Gideon will work under DC John Wiley with Catamount defense
Western Carolina concludes 2016 season on the road Saturday at 4 pm
Safeties coach brings extensive playing, coaching experience to WCU
During the summer of 2017, Gideon was elevated to the position of defensive passing game coordinator, working alongside defensive coordinator John Wiley.
"We're very excited to add Blake Gideon to our coaching staff," said Speir. "Blake was a tremendous player at Texas who brings passion and a high level of intensity to our defense. He has proven to be an exceptionally bright young coach who is already well respected in our coaching profession. He brings the experience of both playing -- and coaching -- in big-time college football atmospheres."
Gideon has an extensive background with first-year South Carolina head coach, Will Muschamp. He played for Muschamp when he was the defensive coordinator at Texas, with Gideon's first coaching stint on the defensive quality control staff specializing with the secondary coming under Muschamp at Florida. Gideon followed Muschamp to Auburn in 2015 in a similar capacity, and eventually to South Carolina before taking the position in Cullowhee.
A four-year starter at safety for the Longhorns under head coach Mack Brown, Gideon was named to the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award watch list. He was a four-time honorable mention All-Big XII selection who started 52 games -- second-most in Texas history. He finished his collegiate career with 276 tackles including 166 solo stops with 20 pass break-ups and 10 interceptions. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology and health
Gideon was signed as an undrafted free agent by the NFL's Arizona Cardinals in 2012, completing training camp before being waived. He was then signed by the Denver Broncos to their practice squad before being signed to a futures contract following the 2012 season, and ultimately retiring from the NFL in 2013 when he joined Muschamp's staff in Florida.
Following a season in Gainesville, Fla., Gideon made the move within the SEC to The Plains, assuming a graduate assistant at Auburn. In what proved to be his final season at Auburn, Gideon was given the defensive back coaching duties on an interim basis by head coach Gus Malzahn during preparations for the 2015 Birmingham Bowl vs. Memphis after DB coach Travaris Robinson followed Muschamp to South Carolina. Under Gideon's guidance in the bowl victory, Auburn's defensive secondary had one of its best performances of the year, holding the high-powered Memphis offense to just 205 yards of total offense and three points. The secondary helped limit Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch to 16-of-37 passing and 108 yards through the air with an interception.
A native of Leander, Texas -- and the son of a veteran high school football coach -- Gideon made the move to Columbia, S.C., in January of 2016 as a linebackers and special teams graduate assistant coach before taking the full-time position at Western Carolina.