Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Charlotte 49ers first-year head football coach Will Healy continued to fill out his coaching staff with the announcement of Marcus West as the program’s assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator and Sean Dawkins as run-game coordinator and running backs coach. West served as defensive line coach for the Minnesota Gophers this past year while Dawkins was running backs coach at Troy. 

West reunites with Healy after spending this past season at Minnesota. The two were assistant coaches together at UT-Chattanooga, and Healy brought him to Austin Peay in 2016 as assistant head coach, co-Defensive Coordinator and defensive line coach. He will hold the same positions for the 49ers.

West helped Austin Peay’s historic turnaround to an 8-4 season in 2017 before departing for Minnesota for the position as defensive line coach. The Gophers went 7-6 this season and defeated Georgia Tech, 34-10, in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, Mich., Dec. 26.

A standout University of Memphis defensive lineman who earned honorable mention All-America honors in 2005, West played professionally with one-season stints for the Indianapolis Colts (NFL), Amsterdam Admirals (NFL Europe) and Hamilton Tiger Cats (CFL).

Dawkins, who coached this past year at his alma mater, rejoins Healy at their third stop together. Dawkins was running backs coach at Austin Peay during the turnaround season of 2017 and had a one-year stop at Chattanooga in 2014 where he coached alongside Healy. He also coached for six seasons in two stints at Murray State.

This year, Dawkins helped Troy to a 10-3 mark that included a 7-1 record in the Sun Belt Conference and a 42-32 victory over Buffalo in the Dollar General Bowl.  In 2017, at APSU, Dawkins oversaw the nation’s sixth-ranked rushing attack at the FCS level. The Govs averaged 258.8 rushing yards per game with 32 rushing touchdowns on its way to an 8-4 record (8-1 vs. FCS foes).

As a player, Dawkins led Troy to its first two of five straight Sun Belt Championships in 2006 and 2007. He was part of Troy’s first two bowl teams: 2004 Silicon Valley Classic and the 2006 New Orleans Bowl.

Healy’s staff also includes offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Alex Atkins, co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Brandon Cooper, special teams coordinator/linebackers coach Max Thurmond, quarterbacks coach Mark Carney and cornerbacks coach Eddie Hicks.  Carter Crutchfield has been named Recruiting Coordinator and Chris Laskowski is the strength and conditioning coach.