OFFENSIVE COACHING STAFF
Assistant Coach / Inside Wide Receiver
Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks
Buster Faulkner, an 11-year coaching veteran who has been a part of multiple bowl games and an NCAA Division II national championship, is entering his first season as the Red Wolves’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Faulkner most recently spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach at Middle Tennessee, including the last four full years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He helped guide the Blue Raiders to 31 victories, numerous school records and a pair of bowl-game appearances from 2012-15.
Under his tutelage, the Blue Raiders amassed more than 5,000 yards of total offense in three consecutive seasons for the first time in school history while averaging over 31 points a game. MT’s 2015 team amassed 5,946 yards and scored 442 points, both school records, helping the squad finish 6-2 in Conference USA and earn an invitation to the Bahamas Bowl.
Faulkner also led several record-setting individuals in 2015, as freshman quarterback Brent Stockstill led the way by setting new single season marks for passing yards (4,005), passing yards per game (308.1), completions (327), attempts (490), touchdowns (30), 300-yard games (8) and consecutive 300-yard games (4).
Freshman All-American Richie James caught a school record 108 passes for 1,346 yards, while senior wide-out Ed Batties brought down an MT-record 13 receiving touchdowns under Faulkner last season.
Stockstill and James became the first quarterback and receiver pairing in school history to amass 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards receiving in the same season.
Prior to the 2015 season that saw MT rank 32nd in the nation in total offense and 35th in scoring offense, the 2014 unit ranked 30th nationally in rushing, while Austin Grammer became the first signal-caller in school history to throw for over 200 yards in each of his first seven games and finished 11th nationally in completion percentage.
Faulkner helped lead the Blue Raiders to an 8-5 overall record and appearance in the Armed Forces Bowl in 2013 as his offense had the second most yards in school history, ranked 31st nationally in rushing and 25th in third down conversion percentage. The offense also registered seven games of 200 or more yards rushing and had five different players top the 100-yard rushing mark. Quarterback Logan Kilgore became the first signal-caller in school history to have three straight 2,000-yard seasons with all three years coming under Faulkner.
In 2012, the unit keyed the Raiders’ 8-4 season by re-establishing the running game and protecting the football. Middle Tennessee ranked 46th nationally in rushing and tied for 28th for fewest turnovers lost. The unit also had four games where they rushed for over 200 yards and produced three different 100-yard rushers. Wide receiver Anthony Amos and center Micah James both earned first team all-conference honors.
In 2011, Faulkner took over the play-calling duties as offensive coordinator the final seven games of the year while remaining quarterbacks coach. His unit went on to record the fifth most yards of total offense, complete a then-record 299 passes and became just the second offense in school history to amass over 3,000 passing yards.
Faulkner went to Middle Tennessee after serving the 2010 season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Murray State. In his lone season at MSU, Faulkner’s offense broke 27 school records and finished first in the FCS in total plays, pass completions, and completion percentage. The Racer offense racked up nearly 5,000 yards and produced the first 500-yard passer, 200-yard rusher, and 200-yard receiver in the same game in FCS history. The Racers ranked fifth in total offense nationally in 2010, while the year prior to Faulkner’s arrival MSU had a ranking of 115.
The 2010 Racers offense ranked first in the OVC and fifth nationally with 36.09 points per game, while also leading the league in passing offense and ranking fourth nationally with 313.5 yards per contest. The MSU quarterbacks led the country in completions and completion percentage.
Under Faulkner’s guidance, quarterback Casey Brockman had just six starts in 2010 but earned second team all-conference honors and was twice picked as the National Player of the Week. Brockman also garnered three OVC Player of the Week awards en route to finishing first in the league and eighth nationally in passing yards per game. Brockman accounted for 313 yards of total offense per game.
Prior to joining the Racers staff, Faulkner spent the 2009 season as the quarterbacks coach at Central Arkansas. UCA’s offense averaged 26.2 points a game and 215.8 yards a game through the air and was ranked in the Top 25 nationally in every offensive statistic.
Senior quarterback Robbie Park finished the year going 217-for-358 for 2,434 yards and 12 touchdowns. The yardage total was seventh on the school’s all-time single-season list.
