JOEL WILLIAMS | ASST. HEAD COACH / OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR
Joel Williams, who helped rewrite virtually every passing record in the book during his first stop in Cleveland, returns to Delta State University for the second time in his career as the offensive coordinator for Statesmen head coach Todd Cooley. Williams previously served as OC from 2002-2004 under former head coach Rich Rhoades.
In his fourth season as Cooley's offensive coordinator (2016), DSU finished its season ranked No. 3 in the GSC in scoring offense (36.9), total offense (446.8) and passing offense (287.7). Running back Chris Robinson finished the season with a DSU school record 24 total touchdowns, including 19 on the ground. Robinson's 24 touchdowns were second most in NCAA Division II and his 19 rushing scores were third most. He also tied an 80 year old school record with six touchdowns versus West Florida (10-15-16).
Prior to coming back to DSU, Williams served as the offensive coordinator at Foley High School in Foley, Ala., where he helped guide FHS to four-straight (2009-2012) Alabama High School Athletic Association Playoff appearances and two top 16 finishes. He coordinated an offense that averaged over 30 points and 350 yards per game during the four-year span.
It was Williams’ second stop at Foley. The Marietta, Ga., native spent the 2005-2006 seasons at FHS, where he coached University of Alabama All-American and current Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones. In 2005, Williams and company took a program that was 0-10 the previous season and engineered a remarkable 8-2 turnaround in 2006 and a 10-2 mark in 2006 with a No. 5 final ranking. The squad averaged 37.1 points and established 35 school-records, many of which still stand today.
From 2006-2008, Williams served as the offensive coordinator for coach Joey Jones and the Birmingham Southern College Panthers. BSC reinstituted the program in 2006 for the first time since 1939. During his time at BSC, Williams recruited and signed over 43 players at the NCAA DIII school and served as quarterbacks coach, OC and recruiting coordinator.
No period in Delta State football history enjoyed greater aerial success than Williams’ first stint as offensive coordinator. From 2002-2004, Williams directed an offense that led the Gulf South Conference in passing each year, while establishing 42 school records. In 2003, led by future Statesman All-American and Harlon Hill Trophy finalist Scott Eyster, DSU embarked on a period that would see the offense top averages of 500 yards per game and 40-plus points over the next two seasons.
The 2004 campaign saw DSU average 44.3 points (No. 3 NCAA), 517.3 yards per game (No. 3 NCAA), 338.4 yards passing per game (No. 5 NCAA), all while leading the Gulf South Conference in total offense, pass offense and scoring. In 2003, DSU led the nation in passing at 346.4 yards per game with a freshman quarterback and ranked second nationally in total offense (526.7) and scoring (41.5).
Williams’ pupils at DSU read like a Who’s Who among the all-time greats, including All-Americans Eyster (QB), Ellis Debrow (WR), Mark Barron (OL), Chris Booker (OL) and Travis Mikel (OL). In all 13 players were named to the All-GSC squads during his time at DSU, including seven offensive linemen.
Eyster closed his career as the school and Gulf South Conference career leader in passing with 14,342 yards, which ranks second all-time in NCAA DII history. Debrow finished his time at DSU as the school’s all-time leader in receiving yardage (166 receptions for 3,201), while Davis holds the school record for receptions with 245 for 3,166 yards. Parks still ranks fifth all-time in school history with 132 receptions.
The aerial assault wasn’t the only highlight of Williams’s time here at DSU, the Statesmen ground game was also a focal point of the offense. In 2002, DSU ranked No. 20 in the NCAA and in 2003 David Yeates became the last Statesmen to rush for over 1,000 yards in the regular season with 1,125 yards.
From 2001-2002, Williams served as head coach of Gadsden High School, where he led GHS to a 7-3 record while averaging 300 yards and 29 points per game.
Prior to taking the position at GHS, Williams served two seasons as offensive coordinator at Samford University from 1999-2001. During his time with the Bulldogs, Williams guided SU to the No. 4 ranked offense NCAA Football Championship Series, while establishing six school records. He also served as tight ends coach and special teams coordinator at Samford from 1993-1994.
The veteran offensive coach spent three seasons as the coordinator of Mountain Brook High School’s attack from 1996-1999. The MBHS unit posted a 31-9 record and finished the 1996 season as the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A runner-up.
From 1994 to 1996, Williams served as head coach at UMS-Wright Preparatory School in Mobile, Ala., where he inherited a program that had posted a 2-8 record the year before and not made the playoffs in the previous six seasons. In just one season, Williams has turned UMS-Wight into a contender, finishing as the area runner-up and advancing to the second round of the state playoffs.
