Marcus West is entering his sixth season on the coaching staff at UTC. A former NFL player, he has worked with the defensive line in each of his previous five years.
West has coached two SoCon Defensive Players of the year in his short tenure, both defensive ends. Josh Beard won the award in 2009 while Davis Tull took the honor in each of the last two seasons.
Beard went from a virtual unknown in 2008, to leading the FCS with a school-record tying 12 sacks in 2009. Tull broke the school record with 12.5 sacks as a sophomore in 2012, leading one of the top defenses in the nation. Heading into his senior year in 2014, Tull already has the school record for career sacks with 26.5.
The Mocs’ 30 sacks in 2009 were tied for second in the SoCon and 13th in the FCS. It was also the highest team total for UTC since recording 38 in 1985. Josh Williams added seven sacks of his own to set the UTC freshman record.
West came to Chattanooga from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. He was the defensive line coach for the Division III Knights in the 2008 season, helping the team to a 10-3 record, conference championship and a spot in the Division III quarterfinals.
West joined the Knights’ coaching staff after playing across three professional leagues. His stops included one-year stays in the National Football League (Indianapolis Colts), NFL Europe (Amsterdam Admirals) and the Canadian Football League (Hamilton Tiger Cats).
A star at the University of Memphis, West earned All-Conference USA honors in 2004 and 2005. Current UTC head coach Russ Huesman coached West at Memphis as a tight end during West’s first season. He was voted a team captain and earned the program’s Defensive Player of the Year award following his senior season.
West married former UTC and current N.C. State women’s basketball Associate Head Coach Nikki Blassingame in June 2011.