ATLANTA--Georgia State head football coach Trent Miles has begun to assemble his coaching staff with the hiring of four assistant coaches from his former staff at Indiana State to join the Panthers.
Introduced this week as the Panthers' second head football coach, Miles comes to Georgia State after five seasons at Indiana State, where he engineered a dramatic turnaround.
Joining Miles from the ISU staff that led the Sycamores to three straight winning seasons are offensive line coach Harold Etheridge, who will also serve as assistant head coach, defensive coordinator Jesse Minter, defensive line coach Shannon Jackson, and linebackers coach P.J. Volker.
HAROLD ETHERIDGE, Offensive Line/Assistant Head Coach
Etheridge was Miles' offensive coordinator the last two years at Indiana State and his offensive line coach the last three seasons, helping the Sycamores post three consecutive winning seasons for the first time since the 1960s.
"Harold Etheridge is a veteran and an excellent offensive line coach," said Miles. "He stresses fundamentals and technique, and he brings toughness to the offensive line. He makes it fun for his players, but he will get the most out of them. And he is a really good recruiter."
In two seasons as offensive coordinator, Etheridge produced one of the nation's top rushers in running back Shakir Bell. A first-team All-American as a sophomore in 2011, Bell led the nation in rushing with 151.8 yards per game and finished tied for second in voting for the Walter Payton Award as the top player in the FCS. In 2012, Bell is sixth nationally in rushing (134.1 ypg).
Over the last three seasons, Indiana State has had 17 offensive players earn all-conference recognition, including five offensive linemen.
Etheridge joined Miles' ISU staff in 2010 and made an immediate impact in the program's remarkable turnaround. The offensive line blocked for a unit that ranked 14th in the nation in scoring with 31.2 points per game for a school-record 351 points and 17th in total offense at 411.8 yards per game, helping the Sycamores post a 6-5 record for their first winning season since 1996.
Before going to ISU, Etheridge spent the previous two years coaching the offensive line at Washington State (2008-09) and one year in the same role at Northern Illinois (2007).
During a three-year stint as the offensive line coach at North Texas (2004-06), Etheridge produced an offensive line that blocked for the nation's leading rusher in 2004 in Jamario Thomas, who ran for 180.1 yards per game. The Mean Green won the Sun Belt Conference title and earned a berth in the New Orleans Bowl.
Etheridge began his coaching career in the high school ranks, first at Gallup (N.M.) High (1983-86) and then Ballard High in Louisville, Ky. (1987-88).
From there, he moved to a collegiate position at Kentucky, serving as a graduate assistant working with offensive tackles in 1989-90. He worked under GSU founding head coach Bill Curry in his second season at UK.
Etheridge then spent the next nine seasons as the offensive line coach at Illinois State, helping the Redbirds earn a spot in the NCAA FCS playoffs in 1998 before winning the Gateway Conference title and reaching the FCS semifinal game in 1999.
In 2000, he moved with head coach Todd Berry to Army and coached the Black Knights' offensive line for four seasons.
A native of Gallup, N.M., Etheridge was a four-year starting offensive guard for Western New Mexico (1979-82). He earned a bachelor's degree in marketing and management from the school in 1982.
Etheridge, who in 2001 published a book entitled "Coaching the Front Liners," and his wife, Jeanne, are the parents of twins, Clayton and Eliza.
JESSE MINTER, Defensive Coordinator
In 2012, Minter constructed a defensive unit that ranked third in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 14.3 points per game, and sixth nationally in total defense at 296.4 yards per game. The Sycamores also rank fifth nationally in pass efficiency defense, 14th in passing yards allowed and 28th in rushing yards allowed.
"Jesse Minter is very intelligent, very aggressive and very energetic," said Miles. "He has a great understanding of the defensive scheme. Even though he's only been a coordinator for a short time, he has been in this system his whole life. And he is an excellent recruiter. He really works at it, he is thorough and detailed, and he relates well to young men."
One of the highlights of the 2012 season was an outstanding performance by the ISU defense in the Sycamore's 17-14 road victory at No. 1-ranked and defending NCAA champion North Dakota State. In that game, cornerback Johnny Towalid scored 14 points for ISU by returning a pair of interceptions for touchdowns.
Over the last two years, 13 Indiana State defensive standouts have earned All-Missouri Valley Football Conference honors.
Minter originally joined Miles' defensive staff at Indiana State in 2009 before being elevated to the coordinator position for the 2011 season. He was a key component in the Sycamores' remarkable turnaround under Miles that saw ISU post a winning season in 2010 for the first time since 1996. The program added winning campaigns in 2011 and 2012 to give ISU three consecutive winning seasons for the first time since the 1960s.
