JACKSONVILLE — Rich Rodriguez’s football staff at Jacksonville State is starting to take shape after the additions of several coaches and support staff.

Rodriguez, who took over as the Gamecocks’ head coach on Nov. 30, announced the hiring of Associate Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator Calvin Magee, who adds to a list of staff additions that have been made over the past three weeks.

Magee joins offensive line coach Rick Trickett, running backs coach Rod McDowell, offensive assistant Ryan Garrett and assistant coach Mike DiAngelo, while Chief of Staff Dusty Rutledge, Director of Football Operations Cole Dial and Director of Recruiting Kurt Kennedy have been on staff since Rodriguez’s first week in Jacksonville. He also recently hired Blake McCall as the Gamecocks’ Strength and Conditioning Coach.

“I’m very excited as our staff comes together,” Rodriguez said. “These guys will be great additions to our program and bring a great deal of successful experience at the FBS level. I’m looking to fill the remainder of our staff within the next two weeks.”


Associate Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator

Magee comes to Jacksonville from Duke, where he spent the 2021 season as the Blue Devils’ running backs coach, and brings over 25 years of collegiate coaching experience at the FBS level with him. It will be his fourth stint with Rodriguez after serving as his offensive coordinator at West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona and the tight ends coach at Ole Miss, where Rodriguez was the offensive coordinator in 2019.

A former NFL tight end, Magee has served stints at South Florida (1996-2000), West Virginia (2001-07), Michigan (2008-10), Pittsburgh (2011), Arizona (2012-17), New Mexico (2018), Ole Miss (2019) and Duke (2021). Magee served as offensive coordinator during respective tenures at West Virginia, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Arizona and New Mexico.

He was named the AFCA’s Assistant Coach of the Year in 2007 after guiding WVU to an 11-2 record, the BIG EAST Championship and a No. 6 final ranking after a 48-28 win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. That season, the Mountaineers ranked second nationally in rushing offense, third in scoring offense and fourth in total offense.

He was an All-American tight end at Southern University, while also garnering All-SWAC honors three times. He was inducted into the Southern University Hall of Fame in 2000.


Assistant Coach/Offensive Line

Trickett is another addition to Rodriguez’s staff that brings decades of experience with some of college football’s top programs. Trickett has been coaching collegiately since 1976, when he started his career as an assistant at West Virginia. He Coached the Mountaineers offensive line until 1979, when he went to Southern Illinois for the next two seasons. Over the past 46 years, Trickett has also coached the offensive lines at Southern Miss (1982-84), New Mexico (1985), Memphis (1986-88), Mississippi State (1989-92), Auburn (1993-98), LSU (2000), West Virginia (2001-06), Florida State (2007-17) and his alma mater Glenville State (1999, 2019-21).

He has served as the Assistant Head Coach at LSU, WVU, FSU and Glenville State, and during his career, more than 35 of his linemen have gone on to play in the NFL and more than 40 have earned all-conference honors. Twice he had all five of his starting linemen earn all-conference honors - at Florida State in 2012 and 2013, while he placed four on all-conference squads at West Virginia in 2005 and again in 2006.

His unit established FSU as one of the top offensive programs in the nation and paved the way for the most prolific offense in the nation in 2013, when FSU set school and ACC records for single-season total offense, points per game, and yards per play as well as the national record for points while leading the nation in touchdowns. The Seminoles ended that season with a 14-0 record and captured the BCS National Championship.


Assistant Coach

Mike DiAngelo comes to Jacksonville State to be a part of Rodriguez’s staff after spending the 2021 season with him as the tight ends and inside receivers coach at ULM. He brings experience coaching both sides of the ball and will serve with Rodriguez for the fourth time after working with him at Arizona, Ole Miss and ULM.

Prior to joining the Warhawks’ staff, DiAngelo the 2020 season working with the quarterbacks as an analyst at Illinois. His first stint with Rodriguez started at Arizona in 2013, when he worked with the safeties as a defensive graduate assistant but also assisted with all areas of the Wildcats defense. In 2015, he was promoted to defensive analyst.

While at Arizona, he worked with multiple NFL defensive backs, while also helping the Wildcats rank No. 4 in the nation in forced fumbles and 12th in tackles for loss in 2014 and No. 7 in interceptions in 2017. In his first season with the Wildcats in 2013, the defense earned a No. 13 ranking with 18 interceptions.

He’s had offensive success, as well, guiding Ole Miss quarterback John Rhys Plumlee to rank eighth nationally and first in the Southeastern Conference in rushing yards per game.

Prior to his time at Arizona, DiAngelo spent six years at Washington & Jefferson College. From 2007-2013, he served in various roles, including secondary coach, quarterback and receivers coach, special teams coordinator and also served as the program’s strength and conditioning coordinator. He helped W&J earn the school’s 23rd Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Championship and 22nd NCAA Division III playoff appearance during the 2012 season.

A native of Steubenville, Ohio, he earned his bachelor’s degree in sport management from Baldwin Wallace in 2006 after spending four seasons on the football team.


Assistant Coach/Running Backs

Rod McDowell joins Rodriguez’s staff as the running backs coach after serving in the same role at ULM during the 2021 season. He took over a running backs unit that averaged less than 80 yards per game the season before he arrived and added over 50 yards per game to that average in his first season in 2021.

McDowell went to ULM in 2021 from his alma mater Clemson, where he spent the 2019 season as an offensive graduate assistant before serving in an offensive player development role in 2020. In his two years on the Clemson staff, he led the Tigers to a combined record of 24-3 (.889), including a 16-1 record (.941) in Atlantic Coast Conference games, back-to-back ACC Championships, consecutive trips to the College Football Playoff and No. 2 and No. 3 rankings in the final polls, respectively.

