Trei Oliver is in his third season as the Aggies outside linebackers coach. Oliver has worked under head coach Rod Broadway at three different institutions. Oliver also coordinates recruiting efforts and serves as the staff’s financial aid liaison.
A&T’s outside linebackers have made tremendous strides during Oliver’s first two years at A&T. No one more than D’Vonte Grant, who during his first two years as the Aggies starting weak side linebacker, has led the Aggies in tackles. Grant earned second-team All-MEAC honors in 2012, and has recorded 175 tackles and returned two interceptions for touchdowns over the past two seasons. Brandon Hover also excelled under Oliver. Over the final two years of Hover’s career, he made a total of 111 tackles, 5 ½ sacks and 10 ½ tackles for loss. In his only year as an Aggie, Makari Pugh was fourth on the team in tackles (47) and second on the team in tackles for loss (10).
Before arriving to A&T, Oliver spent four seasons at Grambling as the outside linebackers coach and special teams and recruiting coordinator. Throughout his tenure at Grambling, the Tigers had a stingy defense. During his first season in 2007, the Tiger ranked 10th in turnover margin, 11th in scoring defense and 12th total defense nationally.
The next season, Oliver helped the Tigers earn the No. 1 pass defense in Division I-FCS. They ranked third in scoring defense and seventh in total defense. In 2009, Grambling led the nation in punt return yardage per game. Kiare Thompson averaged 19.1 yards per return to rank third nationally. In 2010, he was fifth in the nation in the same statistical category.
Oliver also spent four seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater N.C. Central. He was part of building the Eagles into an NCAA Division II power. During Oliver’s first season in 2003, he served as the school’s defensive backs coach, and helped defensive back Luis George become a Division II Daktronics, Inc., All-Region Performer.
During the 2004 season, Oliver became the wide receivers coach. In that capacity, Oliver improved the Eagles’ offensive attack. Eagle receivers averaged 176.4 yards per game, while scoring 20 touchdowns. Receiver Torrey Ross led the league in receptions (53) and touchdown receptions (11), while being named CIAA Player of the Week three times.
The 2005 season saw even more improvements from Oliver’s pass catchers. The unit caught 22 touchdown passes en route to helping the Eagles win the 2005 CIAA championship. Ross broke the school’s single-season receptions record, was named CIAA Player of the Year and played in the Whataburger Cactus Bowl. In addition, the Eagles special teams unit had a successful season. N.C. Central led the CIAA in PAT’s, ranked second in kickoff and punt return average and third in field goals made.
N.C. Central captured consecutive CIAA championships and earned a berth in the NCAA Division II Playoffs in 2006 with Oliver’s units again playing a vital role. Eagle receivers caught 156 passes for 27 touchdowns. The Eagles also ranked at or near the top of many special teams statistical categories. Kicker Brandon Gilbert earned Division II All-American honors as well as first-team All-CIAA recognition.
Before coaching at N.C. Central, Oliver spent time on Ben Blackwell’s staff at Delaware State. As a member of the Hornets’ staff, Oliver coached defensive backs and was the assistant special teams coordinator.
As a player, Oliver was a standout defensive back and punter. He ranks among the best all-time in passes defended with 31. He was also a part of the Eagles’ 1996 secondary that led the nation in pass defense. He obtained his B.A., degree in physical education in 1998. In 2000, he earned his M.S., degree in criminal justice. Oliver is married (Christi) and has one son, Reggie.