Postseason awards, rewards: Deron Wilson named coordinator
Jim Gazzolo, Special to the American Press
On the same day he found out his star was named the Defensive Player of the Year for the Southland Conference, Deron Wilson got a promotion.
Wilson was named the McNeese State defensive coordinator by head coach Frank Wilson on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Isaiah Chambers earned top SLC honor on that side of the football for his work in the spring.
Chambers was named a finalist Monday for the Buck Buchanan Award as top Football Championship Subdivision defensive player in the nation as well. Chambers becomes the 14th Cowboy to earn the Southland’s top defensive honor and third in a row. He follows B.J. Blunt and Chris Livings and is the fourth in six years.
Chambers led the league in sacks with 7.5, which was good for second in the FCS. He had 14 tackles for a loss, also tops in the conference and No. 2 in the nation. He recorded 32 tackles in the seven-game slate and a team-high 11 quarterback hurries.
Joining the defensive end with first-team honors was defensive back Chris Joyce, and defensive end Mason Kinsey garnered a second-team selection. Wide receiver Josh Matthews picked up third-team honors.
“When you look at the accomplishments, individually, it reflects on us as a whole, as an organization as a team,” Wilson said. “That’s huge. The ability to give them a platform to go out and perform the way that they’re capable of doing. It’s a testament of our staff and continuing development of these young men so that they can go forth and play their best football.”
As for Deron Wilson, he took over defensive play-calling duties when coordinator Grady Brown left the program 10 days before the start of the spring season. Deron Wilson also served as a defensive backs coach but said the job of coordinator was a combination of all the assistants during the spring.
“(Deron) was thrust into a role at a very impromptu time when four days before kickoff, we get a curveball thrown to us and we had to adapt,” said Frank Wilson. “I thought Deron did a great job of corralling our defensive staff. Collectively we worked together, but he was the play caller. He was the guy that stepped up in a very mature, poised manner, and allowed us to function with great help from our defensive staff.
“It is fitting to reward him with the opportunity of a job that he did this spring football season. There’s an interview process and there’s an on-the-job process and his ability to put us in position against some of the top teams in FCS football with his play-calling ability and the help from our defensive staff really stood out. It made it an easy decision for us to make a smooth transition.”
Before coming to McNeese with Frank Wilson, Deron Wilson coached with him at Texas-San Antonio.