Courtney Coard is in his fourth season as the Aggies defensive line coach. He has taken undersized defensive lines and transformed them into a ferocious foursome in the interior. Coard’s success is aided by the fact he understands Rod Broadway’s philosophy, having been with the head coach as player and assistant coach for 10 years.
The Aggies defense has never been ranked lower than seventh nationally in rush defense over the first three years of Coard’s tenure, including a No. 1 ranking in 2013. Thanks to A&T’s defensive line play, the defense has also never finished lower than eighth nationally in total defense over the past three years. 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 19th in 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 N.C. Central’s assistant defensive line coach in 2008. He assisted with the weekly game plan by breaking down film. He also oversaw study hall and student-athlete tutoring.
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.