Jay Hood named interim defensive coordinator; Mark Rhea assistant head coach
Jay Hood joined the Western Carolina Catamount football staff in March of 2011. He came to WCU from Ball State where he coached the linebackers in 2010, a role he will continue with the Catamount defense.
Late in the 2011 season, Hood was promoted to interim defensive coordinator after Matt Pawlowski was released.
Prior to making to the move to Mid-American Conference (MAC) member Ball State, Hood was an assistant coach at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, from 2005 until 2008. He coached the RedHawks defensive line coach in 2005 and 2006 before being named the school's defensive coordinator in 2007. During the 2008 season, Hood was promoted to associate head coach while maintaining his defensive coordinator duties.
Under Hood's direction, Miami's defense dominated the MAC in 2007. The RedHawks led the league in six different categories, including rushing, passing, total and scoring defense. Hood helped the RedHawks to the 2005 MAC East Division Co-Championship and the 2007 MAC East Division title.
Hood, who brings over 25 years of defensive coaching experience, began his coaching career in 1986 as a graduate assistant in 1986-87 at Bowling Green State University before making the move to Mesa State College, a NCAA Division II program in Grand Junction, Colo., as an assistant from 1988-89. He spent 1990 through 1993 as an assistant at Fort Hays before returning to Mesa State as the head coach for four seasons, 1994-97, compiling a 13-39 overall record.
From 1998-2003, Hood was an assistant coach at Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., and helped the team to a 46-12 mark in his tenure. At Millikin, he served as the defensive coordinator from 1999-2003. In 2004, he returned to Fort Hays State as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach before joining the Miami staff.
A 1986 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan, Hood was a three-time team captain and was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 2004. He later earned his Masters of Education with an emphasis in athletic administration from Bowling Green. Hood is married to his wife Renee, and is the son of a former head college football coach. His father, Wally Hood, was a head coach at Ohio Northern, Otterbein and Fairmont State.