Dean Hood

Murray State University President Bob Jackson and Director of Athletics Kevin Saal have announced Dean Hood as the new head coach for the Murray State University Football program Friday.

Hood, Murray State University’s 19th head coach, will be introduced in front of faculty, staff, regents; campus and community friends and supporters at  Heritage Hall on campus at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Murray State Board of Regents approved his hiring in its quarterly meeting Friday morning.

Coach Hood brings with him an intense desire to lead a storied program and a wealth of experience building highly-successful football programs at both the NCAA Division I FBS & FCS level throughout his 30-year career.  Murray State gains a proficient leader on the field, a proven winner with an eight-year tenure in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) and multiple stops as an FBS-level coordinator (Kentucky & Wake Forest).  Just as important, Coach Hood brings with him a whole-person development program, focused on developing student-athletes as students, persons, players and eventual professionals, paving the way for life-success beyond graduation and football.

Currently, Hood is special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach at Kentucky. During his time in Lexington, the Wildcats accomplished one of the program’s most successful three-year stints, to include three consecutive bowl games and a 10-win season in 2018, just the fourth in program history.

As head coach at Eastern Kentucky from 2008-15, Coach Hood was the winningest coach in the OVC with a record of 44-19 (.698) in eight seasons, including three FCS playoff appearances and a pair of OVC championships. EKU produced 10 All-Americans, two OVC Players of the Year and one OVC Freshman of the Year. Additionally, Coach Hood mentored 26 first-team all-conference performers and multiple players who advanced to the National Football League. In Hood’s eight seasons as head coach at EKU, the program performed well academically, producing 18 OVC Academic Medal of Honor winners. In his first two stints as an assistant coach at EKU (1994-96 & 1997-98), Hood worked under legendary coach Roy Kidd, helping guide EKU to two OVC championships and two FCS Tournament appearances.

Hood also led a highly-effective, nation-best defensive unit for seven seasons at Wake Forest (2001-07), earning the school’s first Atlantic Coast Conference championship in 36 years.  He began his career at Fairmont (W.Va.) in 1987 and experienced stops with Colgate (1989), Glenville State (W.Va.) (1990-93), Ohio (1999-00) and Charlotte (2016).

In total, Coach Hood has participated in six post-season bowl games at the FBS level and eight post-seasons at previous FCS/NAIA stops. Murray State is gaining a winning coach who knows the OVC, but also a developer of men, keenly focused on whole-person development of young people as they prepare for their next forty years of life.

"We are very excited about Coach Dean Hood, his wife Crystal, and their children joining our Racer Family,” Murray State University President Dr. Bob Jackson said. “Coach Hood has a wealth of experience, is a seasoned coach and mentor to his student-athletes and has the required integrity, vision and enthusiasm to assist us in taking our football program to a new level. Coach Hood understands the needs of our program and the importance of our student-athletes being successful in the classroom, on the field and in life."

“Dean Hood is a man of character and integrity who possesses a tremendous work ethic and unique ability to advance our football program,” said Kevin Saal, Director of Athletics. “I look forward to partnering with him to accomplish our shared vision for the program…to develop leaders of character, competence and consequence, for football and 40+ years of life beyond football.  Murray State University is honored to welcome Dean, Crystal, Trey, Daven, Jada and Cordia to their new home in Murray; a community that I know welcomes the Hood Family with open arms, supporting hearts and a true passion for the future success of Racer Athletics.”

“I am thrilled with the hiring of Dean Hood as the next Head Football Coach at Murray State University,” said MSU Board of Regents member Eric Crigler and former Racer football student-athlete (1985-89).  “Coach Dean Hood has been a successful Power 5 coordinator, championship-level head coach and has led thee teams to the FCS playoffs. He is familiar with our conference and the recruiting regions necessary to build teams that can compete for championships. I am enthusiastic about the direction of Murray State University, the Athletic department and Racer Football. What a great time to be a Racer!”

