Everett Withers Names 6 To JMU Football Staff

By: Daren Stoltzfus Email
By: Daren Stoltzfus Email

WHSV Sports has learned Everett Withers will name six new coaches to his football staff, two with direct local ties.

Credit: Ohio State Athletics

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- WHSV Sports has learned Everett Withers will name six new coaches to the JMU football staff, two with direct local ties.

The new football coaches were officially announced by JMU Monday night, shortly after WHSV Sports posted this story.

Brad Davis and Andrew Mehringer will be co-offensive coordinators. Davis will focus on the offensive line, Mehringer will focus on coaching quarterbacks.

Another offensive hire, Parker Fleming will coach wide receivers and special teams.

Former JMU star John Bowers returns to James Madison, helping coach the defense. Bowers was a letter winner in football and baseball while a student at James Madison, and also served as a graduate assistant to start his coaching career.

Steve Sisa, a former Bridgewater College football player will be named linebackers coach. Antoine Smith will coach the defensive line.

According to a source, JMU's football staff is still not complete and more names will be announced in the coming days.

Here is the release from JMU's Athetic department in full:

The James Madison University football program has added six assistant coaches, Head Coach Everett Withers announced today. Brad Davis and Andrew Mehringer have been named co-offensive coordinators, with Davis coaching the offensive line and Mehringer the quarterbacks. Also on the offensive side of the ball, Parker Fleming will coach the wide receivers and special teams. Defensively, former James Madison football standout John Bowers will coach the secondary, Steve Sisa will coach the linebackers and Antoine Smith will handle the defensive line. Their appointments are effective immediately.

"I am very excited about the coaches that are joining me and the JMU family," Withers said. "They are very energetic, young and high energy group that will be bulldogs on the recruiting trail and excellent teachers and mentors for our young men in the program."

Davis has spent the last five years on the staff at Portland State, serving most recently as the run-game coordinator and offensive line coach as part of the program’s pistol offense. Davis helped the Vikings to successful seasons in two of the last three years and had 10 players earn All-Big Sky Conference honors while ranking among the nation’s leaders in fewest sacks allowed during that time. In 2013, senior tackle Mitchell Van Dyk was named First Team All-Big Sky as well as The Sports Network Third Team All-American. This past season, Davis helped lead Portland State’s offense to the top team in the Big Sky in total offense, second in rushing offense and third in scoring offense, while ranking third in FCS football in rushing offense and total offense. The team also set school records this season of 6,486 total yards, 3,330 rushing yards, a 277.7 rushing average, 540.5 total offense average and 36 rushing touchdowns.

Prior to Portland State, Davis held a similar position at North Carolina where he worked in 2008. He also spent two years as a defensive line graduate assistant at Texas A&M, as well as coaching at Doane College and Wayne State.

Davis is a 2003 graduate of the University of Oklahoma where he was a starting offensive lineman for Bob Stoops. He competed on two Big XII Championship teams and the 2000 National Championship squad and played in the Independence Bowl (1999), Orange Bowl (2000), Cotton Bowl (2001) and Rose Bowl (2002). Davis was the team’s Most Valuable Offensive Lineman in 2002.

Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in social studies education from Oklahoma in 2003. He earned a master’s in kinesiology and sports management from Texas A&M in 2008. He and his wife Anecia have a son, Bradley, born September 2012.

Mehringer has spent the past two seasons on staff with Withers at Ohio State, working as a graduate assistant with the offensive line in 2013 and with the tight ends and wide receivers in 2012. Prior to that, he spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons working with the wide receivers at Iowa State University. He worked for Ohio State offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tom Herman while at Rice and also at Iowa State. A native of Arlington, Texas, Mehringer attended Rice University on scholarship as a quarterback, playing for former Texas standout Major Applewhite before an injury sidelined him, where he served as a student assistant with the quarterbacks with Herman, graduating in 2010 with a degree in political science. He graduated with his master's degree in sports management at Ohio State in 2013.

Fleming has spent the past two seasons also on the staff at Ohio State, working with the offense and the special teams in 2013. Prior to his time at Ohio State, spent the 2010 year coaching quarterbacks at his high school - Decatur (Ga.) - and then he worked at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio, in 2011, also as quarterbacks coach. A native of Atlanta, Ga., Fleming is a 2010 graduate of Presbyterian College with a degree in political science. He lettered as a quarterback for the Blue Hose while playing between 2007-09.

