Adam Fuller has brought a technician’s eye to an aggressive style of play with Marshall’s defense as the linebacker’s coach since joining the Thundering Herd staff in February 2013. The Massachusetts native joined the Herd after four seasons as Chattanooga's defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
The Herd has thrived on the middle row of defense in the 4-3 under Fuller, who has coached the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons.
In 2015, as the Herd finished 10-3 with a St. Petersburg Bowl victory, inside linebacker Evan McKelvey returned from his second ACL tear to win the top defensive award in C-USA. McKelvey finished with 121 tackles, including nine for loss, with an interception, 10 pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. The senior ranked second in C-USA in tackles.
That followed 2014, when the Herd won the C-USA title and finished 13-1 and in the national polls as Fuller coached Neville Hewitt, who was the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year before making the 2015 Miami Dolphins’ regular-season roster as an undrafted free agent. Hewitt led the league in tackles with 123, while teammate Jermaine Holmes, who made 104 stops, earned second team honors.
D.J. Hunter earned C-USA honorable mention acclaimin his final two Marshall seasons. The 2015 senior finished his career at outside linebacker with 297 tackles, including 20 for loss and 8.5 sacks.
Fuller also has a strong hand in the Herd’s special teams and has come up big for the Herd on the recruiting trail in west Florida, where 2015 starting quarterback Chase Litton and middle linebacker Devontre’a Tyler call home.
In 2013, Fuller mentored all-league linebackers Holmes and Evan McKelvey (honorable mention) and was a member of the staff that helped make the biggest scoring defense turnaround in the nation since 1998.
In 2012 at Chattanooga, Fuller's defense ranked in the top 18 in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) in nearly every category, including first down defense (6th, 15.7 per game), total defense (10th, 307.91), pass defense (12th, 166.0) and scoring defense (18th, 20.4).
In 2011, UTC led the Southern Conference in total defense (305.3 yds/game), scoring defense (19.7 ppg), pass efficiency defense (100.15), pass defense (140.8 yds/game), turnover margin (+9), fumbles recovered (14), opponent third-down conversion (33%) and opponent fourth down conversion (38%) in 2011.
The Mocs ranked in the top 20 in the nation in sacks and passing defense in 2009 and third in the SoCon in rushing defense in 2010. UTC was also in the top 20 in the nation with 14 fumbles recovered in 2010.
In four seasons, Fuller helped guide 13 defensive players to All-Southern Conference honors, including two-time All-American linebacker Wes Dothard and All-American defensive end and Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year Davis Tull. He also mentored 2010 SoCon Freshman of the Year Kadeem Wise and 2009 SoCon Defensive Player of the Year and All-American Josh Beard. Cornerback Buster Skrine became the first Moc drafted since 2001 when he was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris signed a free-agent contract with the Cincinnati Bengals and saw action during the 2012 regular season and playoffs.
Prior to his stint at UTC, Fuller was the head coach for one season at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass. He worked for Coach Dave Clawson when they were both at Richmond from 2005-07. There, he helped the Spiders to back-to-back conference championships and appearances in the FCS playoffs.
Fuller began his coaching career as a linebackers coach at WPI (1998). He also coached at Wagner College (1999-04) with veteran coach Walt Hamline. Fuller was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in 2004.
As a collegian, Fuller was a four-year letter winner at Sacred Heart University. He earned Football Gazette All-American honors as a linebacker in 1996 and served as SHU team captain in 1997.
A Tewksbury, Mass., native who grew up in Lowell, Mass., Fuller played varsity football at Tewksbury High. Fuller earned his bachelor's degree at Sacred Heart in criminal justice with a minor in sociology in 1998. In addition, he earned a master's in secondary education in 2001 from Wagner.
Fuller, 38,and his wife, Hope, have two sons, Jack and Aidan.