Football Names Matt Gilliam Tight Ends Coach

May 29, 2002

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville University has hired Matt Gilliam as its new tight ends coach, head coach Steve Gilbert announced today. Gilliam replaces Charles Edwards, who coached the Dolphin receivers last season before returning to the high school ranks as an administrator and coach at Trinity Christian. Former JU quarterback Luke Ewalt, who served as an offensive assistant last season, will coach the Dolphin wide receivers in 2002.

Gilliam brings four years of high school coaching experience to the JU staff, most recently as a wide receivers and defensive backs coach at Central Catholic High School in Toledo, Ohio, where he helped lead the Fighting Irish to the Toledo City Championship Game in 1993. Gilliam also served as the head junior varsity coach at Central and was the position coach for free safety JoJuan Armour, who went on to become a two-time Mid American Conference Defensive Player of the Year at Miami (Ohio), and currently plays for the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL.

"With us returning two of the top tight ends in the conference (Andrew Bianchi and James Willman), we felt it was imperative to hire a coach specifically for tight ends," says Gilbert, who led the Dolphins to their first winning season in 2001. "Matt's experience in teaching the game should be key not only for our talented corp of returning tight ends, but also for our newcomers who we expect to make an immediate impact."

Gilliam started his coaching career as a defensive backs and wide receivers coach at Roy C. Start High School in Toledo from 1989-91, where he also served as the head coach for the Spartans' junior varsity squad. He then served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Erie Mason High (Mich.) in 1992.

The Toledo native played two seasons as a defensive back at Kent State University in 1986 and 1987, before transferring to the University of Toledo, where he earned his B.A. in communications in 1993. In 1988, Gilliam traveled the country as a member of the Bud Light Daredevils acrobatic slam dunk team before returning to school.

The Dolphins, who captured the 2001 Southern Division Championship in their first year as a member of the Pioneer Football League, will open their fifth season of football on Sept. 7 against Lenoir-Rhyne at 1 p.m. at D.B. Milne Field on the JU campus.