Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina third-year assistant coach Tyler Carlton has been selected to participate in the AFCA / NCAA 35 Under 35 Coaches Leadership Institute, presented by the American Football Coaches Foundation and NCAA Leadership Development. One of eight NCAA FCS coaches selected – and the first from WCU – Carlton will participate in the event slated for Jan. 7, 2018 in Charlotte as a part of the AFCA Convention.
Carlton has spent the past three seasons under head coach Mark Speir and offensive coordinator Brad Glenn working with the Catamount wide receivers. Under his tutelage, WCU has had three of its all-time best wide outs including Karnorris Benson (2012-15), Spearman Robinson (2012-16), and the program’s all-time leader in receptions, Terryon Robinson (2013-17). Benson finished his career with 23 receiving touchdowns – second in program history – while Terryon finished tied for fifth with 19 career scores and Spearman is tied for seventh with 17 receiving TDs.
Western Carolina’s offense ranked among the league-leaders in many statistical categories collectively including leading the SoCon in total offense in 2017 at 440.6 yards per game that included the second-most passing yardage at 209.6. Individually, Carlton coached two Catamounts – Robinson and Steffon Hill – who ranked third and fourth, respectively in receptions per game at 5.2 and 4.0 per contest. Robinson additional ranked third in receiving yards per game at 74.7, while Hill was fifth with an average of 58.5 yards per game.
A 2009 graduate of Tulsa, Carlton is originally from Sapulpa, Okla., and was both a wide receiver and punter for the Golden Hurricane from 2004-06 where he was a member of the 2005 Conference USA championship team. Prior to his stint in Cullowhee, Carlton coached at his alma mater under renowned offensive coordinator, Chad Morris, following Morris to Clemson where he was an offensive analyst and video graduate assistant.
In addition to Carlton, former WCU football student-athlete and a former assistant coach Chris Collins, who is currently an assistant coach at Georgia State, was selected to participate in this year’s institute.
Formerly the Future Football Coaches Academy, the one-day event is in its third year and is designed to identify and train rising leaders in the game of football and the coaching profession. Programming features interactive lectures on topics that include ethics, leadership, NCAA rules, financial management, the coach hiring practice, and student-athlete safety.
This year’s class was chosen from a total of 138 applicants. In order to be eligible, applicants must have been born on or after January 1, 1983, and must be currently serving as a high school head coach, a two-year college full-time assistant or head coach, or an NAIA/NCAA full-time assistant or head coach. Applicants were required to submit a resume, five references, and a 1,600-word article on an Offensive, Defensive, Special Teams, or position-specific topic of the applicant’s choosing.
Selected participants are invited to attend the one-day institute, which features a curriculum of interactive lectures focused on topics specifically tailored to emphasize leadership in the coaching profession, ethics, influential responsibilities, career progression, and family balance. In addition to receiving this exclusive educational opportunity and becoming a part of the great network of rising coaches in the profession, participants will also receive other benefits, including a stipend to assist with 2018 AFCA Convention expenses n; publication in the bi-monthly AFCA Magazine, weekly AFCA Insider email blast, and/or have their articles added to the online AFCA Educational Library; and placement on the 2019 AFCA Foundation Committee.
Based out of Waco, Texas, the AFCA was founded in 1922 and currently has more than 11,000 members around the world ranging from the high school level to the professional ranks. According to its constitution, the AFCA was formed, in part, to “maintain the highest possible standards in football and in the coaching profession” and to “provide a forum for the discussion and study of all matters pertaining to football.”