Faulkner’s coaching career began at Valdosta State, where he served as a student assistant helping with the quarterbacks in 2005. After one season with the Blazers, he served as an offensive graduate assistant at Georgia, working with the offensive line and quarterbacks.
Faulkner returned to Valdosta State in 2007 and served as the quarterbacks coach for two seasons. In his first season, the Blazers went 13-1 and captured the Division II National Championship as quarterback Willie Copeland passed for 2,903 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Faulkner took over as the offensive coordinator for the Blazers in 2008. VSU averaged 380.8 yards a game in advancing to the quarterfinals as quarterback Chris Hart earned Freshman of the Year honors. Hart accounted for over 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns.
As a player, Faulkner starred as a quarterback for Valdosta State from 2000 to 2003. In three years with the Blazers, he passed for 7,100 yards and 64 touchdowns while registering a 47-6 record.
As a sophomore, Faulkner earned first-team All-Gulf South Conference honors and honorable mention All-American accolades after going 327-for-503 for 3,941 yards and 44 touchdowns in leading the Blazers to a 14-1 record and a spot in the National Championship game.
He played his senior season at Texas A&M-Commerce, where he passed for 2,861 and 16 touchdowns, while setting 10 school records.
During his prep career, Faulkner started at quarterback as a sophomore and led Parkview High School to the 1997 Georgia state championship.
A native of Lilburn, Ga., Faulkner earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Valdosta State in 2005. Faulkner, and his wife, Tia, have one son, Harrison, and two daughters, Hadley and Haisley.
Running Backs Coach
Norval McKenzie enters his first season in 2016 as Arkansas State's running backs coach.
McKenzie comes to A-State after spending the last five seasons as a member of the Furman University coaching staff in a variety of roles, including running backs coach, special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator.
During his time with the Paladins, McKenzie coached a pair of All-Southern Conference running backs and two others who were named to the league’s All-Freshman Team. Jerodis Williams was a two-time All-SoCon choice after rushing for 2,225 yards and 20 touchdowns over his junior and senior campaigns, in addition to earning All-America honors in 2012 when he led the FCS in kickoff returns (35.9 avg., 2 TDs).
McCloud, who completed his career ranked 10th in Furman rushing history, garnered all-conference recognition in 2013 after running for 1,110 yards and five scores. Triston Luke rushed for 385 yards and a pair of scores in 2015 to find a place on the league’s All-Freshman Team, while Marcus Anderson earned the recognition in 2013 when he posted 334 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
McKenzie helped lead Furman to a 2013 SoCon championship and several victories over FCS nationally-ranked teams, including No. 5 Wofford in 2011. The Paladins also knocked off then-FCS member and No. 3-ranked Appalachian State in 2011.
A Powder Springs, Ga., native and former football standout at McEachern (Ga.) High School, McKenzie was a four-year football letterman for Vanderbilt (2001-04), where he rushed for 1,411 career yards. He battled back from a serious leg injury his sophomore year to lead Vanderbilt in rushing as both a junior and senior.
McKenzie was a rare triple major, earning an undergraduate degree in secondary education, political science, and American history in 2005. He completed his master’s degree in education at Vanderbilt in 2010.
Following graduation, he began his coaching career at Hiram (Ga.) High School, working two seasons there before returning to Vanderbilt as a graduate assistant coach for the 2008 and 2009 campaigns.
The 2008 season saw him help Vanderbilt post its first winning season (7-6) since 1982 and a 16-14 victory over Boston College in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl – the program’s first bowl victory since 1955. McKenzie assumed the duties of assistant recruiting coordinator, while also helping with player development and coordinating the Gridiron Club for former Commodore letter winners, in 2010.
Wide Receivers Coach / Special Teams Coordinator
Luke Paschall is beginning his second season as Arkansas State's wide receivers coach and special teams coordinator.
Under his direction, the Red Wolves’ receiving corps and special teams units both excelled, helping the team break the school record for total offense while ranking among the top teams in the nation in numerous special teams’ statistical categories.
A-State’s receivers combined to account for 223 receptions, 2,685 yards and 14 touchdowns as the Red Wolves completed the 2014 season with a school-record tying 25 passing touchdowns and the third most passing yards (3,381) and completions (276) in the program’s history.
