Stockstill. He is a bright, energetic, enthusiastic, upbeat player's coach who will do a wonderful job bringing the players together. I think the world of Rick Stockstill and believe Middle Tennessee has made the right move in bringing him in to lead the football program."

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