List: Graduate assistants hired to full-time FBS jobs this offseason

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday March 06, 2017

A graduate assistant job is about grinding your teeth and working your way up the coaching ladder from the bottom. 

This offseason, 15 graduate assistants were hired to full-time jobs in FBS. Last year, there were 21, and there were 15 the year prior. With the expansion of support staffs, more full-time jobs are filled by staffers than GA’s (and we'll look at that tomorrow). But GA’s get to work on the field, and that experience is invaluable. There are also plenty of GA's who land full-time jobs in lower levels. (NOTE: The potential addition of a 10th assistant coach in April could expand this list)

Here are the FBS GA’s who were promoted from within:

Kai Brown - Promoted from New Mexico State defensive GA to defensive ends coach

Dan Carrel - Promoted from Houston defensive GA to outside linebackers coach

Kenny Dillingham - Promoted from Memphis offensive GA to quarterbacks / tight ends coach

Dennis Johnson - Promoted from LSU defensive GA to outside linebackers coach

Preson Mason - Promoted from Texas State defensive GA to safeties coach

Vic So’oto - Promoted from Virginia defensive GA to defensive line coach


Here are the GA’s hired to full-time FBS jobs elsewhere:

Doug Belk - Alabama defensive GA to West Virginia cornerbacks coach

Kyle Cefalo - Maryland offensive GA to Arkansas State inside receivers coach

Corey Edsall - Colorado GA to UConn tight ends coach

D.J. Looney - Georgia offensive GA to Mississippi State tight ends coach

Eric Mateos - LSU offensive GA to Texas State offensive line coach

Kirby Moore - Washington offensive GA to Fresno State wide receivers coach  

Nick Sheridan - Tennessee offensive GA to Central Michigan running backs coach to Indiana quarterbacks coach

DeAngelo Smith - Michigan State defensive GA to Ohio cornerbacks coach

Clint Trickett - East Mississippi CC quarterbacks coach to Alabama offensive GA to Florida Atlantic tight ends coach

Three GA's were also hired to NFL jobs:

Joe Brady - Penn State offensive GA to Saints offensive assistant

Tom Donatell - UCLA defensive GA to Seahawks defensive quality control

Mike Kafka - Northwestern GA to Chiefs offensive quality control

(If someone is missing, e-mail me at


Graduate assistants hired to full-time FBS jobs

Support staffers hired to full-time FBS jobs

NFL coaches who moved to college football

College coaches who moved to the NFL

High school coaches who moved to FBS college football

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to