Andersen Tabs Bouknight Receivers Coach, Announces Other Coaching Changes
Jan. 7, 2010
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State football head coach Gary Andersen announced some changes to his staff on Thursday, naming Jovon Bouknight wide receivers coach, as well as two other changes to the USU coaching staff.
Bouknight's promotion from offensive graduate assistant follows offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin's transition from coaching the receivers to taking over the quarterbacks, after former QB coach Kevin McGiven left USU last week for the University of Memphis. Andersen also announced that Ryan Zimmerman will be promoted from offensive administrative assistant to offensive graduate assistant.
"It's a great opportunity to move up to a full-time assistant from a graduate assistant at the Division I level," Bouknight said. "I'm grateful for Coach Andersen and Coach Baldwin to have the confidence and faith in me and be able to help me develop as a football coach."
Bouknight (pronounced Bo-night) has been with the Aggie football program for one season, coming to USU after one season at his alma mater of Wyoming, where he was offensive graduate assistant, working with the Cowboys' wide receivers.
"Jovon has done a tremendous job in the year that he has been with us. He has tremendous potential and upstart as a coach. He has shown terrific ability and knowledge on and off the field, always wanting to learn and improve as a coach," Andersen said.
This past season Bouknight mentored the USU receivers, as the Aggie offense amassed a school-record 5,272 yards of total offense, throwing for 2,961 yards, the most since 3,388 in 2002. Individually, Bouknight's coaching highlights include sophomore Stanley Morrison's team-leading 616 receiving yards, including an 18.7 yards per catch average, a mark that ranked second in the Western Athletic Conference and the most in USU history since Dionte' Holloway's 19.4 ypc average in 2005. Morrison was one of four Aggie receivers with at least 400 yards receiving while a total of six receivers had over 20 catches on the season. A total of 14 different receivers caught at least one pass with eight different receivers logging a TD catch, including three with three or more.
"It will be a natural transition from graduate assistant to full-time assistant for Jovon as he knows our system and knows what we expect. He shares the same priorities and philosophies as I do of putting the student-athlete first, giving them to the tools to develop and Jovon will also be tremendous recruiter. I'm very excited to help him and watch him develop as a coach," Andersen said.
Bouknight concluded his college career ranked No. 20 in NCAA history in both career receiving yards (3,626) and career receptions (250). After graduating from UW in the spring of 2006, Bouknight signed a free agent contract with the Carolina Panthers and went to camp with the Panthers in the summer of 2006. He later played in NFL Europe in the summer of 2007, before signing as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers later that summer and attended camp with Tampa in 2007.
During his senior season, he was one of only 15 semifinalists for the 2005 Biletnikoff Award, which honors the nation's top college receiver each season. He also earned Honorable Mention All-America honors from College Football News in 2005. He earned first-team all-Mountain West Conference honors as a senior in voting by MWC coaches and media. The College Football News also selected him to its all-Mountain West Conference first-team. For the 2005 season, he ranked No. 9 in the NCAA in average receiving yards per game (101.45 yards per game), No. 15 in total receiving yards (1,116), No. 10 in all-purpose yards (160.45), No. 12 in average receptions per game (7.00 catches per game) and No. 11 in kickoff returns (27.75 yards per return). He concluded his career ranked No. 2 in Mountain West Conference history in both receptions (250) and receiving yards (3,626).
In Wyoming school history, Bouknight ranks No. 3 in career receiving yards behind former All-Americans Marcus Harris (No. 1 with 4,518 receiving yards from 1993-96) and Ryan Yarborough (No. 2 with 4,446 from 1990-93). Harris was the 1996 Biletnikoff Award winner. Bouknight ranks No. 2 in school history in career receptions, trailing only Harris with 259. Bouknight also completed his career as Wyoming's all-time all-purpose yardage leader (5,921 all-purpose yards) and career kickoff return leader (2,016 kickoff-return yards). He caught at least one pass in 47 consecutive games, which was also every game of his college career and is the UW school record. He actually caught at least two passes in each of those 47 career games.
A native of Denver, Colo., Bouknight was an outstanding quarterback at Manual High School in Denver. He received his bachelor's degree from Wyoming in 2006.
Zimmerman has also been with the Aggie football program for one season, serving as the offensive administrative assistant, helping the offensive coaches with the quarterbacks as well as the daily football operations.
"I'm very excited to move up to the graduate assistant position. I came here to work my way up." Zimmerman said. "I'm honored and grateful for the opportunity that Coach Andersen has given me. I'm excited to continue our progress that we made in our first year here and build off it to improve."
A native of Providence, Utah, Zimmerman played for Andersen at Southern Utah in 2003, before switching to baseball, where he was selected in the Major League Baseball draft by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2004. He was in the Tampa Bay farm system until last summer, when a shoulder injury put his baseball career on hold, joining the USU coaching staff.
"Ryan was with me as my quarterback at Southern Utah, but his baseball playing career took him to the major league system before a shoulder injury brought him back to football," Andersen said. "He has an invaluable role on our staff and he's a bright, young, energetic coach who has a great deal of potential in this profession. He did a tremendous job with the progression of our quarterbacks and our offense. He will help make the smooth transition with the changes in our coaching staff and we're excited to have him as our graduate assistant."
Assisting with the Aggie quarterbacks last season, Zimmerman helped Baldwin and McGiven in coaching and mentoring USU junior quarterback Diondre Borel, who led the WAC in total offense and ranked 17th in Football Bowl Subdivion (FBS), with 278.6 ypg. He was also third in the WAC in passing average per game with 240.4 ypg and fifth in the league and 37th in the nation in passing efficiency with 137.8.
Borel's 3,343 yards of total offense is a USU single-season record, topping the previous mark of 3,260 yards by Anthony Calvillo in 1993. Borel's 2,885 passing yards ranks as the No. 7 mark on USU's single-season passing list and is the most since Jose Fuentes' school-record 3,268 yards in 2002. With 17 TD passes, Borel is tied for No. 9 on USU's single-season TD pass list with Ron Lopez (1991). Borel only threw four interceptions this season, a school record for fewest INT's, which is tied for the second-fewest in FBS this season.
Zimmerman was a well-decorated Mountain Crest alum, including leading the Mustangs to the 2001 state championship and he was named Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Utah.
Zimmerman's mother, Linda, is the Aggies' Spirit Squad advisor.
Utah State finished Andersen's first year at the helm of the USU program with a 4-8 mark, the Aggies' most wins since 2002. Utah State was 3-5 in WAC action, matching last season for top conference record in USU's five seasons in the league. Andersen and the Aggies will return 45 letterwinners (21 offense, 22 defense, two special teams), including 17 starters (eight offense, seven defense, two special teams).