Courtney Coard spent four seasons (2011-14) as North Carolina A&T’s defensive line coach. He departed N.C. A&T for one season in 2015 to become a defensive graduate assistant at the University of Georgia. He returned to Aggieland in 2016 to resume his duties as the Aggies defensive line coach.
Many of the defensive linemen he coached in 2014 still remain including All-MEAC performers Marquis Ragland and Angelo Keyes. The Aggies ranked 24th nationally in run defense and ninth in team sacks during the 2014 season. Ragland was third in the MEAC in sacks per game in 2014. The Aggies rush defense went from being ranked seventh nationally in 2011 to being ranked third in 2012 to being the best rush defense in the nation in 2013. Thanks to A&T’s defensive line play, the defense has also never finished lower than 16th nationally in total defense over the past five years.
In the addition to the outstanding play from Ragland and Keyes, walk-on defensive end Daniel Pinnix developed into one of the best pass rushers in the MEAC in 2013. Tyree Hearn steadily improved in three seasons as a starter for Coard. Hearn collected 20 tackles for loss and 7 ½ sacks in his last three seasons, earning a third-team All-MEAC selection 2013. Former defensive end Tony Mashburn also benefited from Coard’s teachings in 2011 and ‘12. In two years with Coard, Mashburn collected an impressive 22 ½ tackles for loss, 82 tackles and 11 sacks. Defensive tackle Chris Neal also had a career year during his senior season in 2012 with career highs in tackles (33), tackles for loss (9) and sacks (3).
Before coming to A&T, Coard coached defensive ends and assisted in coaching defensive tackles at Grambling under then head coach Rod Broadway. Coard assisted defensive coordinator/defensive line coach Cliff Yoshida in 2009 and ‘10. Coard helped the defensive line produce 7.8 tackles for loss per game. It helped the Tigers rank 15th nationally in tackles for loss. Defensive lineman Christian Anthony ranked 31st in the nation in sacks per game and finished 19thin tackles for loss. The following season, defensive lineman Antonio Leonard registered 1.2 tackles for loss per game.
Prior to his arrival at Grambling, Coard served as the defensive line coach at his high school alma mater Charlotte Independence. As a player there, Coard helped the Patriots win four straight state championships.
Coard was a four-year starter at defensive tackle for N.C. Central from 2004-07 under then head coach Rod Broadway. His presence helped the Eagles win consecutive CIAA titles in 2005 and ‘06. In 2004, he was named to the CIAA’s All-Rookie Team. Academically, Coard earned a B.A., degree in business management in 2008. Two years later, he received a M.S., degree in sports administration from Grambling.