Aggie Football Camps
Offensive Coaching Staff
Running BacksShawn Gibbs
Shawn Gibbs became the North Carolina A&T running backs coach in 2011 and there has only been two seasons since his arrival that an Aggies running back has not been named Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
Mike Mayhew was the offensive player of the year in 2011. Tarik Cohen won the honor three straight seasons (2014-16) along with being named MEAC Rookie of the Year in 2013. Mayhew led the MEAC in rushing in 2011 while Cohen has led the league in rushing four straight seasons (2013-16) while also putting together four straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
Under Gibbs, Cohen became the most accomplished running back in school history. Cohen’s other accomplishments include being the MEAC’s and N.C. A&T’s all-time leading rusher (5,619), being named to numerous All-American teams, being a four-time first-team All-MEAC selection and being one of the most nationally recognized players in the nation. Cohen also broke the Aggies single-season rushing record with 1,588 yards. By winning three straight offensive player of the year awards, Cohen became the first player in MEAC history to win three offensive player of the year awards. Cohen finished his career by being drafted in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears.
There have been other successes at running back for Gibbs since his arrival in Aggieland. Ricky Lewis had a career year in 2012, rushing for 437 yards and six touchdowns on 97 carries. Dominique Drake, Cohen and Lewis combined to score 19 rushing touchdowns in 2013. In his first season under Gibbs, Cohen broke the Aggies freshman rushing record by becoming the first Aggies rookie to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season. Cohen also finished ninth for the Jerry Rice award given to the best rookie in the FCS. In each of the past five seasons A&T’s running game has ranked now lower than fourth in the MEAC.
Before his time at A&T, Gibbs spent four seasons as Grambling’s running backs coach. Under Gibbs’ watch, the Tigers possessed one of the most successful running games in Division I-FCS. Gibbs inherited a young running back corps that included freshmen Frank Warren and Cornelius Walker. In their first year under Gibbs, Warren and Walker combined for 1,466 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. Warren was named SWAC Freshman of the Year in 2007 as he finished with 901 yards.
The running game continued to flourish under Gibbs in 2009. The Grambling rushing attack ascended to a No. 12 ranking nationally. During the same season, Warren registered 84.2 yards per game, while Walker compiled 58.6 yards per contest. The following season, Warren finished fourth in the nation in rushing with 139.7 yards per game, and Grambling ranked 15th in the nation in rushing.
Gibbs’ stint at A&T marks his third stop with head coach Rod Broadway. He was also a running backs coach under Broadway at N.C. Central from 2003-06. During his four seasons there, he helped the Eagles put together one of the best offenses in Division II football. The Eagles won consecutive CIAA titles in 2005 and ‘06. During the 2006 season, the Eagles led the CIAA in scoring offense, total offense and rushing offense.
The Eagles’ running game was led Greg Pruitt, Jr. Under Gibbs, Pruit developed into one of the most feared running backs in the nation and the school’s all-time leading rusher. Pruitt led the Eagles in rushing or three straight seasons, including two consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in 2004 and ‘05. Pruitt finished his career with more than 3,000 yards rushing. As a result, he signed a free agent contract with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens.
The relationship Gibbs has with the Eagles football program extends to him being a star running back for the Eagles (1993-97). He ranks among the all-time leading rushers in school history with 1,687 yards. Over his career, he averaged 5.1 yards per carry. Gibbs tied the school record for longest rushing touchdown from scrimmage in 1996 when he went 89 yards against Fayetteville State. Gibbs led the Eagles in rushing during the 1996 and ‘97 seasons, and he ranks among the Eagles’ top career scoring leaders with 121 points. He had a career-best 10 touchdowns in 1996.
Chris Barnette became the Aggies quarterbacks coach in 2015. In his first season, he had to prepare three different quarterbacks to start during the 2015 season in senior Kwashaun Quick and freshmen Lamar Raynard and Kylil Carter. All three played a crucial role in helping the Aggies win a share of the MEAC title, the inaugural Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl and the HBCU National Championship.
Quick was 11-for-16 for 149 yards and no interceptions in the win over Alcorn State in the Celebration Bowl. Raynard was 6-0 as a starter, threw for three touchdown passes against Shaw and was 11-for-19 for 115 yards and a touchdown in a platoon role at Florida A&M. Carter was able to throw the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter at S.C. State in a relief role.
In season two, Barnette had to prepare four quarterbacks for play because of injuries. Raynard earned second-team All-MEAC honors, Oluwafemi Bamiro led the Aggies to a quadruple overtime win over Division I-FBS Kent State and both Kylil Carter and Isaiah Hicklin threw touchdown passes on the season. Raynard has strived under Barnette, completing 57 percent of his passes while throwing 21 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. Raynard is 14-0 as a starter with a 127.93 passer efficiency rating.
