Feb. 8, 2012
HUNTINGTON, W.Va.-Marshall head coach Doc Holliday announced Wednesday that Lytrel Pollard and Geep Wade have been named assistant coaches for the Thundering Herd’s football program.
Pollard will coach the Herd’s cornerbacks, Wade will coach the guards and centers and offensive coordinator Bill Legg will now coach the team’s tackles and tight ends.
"Both of them are great young coaches and I am excited to have them join our staff," Holliday said. "They are relentless recruiters and excellent coaches that will be a great addition to the Marshall Football Family."
Pollard comes to Marshall after serving as UT Martin’s defensive coordinator in 2011, where his unit finished second in the Ohio Valley Conference, including a second down ranking in third down defense. His linebacker, Ben Johnson, finished fourth in the OVC in total tackles, while defensive end DJ Roberts finished second in the league in tackles for losses.
“I’m very happy to be here,” said Pollard. “I look forward to helping us win a Conference USA title.”
Prior to his time at UT Martin, Pollard spent one year at Mississippi College where he served as the Choctaws defensive coordinator for the 2010 season.
Before Mississippi College, Pollard was on the University of Memphis coaching staff for two seasons. He was part of the defensive staff that helped Memphis improve from 100th to 57th nationally in total defense in just one season.
Pollard spent nine seasons at Southern Miss on head coach Jeff Bower's staff before making the move to Conference USA rival Memphis. Pollard coached defensive backs, linebackers and was the special teams coordinator as his alma mater, Southern Miss.
In 2007, Pollard guided the Southern Miss defensive backs which logged 17 interceptions and was led by C-USA standout Brandon Sumrall. Sumrall totaled six picks for 101 yards and made one return for a touchdown that season, and was named to the All C-USA first team. He also tied for 18th nationally in interceptions and tallied eight pass breakups. In addition, defensive backs C.J. Bailey and Chico Hunter were named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team.
Consistent defensive leaders in C-USA, Southern Miss ranked second in total defense and pass defense while leading the league in red zone defense. Pollard also guided the special teams unit, which was highlighted by punter Britt Barefoot, who ranked second in C-USA and 25th nationally in punting. The Golden Eagles ranked second in the league in net punting and were also second in kickoff coverage.
Pollard coached the 2005-C-USA Defensive Player of the Year and All-American Kevis Coley, who posted 150 tackles, the sixth best performance in Southern Miss history. Coley's total tackles ranked No. 8 nationally, while his solos (81) were No. 7 nationally.
In 2004, Pollard coached outside linebacker Michael Boley, who left his mark as one of the greatest linebackers to ever play at Southern Miss. He was a two-time All-American, including consensus honors in 2004, the C-USA Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and a three-time All-C-USA selection. He was tabbed a national semifinalist for the Butkus, Bednarik and Lott Awards, while winning the Conerly Trophy, given since 1996 to Mississippi's best college football player. He earned C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors four times and national player of the week honors by the Football Writers Association of America and the Walter Camp Foundation. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 2005.
A native of Bay Springs, Miss., Pollard played at Stringer High School and completed an outstanding Southern Miss playing career in 1997 by helping lead the team to a 9-3 record, a C-USA championship and a Liberty Bowl title. He led the team in tackles with 114, a total that was good for fifth place in the conference. He was in double figures in tackles eight times in 11 games as a senior and had a season-best 13 stops in the season opener at Florida.
Pollard earned his undergraduate degree from Southern Miss in coaching and sport administration in the spring of 1998 and his master's degree in the fall of 1999. Pollard and his wife, Kristina, have two sons, Tylor and Klabron.
Wade spent two seasons leading the offensive line at his alma mater, while also serving as the recruiting coordinator. He returned to the sidelines for his second stint as an assistant coach at UTC after serving on the Mocs’ staff in 2002 following his graduation.
“I’m happy to join the Marshall family,” said Wade. “I came here to win championships and look forward to helping the program build on its recent success.”
Wade was in charge of the tackles and tight ends during the 2010 campaign, helping Chris Harr (OT) and Garrett Hughes (TE) to first team All-SoCon honors. The play of the offensive line allowed the Mocs to finish 11th nationally in total offense (430 yards per game), while the unit threw for an average of 277 yards, second in the SoCon and eighth nationally.
Wade spent the previous four seasons as an assistant coach at Tennessee-Martin, serving as the offensive coordinator in 2009. In 2008, the Skyhawks posted an 8-4 overall record, ranking fourth in the nation in scoring offense (37.33).
In 2007, Wade and the Skyhawk offense ranked No. 1 in the Ohio Valley Conference in total offense (433 yards per game) and points scored per game (33.36). The team finished first in rushing offense (218.5) in the OVC, 12th in the nation.
Before coming to UT Martin in 2006 with head coach Jason Simpson, Wade was an offensive line coach at Western Carolina and Midwestern State in Texas. He also enjoyed a stint at Tennessee where he was an offensive line grad assistant for the Volunteers in 2004, the same year the team won the Southeastern Conference East Division title and the Cotton Bowl. In 2003, Wade coached the offensive line and served as the recruiting coordinator at Mars Hill College.
Wade was a team captain and an offensive lineman at UTC from 1999-01, earning his degree in Business Management in 2002. He is married to the former Amy Howell of McKenzie, Tenn. They have one daughter, Emma Kate.
Marshall Football went 7-6 in 2011 against the nation’s 16th-toughest schedule, according to gberatings.com. The team capped the season with a 20-10 win over Florida International in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl, the seventh bowl win in the program’s history.