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Football: Napier Adds Segrest To Ragin’ Cajuns Football Staff - review of football coaching hires
By: Jeff Schneider, Assistant Director of Athletics Communications
LAFAYETTE, La. – Louisiana football head coach Billy Napier has announced the hire of Rory Segrest as an Assistant Head Coach on Tuesday. Segrest will work with the defensive line and brings several years of coaching experience at the college and NFL level.
"Rory Segrest brings a wealth of experience and character to our staff," Napier said. "He is a technician and proven developer of talent. Having played against his players at Arkansas, I know exactly what we are getting in this hire. His experience in the NFL and SEC will be insightful for our players as well. I'm excited to see his impact both on and off the field. Let's welcome Rory, his wife Jackie and their son James to Lafayette."
Segrest spent three seasons as defensive line and specialists coach at Arkansas from 2014-16. Segrest helped the Razorbacks rank second in the Southeastern Conference and 12th nationally in rushing defense (116.46) in 2015. He also helped develop Deatrich Wise into one of the SEC's best pass rushers during the 2015 season. The SEC leader with eight sacks during conference play, Wise tallied 31 tackles, including 10.5 for loss, in 13 games played. He recorded seven sacks over the last four regular-season contests, which paced the SEC and ranked second nationally during that stretch.
During his first season in 2014, Segrest helped the Razorbacks rank in the top 10 in the nation in both scoring and total defense for the first time since Arkansas joined the SEC in 1992. The Razorback defense became the first unit in college football history to shutout back-to-back ranked opponents as an unranked team when Arkansas blanked No. 20 LSU and No. 8 Ole Miss. Arkansas finished No. 2 in the SEC and No. 12 nationally with just 114.6 rushing yards allowed per game.
Segrest was the position coach for Trey Flowers, who finished his career with 47.5 career tackles for loss, second-most in school history. Two of his four starters earned second-team All-SEC honors, including Flowers and Darius Philon and both were selected in the 2015 NFL Draft. Flowers went in the fourth round to the New England Patriots while Philon was selected in the sixth round by the San Diego Chargers.
Segrest also coached the Razorback specialists, kickoff and kickoff return units in 2014. Under his direction, Arkansas improved from the No. 67 kickoff return unit in 2013 to No. 5 in the nation and second in the SEC averaging 23.84 yards per kickoff return in 2014. Punter Sam Irwin-Hill finished the campaign as one of the nation's hottest specialists, landing 18 punts inside the 20 in the final five games of the season as Arkansas defeated LSU, Ole Miss and Texas. It was the first time in program history the Razorbacks defeated those three schools in the same season.
Prior to Arkansas, Segrest had his second stint on the Samford coaching staff, where he was the team's defensive line coach and special teams coordinator from 2011-13. He previously coached at Samford from 2002-05 when he was defensive line coach, special teams coordinator and recruiting coordinator.
Samford finished the 2013 season ranked 18th in the final coaches poll after earning the program's first FCS playoff berth since 1992. Fabian Truss was named to the AFCA FCS Coaches' All-America Team as an all-purpose player as he ranked second nationally in kickoff return average at 32.1 yards per return. The Samford defense also led the SoCon in sacks and tackles for loss.
In 2012, Samford defensive lineman Nick Williams was named first-team all-conference and finished second in the Southern Conference and 36th nationally (FCS) with seven sacks. Williams was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. Samford's defense tied for first in the SoCon and finished 27th in the FBS in sacks with 27. Additionally, Samford ranked 29th in the FCS in total defense.
Segrest's special teams units also had success in 2012 finishing sixth in kickoff returns with a 24.91 yards per return average and first in the SoCon in kickoff coverage. Punt returner Riley Hawkins finished first in the SoCon and 14th in the FCS in punt return average, and Truss finished 13th in the FCS in kick return average. Kicker Cameron Yam was named first-team All American as well as first-team all-conference.
In 2011, Samford's special teams improved in every category over the previous season. The kickoff return unit was ranked 12th in the FCS, Truss ranked seventh in the FCS in kick return average and the punt return unit was ranked 19th in the FCS. Redshirt freshman punter Greg Peranich ranked 24th in the FCS and was named to the SoCon All-Freshman Team. Yaw ranked second in the FCS in field goals, connecting on 23-of-28, and was tied for eighth in total scoring.
Segrest returned to Samford after coaching with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2006-10. While with the Eagles, Segrest was the special teams quality control/assistant defensive line coach (2006-07), special teams coordinator (2007-09) and defensive line coach (2009-10). In 2006 and 2010, the Eagles won the NFC East and made it to the NFC Championship game in 2008. Segrest also coached in the 2009 Pro Bowl.
In 2009 and 2010, the Eagles' defensive line units ranked second and fourth, respectively, in the NFL in sacks by defensive linemen. They ranked third (2010) and ninth (2009) in the league in tackles for loss by defensive linemen. In 2010, they were ranked second in the NFL in quarterback knockdowns and hurries by defensive linemen. Segrest also coached two-time Pro Bowler Trent Cole (2007, 2009) while with the Eagles.
Philadelphia's special teams finished third in the NFL in 2008 in field goals made and Pro Bowl kicker David Akers broke franchise records with 33 field goals and 144 points scored. Akers set his career high that year with 17 touchbacks. Punter Sav Rocca set a franchise record with his single-season net punt average of 37.9. Rocca and Akers were both named NFL's Special Teams Player of the month.
Segrest's previous coaching stops include Southeast Missouri State where he began in 1999 and added recruiting coordinator duties for 2000-01. He was also the defensive graduate assistant at Auburn University from 1997-99 working with the defensive line and special teams units.
His coaching career began under Gene Stallings as a student assistant at Alabama in 1994 after his playing career was cut short by an injury. He was a member of the Crimson Tide's 1992 National Championship Team and was also awarded the team's 1995 Co-Leadership Award. Collegiately, Segrest has been part of seven bowl games as either a player or coach.
A native of Waycross, Ga., and a graduate of Waycross High School, he earned his bachelor's degree in health-care management from Alabama in 1996 where he met his wife, Jackie. They have one son, James.
Segrest's hiring is pending approval by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.
SEGREST AT A GLANCE
Alma Mater: Alabama, 1996
Hometown: Waycross, Ga.
2014-16, Arkansas (Defensive Line/Specialists)
2011-13, Samford (Defensive Line/Special Teams Coordinator)
2009-10, Philadelphia Eagles (Defensive Line)
2007-08, Philadelphia Eagles (Special Teams)
2007-08, Philadelphia Eagles (Quality Control)
2002-05, Samford (Defensive Line/Special Teams Coordinator)
2001, Southeast Missouri State (Off. Tackles, TEs, Recruiting Coordinator)
2000, Southeast Missouri State (Defensive Line, Recruiting Coordinator)
1999, Southeast Missouri State (Defensive Line)
1997-98, Auburn (Graduate Assistant)
1996, Alabama (Strength & Conditioning Grad Assistant)
1994-95, Alabama (Student Assistant)
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Footnote by Dr. Ed Dugas.
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