|UTM defensive hire has roots in C-USA |
|Posted: Thursday, January 6, 2011 5:06 pm |
|Former Memphis and Southern Miss assistant coach Lytrel Pollard is the new defensive coordinator at UT Martin. |
“We are excited about the addition of Coach Pollard to our staff,” head coach Jason Simpson said. “He brings Division I experience to our team as well as having Mississippi and Memphis recruiting ties.”
He replaces Chris Boone — the final member of Simpson’s original UTM staff to depart Martin. Boone left the Skyhawk scene in December for Ohio Valley Conference rival Jacksonville State.
Pollard comes to UTM from Mississippi College, where he served in a similar capacity last year.
Before his MC stint, Pollard was on the Memphis coaching staff for two seasons. He was part of the defensive staff that helped the Tigers improve from 100th to 57th nationally in total defense in just one season.
Prior to that stint, Pollard spent nine seasons at his alma mater, Southern Miss, on head coach Jeff Bower’s staff. Pollard coached defensive backs, linebackers and was the special teams coordinator under Bower.
In 2007, Pollard guided the Southern Miss defensive backs, which totaled 17 interceptions.
Consistent defensive leaders in Conference USA, Southern Miss ranked second in total defense and pass defense while leading the league in red zone stops. Pollard also guided the special teams unit.
A native of Bay Springs, Miss., Pollard played at Stringer High School and completed an outstanding Southern Miss playing career in 1997 by helping lead the team to a 9-3 record, a C-USA championship and a Liberty Bowl title. He led the team in tackles with 114. He was in double figures in tackles eight times in 11 games as a senior and had a season-best 13 stops in the season opener at Florida.
He finished his Southern Miss career with 274 tackles and was named permanent captain his senior season.
“Coach Pollard played and coached in the Southern Miss defensive scheme and that is the scheme we want to play here at UT Martin,” Simpson said.
Pollard, 35, earned his undergraduate degree from Southern Miss in coaching and sport administration in the spring of 1998 and his master’s degree in the fall of 1999. Pollard and his wife, Kristina, have two sons — Tylor and Klabron.