Paschall tutored eight receivers, including honorable mention All-Sun Belt Conference choice Tres Houston and Sun Belt Conference Newcomer Team member Dijon Paschal, who set career-best numbers for receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. Among the group, Houston caught a team-high 53 passes that were the 10th most in school history, J.D. McKissic moved into third place at Arkansas State for career receiving yards and former walk-on Booker Mays recorded three touchdown receptions in the GoDaddy Bowl that were the second most ever by an A-State player in a single game.
Three of his receivers, including Houston, McKissic and Paschal, all recorded over 600 receiving yards and posted at least 37 catches. Paschal averaged 17.4 yards per reception as a freshman, which was the 40th highest in the nation. The receivers also helped A-State rank No. 39 in the nation in passing offense with 260.1 yards per game.
Overseeing special teams as well, Paschall helped the Red Wolves rank No. 4 in the nation in kickoff return defense (16.31 ypr), No. 9 in punt return defense (3.10 ypr), No. 19 in net punting (39.82) and No. 31 in kickoff returns (22.49 ypr). Additionally, the Red Wolves’ 41.6 team punting average was the second highest in school history, while their 22.5 yards per kickoff return ranked tied for the fourth highest.
Paschall coached Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference return specialist Blaise Taylor as well, who ranked second in the league and 35th in the nation in punt return average. The true freshman’s 234 punt return yards were the fifth most in school history, and he returned three punts for a season-high 104 yards (school-record 34.7 yards per return) and one touchdown against Appalachian State. Taylor’s touchdown return was the first by an A-State player since 2007.
Pascall tutored junior punter Luke Ferguson, who continued to climb in A-State’s record book as its second all-time career leader in punting average (42.1 yards per attempt). Paschall’s leadership also helped backup quarterback Stephen Hogan break the school record for punting average in a game (58.0).
Paschall spent the previous two seasons working with current Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson as a graduate assistant coach at North Carolina, but he also previously served on the coaching staffs at Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community over a seven-year period before arriving at A-State.
A former player under Anderson at Middle Tennessee, Paschall has been a part of six bowl games and helped each of his former schools compile statistical numbers that ranked among the top teams in the nation.
Working primarily with the special teams while also assisting with the wide receivers during his two seasons at North Carolina, Paschall was part of a coaching staff that led the Tar Heels to 15 victories and a win over Cincinnati in the 2013 Belk Bowl.
The 2013 UNC squad led the nation in punt returns (18.13 ypr) and ranked fourth in punt return defense (2.9 ypr), 10th in net punting (40.3 average), 19th in kick return average (23.8 ypr) and 28th in passing offense (277.4 ypg). The 2012 Tar Heels finished first in the ACC and 10th in the nation in net punting during Paschall’s first season at the school.
Paschall’s time at North Carolina saw him work with some of the team’s most productive players at the wide receiver and special teams positions. All-Atlantic Coast Conference wide receiver Quinshad Davis ranked 22nd in the nation with 10 touchdown receptions and 13th in the ACC with 730 receiving yards in 2013. Davis led the team in receiving in 2012 with 61 receptions for 776 yards and five touchdowns to earn Freshman All-America honors from CollegeFootballNews.com as well.
Heavily involved with UNC’s special teams, Paschall coached FWAA Freshman All-American and CFPA Punt Returner of the Year Ryan Switzer in 2013. Switzer turned in one of the most impressive seasons in school history, breaking the ACC record and tying the NCAA’s best mark for punt returns for touchdowns (5). He finished the season with a school-record 502 punt return yards and a 20.9 yard average per attempt.
The Tar Heels’ 2012 special teams unit included second team all-conference punter Tommy Hibbard and their punt return team, led by All-ACC return man Giovani Bernard, ranked 10th in the country. Bernard was also named the CFPA Punt Returner of the Year.
Paschall arrived at UNC after spending one season at Ole Miss as an offensive graduate assistant coach under Houston Nutt. He was primarily responsible for working with the wide receivers and tight ends, but also assisted with the Rebels’ special teams. Ole Miss ranked third in the nation in punt returns and 24th in net punting Paschall’s lone season at the school, where he worked with wide receiver Donte Moncrief during his Freshman All-America season.
