Tulsa’s Kragthorpe Completes Staff

By TU Report    
Sunday, 15 January 2006
ImageUniversity of Tulsa Head Football Coach Steve Kragthorpe completed his coaching staff Friday with the appointment of Darin Eliot and Derek Jones as defensive assistant coaches.

Eliot will coach the Hurricane linebackers, while Jones will coach the cornerback position for Tulsa. Eliot comes to Tulsa after three seasons at Texas State University and Jones spent the 2005 campaign at Middle Tennessee State.

“I’m excited about the additions to our staff in the hiring of Darin Eliot and Derek Jones. Not only do they possess the ability to coach on the football field, but the ability to mold young men and shape their futures,” said Kragthorpe. “Derek has a great grasp of secondary play and particularly the position of playing corner, not only because of the success he’s had in his coaching career, but the success he enjoyed as a player.

“Darin has strong recruiting ties in the state of Texas, as well as the state of Oklahoma, having grown up in Edmond. He has done a tremendous job in his time at Texas State in recruiting the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex,” added Kraghtorpe. “I couldn’t be more pleased to have these two men as part of our staff at The University of Tulsa.”

Eliot, 29, served as the linebacker coach at Texas State the past two seasons, and was the secondary coach in 2003. The Bobcats’ defense ranked first in the Southland Conference and 20th nationally in total defense in 2005. Texas State won the Southland Conference Championship this past season,

Prior to joining the Texas State coaching staff, Eliot spent one year at the University of Miami where he served as a graduate assistant coach and worked with the Hurricane’s secondary and special teams in 2002. In that season, Miami won the Big East Championship and played for a national championship, finishing the season with a 12-1 record. The Hurricanes’ secondary led the nation and set an NCAA record for fewest yards allowed per pass completion.

Eliot also served as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Houston for two seasons (2000-01), working primarily with the secondary and special teams. Before that, he was an student assistant coach at the University of Wyoming in 1998 and a graduate assistant in 1999.

Eliot played linebacker at Wyoming for three years (1995-97). He earned his bachelor’s degree in science and mathematics with a minor in zoology from Wyoming in 1999. He received a master’s degree in sports administration from Houston in 2002.

A native of Edmond, Oklahoma, Eliot was a Class 6A all-star selection at Edmond Memorial High School as a prep senior in 1995.

Jones, 31, spent this past season as the cornerback coach at Middle Tennessee State University.  The Blue Raiders’ defense ranked second in the Sun Belt Conference and 32nd nationally in pass efficiency defense and also ranked 30th in the nation in pass defense and 34th in interceptions.

Before his one-year stint at MTSU, Jones spent five seasons (2000-05) at Murray State serving as the cornerback coach and recruiting coordinator. Jones coached seven all-conference performers in his five years.

In 2004, Jones’ secondary played a major role in Murray State ranking 11th nationally in total defense and 23rd in scoring defense in Division I-AA. The Racers ranked second in pass defense in the Ohio Valley Conference and 40th nationally. A year earlier, the Murray State defensive unit ranked first in pass defense in the OVC and fourth nationally.

He entered the coaching ranks at his alma mater, Mississippi, in 1998 as a graduate assistant for football operations and recruiting. He served as a defensive graduate assistant a year later.

As a player, Jones was the team captain for the 1995 and 1996 seasons and earned second-team all-SEC honors as a junior and senior cornerback. Following his senior season, Jones was selected to play in the 1996 Blue-Gray All-Star Classic. He was also a standout in track and field at Ole Miss, earning all-SEC honors in the 4×400-meter relay and reaching the nationals in that event as well.

Jones earned his bachelor’s degree in public administration from Ole Miss in 1996. Following graduation, Jones played professionally for the Toronto Argonauts and Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League and the Nashville Kats of the Arena Football League. An injury ended his playing career in 1998.

A native of Woodruff, South Carolina, Jones was an all-state selection in football and track at Woodruff High School.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 15 January 2006 )