Dean Hood graduated in 1986 with a biology degree from Ohio Wesleyan and earned a master’s degree in physical education from West Virginia in 1989. Hood is a native of Ashtabula, Ohio.

Hood earned three All-North Coast Athletic Conference selections as defensive back at Ohio Wesleyan.  Additionally, at Ohio Wesleyan, Hood was twice selected captain and in 2001 and was inducted into the Ohio Wesleyan University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Murray State University welcomes Dean and his wife, Crystal, their two sons, Trey and Daven, and daughters, Jada and Cordia, to the MSU family.

What they’re saying about Coach Dean Hood.

Mark Stoops – Kentucky Head Football Coach

“I’m very happy for Dean to be named head coach at Murray State. I had great respect for Dean when he joined our staff, and that respect has continued to grow. He is a seasoned veteran whose work as special teams coordinator and defensive coach has been a big part of our success. I wish him the best in this next chapter of his career.”

Roy Kidd – Former Eastern Kentucky Head Coach

“Murray State University is getting a great one!  Coach Hood is smart, he knows the game and the team will enjoy playing for him.  More than getting a high-quality football coach, you got a good person who will teach the student-athletes about more than just football.”

Jim Grobe – Former Head Football Coach at Ohio and Wake Forest

“What a fantastic choice to lead the Racer’s football program!  Dean Hood is one of the finest football coaches I have worked with.  He is not only a great football coach but one of the best in terms of character and integrity.  I can’t think of anyone better suited to guide young men both on and off the field.  He will win a bunch of games and do it the right way.  Parents will be blessed to have their kids play for Coach Hood and the Racers.”

Beth DeBauche – Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner

“Given Coach Hood’s knowledge of the league, track record of conference success and commitment to teaching and developing student-athletes, we are delighted to welcome him back to the OVC.”

Allan Holland – Pikeville Head Coach

“Coach Dean Hood has been a great mentor to me not only as a player, but as a coach as well! Playing for Coach Hood was an unbelievable experience. He pushed me to the next level of working hard and wouldn’t let me settle. He’s won at every level he has coached. He’s a great coach and an even better person. Passion, purpose and family is what Dean Hood is about. He knows how to coach and care for his players; he has done a great job developing high character young men to be successful on and off the field. Murray State is not only getting a great coach but a coach that takes pride in the tremendous sense of loyalty he exhibits to his players, staff and university as a whole. He is a true professional and his players will run through a wall for him!”

Dane Damron - UVA Wise Head Football Coach

“Dean Hood is one of the best men I know; he also is a heck of a football coach.  Every day he will work to better his players and will hold them accountable to becoming better men.  Dean will do a great job at Murray State.”

The Dean Hood File

Coaching History

1987-88    Fairmont    Secondary Coach; 1988 NAIA Playoffs, WVIAC Champs

1989    Colgate    Assistant Secondary Coach

1990-93    Glenville State Defensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach; 1993 NAIA Runner-Up

1994-96    Eastern Kentucky    Secondary Coach; 94 FCS Playoffs, OVC Champs, 95 FCS Playoffs

1997-98    Eastern Kentucky    Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach; 97 FCS Playoffs, OVC Champs

1999-00    Ohio    Secondary Coach

2001-07    Wake Forest    Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach; three bowl games

2008-15    Eastern Kentucky    Head Coach; 08 FCS Playoffs, OVC Champs, 11 FCS Playoffs, OVC Co-Champs, 14 FCS Playoffs