Before accepting the position at A&T, Barnette spent the past 12 years at nearby Division III Guilford College as a player, student coach and offensive coordinator. He served the Quakers well in all three capacities, making the GC offense one of the most prolific in Division III as a player and coordinator.
Barnette took over the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach duties in 2011. As offensive coordinator, Barnette guided quarterback Matt Pawlowski to second-team All-ODAC honors in 2013. Barnette also guided running back Josh Schow to All-ODAC honors, finishing third in the league in rushing yards per game (102.3) and fourth in rushing touchdowns (11). In each of his four seasons as offensive coordinator, the Quakers offense never had fewer than 2,300 yards passing.
The Quakers threw for 3,495 yards in 2014, the most under Barnette’s offensive leadership. Guilford College finished first in the NCAA Division III statistical rankings in third down conversion percentage and team passing efficiency. Pawlowski ranked second in the nation with 347.6 passing yards per game. Guilford also ranked fifth nationally in completion percentage (.668), third in passing offense (349.5) and sixth in total offense (507.8). The Quakers set single-season school records for points (407) and touchdowns (55). The offense also ranked 15th nationally in red zone success (88.2), threw only three interceptions (third-fewest in DIII) and had only eight turnovers (fourth-fewest in DIII).
Barnette’s coaching career at Guilford began in 2007 as student assistant working with wide receivers. Former teammate and wide receiver Hagen Miller broke Barnette's school receptions record and led NCAA Division III in catches per game in 2007. Five Guilford wideouts have earned All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference honors under Barnette’s tutelage, including Joe Joyner, Kevin Vaughn, Justin Parker, Ben King and Adam Smith. Vaughn was a 2008 D3football.com All-American.
Barnette joined a select group of professional and college football assistants for the 2012 NFL-NCAA Coaches' Academy. He was one of 60 coaches chosen for the three-day institute that provided former NFL players and current NCAA college coaches with tools and networking opportunities for potential careers as football coaches. In the spring of 2008, Barnette served as the offensive coordinator for the Elancourt Templiers of the French Elite League. The team went 9-3 and reached the league championship game.
As a player, Barnette caught a school-record 266 passes for 2,953 yards and 30 touchdowns in a four-year career that concluded in 2006. As a senior in ‘06, he was named an All-American by the American Football Coaches Association and D3football.com. It would be his second straight All-American season. He led Guilford’s pass-catchers in each of his four years. The Quakers' first ODAC Offensive Player of the Year, Barnette played in the 2006 East Coast Bowl and Aztec Bowl senior all-star games.
The Semora, N.C., native was an all-conference receiver and quarterback at Person High School for coach Mark Lunsford. His brother, Jamie, quarterbacked North Carolina State University from 1994-99.
Barnette earned his degree in sport management from Guilford.
Offensive Coordinator / Wide ReceiversChip Hester
Larry “Chip” Hester, a longtime college football coach with head coaching experience, took over as N.C. A&T’s wide receivers coach in 2014. He earned additional duties in 2015 when he also took over the Aggies offensive coordinator responsibilities.
N.C. A&T’s offense took off under Hester in 2016 when they ranked No. 1 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in ranked No. 1 in the MEAC in 3rd down conversion, total first downs, rushing offense, scoring offense, fewest tackles for loss allowed, fewest sacks allowed and total offense. Nationally, the Aggies ranked 11th in scoring offense, 26th in rushing offense and 39th in total offense in 2016. In his first season as offensive coordinator, the Aggies had the No. 1 rushing offense in the MEAC and the 28th-best rushing offense in the nation. The Aggies also had the No. 2 scoring offense in the MEAC and they ranked 30th in the nation. The offense scored 78 percent of the time when they were in the red zone.
Hester also helped Tarik Cohen win two straight offensive players of the year in the MEAC as the offensive coordinator. Cohen also broke the school’s single-season rushing record two years in a row as the OC. Quarterback Lamar Raynard developed into a second-team All-MEAC player under Hester in 2016.
As wide receivers coach, receiver Denzel Keyes became the Aggies all-time leader in career touchdown receptions (25) under Hester. He tied a single-season school record for touchdown receptions (10) in 2016, while leading the MEAC in TD receptions. In 2015, Keyes ranked second in the conference and 23rd in the nation in touchdown receptions in 2015. Keyes earned two second-team all-conference nods. In 2014, Desmond Lawrence earned third-team All-MEAC honors. Hester also coached Elijah Bell to rookie of the year in the MEAC in 2016.
Hester previously spent 11 seasons (2002-12) at NCAA Division II Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C., as its head football coach. His 70 wins placed him second on Catawba’s all-time wins list and his .588 winning percentage stands fourth all-time. He came to Catawba as an assistant under then head coach David Bennett in 1995. Hester served in that capacity for seven seasons before becoming Catawba’s head coach. His duties prior to becoming head coach were to coordinate the passing game, coach the wide receivers and coordinate all football recruiting. In addition to his football duties, Hester also served as assistant athletic director for compliance and an advisor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes programs.