Williams also coached briefly in the professional ranks, serving as tight ends coach and special teams coach for the Birmingham Fire of the World League of American Football. The Fire went 7-3-1 in his lone season there including a trip to the WLAF playoffs.
Williams also spent one season on coach Billy Brewer’s staff at the University of Mississippi. While at Ole Miss, Williams served as outside linebackers coach and was the program’s athletic dorm supervisor.
Before making his jump to the collegiate ranks, Williams served as head coach and athletic director at Milton High School (1989-1991) in Milton, Fla., T.R. Miller High School in Brewton, Ala., and head coach at Cherokee High School in Canton, Ga. At all three stops, Williams amassed a 37-17 record.
He made his coaching start as an assistant at the high school level, spending two seasons as offensive line coach at Pace High School (1981-1983) in Pace, Fla., and three seasons as offensive line coach at Woodham High School in Pensacola, Fla., where he helped guide WHS to a 33-4 record and one state championship.
Williams graduated from Mississippi College with a bachelor’s degree in Education in May of 1981. He was a part of the Choctaws 1979 Gulf South Conference championship squad, a team that made it to the NCAA DII National Semifinals.
He is married to Martha Williams and the couple has one son, Garrison, who plays for coach Ron Roberts at Southeastern Louisiana University.
JONATHAN FLETCHER | RUNNING BACKS / TIGHT ENDS
Jonathan Fletcher enters his fourth season at Delta State University under head coach Todd Cooley. After serving last season as tight ends/H-backs and Strength and Conditioning coach, Fletcher has added running backs coach to his resume.
Prior to joining the DSU staff, Fletcher served as the assistant offensive line/tight ends coach at Presentation College in 2012 en route to a 1,200-yard rushing season, in only the program's second year. He also served as an intern with the strength and conditioning coach for Mount Saint Joseph University's football team in 2011 and assistant hitting coach for the Knox College baseball team in 2012.
Fletcher was awarded Knox College’s Dean S. Trevor Memorial Award in 2012 and was a two-sport athlete as a four-year letterman for the baseball team and a three-year letterman for the football team, while earning his Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education Social Sciences.
In the spring of 2014, Fletcher completed his strength and conditioning certification through USA Weightlifting, the official certification program of the United States Olympic Training Committee.
TYLER HASTY | RECEIVERS
Tyler Hasty enters his second season at Delta State University under head coach Todd Cooley. Hasty will work directly as receivers coach and will also act as the walk-on recruiting coordinator.
Before coming to the Delta, Hasty coached as a graduate assistant at Southern Arkansas University where he worked with the wide receivers from July 2013 to December 2014. While at SAU, Hasty coached four All-Great American Conference selections, improved the total offensive yards per game from 433.8 in 2013 to 505.4 in 2014, and set a new school record for points per game in a season (38.7) in 2014. He also served as a resident’s director in his time at Southern Arkansas.
At the high school level, Hasty coached at Randleman High School in North Carolina. He acted as the wide receivers coach and communities in schools site coordinator from August 2011 to July 2013. In his time at RHS, Hasty helped the squad to a 2011 Pac-6 conference title, while also coaching University of North Carolina commit Juval Mollette (2015).
A native of Seagrove, N.C., Hasty graduated with a bachelor’s of science in business management from Guilford College in 2011 and completed his master’s of business administration from Southern Arkansas in 2014.
JORDAN MARTIN | GRADUATE ASSISTANT / OFFENSIVE LINE
Jordan Martin enters his second season overall and first as a graduate assistant with Delta State. Martin will continue his work with the offensive line unit.
Martin donned a Statesmen uniform in 2013 and 2014. Martin played in nine games for Delta State in his junior season and then played in all 11 games in 2014 for the Statesmen. Martin made nine starts at left guard during his senior season and graded out at 93% for the season, a career high.
Martin hails from Richland, Mississippi, where he attended Richland High School and played for coach Lance Canoy. He was named the best offensive lineman in Region 6-4A two times, was a first team all-district and a first team all-state selection.
Martin is the son of Derrick Martin and Angela Walls.
PATRICK BETHLEY | GRADUATE ASSISTANT / RECEIVERS
Patrick Bethley enters his first season as a graduate assistant coach under head coach Todd Cooley. Bethley will assist as the cornerback’s coach.
Bethley returned to his alma mater after playing wide receiver for the Statesmen from 2012 to 2015.
The New Orleans native played in 42 games with 104 receptions for 1,646 yards and 12 touchdowns. He finished his career ranked 14th on DSU’s reception chart.
Bethley graduated from DSU in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in health, PE and recreation.