Paschall spent the 2008-10 seasons at Oklahoma State in a quality control position (2010) and as an offensive graduate assistant (2008-09). He was primarily responsible for helping coach the wide receivers and quarterbacks positions as a graduate assistant coach, working with former NFL quarterback Zac Robinson and current Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant during his tenure. He helped lead OSU to the 2008 Holiday Bowl and the 2009 Cotton Bowl, while the Cowboys also played in the 2010 Alabama Bowl. Oklahoma State’s 2008 team ranked sixth in the nation in total offense (487.7 ypg) and ninth in scoring offense (40.7 ppg).
The 2007 season saw Paschall serve as wide receivers coach at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, where he helped lead the Bulldogs to an NJCAA national championship victory over Kilgore in the H.O.T. Bowl played in Copperas Cove, Texas. The Bulldogs ranked 20th in the NJCAA in total offense that season.
Prior to joining MGCCC, Paschall was a four-year letterman at the wide receiver position at Middle Tennessee. The former walk-on who earned a scholarship as a sophomore hauled in a personal-best 13 receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown as a senior. The Dickson, Tenn., native earned a psychology degree in 2006 and a master’s in sports management in 2007 from Middle Tennessee State University.
Offensive Line Coach
Allen Rudolph, a 21-year coaching veteran, is entering his first season in 2016 as the Red Wolves' offensive line coach.
Rudolph comes to Arkansas State after most recently spending the last three seasons as the offensive line coach for the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) Hamilton Tiger-Cats. His time with Hamilton saw him help lead the team to the playoffs every year, including appearances in the 2013 and 2014 Grey Cup.
Prior to joining the Tiger-Cats, Rudolph spent the 2012 season as the offensive line coach at Northwestern State after stints at Southeastern Louisiana (2007-11), Samford (2005-06), East Mississippi Community College (2004), Louisiana-Monroe (2002-03), Mississippi College (2000-01), Copiah-Lincoln Community College (1999) and Nicholls State (1995-98). In addition to serving as the offensive line coach at all his collegiate stops, he also acted as the offensive coordinator his last two seasons at Southeastern Louisiana, his two years at Samford and his only season at Copiah-Lincoln.
His lone season at Northwestern State saw the Demons rush for 2,115 yards, which were the program’s most in 20 years. Additionally, Northwestern State posted its most yards total offense (4,475) and touchdowns (44) since the 2009 season.
Rudolph was a member of the Southeastern Louisiana coaching staff the previous five years, including the 2010 and 2011 seasons as Lions offensive coordinator. The Lions enjoyed two of their most productive seasons in school history, averaging 402 yards (ranked fourth all-time) and 29 points per game in 2011. The Lions’ passing yards (3,170) and total offense (4,420) both ranked third all-time at SLU.
His first season directing the Southeastern offense, Rudolph guided the Lions to their sixth-best mark in average total offense (364 ypg), while totaling 4,000 yards total offense. He coached two players during his time at SLU who went on to NFL careers, including offensive tackle Kevin Hughes and wide receiver Brandon Collins.
Prior to his arrival in Hammond, Rudolph spent two seasons as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Samford. He joined the Samford staff after coaching the offensive line one year at East Mississippi Community College and the same position group at Sun Belt Conference member Louisiana-Monroe in 2002 and 2003. While with the Warhawks, he tutored 2003 Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection Bruce Hampton.
Rudolph spent two seasons (2000-01) at Mississippi College before moving west along I-20 to Monroe. In addition to his duties as the Choctaws’ offensive line coach, Rudolph also served as the team’s strength and conditioning coach. He was also was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in 1999 before his stint at Mississippi College.
Rudolph got his start at Nicholls State, where he coached from 1995-98. In his first three seasons with the Colonels, he coached the tight ends and tackles before switching duties to running backs and tight ends, as well as coordinating the special teams in his final two seasons.
He was a four-year letterman at Nicholls (1989-93) and served as the team’s starting center for three seasons. He was one of the Colonels’ team captains in his junior and senior campaigns. A Jackson County, Miss., native, Rudolph earned his bachelor’s degree in American studies from Southern Mississippi in 1995.