NACOGDOCHES, TX -- Mike Nesbitt has been named offensive coordinator Stephen F. Austin head coach J.C. Harper announced Tuesday morning. Nesbitt replaces Shannon Dawson who accepted an assistant coaching position at West Virginia earlier this month.
"Mike fit all the criteria I was looking for to replace Shannon Dawson," said Harper. "I wanted to keep the up tempo offense that Shannon created intact. Mike was the quarterbacks' coach and offensive coordinator at West Texas A&M this past season, and I was looking for someone who has called plays in an up tempo system. I think Mike is a perfect fit to continue where we are in the nation in offense, and is excited about carrying the torch."
Nesbitt takes over for a high-powered Lumberjack offense that has led the nation in passing each of the past two seasons, and has been among the nation's leaders in total offense each of the past three seasons. The Lumberjack offense produced nine all-conference selections, and several All-America honors in 2010. Nesbitt's transition to SFA will be aided by the fact that SFA will return all but one of their all-stars from the 2010 campaign.
Nesbitt spent four seasons in Canyon working with the Buffalo receivers and quarterbacks, and was named offensive coordinator prior to the 2010 season. Nesbitt directed an offense that averaged 529 yards of total offense per game, including 423 through the air, this past season. The Buffaloes finished the year ranked second in the nation in passing and total offense, and third in the country in scoring offense.
Buffalo quarterback Taylor Harris finished third in the nation averaging 400 yards passing per contest, and was also among the nation's leaders with 38 touchdown passes. He finished among the nation's top three averaging 394 yards of total offense per game in 2010.
During the 2009 season, Nesbitt coached the West Texas A&M receivers. That season the Buffaloes hauled in 355 passes for 4,251 yards, which was the third-highest total in school history. Nesbitt also helped produce current Carolina Panther receiver Charly Martin, who wrapped up his WT career with a senior season that saw him catch 95 passes for 1,867 yards and 22 touchdowns to earn All-American honors.
FROM THE WEST TEXAS A&M SITE...................
No stranger to championship-caliber football, Nesbitt was the offensive/recruiting coordinator for Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. During his two seasons at Blinn, he helped the Buccaneers post an impressive 19-3 record that included the 2006 NJCAA National Championship. During that 2006 championship season, the Buccaneer offense finished 10th, nationally, in total offense, averaging 352.6 yards per game. During that time, Nesbitt coached 10 players to all-conference honors and two to All-America accolades.
Before his move to Brenham, Nesbitt was the offense line, running backs and kicking coach at Howard Payne University. During his four seasons with the Yellow Jackets, the team recorded a 30-10 mark and its offense ranked among the top units in both the American Southwest Conference and the country. Six players earn all-conference honors, while one of the team’s kickers garnered All-America praise under Nesbitt’s guidance.
His other coaching experience includes a stop at Western New Mexico, where he was the quarterbacks, wide receivers and special teams coach. In addition, Nesbitt has coached at both the New Mexico Class 5A and 4A levels.
As a player, Nesbitt lettered for the University of New Mexico, where he served as punter from 1991-1993. Among his playing accolades is a single-season punting average of 45.0, ranking third in the nation that year and placing second in the UNM record book. In addition, Nesbitt led the nation in net punting as a senior, with an average of 41.9 yards per kick. For his on-and-off the field accomplishments, Nesbitt was honored as the 1993 Male Athlete of the Year by the Albuquerque Sports Hall of Fame, in addition to earning second team All-WAC attention.
After concluding his collegiate career at UNM, Nesbitt spent time in the NFL as a punter with the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings organizations. He then returned to UNM where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1996.