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February 7, 2013
Army coaching staff undergoes changes for 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army coaching staff will have a new look when the team begins spring practice on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Todd Spencer and Tom Simi will work with the offensive line, Wayne Moses will coach the A-Backs and C-Backs, while Mayur Chaudhari will work with the Black Knights' secondary.
The Army offensive line, which has paved the way for the nation's No. 1 rushing offense in each of the past two seasons, will have two new mentors in 2013. Spencer and Simi will handle the offensive front starting with spring preparations. The duo replaces Gene McKeehan and Bill Tripp who both retired from the coaching ranks.
Spencer will begin his 36th season in coaching, including 22 years as an offensive line coach at the Division I level. His latest collegiate assignment was a four-year stint as the co-offensive line coach at Georgia Tech where he worked primarily with the tackles from 2008-11. In his four seasons in Atlanta, his charges earned six All-ACC certificates, including four first-team selections. The Yellow Jackets led the ACC in total offense in 2008 and 2009 while running the triple-option offense. The team led the nation in rushing for the first time in school history in 2010 after a runner-up showing in 2009.
Named one of the top five offensive line coaches in the nation by CBSSports.com in the summer of 2008, Spencer is well versed both in the option attack and service academy football. Prior to joining the staff at Georgia Tech, he spent 11 seasons as the offensive line coach at Navy. The Mids won the Commander In Chief's Trophy and made postseason appearances in each of his last four seasons. Navy led the nation in rushing four times during his tenure in Annapolis, including three straight years from 2005-07. In addition to posting the top-ranked rushing offense, the 2003 squad set school records for total rushing yards (4,202), yards per attempt (5.5), rushing touchdowns (44), total offense (5,506), total offense per game (423.5) and yards per play (6.0).
Prior to his arrival at Navy, Spencer was the offensive line coach at Oregon State from 1991-96 where he crossed paths with Army's current offensive coordinator Ian Shields. Shields, a quarterback in his playing days, earned three letters from 1991-93 while running the Beavers' option attack. The team finished second in the nation in rushing in 1993, averaging 300.6 yards per game. Shields, who began his coaching career as a graduate assistant, and Spencer were on the Beavers' staff for the next three seasons.
Spencer also served one-year stints as the offensive line coach at Northern Illinois (1990) and UTEP (1989). He was the offensive coordinator at Southern Utah University in 1988 and held the same position at Trinity Valley Community College in 1986-87. Spencer began his collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant at Texas Lutheran University working with wide receivers in 1979. He also served as a defensive graduate assistant at Linfield College for two seasons (1980-81). After a two-year run as a high school assistant in Texas, Spencer re-entered the collegiate ranks as a graduate assistant at Oregon where he worked with the defensive backs in 1984. In 1985, he held his first offensive line post, serving as the graduate assistant at the University of Texas.
Spencer played defensive back at Whitworth College and Pacific Lutheran University, earning bachelor's degree in physical education from the latter in 1979. A Beaverton, Ore., native, Spencer went on to earn a master's degree from Linfield in 1981.
Simi will team with Spencer to guide the Army offensive line after serving the past four seasons as the head coach at the U.S. Military Academy Prep School. Eleven members of Army's current offensive line group played at USMAPS during Simi's tenure. In his four seasons at USMAPS, Simi posted a 23-13 record, including a 21-6 record in the last three years.
He took the reins of the prep school program after five seasons at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif. Simi coached the offensive line at Feather River from 2004-08, mentoring 10 all-conference performers, three all-state selections and eight players who went to receive Division I scholarships. He served as the team's offensive coordinator in 2005 and 2006.
After the departure of Feather River's head coach just prior to the 2007 season, Simi served as the team's interim head coach in 2007 before earning the permanent title for the 2008 campaign. The team posted a 6-4 record and finished in the top 15 among California junior colleges in scoring offense (34 ppg). The squad's 283 rushing yards per game ranked second in the California JC ranks.
Simi's spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons as the offensive line coach at Heritage High School in Vancouver, Wash. He spent the five previous seasons as an assistant at his alma mater, Eastern Oregon University. He served as the running backs, receivers and special teams coach during his first season before moving over to the offensive line from 1998-2001. Simi also has ties with Shields, who served as the Eastern Oregon offensive coordinator from 1997-99. The 1999 squad finished among the nation's top 10 in rushing and total offense to go along with 35 school records.
Simi began his coaching career at Coeur'd'Alene High School in Idaho. He was an assistant for both the football and wrestling programs and was chosen by the school's staff as the Assistant Coach of the Year.
A four-year starter at Eastern Oregon, Simi earned a bachelor's degree in history in 1994. He was a two-time all-conference performer and earned Little All-Northwest honors in 1992.
"We couldn't have found two guys in the ranks of college football who are more knowledgeable about what we do offensively than Tom Simi and Todd Spencer," Army head coach Rich Ellerson said. "Those guys are easily stepping into the saddle. What is great for the guys on the offensive line is that it's another chance to make a first impression."
