Aggie Football Makes Staffing Changes

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - With the retirement of former defensive coordinator Larry Coyer, New Mexico State football head coach Doug Martin announced on Monday, Feb. 2 changes to his coaching staff, which included moving Zane Vance to defensive coordinator, adding former Aggie Oliver Soukup as a defensive line coach and bringing on Cory Martin as a wide receivers coach.

Zane Vance has been the linebackers coach over the past year as well as the recruiting coordinator and will head into his third season with the NM State football program. Vance was also the linebackers coach for Coach Martin while at Kent State and takes on his first defensive coordinator role in his collegiate coaching career. During the 2010 season Kent State was ranked No. 1 in total defense in the Mid-American Athletic Conference while ranking No. 1 in rush defense.

The Aggies plan on running a 4-3 scheme under Vance, which allows the NM State defenders to use their talents and skills to the best of their potential.

“Coach Vance was my linebacker coach at Kent State and we had one of the top ranked defense there so this was a natural move for me,” said Coach Martin. “He built a great relationship with the athletes last year under Coach Larry Coyer and he can definitely help us move forward.”

Coach Martin is excited to bring on former Aggie defensive lineman Oliver Soukup as the defensive ends coach for the 2015 season. Soukup joins NM State after being the defensive coordinator at Concordia University and most recently the defensive coordinator at Eastern New Mexico University. A four-year letter winner at NM State, Soukup garnered All-Big West honors for his play during the 2000 season.

“It’s always great to get a former Aggie on staff, especially one with the passion that Soukup has,” said Martin. “He comes in wanting to build NM State as a football power and his experience as a defensive coordinator will help us be successful.”

Cory Martin, Coach Doug Martin’s son, joins NM State as the [outside] receivers coach after working as the wide receivers coach at the University of San Diego for two years. During his first season with the Toreros, he guided wide out Reggie Bell to 65 receptions and over 1,000 receiving yards while helping Brandon White to catch 47 balls and 12 touchdowns. During his second season with USD, Martin led White to 57 receptions for 828 yards and nine touchdowns.

[Cory] Martin was an offensive graduate assistant for Boston College in 2013 and served as a volunteer assistant to the NM State coaching staff as he worked with the offensive and recruiting coordinators and the team’s wide receivers.

“Cory was a grad-assistant for me at Boston College so he really knows offense and how it runs,” Coach Martin said. “He truly has proven himself as he’s had a lot of responsibilities under his belt. He is a relentless recruiter and hard working. I am excited to see what he, as a young recruiter, can do for the program. ”

With those changes made, the Aggie staff is set for the 2015 season and will be as follows:

Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks: Doug Martin
Wide Receivers (inside), Pass Game Coordinator and Recruiting Coordinator: Kevin McKeethan
Wide Receivers (outside): Cory Martin
Offensive Line Coach and Run Game Coordinator: Walt Wells
Running Backs Coach: Shaun Johnson

Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers: Zane Vance
Defensive Tackles: Kerry Locklin
Defensive Ends: Oliver Soukup
Safeties Coach: Will Martin
Corners: R. Todd Littlejohn

Player Development Coordinator: Kevin Tibolt
Video Coordinator: Alex Nederhoff

Graduate Assistant: Kai Brown
Graduate Assistant: Izaiah Williams
Graduate Assistant: Matt Christian
Graduate Assistant: Tom Berry

“Having Coach Littlejohn move over to the defensive side was a natural move for us. He has had couple guys make it into the NFL while coaching on the defensive side and we feel that he and Coach Will Martin will work very well together,” Coach Martin said. “We also feel that Soukup and Locklin will be a great combination on the defensive line. We as a program are truly excited for the direction the team is headed.”