A four-year letterman from 2010-13, McDowell accounted for 1,983 career all-purpose yards and 14 touchdowns. As a senior in 2013, he rushed for 1,023 yards and five TDs while earning All-ACC Third-Team honors.

A native of Sumter, South Carolina, McDowell graduated from Clemson with a bachelor’s degree in sociology in 2013.


Offensive Assistant Coach

Ryan Garrett joins Rodriguez’s first staff at Jacksonville State as an offensive assistant coach. He comes to JSU with Rodriguez from ULM, where he served as a graduate assistant for the 2021 season.

He helped the Warhawks and head coach Terry Bowden lay the foundation for a turnaround of their program after they took over a team that had gone winless the season before. ULM turned the tables in 2021, improving by four games and returning to the mix in the Sun Belt Conference.

Prior to joining the Warhawks, Garrett spent the 2020 season as the pass game coordinator and wide receivers coach at West Virginia State. His one season at WVSU was cut short due to COVID-19.

He started his coaching career at Ole Miss, where he began as a student assistant and eventually served as an offensive graduate assistant that worked with the Rebels’ quarterbacks under Rodriguez in 2019. That season, the Rebels ranked third in Total Offense in the SEC behind only Alabama and LSU with 445.3 yards per game.

Garrett graduated from North Henderson High School (Hendersonville, N.C.) where he was selected captain of the football team and was named All-Conference at the wide receiver position. He played college football at Emory & Henry College (Emory, Va.) for one year before transferring to Ole Miss and switching over to coaching.


Chief of Staff

Dusty Rutledge joined Rich Rodriguez’s staff at Jacksonville State in December of 2021 as the Gamecocks’ Chief of Staff.

Rutledge came to JSU from ULM, where he held the same position in 2021, and brings a vast amount of experience from several areas of football and athletic administration to Jacksonville.

From coaching to performance enhancement, external relations, recruiting and video operations, Rutledge has contributed to the growth and success of several collegiate programs during his long and distinguished career.

Rutledge returned to the collegiate coaching environment in 2015 after three years with Barwis Methods, a holistic athletic and neurological training facility. He signed on as an analyst under Rich Rodriguez at Arizona and then became the director of high school relations, campus and clinics in 2016, a position he held for two years. Rutledge joined Rodriguez at Ole Miss in 2019 as a senior player personnel analyst and also made the move to Monroe in early 2021.

The ties between Rutledge and Rodriguez go back more than 35 years. Rutledge was the defensive line coach and special teams coordinator under Rodriguez for three seasons at Glenville State (1994-96), part of the Pioneers’ three West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) titles. He served as the video coordinator at West Virginia during Rodriguez’s tenure (2001-07) and in an external relations role at Michigan (2008-10).

Rutledge joined the Mountaineers’ staff after four seasons (1997-2000) as a special assistant to Indiana head coach Cam Cameron.

Originally from Rockford, Ohio, Rutledge graduated from Fairmont State with a bachelor’s degree in 1991 and coached the offensive line from 1988-93. In three of his years at Fairmont, he played football and remains one of college football’s last player-coaches.


Director of Football Operations

Cole Dial joined Rich Rodriguez’s staff at Jacksonville State in December of 2021 as the Gamecocks Director of Football Operations.

Dial came to JSU from ULM, where he spent five seasons. He was the Warhawks’ Director of Football Operations in 2021 after spending the previous four seasons as their Director of Recruiting and Player Personnel.

Dial played an integral role in helping ULM sign the Sun Belt Conference’s No. 1 recruiting class in 2017, according to Rivals.com.

Prior to joining ULM in 2016, Dial spent six years working with the Syracuse University football program (2010-15). From 2010-2012, he served as the quality control for administrative support/special teams before moving into the role of operations and recruiting administrator in the fall of 2013. His recruiting efforts helped the Orange sign their highest-rated recruiting class in 15 years.

The Marietta, Ga., native started his career in athletics as a community coach at Walton High School in Marietta from 2008-10.

Dial received a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from Reinhardt University in 2010.


Recruiting Director

Kurt Kennedy joined Rich Rodriguez’s staff at Jacksonville State as the Director of Recruiting in December of 2021 and came from ULM, where he served in the same capacity for the 2021 season.

He helped the Warhawks and head coach Terry Bowden lay the foundation for a turnaround of their program after they took over a team that had gone winless the season before. ULM turned the tables in 2021, improving by four games and returning to the mix in the Sun Belt Conference.

Kennedy has experience at all levels of college football, starting as a student assistant under Bobby Bowden at Florida State in 2009. He would end up working nine seasons with the Seminoles, starting off working with their quarterbacks a s student assistant in 2009-10. He then served as an analyst for three seasons, working mainly with FSU’s tight ends under offensive coordinator James Coley.

He then spent five seasons (2013-17) as an analyst for head coach Jimbo Fisher and was part of the FSU teams that won 29-straight games and the 2013 National Championship. That 2013 National Championship season for Florida State featured one of the most dominant teams in college football history with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston and 11 offensive starters who went on to play in the NFL.

In 2018, Kennedy served as an analyst at Samford University, helping the Bulldogs rank fourth nationally in total offense and first in passing and completion percentage. He spent the 2019 season working with the offensive line at New Mexico Highlands University and the 2020 season working with quarterbacks at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas.

A native of Red Bay, Kennedy lettered in basketball at Freed-Hardeman University and played quarterback for two seasons at West Alabama in Livingston. He was a six-sport athlete at Red Bay High School, earning all-state honors in football and basketball, while also running on the state championship 4x100m relay team.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.