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Former Assistant Returns to Liberty Staff
Head Football Coach Danny Rocco has brought a familiar face back to the program, as Rocco has announced the addition of H.T. Kinney to his coaching staff. Kinney is the lone new addition to Rocco’s coaching staff for the upcoming 2010 season.
Kinney will be filling the coaching vacancy left open when Ernie McCook, last year’s running game coordinator and tight ends coach, left the program to return to Shepherd College, where he had previously coached for 11 years.
“We are very excited to announce the hiring of H.T. Kinney as our tight ends coach and running game coordinator,” stated Rocco. “H.T. will bring a great deal of experience and expertise to our staff. He has an impressive resume and has a great deal of versatility as a coach. His prior successes and his history at Liberty make him the perfect man for this job.”
Kinney comes to Liberty after serving a eight-year stint at Nicholls State, including the past six seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
In 2009, Nicholls State finished the season ranked No. 11 in the country in rushing offense, as the Colonels rushed for 2,211 yards and 20 touchdowns. The mark ranked second in the Southland Conference behind NCAA FCS playoff program McNeese State, who ran for 2,616 yards and 34 touchdowns and was one of two FCS programs in 2009 to record more rushing touchdowns than Liberty (31).
A successful rushing attack became the staple at Nicholls State with Kinney at the helm of the Colonels’ offense. During his five-year span as offensive coordinator, Nicholls State rushed for an average of 2,647 yards and 24 touchdowns per season.
The Colonels ranked inside the Top 15 in rushing offense nationally each year, spotlighted by the 2005 season, when Nicholls State advanced to the NCAA FCS Playoffs. In 2005, Nicholls State rushed for 3,648 yards and 38 touchdowns, ranking only behind Georgia Southern’s national-leading marks of 4,641 rushing yards and 50 rushing touchdowns.
Prior to his days at Nicholls State, Kinney served two seasons as the running backs coach at Hofstra, from 2000 to 2001. During his pair of seasons on Long Island, Kinney helped the Pride post a combined 17-5 record, as Hofstra was 8-3 in 2000 and 9-2 in 2001.
In 2000, Kinney coached Hofstra freshman running back Trevor Dimmie, who ranked No. 21 in the nation in rushing (1,319 yards and six touchdowns), which helped the squad finish No. 11 nationally in scoring offense (35.82 points per game). The following season, Hofstra upped its offensive production, as the Pride ended the year as the nation’s No. 5 scoring offense at 37.91 points per contest.
Kinney first came to Liberty in 1993 and coached seven years under legendary Flames coach Sam Rutigliano, the winningest coach in program history.
During his first season on Liberty Mountain, Kinney served as defensive ends coach, before transitioning to the offensive side of the coaching staff for the next six seasons. During the 1994 and 1995 campaigns, Kinney helped with Liberty’s tight ends, which saw tight end Tony Dews lead the team in receiving yards both seasons.
In 1996, Kinney instructed Liberty’s running backs, where he coached Lawrence Worthington during the final season of his stellar three-year career. Worthington currently ranks fourth in Liberty’s program history with 2,723 career rushing yards and tied for second with 35 career rushing touchdowns.
During his final three years with the program, Kinney coached Liberty’s offensive line. In 1997, Liberty posted a 9-2 record, a mark that is tied for second in program history for total wins, including wins over No. 15 Appalachian State and No. 19 Cal Poly. In 1998, Kinney coached Ulysses Moore, an offensive tackle who earned Football Gazette honorable mention All-American accolades.
Prior to his first stint at Liberty, Kinney coached at Wagner for two years as secondary/special teams coach (1991-92). In 1989 and 1990, Kinney spent two years in an Italian professional league, where he was the defensive coordinator with the Bologna Rebels in 1990 and the head coach for the Tolentino Orange Blades in 1989.
Kinney broke into the college coaching rankings in 1988, when he served as an assistant coach at Monmouth College, where he worked with the linebackers and special teams.
Kinney is a 1988 graduate of Wisconsin-Platteville, where he was a four-year starter for the Pioneers, while earning his undergraduate degree in health and physical education. In 1993, Kinney earned a master’s degree in education from Wagner.
Kinney, a native of Monmouth, Ill., is married to the former Christine Richard. The couple has two children: a daughter, Colby (15) and a son, Christian (6).
By Liberty University Communications