With more than 30 years of coaching experience, Bowers returns to the Shenandoah Valley where he was a standout player for the Dukes in the early years, serving as the team captain two seasons for Challace McMillian’s squad and earning the team’s offensive MVP award in 1977 and Bob Yetzer Leadership Award in 1978. A three-year letterwinner at JMU, he led the team in scoring in 1977 with seven touchdowns and posted a 13-7 record as the quarterback his final two years.

Most recently, he was a recruiting assistant at Ohio State for the 2013 season and had previously been an assistant coach at Bothell High School in Washington. He has spent his coaching career at both the high school and college ranks, including collegiate stints at Western Washington, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Eastern Illinois, Illinois State, Austin Peay, Shepherd College and Washington & Lee.

A native of Hagerstown, Maryland, Bowers lettered in both football and baseball at JMU and graduated with his bachelor’s degree in 1979 and earned his master’s in education in 1980 after serving as a graduate assistant coach with the football program.

He is married to Joanne, who is starting her eighth season as head coach of the University of Washington’s nationally-ranked women’s gymnastics team, and they have two sons, David (30) and Ross (17).

Familiar with the Valley from his college days, Sisa has spent the last two seasons on the coaching staff at Western Carolina as the secondary coach for both seasons and special teams coordinator in 2013. Prior to that, he was on the North Carolina coaching staff with Withers for two years, serving as his safeties coach in 2011 and working in player development in 2010. In 2011, he helped guide UNC to the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La. Under Sisa's tutelage in 2011, the Tar Heel safeties accounted for six of North Carolina's 14 interceptions and forced five of the 13 fumbles on the year.

Prior to North Carolina, Sisa served two seasons (2008-09) as a graduate assistant at Southern Mississippi with the Golden Eagles making back-to-back appearances in the New Orleans Bowl during his tenure. Sisa helped tutor the Southern Miss secondary under defensive coordinator Todd Bradford and head coach Larry Fedora. He was also responsible for opponent scouting reports, scout team film study and practice scripts.

A native of Manassas, Va., Sisa got his start at the collegiate ranks as a quality control coach at the University of Illinois in 2007 where he worked primarily with the team's linebackers. Illinois was 9-3 that season and advanced to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1984.

Following his graduation from Virginia Tech, Sisa began his coaching career at Ed White High School in Jacksonville, Fla., under head coach Dan Disch, currently the defensive coordinator at North Carolina. Sisa worked as the secondary coach in 2003 and the defensive coordinator from 2004-06. He additionally served as the team's NCAA recruiting liaison for prospective student-athletes and also was the Shrine Bowl defensive coordinator in 2006.

A linebacker at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Va., in 1997, Sisa's career was cut short by a shoulder injury. He transferred to Virginia Tech where he earned a bachelor's degree in political science in 2001. He received a master's degree in sports management in 2009 from Southern Miss.

Sisa is married to the former Lisa Taylor of Jacksonville, Fla., and the couple has a son, Taylor (1).

Smith has spent the past three years at Holy Cross, serving as the defensive line coach. He coached three All-Patriot League selections during his time with the Crusaders.

Smith came to Holy Cross after spending two seasons as the defensive line coach at Miami (Ohio) University. During the 2010 campaign, Smith helped lead the RedHawks to the Mid-American Conference title, and a victory in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. In addition, defensive tackle Austin Brown earned Second Team All Mid-American Conference honors in 2010.

Prior to his time at Miami (Ohio), Smith served as the defensive line coach at Youngstown State from 2006-2008, with the Penguins winning the 2006 Gateway Conference championship and advancing to the NCAA semifinals. His unit had six All-Missouri Valley Conference selections in his three seasons, including a Third Team All-American in defensive tackle Mychal Savage.

Smith was previously the defensive line coach at Lafayette from 2004-2005, helping the Leopards to a pair of Patriot League co-championships and two NCAA playoff appearances. During the 2005 campaign, he helped to direct a defense which ranked ninth in the nation in scoring defense (17.0 points per game), 11th in total defense (296.9 yards per game), 19th in pass defense (166.9 yards per game) and 28th in rush defense (130.0 yards per game).

Before moving to Lafayette, Smith spent the 2003 season as the defensive line coach at Maine. The Black Bears finished with a 7-5 mark, while Smith’s entire front-line unit received All-Atlantic 10 accolades.

Smith previously spent the 2002 season as the defensive line coach and strength and conditioning coordinator at Minot State in North Dakota. He helped guide Minot State to the 2002 Dakota Athletic Conference championship, a 9-2 record and a berth in the NAIA playoffs, the Beavers’ first since 1994.

Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and kinesiology from Maine in 2001, and his master’s degree in health and human performance from Minot State in 2004. He was a three-year starter at defensive tackle and a four-year letterwinner for Maine from 1996-1999.


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