STATESBORO — Kevin Corless, who joined the Georgia Southern Football program as the assistant coach for linebackers, has been promoted to co-defensive coordinator, head coach Jeff Monken announced.
Corless reunited with long-time colleague and friend Jack Curtis on the Eagle defensive staff in January 2012. The two have served as co-defensive coordinators for most of the last decade at other schools.
“I am thrilled to announce that Kevin Corless, our linebackers coach, is joining Jack Curtis as co-defensive coordinator,” Monken said. “Jack and K.C. have worked together successfully in this role for several seasons at Northwestern State and Arkansas State. Over the past year, it has become apparent that this is a partnership that will benefit our team as well.”
Prior to joining Georgia Southern, Corless spent nine years as an assistant coach at Arkansas State, the first seven as co-defensive coordinator along with Curtis and the final two with sole responsibility as coordinator. In his tenure at ASU, where he also oversaw the linebackers and punt-return unit, the Red Wolves defense finished among the top-40 Football Bowl Subdivision programs in at least one defensive category each year.
Rivals.com named Corless the Sun Belt defensive coordinator of the year for the accomplishments of his 2009 Red Wolves’ defense. That season capped a four-year run that saw the defense claim either first or second in each of the league’s five major defensive statistical categories.
ASU finished the 2008 season ranked in the top 20 for redzone defense and tackles for loss, but it was the upset of Texas A&M that earned national attention as linebacker Ben Owens intercepted an Aggie pass late in the game for the win.
The immediate improvements made by the Corless and Curtis tandem at previous coaching stops had similar effects at Arkansas State as well. In Corless’ first season at Arkansas State in 2002, ASU finished second in the SBC in five different defensive categories. The 2003 and 2004 squads posted national statistical rankings, and the staunch defense helped the Red Wolves to the 2005 Sun Belt championship and New Orleans bowl appearance.
Seven of Corless’ defensive players have been selected in the NFL draft since 1998, led by second-round pick Tyrell Johnson, the 2007 SBC defensive player of the year. Corless coached Alex Carrington, who won the league’s top defensive award in 2008 and was a third-round pick by Buffalo. DeMario Davis is the most recent to join the NFL ranks, as the ASU linebacker was drafted in the third round in 2012 by the New York Jets. Corless also coached three freshman All-Americans and had 10 All-SBC linebackers.
Corless started at Northwestern State as the defensive line coach in 1995 and was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in 1999 with responsibilities for the Demon linebackers for his final three seasons in Natchitoches, La. Northwestern State captured two Southland Conference titles and made Football Championship Subdivision playoff appearances in 1997, 1998 and 2001.
A four-year letterman and all-conference linebacker, Corless graduated from Northwest Missouri State and remained on as the graduate assistant coach as his alma mater won a conference title and posted a 10-2 record en route to the national playoffs. He next moved to Montana Tech to coach linebackers and serve as the special-teams coordinator, staying for eight years. The Orediggers, winless in the previous three years, were transformed into conference champions and made their first NAIA playoff appearance in the program’s history in 1992.
Corless, a Kansas City, Mo., native, and his wife, Stacey, have three children: Anne, Caitlin and Joe.