Minter went to Indiana State following two years as a graduate assistant at Cincinnati, where he served on Brian Kelly's staff, working with the defensive staff and assisting in coaching the linebackers. The Bearcats won the Big East Conference in 2008 and earned a BCS Bowl berth in the Orange Bowl. The Cincinnati defense led the nation in takeaways in 2007.
Minter spent the 2006 season as a football intern at Notre Dame, when the Irish posted a 10-3 record.
He played college football at the College of Mount St. Joseph (Ohio), which compiled a school-record 30-10 mark during his four years, including back-to-back conference titles and NCAA Division III playoff appearances
A native of Yorktown, Ind., Minter is married to the former Rachelle Wittich. His father is former Cincinnati head football coach Rick Minter.
SHANNON JACKSON, Defensive Line
In 2012, Jackson, who also served as assistant head coach at ISU, helped coach a defense that ranked third in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 14.3 points per game, and sixth nationally in total defense at 296.4 yards per game. The Sycamores were fifth nationally in pass efficiency defense, 14th in passing yards allowed and 28th in rushing yards allowed.
The highlight of the 2012 season was Indiana State's 17-14 road victory at No. 1-ranked and defending NCAA champion North Dakota State. In that game, the ISU defense scored 14 points.
In 2011, ISU defensive end Ben Obaseki earned first-team All-America honors by the Associated Press as he and his teammate, running back Shakir Bell, became the first Sycamores to earn this honor.
"Shannon Jackson is a players' coach as far as relating to them, but he is hard-nosed and demanding," said Miles. "He is a really good recruiter."
Jackson spent a total of 10 seasons at Indiana State, originally coaching on the Sycamores' staff from 2000-04 before returning to his alma mater in 2008 when Miles took over.
He was a key component in the Sycamores' remarkable turnaround under Miles that saw ISU post a winning season in 2010 for the first time since 1996. The program added winning campaigns in 2011 and 2012 to give ISU three consecutive winnings seasons for the first time since the 1960s.
Before returning to Indiana State, Jackson spent three years coaching the defensive line at Eastern Illinois (2005-07). In 2006, he helped coach a defensive unit that led the nation with 36 turnovers forced.
In the summer of 2003, Jackson worked with the Jacksonville Jaguars' staff through the NFL's Minority Internship Program.
After a standout playing career at Indiana State, Jackson began his coaching career in 2000 as a graduate assistant on the ISU staff, working with tight ends. He moved to a full-time position as a defensive assistant from 2001-03.
In that first stint at ISU, he tutored Kyle Mitchell, who went on to break the school sack record that Jackson himself had set. Jackson also coached Richard Harris, who signed a free agent contract with the Tennessee Titans.
Jackson was a standout defensive lineman for the Sycamores, earning All-America recognition as a senior in 1999.
A native of Fort Wayne, Ind., Jackson earned a bachelor's degree from Indiana State in criminology in 2000. He and his wife, Sumalayo, have a son, Bryson, and a daughter, Brylee.
P.J. VOLKER, Linebackers
Volker spent the last three years with Miles as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator for the Sycamores, helping ISU post three straight winning seasons.
"P.J. Volker is an up-and-coming coach who is detailed, organized, and full of energy," said Miles. "He was our recruiting coordinator at Indiana State, and his personality just wins you over. He is very technique-oriented in his coaching."
In 2012, Volker helped coach a defensive unit that ranked third in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 14.3 points per game, and sixth nationally in total defense at 296.4 yards per game. One of the highlights for ISU's defense in 2012 was an outstanding performance in the Sycamores' stunning 17-14 upset at No. 1-ranked North Dakota State, in which the defense accounted for 14 points.
Over his three seasons, seven Indiana State linebackers were named to the all-conference team, including three-time selection Aaron Archie, who made over 100 tackles each of the last two seasons.
Volker originally joined Miles' defensive staff at Indiana State in 2010 and took part in bringing about the program's dramatic turnaround. In his first year in Terre Haute, the Sycamores posted a breakout season with a 6-5 record in 2010, their first winning season since 1996.
Volker went to ISU in 2010 from Thomas More College, an NCAA Division III program in Kentucky where he coached the linebackers and served as the program's recruiting coordinator. He began his coaching career as the running backs coach at Thiel College.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Volker was a three-year letterwinner and two-time all-conference selection at the College of Mount St. Joseph (Ohio). He is married to the former Amanda Naseef.