JONESBORO (2/14/11) – Arkansas State head football coach Hugh Freeze has announced that Dave Wommack, who in over 31 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level has appeared in 17 bowl games and been a part of 27 winning seasons, has been named the Red Wolves' defensive coordinator.
Wommack, a Kimberling City, Mo.-native, has spent 11 years as a secondary coach and will also serve as the safeties coach at ASU. The 1999 and 2000 Broyles Award nominee coached on nine teams that won a conference championship and also participated in trips to the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs in 1989 and 1990. He brings 16 years of experience as a defensive coordinator, also holding the position at Georgia Tech, Arkansas, Southern Mississippi, UNLV, Missouri State and Bemidji State.
"I feel extremely blessed to have a guy like Dave Wommack, with his character and tremendous wealth of experience at the Division-I level, running our defense," said Freeze. "It gives me great comfort to know that he will be mentoring our young men both as football players and as men."
"Coach Freeze is a great person and will be great to work for, and I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to go work with a good Christian man," said Wommack. "I had a couple of good friends, John Thompson and Guz Malzahn, and they said I needed to talk to Hugh Freeze because they thought we were made for each other."
Wommack most recently spent the 2008 and 2009 seasons as defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, helping lead the Yellow Jackets to the 2009 ACC championship and a trip to the Orange Bowl. Georgia Tech's defense was ranked No. 28 in the nation his first year at the school when the Yellow Jackets were ACC Coastal Division co-champions and appeared in the Chic-fil-A Bowl. He coached three defensive players that went on to play in the NFL, including defensive back Morgan Burnett, defensive end Derrick Morgan and defensive lineman Michael Johnson.
Wommack spent two different stints at Southern Mississippi, the last in 2007 as linebackers coach when the Golden Eagles ranked first in scoring defense and second in total defense in Conference USA and played in the PapaJohns.com Bowl. He also coached future NFL player Gerald McGrath during the 2007 campaign.
His first stop in Hattiesburg covered the 1994-2000 seasons, leading a Southern Miss defense that ranked among the top eight in the nation his final two years as defensive coordinator. While he was defensive coordinator for both the 1999 and 2000 seasons, he was also elevated to assistant head coach in 2000. The Golden Eagles ranked eighth in the nation in total defense in 1999 and won the Liberty Bowl. The 2000 squad won the GMAC Bowl while ranking second in the nation in total defense. He coached the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year both seasons, including Cedric Scott in 2000 and Adalius Thomas in 1999.
He was the Golden Eagles defensive backs coach from 1994-98, tutoring five future NFL players that were among a secondary that consistently ranked in the top 20 in the nation. The Golden Eagles ranked first in the nation in turnovers gained in 1994 and fourth in 1995. The 1996 team ranked first in Conference USA in turnovers and the 1997 team ranked first in the league in scoring defense, total defense and pass defense. The 1998 squad ranked 18th in the nation in total defense and 22nd in scoring defense.
Following his initial seven years at Southern Mississippi, Wommack spent 2001-04 at Arkansas before joining the South Carolina staff for the 2005 and 2006 seasons. His first year with the Razorbacks, Wommack was the defensive backs coach before being elevated to defensive coordinator his final three seasons at the school. He was a part of three bowl teams at Arkansas that competed in the Cotton Bowl, Independence Bowl and Music City Bowl. The 2002 team won the SEC West division.
During his time as Arkansas' defensive coordinator, the Razorbacks led the SEC in turnovers (2002 and 2003) and ranked second in the SEC in rushing defense (2002) and third in sacks (2002) and red zone defense (2002). The 2003 squad also ranked 21st in the nation in pass defense and 36th in total defense. He coached three NFL players, including Caleb Miller, Ken Hamblin and Ahmad Carroll.
Wommack coached defensive backs and outside linebackers for two years (2005-06) at South Carolina before returning to Southern Miss for the 2007 season. During his time with the Gamecocks, Wommack helped coach a defense ranked 22nd in the nation in pass defense and seventh in pass efficiency defense. He coached several All-SEC players at South Carolina, including the conference's top tackler among defensive backs in Ko Simpson.
Wommack coached at UNLV from 1992-93, serving as the Rebels defensive coordinator. During his time at UNLV, the Rebels enjoyed their first winning season in seven years and he coached six all-conference defensive players.
Prior to making the jump to NCAA Division I-A, Wommack was the defensive coordinator at Missouri State from 1986-91. In six seasons at Missouri State, he coached five all-conference and two All-America linebackers. Under his direction, the Bears defense ranked among the top 10 in the nation in 1989 and 1990.
Wommack, a graduate assistant coach at Arkansas from 1979-82 and Missouri from 1983-84, began his professional coaching career as the defensive coordinator at Bemidji State in 1985. The 1985 Bemidji State defense ranked third in the NCAA Division-II.
Wommack earned his bachelor's degree from Missouri Southern State College in 1978 before going on to earn his master's degree from the University of Arkansas. Dave and his wife, Leslie, have two children, son Kane (23) and daughter Hayley (20).
Season tickets for the Red Wolves' 2011 campaign are on sale and can be ordered by contacting the ASU Box Office at 870-972-ASU1 or 1-888-ASU-FANS or by visiting AStateRedWolves.com. For more information, contact the ASU Marketing Department at 870-972-3880.