2016    Charlotte    Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends

2017    Kentucky    Special Teams Coordinator/Outside Linebackers; one bowl

2018    Kentucky    Special Teams Coordinator/Defensive Backs; one bowl

Postseason History

1988    NAIA Playoffs    Fairmont

1993    NAIA Runner-Up    Glenville State

1994    FCS Playoffs    EKU

1995    FCS Playoffs    EKU

1997    FCS Playoffs    EKU

2002    Seattle Bowl    Wake Forest

2006    Orange Bowl    Wake Forest

2007    Meineke Bowl    Wake Forest

2008    FCS Playoffs    EKU

2011    FCS Playoffs    EKU

2014    FCS Playoffs    EKU

2017    Music City Bowl    Kentucky

2018    Citrus Bowl    Kentucky

2019    Belk Bowl (Dec. 31)    Kentucky

2017-19 Kentucky - Special Teams Coordinator, Defensive Backs, Outside Linebackers

o    Serving under head coach Mark Stoops

o    2017 UK special teams blocked three kicks, two of which were crucial plays in Wildcat wins

o    2017 UK special teams allow zero blocked kicks and didn’t allow a punt or kickoff return for a touchdown

o    2017, Coached All-SEC players Josh Allen and Denzil Ware

2016 Charlotte - Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends

o    Served under head coach Brad Lambert

o    A Chris Montgomery set a Charlotte single-season record with 845 kick return yards - ranked 4th in C-USA

2008-15 Eastern Kentucky - Head Coach

o    Overall Record 55-38 (59.1); OVC Record 44-19 (69.8)

o    2008 OVC Coach of the Year

o    2011 AFCA Regional Coach of the Year

o    2008 & 2014 Finalist for Eddie Robinson Award (best coach in FCS football)

o    2008 OVC champions, FCS playoffs, All-America: Taylor Long (K)

o    2009 All-America: Derek Hardman (OT)

o    2010 Andrew Soucy (DL), All-America: Jeremy Caldwell (KR)

o    2011 OVC Co-champions, FCS playoffs, All-America: Emory Attig (DL), Jeremy Caldwell (DB), Matt Denham (RB)

o    2012 All-America: Andrew Soucy (DL) & OVC DPOY

o    2013 OVC Freshman of the Year: Devin Borders (WR)

o    2014 All-America: Dy’Shawn Mobley (RB) & OVC OPOY

o    2015 All-America: Noah Spence (DE) & OVC DPOY

o    Notable NFL players: Matt Langel - TE Super Bowl Champion for Patriots. Noah Spence - DL Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2016 Gil Brandt NFL All-Rookie Team). Jordan Berry - P Pittsburgh Steelers (set Steelers punting record). Antwaun Molden Houston Texans.

2001-07    Wake Forest - Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach

o    Served under head coach Jim Grobe

o    WF forced 186 turnovers during his tenure, more than two per game

o    2006 ACC champions (1st since 1970, 11-3, most wins in school history)

o    2006 WF earned its first BCS Bowl bid & played Louisville in the Orange Bowl

o    2006 WF had 2nd ranked defense in ACC (15.4 PPG)

o    2006 WF was ACC 1st in interceptions (22, 2nd most in nation)

o    2007 led ACC with 35 forced turnovers, finished 9-4

o    14 All-ACC Defenders

o    Notable NFL players: Calvin Pace, Montique Sharpe, Eric King, Josh Gattis

1999-00    Ohio - Secondary Coach

o    Served under head coach Jim Grobe

o    2000 Ranked 20th nationally in defense (18.9 PPG)

o    2000 One of only five programs – didn’t allow 30 points in a game during the entire season

1997-98 Eastern Kentucky – Defensive coordinator/secondary coach

o    Served under head coach Roy Kidd

o    1997 OVC champions & FCS playoffs

1994-96 Eastern Kentucky - Secondary Coach

o    1994 OVC champions & FCS playoffs

o    1995 OVC Champions & FCS playoffs

1990-93 Glenville State - Defensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach

o    1993 NAIA Runner-Up

1989 Colgate - Assistant Secondary Coach

o    Served under coach Michael F. Foley

1987-88 Fairmont - Secondary Coach

o    1988 WVIAC Champs & NAIA Playoffs

o    Led the nation with 31 interceptions 

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