RANDALL MCCRAY | DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR & LB COACH
Randall McCray is in his second season as Texas State's assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach after serving the previous three seasons as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach at Gardner-Webb.
While he was at Gardner-Webb, McCray directed one of the league’s top two total defenses and top three scoring defenses in 2015. His defense also produced a three-time FCS All-American and four All-Big South Conference players.
Over the past three seasons combined, McCray’s defenses held 13 different opponents to less than 100 yards rushing – including FBS foe Wake Forest. O.J. Mau earned All-America honors for the third straight season in a row in 2015 and Shaquille Riddick earned FCS All-American honors and was fifth in the final voting for the Buck Buchanan Award in 2013. McCray’s defense also produced 12 All-Big South players during the past three years.
McCray’s 2013 defense was one of the most improved FCS defenses in the nation when it moved up 96 spots from the previous year and finished among the top five total defenses. Gardner-Webb set a Big South record by allowing just 296.8 yards per game and led the Big South in rushing defense after giving up 122.5 yards per game, pass defense after allowing 174.2 yards per game and pass efficiency defense with a 114.0 rating. The Bulldogs also led the league in opponent first downs, third down conversion rate, sacks and fourth down conversion rate.
McCray went to Gardner-Webb after coaching outside linebackers and serving as the special teams coordinator at Pittsburgh. The Panthers posted six wins and played in the BBVA Compass Bowl that season. Kicker Kevin Harper ranked No. 11 nationally with 1.62 field goals per game.
In 2010, McCray served as defensive coordinator at Middle Tennessee State, and his Blue Raiders excelled at pressuring opponents. MTSU ranked No. 10 nationally in tackles for loss and No. 17 in sacks to help the team win six games overall – including five in league play to finish third in the final Sun Belt standings. That finish earned MTSU a spot in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in January.
The Blue Raiders ranked second in the Sun Belt in scoring defense, passing yards allowed and pass efficiency defense – while leading the league in tackles for loss. Jamari Lattimore earned 2010 Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year honors and later signed a free agent deal with the Green Bay Packers.
Defensive backs Rod Issac and Jeremy Kellem also earned All-Sun Belt First-Team honors in 2010 and defensive lineman Dwight Smith earned Honorable Mention honors. Later, Issac was drafted in the fifth round (147th pick) of the 2011 NFL Draft by Jacksonville. It was the highest pick for a Blue Raider since 2003.
McCray went to Middle Tennessee after spending four years at Wisconsin. He coached the defensive line in his first two seasons, and served as recruiting coordinator and outside linebackers coach in 2008 before coaching safeties in 2009.
The Badgers class of signees during 2008 included 2012 Doak Walker Award winner and two-time All-America running back Montee Ball – who finished as the NCAA’s career touchdown leader (83), First-Team All-Big Ten center Travis Frederick and All-Big Ten linebacker Chris Borland. The Badgers appeared in four bowl games. They beat Arkansas in the Capital One Bowl to cap a 12-1 season in 2006 and defeated Miami in the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl. During his four seasons in Madison, McCray helped the Badgers to 38 wins.
During his first season, Wisconsin’s defense ranked second nationally in scoring defense and finished fifth nationally in total defense. He also produced All-Big Ten performers Matt Shaughnessy and Jason Chapman. Three linemen earned postseason honors in 2007, with Shaughnessy and Nick Hayden earning All-Big Ten selections and Kirk DeCreamer being named on the Freshman All-America squad. Linebackers DeAndre Levy and Jonathan Casillas each earned All-Big Ten honors in 2008 under McCray’s guidance and safeties Jay Valai and Chris Maragos captured All-Conference honors in 2009.
Wisconsin’s defense held every Big Ten opponent it faced to less than 100 yards rushing in 2009. Six of McCray’s players went on to play in the NFL. They included Shaughnessy (Oakland Raiders), Levy (Detroit Lions), Hayden (Carolina Panthers), Casillas (New Orleans Saints), Maragos (Seattle Seahawks) and O’Brien Schofield (Arizona Cardinals). Shaughnessy was a second round pick and Levy was a third round pick in 2009. Schofield was a fourth round selection in 2010.