For three of his years as an assistant, he was a part of the South Atlantic Conference Coaching Staff of the Year. The Indians won back-to-back conference titles in 2000 and 2001 and qualified for the playoffs from 1999-2002, advancing to the semifinals in 2001.
As a rookie head coach in 2002 he led the Indians to the SAC title and an NCAA playoff berth. The Indians were also a playoff team in 2003 after winning the conference. Four seasons later, Hester was named SAC and AFCA Region Coach of the Year after guiding the Indians to an 11-2 mark, a league championship and a berth in the playoffs for the fourth straight year.
For two seasons (1996-98), Hester served as the head coach for the Catawba College men’s golf program. Hester guided the team to the 1998 SAC championship and an NCAA regional berth in both seasons. He coached two All-Americans, a SAC Player of the Year and a SAC Freshman of the Year.
Hester came to Catawba from Guilford College. A 1992 graduate of Guilford, Hester earned a bachelor’s degree in business management at Georgia Southern in 1993. While completing his master’s degree, Hester worked as an intern at Catawba, assisting football, sports information and athletic operations. He graduated from Millbrook High School in Raleigh in 1988.
Hester was a standout athlete in football and track and field at Millbrook. He earned honorable mention all-conference honors in football. At Guilford, Hester was a four-year football letterman (wide receiver), earning the Golden Helmet Award and Leadership Award as a senior. He was also a member of the Varsity Athletic Council and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
He began his coaching career as a volunteer assistant coach at Millbrook High School, working with receivers. He followed as a graduate assistant coach (receivers) at Catawba in 1993.
Hester, a native of Raleigh, N.C., resides in Salisbury with his wife, Trish. Trish is an assistant principal at West Rowan Middle School. They have two daughters, Morgan and Tori. The Hesters are active members of First Baptist Church in Salisbury.
Offensive LineRon Mattes
Ron Mattes became North Carolina A&T’s offensive line coach in 2016. He made an immediate impact on the program, producing three All-MEAC offensive linemen in Brandon Parker, Daquan Blake and Darriel Mack. For Mack and Blake it was his first All-MEAC honors as Mack made second team and Blake was a third-team selection.
Mattes’ offensive line also allowed the fewest sacks in the conference and they ranked 11th in the nation in fewest sacks allowed. Thus, quarterback Lamar Raynard had a career season by completing 64.6 percent of his passes on his way to a second-team All-MEAC nod. Mattes’ unit also led the way for the No. 1 rushing offense in the conference as Tarik Cohen rushed for a single-season school record 1,588 yards and 18 touchdowns. The Aggies also had the best scoring offense in the conference and the 11th-best in the nation in Mattes’ first season.
Mattes comes to North Carolina A&T after coaching tight ends at Virginia Military Institute for one season (2014).
His collegiate coaching career began at James Madison (1995-99) where he was a position coach in several different areas during his tenure including tight ends/tackles, defensive linemen and offensive linemen. He returned to coaching as the offensive line coach for one season (2010) at the University of Virginia, his alma mater.
Over the next three seasons (2011-13) he was an assistant coach at Elon University before his stop at VMI. At Elon, Mattes was the offensive line coach, run game coordinator and long snappers coach. The Phoenix were ranked sixth in Division I-FCS in sacks allowed and third in negative yards allowed in 2013.
During his coaching career, Mattes coached and mentored seven players that went on to the NFL including Ed Perry, Austin Pasztor, Oday Aboushi, Morgan Moses, Luke Bowanko, Rodney Austin and R.J. Mattes.
Mattes graduated from UVa., with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology in 1985. In 1984, Mattes helped the Cavaliers defeat Purdue in the Peach Bowl. After leaving UVa., as an All-ACC performer, he embarked on an eight-year NFL career that included stints with the Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts.
A native of Ringtown, Pa., Mattes and his wife Susan have three children, Nicole, R.J., and Amber Jo.
Graduate offensive assistant/tight endsMatt Pawlowski
Matt Pawlowski became a graduate offensive assistant/tight ends coach for the North Carolina A&T football program in 2016. In his first season with the Aggies, tight end Leroy Hill earned first-team All-MEAC honors.
Pawlowski came to N.C. A&T after a stellar career as a quarterback at nearby Division III Guilford College. Pawlowski threw for 11,625 yards and 116 touchdowns in his career. Pawlowski also completed 64 percent of the 1,369 passes he threw while playing for the Quakers. He earned offensive player of the year from the Old Dominion Athletic Conference twice and he was a two-time Gagliardi Trophy Finalists for top Division III player in the country. As a senior, Pawlowski was named South Region Player of the Year and was dubbed a third-team All-American.
Pawlowski is a Greensboro native who was the starting quarterback for Northwest Guilford High School. He maintained a 3.3 grade point average while attending Guilford College and was on the academic athletic honor roll all four years. In May of 2016, he graduated from Guilford College with a degree in sports management.