A 34-year coaching veteran, Moses brings three decades of collegiate and NFL experience to the Army running back corps. On the staff of 13 bowl teams, he has worked with notable head coaches such as Terry Donahue, Steve Mariuccui, Jim Lambright, Walt Harris and Rick Neuheisel. Moses brings a track record of mentoring 1,000-yard rushers to West Point where he will work with Raymond Maples, one of only three Black Knights in program history to rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons.
Moses spent the 2012 campaign working with the running backs at Idaho. Prior to his tenure with the Vandals, he worked for four seasons as the running back coach at UCLA, his second stint in Westwood, where helped the Bruins to a pair of bowl appearances. In 2010, he mentored Jonathan Franklin to a 1,200-yard season.
After spending nearly 30 years in college football, Moses took his talents to the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League for two seasons. He guided Steven Jackson to back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and his first Pro Bowl appearance in 2006.
Moses was the running backs coach at Pittsburgh for one season, helping the Panthers to a share of the 2004 Big East title and a berth in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Moses spent the 2002, 2003 and 2005 seasons at Stanford where he recruited Toby Gerhart, the 2009 Heisman Trophy runner-up.
His time at Stanford wrapped a stretch of 15 out of 16 seasons working at Pac-12 institutions. Moses mentored the running backs at USC in 2001, and spent four seasons at Washington (1997-2000), his alma mater. He coached running backs at California for the 1996 campaign, and had a six-year tenure at UCLA from 1990-95. In all, he coached four running backs that led the league in rushing.
Before going to work for the Bruins, Moses coached wide receivers at New Mexico during the 1989 season. His star pupil was Terance Mathis who finished his career as the NCAA all-time leader with 4,254 receiving yards, a mark that still stands among the NCAA's top 10. Mathis went on to a productive 13-year NFL career with the New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Moses also has experience at Rutgers (running backs, 1984-85), Bowling Green (running backs, 1981-83), North Carolina State (assistant defensive backs, 1980) and Cal State Fullerton (running backs, 1979).
Moses earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Washington where he was a four-year letterman for the Huskies. He started at cornerback two seasons, helping the squad to a Pac-8 title, a Rose Bowl win over Michigan and a No. 10 ranking in the final Associated Press poll as a senior.
"What I'm asking Wayne to do first and foremost is to be our lead mentor with respect to the fundamentals with the ball," Ellerson said. "Everybody on the field that touches the ball is going to be influenced by his experiences. We were better this year than we were the year before with the ball, but we've got a bunch of room to grow. Wayne is going to mentor everyone on the team that touches the ball. He will see these guys with a new set of eyes and bring a new voice and a new emphasis to that crucial fundamental."
Chaudhari joins the Army staff after spending the last two seasons at the U.S. Military Academy Prep School with Simi. Chaudhari will assist co-defensive coordinator Chris Smeland with the Army safeties.
A 2002 graduate of UC Davis, Chaudhari spent the 2010 season working with the safeties at VMI. He arrived in Virginia after two years as an assistant at San Jose State where he helped mentor the linebackers in 2008 and safeties in 2009. Chaudhari served as the linebackers coach at his alma mater in 2007 after a one-year stay as an assistant to the defensive staff at Stanford.
In 2005, Chaudhari was a member of the staff at Menlo College where he worked with the team's running backs, served as video coordinator and assisted in recruiting. He began his career at UC Davis in 1998 as an offensive assistant. During his three-year stay, he coached running backs, tight ends, offensive linemen and served as video coordinator.
After earning his bachelor's degree in English, Chaudhari completed his first master's degree in the same subject from Notre Dame de Namur University. He recently finished his second postgraduate degree, a sports management curriculum at San Jose State University.
"Mayur Chaudhari coming from the prep school has coached a lot of these same guys in this system for the last two years," Elleson said. "He'll be a great help for Coach (Chris) Smeland. That's what he's here to do, assist Coach Smeland on the back end along with Tony Coaxum. Not only does he have some hands on background with specifically what we're doing, but in some cases he has more experience with these young guys than we do."
In addition to the newcomers, some current members of the Army coaching staff will shift responsibilities in 2013. On the offensive side, Shields will relinquish the quarterback coach title to concentrate solely on his coordinator duties. Former receivers coach Andy Guyader will now mentor the quarterbacks and fullbacks, along with adding the title of recruiting coordinator. Tucker Waugh will work with the Army receivers and serve with Moses as the A-Back/C-Back mentor. Second-year coach Luke Thompson will focus on special teams after splitting his first season with the Army fullbacks.
Defensively, John Mumford will take over the entire defensive line after concentrating on the ends in recent seasons. Co-coordinator Payam Saadat will work directly with the bandit position in addition to his role in coordinating the front half of the defense. Robert Lyles will now oversee the mike linebackers.
The Black Knights begin spring preparations on Tuesday, Feb. 12.