McCray also served as defensive line coach and linebackers coach at Toledo from 2003-2005 and had a brief stint at Rice. In 2005, his defensive line helped the Rockets to a 9-3 record and a MAC West Division Co-Championship. Toledo went on to beat UTEP, 45-13, in the GMAC Bowl and finished as one of the nation’s top 21 teams in total defense. The Rockets led the MAC in scoring defense, total defense, pass efficiency defense and sacks – and were second in the league in rushing defense. McCray also helped Toledo win the 2004 MAC title. Defensive end J.P. Bekasiak went on to play in the CFL. Linebackers Brock Dodrill and Keon Jackson earned All-MAC honors in 2003 and 2004, respectively.
McCray also has extensive experience on the FCS level. He was an assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Illinois State in 2002 and served as linebackers coach for the Redbirds from 2000-2002. In 2002, Illinois State posted a 6-5 record. Linebacker Boomer Grigsby earned First-Team All-America honors, was named Gateway Conference Defensive Player of the Year and finished third in voting for the Buck Buchanan Award after leading the nation with 179 total tackles, including 108 solo stops. Grigsby had 23 tackles in a win over Southern Illinois and went on to be drafted in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. McCray also tutored Illinois State All-American Galen Scott as a linebacker in 2000.
McCray also coached at Murray State from 1997-1999 in the OVC and served as defensive coordinator for the Racers in 1999. That season, Murray State ranked 18th nationally in turnover margin. He coached All-America linebacker Ronnie Merritt in 1997. Murray State also won 21 games in three seasons with McCray on staff.
The Monroe, N.C., native also was a defensive ends coach at Bethune-Cookman in 1996, a quality control coach at Clemson in 1995 and a defensive line coach at UT Chattanooga in 1993 and 1994. He also served as a graduate assistant at South Carolina in 1991 and 1992.
As a player, McCray was a two-year letterman as a linebacker and running back at Appalachian State. He was a member of the Mountaineers 1987 Southern Conference championship team and played on two teams that advanced to the I-AA playoffs.
JULES MONTINAR | CORNERS COACH
Jules Montinar serves as Texas State’s cornerbacks coach after serving two years in a similar capacity at James Madison. While at James Madison, Montinar’s cornerbacks broke up 59 passes, intercepted 14 passes and returned six of them for touchdowns. The Duke cornerbacks also forced and recovered eight fumbles. They forced 22 turnovers and scored seven touchdowns overall. Montinar also produced All-Conference First-Team cornerback Taylor Reynolds in 2015 after Reynolds earned Second-Team honors in 2014.
Montinar went to James Madison after he spent two years working with the defense at Alabama, where he helped Alabama finish the 2013 season with an 11-2 record and earn a berth to the 2014 Sugar Bowl. In his first year, the Crimson Tide won the 2013 BCS National Championship Game after beating Notre Dame, 42-14, in Miami. That 2012 Tide defense posted four shutouts and held six opponents to 10 points or less. Alabama also led the nation in rush defense, total defense and scoring defense.
He went to Alabama after serving as a graduate assistant at Purdue. He also was the defensive back coach and assistant special teams coach at Lake Erie College in 2010 after beginning his coaching career working with linebackers and defensive ends at his alma mater, Eastern Kentucky in 2007-09. He played football at EKU and West Virginia. While at EKU, he won a conference championship as a player (2007) and coach (2008). He also played in two Gator Bowls while playing at West Virginia.
Montinar graduated from Eastern Kentucky in 2009 with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in sports management.
ANTOINE SMITH | DEFENSIVE LINE COACH
Antoine Smith is in his second season as the defensive line coach at Texas State after serving the two previous years as the defensive line coach at James Madison, where he produced a trio of All-Colonial Athletic Association defensive linemen.
in 2015, he coached Alex Mosley, who was an All-CAA Second-Team selection and a Second-Team All-State performer after recording 40 tackles, including 19 solo stops, 4.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, five quarterback hurries and two pass breakups.
Sage Harold earned All-CAA First-Team honors and Brandon Lee was a Third-Team selection under Smith’s tutelage in 2014.. Harold ranked among the top 10 nationally in three defensive categories when he was fourth with six forced fumbles, seventh with 23.5 tackles for loss and eighth with 13.5 sacks. Lee also recorded 7.0 sacks and forced five fumbles to rank seventh nationally.
