Cullowhee, N.C. – Western Carolina head football coach Mark Speir today announced the promotion of a pair of offensive coaches to fill a void on his coaching staff. John Holt, an assistant at WCU since Speir’s first year in 2012, was elevated to Associate Head Coach and will share offensive coordinator responsibilities with wide receivers coach Tyler Carlton entering the 2019 season.
Both Holt and Carlton were on-staff under former offensive coordinator Brad Glenn, who took an assistant coaching position with NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision member Georgia State in early February.
“I am so excited to be able to stay within the Catamount family on the promotions of Offensive Co-Coordinators, John Holt and Tyler Carlton,” Speir said. “Brad Glenn helped establish our offense as one of the best in the country annually. As I interviewed other candidates for the job, it became evident that our answer was already in Cullowhee. Holt and Carlton have been a vital part in the development of our offensive successes; they know the culture, the recruiting standards, and the offensive system that we want to continue to run here in Cullowhee.”
Speir added, “Both men have great families that love the mission and core values of WCU, as well as, the players in our program. They have earned this opportunity to build upon one of the top offenses in the country. I knew we had made the right decision when I saw the response of the team when I told them the news. Our players love, trust and respect these two men and I’m proud that they will lead the way for the future of our program.”
Under Holt’s tutelage, Western Carolina’s offense has reached unprecedented heights, posting a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the past four seasons – three by running back Detrez Newsome, who is the first Catamount tailback to ever amass three-straight, 100-yard seasons, and most recently by quarterback Tyrie Adams in 2018. A combined six offensive linemen have garnered All-Southern Conference or SoCon All-Freshman plaudits including two-time honorees in Jake Thornton, Josh Wineberg, and Zack Weeks.
Carlton, who joined the WCU coaching staff in 2016, has mentored several of the top wide receivers in the high-powered Catamount offense. The program’s all-time leader for receptions (230) – and two-time All-SoCon selection – Terryon Robinson flourished under Cartlon’s leadership, finishing fifth in school history with 19 receiving touchdowns. Robinson also posted the fourth-best single-season with 71 catches in 2016. Another former standout WR Spearman Robinson also benefited from Carlton’s guidance, finishing with eight career 100-yard receiving games and 17 touchdowns, a mark that ranks him eighth in the program record books.
“Mark Speir brought several qualified individuals to campus who were interested in our vacant offensive coordinator position. At the end of the day, the difference in ability and knowledge between the candidates was minimal, but the desire to be a part of Catamount Football was significant,” said WCU Director of Athletics Randy Eaton. “What we did not need was to hire an OC who would begin looking for their next job on day one as a Catamount. In both John Holt and Tyler Carlton, we have identified two individuals who have not only proven their abilities, but just as importantly have proven their desire to be a long-term part of the Catamount family.”
Eaton added, “When I look at the number of student-athletes who have left the football program over the past seven years, the vast majority of those students played on the defensive side of the ball – and I believe their departures were due in large part to the turnover in our defensive coaching staff. To be able to maintain a large percentage of our offensive coaching staff will, in my opinion, help us ensure our recruits stay in Cullowhee until the day they graduate. I also look forward to seeing Holt and Carlton work together to not only maintain, but increase, the fire power our offense has shown over the past several years.”
Speir looks to announce the remainder of his coaching staff additions by the week’s end with plans to open 2019 Spring Drills, presented by Wells Fargo, next week following the University’s Spring Break.