Sam Houston State head coach Willie Fritz has announced the hiring of four new members for the Bearkats' football coaching staff.
Bob DeBesse will serve as the Bearkats' offensive coordinator. Johnny Jernigan and Derek Warehime will coach the defensive and offensive lines, respectively. Anthony Johnson is Sam Houston's new running back coach.
"We bring these four outstanding coaches to Sam Houston State," Fritz said. "They all come from winning programs and bring a tremendous amount of drive, talent and experience."
DeBesse brings 25 years of coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level to Sam Houston. He served as head coach at Southwest Texas State University from 1997 to 2002 and has been an assistant coach at Texas A&M, Purdue, Minnesota and TCU. The past two seasons he has been secondary coach at A&M Consolidated High School.
DeBesse was wide receiver coach for Texas A&M squads that played in the 2006 Holiday Bowl and the 2007 Alamo Bowl. At Purdue, as wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, he coached two record-setting receivers who signed with NFL teams. The Boilermakers played in the 2003 Capital One Bowl and the 2004 Sun Bowl.
From 1997 to 2002, DeBesse was head coach at Texas State (then Southwest Texas), his alma mater. His 2000 team was ranked No. 25 in NCAA FCS and the Bobcats' 7-4 record that season was the school's best in a decade.
DeBesse was offensive coordinator at Minnesota from 1992 to 1996. The Golden Gophers led the Big Ten in passing offense in 1992 (all games), 1993 (all games and conference-only games), 1994 (conference games), 1995 (conference games) and 1996 (all games). In addition, DeBesse's multi-dimensional offense produced numerous rushing, passing and receiving school records.
From 1983 to 1991, DeBesse was an assistant coach at Texas Christian. He was offensive coordinator the last two seasons, earning Southwest Conference Offensive Coordinator of the Year honors in 1990.
DeBesse was a three-year letterwinner at Southwest Texas from 1978 to 1980 and was special teams captain his senior year. He was named to the 1980 Texas All-Academic team. His final two seasons came under head coach Jim Wacker, beginning a partnership that lasted nearly two decades from Southwest Texas to TCU to Minnesota. DeBesse then spent two years as a student assistant with the Bobcats and was a part of their back-to-back Division II national championship teams in 1981 and 1982.
A native of Boston, DeBesse (born Sept. 30, 1959) grew up in Texas. He earned a bachelor's degree in education from Southwest Texas in 1982. He and his wife, Janet, a former Southwest Texas gymnast and cheerleader, have three children: Brittney, Kaila and Cameron.
Jernigan comes to Huntsville from Murray State where he has served as defensive line coach for the Racers.
Murray State's defense has ranked as one of the top units in the Ohio Valley Conference. Among the players coached by Jernigan is All-American defensive end Austen Lane who set single-season records for sacks and tackles-for-loss.
Jernigan Joined Murray State from Tennessee-Martin, where he served as the defensive line coach from 2001 to 2005.During the 2002 season, Jernigan would serve as the interim head coach for the final five games of the season. The 2005 UTM defense led the OVC in total defense and ranked second in pass defense.
Before arriving at UTM, Jernigan was the defensive line coach at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark., for one season.
The Houston, Texas, native began his collegiate coaching career at Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas. From 1994 to 1999, Jernigan was the team's defensive line coach. In three of his six seasons the Kilgore defense finished either second or third in the conference in total defense.
Jernigan earned an associate of arts degree in health and physical education from Tyler Junior College in 1992 and a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology from Stephen F. Austin in 1994.
He was a defensive end at Tyler and SFA. His play earned Texas Junior College Football Conference First-Team All-Conference honors at Tyler. While at SFA, Jernigan was a preseason Second-Team All-Southland Conference selection in 1993 after registering 45 tackles and two sacks to earn Honorable Mention All-SLC laurels in 1992. Jernigan helped lead SFA to the 1993 FCS playoffs and a No. 12 national ranking.
Jernigan and his wife LaShunta have two sons, Davon and Amontae.
Since January, 2007, Warehime has served as offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.
Arkansas-Monticello led the Gulf South Conference in total offense and rushing offense.
Prior to his hire at UAM, Warehime spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Rice University, where he primarily worked with the offensive line while also being the team's assistant video coordinator.
Before taking the position at Rice, he spent one season at his alma mater, the University of Tulsa, where he was a student assistant with the offensive line of the 2005 Conference USA champions.
His playing career consisted of 34 games started for the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, earning All-WAC First Team accolades as a center after his senior season. Following his collegiate career, he spent one season playing professional football with the Arena Football League's Tulsa Talons, where he was a member of the 2005 Western Division Champions.
Johnson has served on the quality control staff for the University of Texas at Austin. He worked as a direct assistant to the running backs coach, helping with analyzing video and breaking down opposing defense reports. As a Longhorns assistant, Johnson worked with three NFL draft picks - Cedric Benson (Chicago Bears 1st round), Jamal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs 3rd round) and Chris Ogbonnaya (Saint Louis Rams 7th round)
Johnson was an assistant coach at Jefferson High School in Jefferson, Texas. Jefferson went 10-2, winning the bi-district championship.
He was a member of the Longhorns' football team from 2001 to 2005, playing on teams that won the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl and two Holiday bowls. He holds a degree from the University of Texas Austin in applied learning and development.
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