Smith’s defensive line accounted for 27.0 of James Madison’s 37 sacks and forced 12 fumbles in 2013.
Smith went to James Madison after serving three seasons as the defensive line coach at Holy Cross, where he produced three All-Patriot League players. He joined the Crusaders after helping lead Miami (Ohio) to the Mid-American Conference championship and a victory in the GoDaddy.com Bowl in 2010. He also coach All-MAC Second-Team defensive tackle Austin Brown in 2010.
During his three seasons at Youngstown State, he helped guide the Penguins to the 2006 Gateway Conference championship and advance to the NCAA Division I FCS semifinals. His defensive lines included six All-Gateway Conference selections and Third Team All-America defensive tackle Mychal Savage.
He also helped Lafayette win a pair of Patriot League co-championships and two berths into the NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs in 2004 and 2005. During his final season, he helped direct a defense that ranked ninth in scoring defense, 11th in total defense, 19th in passing defense and 28th in rushing defense after giving up just 17 points, 296.9 total yards, 166.9 yards passing and 130.0 yards rushing per game.
Smith’s entire defensive front unit at Maine earned All-Atlantic 10 honors after helping the Black Bears finish with a 7-5 record in 2003.
He also helped Minot State win a 2002 Dakota Athletic Conference championship with a 9-2 record and earn a NAIA playoff berth, the school’s first since 1994.
Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and kinesiology at Maine in 2001, where he was a four-year letterman and three-year starter as a defensive tackle. He also received a master’s degree in health and human performance at Minot State in 2004.
Montinar graduated from Eastern Kentucky in 2009 with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in sports management.
PRESTON MASON | SAFETIES COACH
Preston Mason is in his second season as a defensive graduate assistant coach at Texas State and is coaching the safeties.. Mason comes to Texas State after serving as a defensive graduate assistant coach and working with the cornerbacks at Gardner-Webb in 2015. He also was a defensive student assistant at Appalachian State in 2010-13 after serving the previous year as a video assistant with the Mountaineers.
While he was at Appalachian State, the Mountaineers won three Southern Conference championships, made four NCAA Division I FCS Playoff appearances and advanced to the semifinals in 2009.
Mason also was a volunteer at Gardner-Webb in 2013 and coached the secondary at Burns High School in 2014 before returning to Gardner-Web in 2015. Gardner-Webb ranked fifth in total defense in 2013 and he produced four All-Conference defensive backs at Burns.
Mason earned his bachelor’s degree in history and social studies education at Appalachian State in 2014.
JORDAN PETERSON | OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS & SPECIAL TEAMS COORDINATOR
Jordan Peterson begins his first season as the outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Texas State after serving the past five years on the defensive staff at Fresno State, where he coached the secondary and outside linebackers. He also served as recruiting coordinator and a special teams coach.
In 2015, Peterson’s outside linebacker unit collected 15.5 of Fresno State’s 28 sacks and Ejiro Ederaine was named an All-Mountain West Second Team selection while playing under his tutelage.
He coached the secondary in 2012 when the Bulldogs ranked second nationally in pass defense and were fourth in pass efficiency defense.
Safety Phillip Thomas, who led the FBS with eight interceptions, was named one of three finalists for the Thorpe Award, became the first player in school history to be named a unanimous All-American and was chosen the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year. His other safety, Derron Smith, tied for sixth nationally with six pickoffs.
Thomas and Smith were both selected All-Mountain West First-Team selections with Fresno State’s two starting cornerbacks earning Honorable Mention accolades. Smith went on to be named All-MWC First-Team three times, making him the 11th player in program history to be a three-time, first-team all-conference honoree.
Peterson went to Fresno State after serving as a graduate assistant coach at Texas A&M in 2010 and 2011. A former cornerback at Texas A&M, he also played four years and made 15 starts for the Aggies. He ended his career with 81 tackles, four interceptions and 15 breakups.
He was a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First-Team honoree and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-Region VI team in 2008. Peterson earned his bachelor’s degree in 2009 and master’s degree in 2010.
A graduate of Lexington High School, Peterson returns to Central Texas with his wife, Melissa, and their daughter, Ellie.