Sam Shade, an assistant coach at Samford the last eight years and a former National Football League defensive back, coaches the Georgia State cornerbacks under head coach Shawn Elliott.
Shade worked with the Samford secondary for the last eight seasons, and in 2014, he was put in charge of the Bulldogs special teams and was named the defensive passing game coordinator.
In 2014, the Samford defense led the nation in passing yards allowed (139.1 per game) and ranked seventh in pass efficiency defense. The following year, the Bulldogs led the Southern Conference with 16 interceptions (No. 17 in FCS). Samford ranked first or second in the SoCon in pass efficiency defense the last four years.
During his tenure, the Samford secondary produced three NFL draftees: James Bradberry, a rookie for the Carolina Panthers who was drafted in the second round last spring; Jaquiski Tartt, a 2015 second-round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers; and Corey White, a 2012 fifth-round pick by New Orleans who now plays for Buffalo.
Shade himself played eight years in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals (1995-98) and Washington Redskins (1999-02). He was the Bengals’ leading tackler in 1997 while ranking second on the team in 1998, and then he led the Redskins in 1999.
During his NFL career, his defensive coordinators included NFL Hall of Fame coach Dick LeBeau as well as Mike Nolan, Ray Rhodes and Marvin Lewis.
In April of 2000, Shade received the Redskins’ Unsung Hero Award for commitment and community service involvement.
Shade played collegiately at Alabama, where he was a member of the Crimson Tide’s 1992 national championship team and was named a team captain as a senior in 1994. He was selected by the Bengals in the fourth round of the 1995 NFL Draft.
Following his retirement from the NFL, Shade began his coaching career as a volunteer coach at Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham, Ala., from 2004-08 before moving to Samford. He also worked as a television commentator in 2003-04.
Shade, 43, is a Birmingham native who attended Wenonah High School, where he was the recipient of the prestigious Bryant Jordan Scholar Athlete Award, given to the state’s top student-athlete.
Shade earned his degree from Alabama in business administration and finance.
He and his wife Jacquetta have four children: son Justin and Jacoby and daughters Jaila and Jamyia.