Arth Adds Top Assistant Coach To Staff
Rodriguez Named NCAA DIII Assistant Coach Of The Year
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football head coach Tom Arth announced the addition of Oscar Rodriguez to the Mocs staff today. Rodriguez recently completed his third season at the University of La Verne (Calif.) where he was the 2017 NCAA Division III AFCA National Assistant Coach of the Year.
He will coach the linebackers for the Mocs.
"We are extremely excited to welcome Oscar and his family to our program," stated Arth. "Oscar is someone who came highly recommended. Looking at his resume as a defensive coordinator and what he has accomplished speaks volumes and is going to add so much knowledge and depth to our program. He will be an outstanding resource to Coach Feeney and we couldn't be more excited to have him here."
Rodriguez orchestrated a Leopards' defense that led the SCIAC in defensive touchdowns and tied for second in sacks in conference play.
The Leopards allowed just 383.3 yards per game, the fewest in the conference. La Verne ranked third in its league in forced turnovers with 10 and rushing yards allowed per game at 155.2.
The Leopards' defense made its biggest impact in a 28-27 win over Cal Lutheran where it allowed just 29 yards on the ground. Three La Verne defenders earned All-SCIAC recognition, with defensive lineman Austin Brown making the first team and defensive backs Jose Aguero and Hilbert earning second team honors.
After going 2-7 the season before Rodriguez's arrival, the Leopards went a perfect 7-0 in SCIAC play in 2015. They claimed their first SCIAC championship since 1995 and made the NCAA National Championship for the first time since 1994.
Rodriguez came to La Verne from Garden City (Kan.) Community College where he served as the football team's defensive coordinator, special teams coordinator, recruiting coordinator and director of operations.
Rodriguez built an impressive resume as an assistant coach, including eight seasons as a college defensive coordinator, before La Verne. All totaled, Rodriguez mentored six All-Americans and 33 all-conference players across almost all levels of college football. In addition, he coached four players who eventually made their way to the NFL.
At Garden City, Rodriguez sent eight student-athletes to NCAA Division I schools while overseeing Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference's (KJCCC) No. 1 defense. Garden City was also ranked No. 1 in the KJCCC in starting field position, kickoff coverage, field goal percentage and blocked kicks with Rodriguez in charge of the special teams.
In 2013, Rodriguez's relentless recruiting efforts was profiled by ESPN.com (To read, CLICK HERE).
Prior to Garden City, Rodriguez was the associate head coach and defensive coordinator for NCAA Division II Emporia State (Kan.) University. There he mentored two All-Americans and 11 All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). Emporia State was ranked in the top-five in the MIAA in all defensive categories in 2011-13.
At Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College from 2010-11, Rodriguez tutored eventual NFL players Markus Golden, Meshak Williams and Cordarrelle Patterson to All-American seasons while serving as a co-defensive coordinator and associate head coach. During Rodriguez's time at Hutchinson, the school was ranked in the top-10, nationally, in every defensive category.
As a co-defensive coordinator at NAIA Baker (Kan.) University from 2008 to 2010, Rodriguez helped lead the program to its first playoff appearance and first back-to-back winning seasons in 15 years, while helping the team achieve a national ranking as high as 12th.
Rodriguez got his first coaching position at Randall (Texas) High School as the defensive backs coach. He earned his first college assignment at Washburn (Kan.) University where he worked with future NFL players Cary Williams, Terrell Fletcher and Michael Wilhoite.
Rodriguez is active off the field and in the community as well. He founded the Coaches Against Cancer Foundation and is involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. He served on the diversity committee at Baker. He is also bilingual in English and Spanish.
A native of Liberal, Kan., Rodriguez played at Fort Hays State University, Coffeyville Community College and Emporia State as a safety.