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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Football looks to enhance program with coaching staff additions

Texas+State+graduate+offensive+lineman+Liam+Dobson+%2869%29+pushes+against+training+equipment+during+fall+camp+drills%2C+Thursday%2C+Aug.+12%2C+2021%2C+at+Bobcat+Stadium.

Texas State graduate offensive lineman Liam Dobson (69) pushes against training equipment during fall camp drills, Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, at Bobcat Stadium.

Texas State football is preparing for the upcoming season with the addition of several members to the coaching staff. A first look at the program will kick off on Saturday at Texas State’s Spring Football Game and Fan Fest.
Joining the Bobcats this season are assistant coaches Chris Buckner and Clay Jennings as well as running back coach RJ Fleming. Former tight ends coach Brian Hamilton will now oversee the offensive line while former graduate assistant Boone Feldt has been promoted to tight ends coach.
Coming off a brief term at the University of Delaware as the Blue Hens’ wide receivers coach, passing game coordinator and recruiting coordinator, Buckner will serve as Texas State’s co-wide receiver coach, joining current assistant coach Bryson Abraham.
During Buckner’s 12-year coaching career he has primarily worked with wide receivers but is experienced in training quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends. 
“He’s an area guy,” Head Coach Jake Spavital said. “He’s familiar with how we run this offense.”
Buckner is a New Mexico State alumnus where he played both wide receiver and defensive back before starting his coaching career in 2010 at Jackson State.
Before starting his role as Texas State’s wide receiver coach, Buckner has coached nearly every offensive position during his coaching career. During his coaching stint at Jackson State, he helped bring home the Southwestern Athletic Conference East Division Championship every year he was a part of the staff.
Serving as Texas State’s defensive back coach and passing game coordinator, Jennings is no stranger to Texas football having coached 18 of his 26 years in Texas. He joins the Bobcats after coaching cornerbacks at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas during the 2021 season.
Jennings, a Waco native and a longtime secondary coach, has had coaching stints at North Texas, Texas Tech, Houston, Texas, TCU, Baylor and Sam Houston. He began his coaching career at North Texas as a student assistant in 1996 after spending his entire collegiate career playing there.
Jennings has also coached for top-ranked defenses throughout the years. During his stint at TCU, he helped establish the program’s leading defense from 2008 to 2010.
“He brings a ton of experience to the program,” Spavital said. “He’s unbelievable with his presence ever since he’s been here.”
Fleming will serve as Texas State’s primary running back coach this upcoming season. He will return back to the Sun Belt Conference after playing wide receiver for Arkansas State from 2010 to 2013.
Before being appointed as the Bobcats’ running back coach, Fleming spent the 2021 season as a wide receiver coach at Eastern Michigan University after serving as the offensive quality control coach at Liberty for two years. Before coaching at Liberty, Fleming was an offensive graduate assistant at TCU.
Fleming is no stranger to the spotlight, appearing in eight bowl games in his playing and coaching career. His most recent bowl game was the Mortgage Cure Bowl with Liberty in 2020. Fleming said he’s wanted to coach for Texas State for a while now.
“It’s something I always wanted to be a part of,” Fleming said.
Like Fleming, Feldt has always wanted to work with the Bobcats. Feldt graduated from Hays High School in Buda, which is about 15 minutes from San Marcos. Growing up in close proximity to Texas State, Feldt is familiar with the program and said he will do whatever he can to benefit the Bobcats.
“I worked my way in as a graduate assistant where I was helping with recruiting and coaching,” Feldt said. “I’ve been around football my whole life … as far as day-to-day, it’s come to work and see how I can help the team as best I can.”
With these hires and promotions, the Bobcats have filled out the allotted 10-member coaching staff for 2022. Texas State football has started spring practices, and after just nine wins and 27 loses in the past three years, new faces in the coaching staff could prove to be a big step for the Bobcats.
Senior linebacker London Harris said that the coaching staff always pushes him to better himself on and off the field.
“All of them are very smart,” Harris said. “They’ve been around football for a long time … played at a high level and coached at a high level.”
Spavital said the new regime of coaches is made up of good men, teachers and leaders — something that has made his team more open to the new coaching staff changes.
“This program is so much bigger than one person,” Spavital said. “There’s a lot of moving parts to this game … I think everybody has been receptive to these new coaches.”
Texas State, under the fourth year of Spavital, will open the 2022 season on Sept. 3 in Nevada against the Wolf Pack. The first home game of the year will be on Sept. 9 against Florida International University.
Before the upcoming season kicks off, Texas State will spring into action this weekend at the Spring Football Game and Fan Fest. The team’s first look will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday at Bobcat Stadium. 

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