A familiar face made his return to Stephenville as the winningest coach of Tarleton State University’s NCAA era, Todd Whitten, returned to the Texan sidelines prior to the 2016 season.
He made an immediate impact in his return by resurrecting a 3-7 season from the year before and led Tarleton into the final two games of the season with a chance to win the Lone Star Conference championship.
In a news conference on December 3, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. Athletic Director Lonn Reisman announced the selection of Whitten as head football coach. Whitten joined Reisman and President Dr. F. Dominic Dottavio at the announcement in the lobby of Wisdom Gym.
This marked the 28th head coaching change in the history of Tarleton football, as Whitten is one of 24 different men to lead the Texans. He now joins legendary coach W.J. Wisdom as one of two coaches with three different tenures as Tarleton’s head football coach.
“I feel like I’m coming home,” said Whitten. “I’m very excited to be back at Tarleton. This is a very special place and it’s an incredible job. I’m very thankful to be chosen.”
Whitten, a 28-year veteran at the collegiate coaching level, has been a head coach for 12 years, including seven years at Tarleton (1996, 2000-04, 2016) and five seasons at Division I Sam Houston State.
He currently boasts an NCAA coaching record of 75-57, including a record at Tarleton of 50-29, which gives him the second-most total wins in school history behind Wisdom (71). He also has a career record of 29-11 at Memorial Stadium in Stephenville.
“I am very confident in Todd Whitten’s ability to win football games and reestablish our program into a contender – not just in the Lone Star Conference, but on the national level,” said Reisman. “In his career, Whitten has shown the ability to rebuild programs and make them very competitive.
“He brings a wealth of experience as a head coach at the Division I and Division II levels,” continued Reisman. “He is an innovator, he is creative, and he has one of the most tremendous offensive minds in the country. I have all the confidence in the world that Todd will bring enthusiasm and energy to our football program.”
During his first two stints at Tarleton, Whitten was no stranger to awards and championships.
Before taking over the program in 1996 for one season, Tarleton had a record of 4-16-1 since joining the NCAA in 1994. Whitten turned things around following a 1-10 season in 1995 by leading the Texans to a 5-5 record in his first season, which was enough to garner him the LSC Coach of the Year award for that season.
After a three-year hiatus as the offense coordinator for Wyoming and Sam Houston State, Whitten made his return to Stephenville to build Tarleton into a national powerhouse.
Whitten came back in 2000 and turned Tarleton around once again with a 6-5 record to open the new century.
In his second season, Whitten’s Texans entered uncharted territory with a 10-3 mark to claim the school’s first Lone Star Conference championship and division championship en route to their first trip to the NCAA playoffs. He would go on to boast a record of 17-6 over the next two seasons, each of which garnered his third and fourth LSC Coach of the Year awards, and Tarleton returned to the NCAA playoffs in 2003.
Whitten is a four-time Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year after winning the award in 1996, 2001, 2002, and 2003. He was also named the D2Football.com West Region Coach of the Year in 2001 after guiding Tarleton to the playoffs for the first time.
Before becoming a coach, Whitten was a star athlete at Dallas Kimball High School and Stephen F. Austin University – where he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2001. He was a three-year starter at quarterback and a three-year starter in the outfield during baseball season.
He was drafted in the 17th round of the 1983 Major League Baseball Draft by Philadelphia out of Kimball High School, but declined to make his way to Stephen F. Austin. After his dual-sport career with the Lumberjacks, Whitten signed a free agent contract to play quarterback for the New England Patriots in 1987.
After playing for the Patriots in 1987, Whitten traded the helmet for the headset as he went back to school as a graduate assistant coach at Texas Tech to begin his coaching career. He earned his first full-time coaching job at New Mexico State in 1990, where he spent four seasons before heading to El Paso, where he spent two seasons at UTEP.
Whitten left UTEP for his first head coaching position at Tarleton in 1996 before leaving for Wyoming the following year.
After his second stint at Tarleton from 2000-04, Whitten returned to Sam Houston State for his first Division I head coaching opportunity. He spent five seasons with the Bearkats. From there, he spent two seasons at Lamar, one year at Arlington Heights High School, and the last three years at UTEP before coming back to Tarleton in December 2015.
Whitten earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Stephen F. Austin in 1987 and a master’s degree in sports administration from Texas Tech in 1990.
He resides in Stephenville with his wife, Dana. The couple has three sons – Brady, Blaze, and Tate – and a daughter, Maddie.
|The Todd Whitten File|
|High School||Kimball High School ('82)|
|College||Stephen F. Austin ('95)|
|Children: Brady, Blaze, Tate & Maddie|
|1988-89||Texas Tech||Graduate Assistant|
|1990-93||New Mexico State||QB Coach|
|1994-95||Texas-El Paso||RB Coach|
|1997-98||University of Wyoming||Offensive Coordinator|
|1999||Sam Houston State||Offensive Coordinator|
|2005-09||Sam Houston State||Head Coach|
|2010-11||Lamar University||Offensive Coordinator|
|2012||Arlington Heights High School||Head Coach|
|2013-15||Texas-El Paso||WR Coach|
|Coach Award History|
|1996||LSC Coach of the Year|
|2001||LSC South Division Coach of the Year|
|West Region Coach of the Year (D2Football.com)|
|2002||LSC North Division Coach of the Year|
|2003||LSC North Division Coach of the Year|
|NCAA Head Coaching Record|
|2005||Sam Houston State||3-7|
|2006||Sam Houston State||6-5|
|2007||Sam Houston State||7-4|
|2008||Sam Houston State||4-6|
|2009||Sam Houston State||5-6|
|Total||Tarleton: 8 yrs||56-35||42-25||31-13|
|NCAA: 13 yrs||81-63|
When the 2018 season starts, Jonathan Beasley will begin his seventh year on the Tarleton coaching staff as the running backs and tight ends coach, his third season as the Recruiting Coordinator, and first year as the Co-Offensive Coordinator.
Last season, Beasley took over coaching the running backs and tight ends. His running backs combined for 1,060 yards and 10 touchdowns while freshman tight end Brant Bailey took home second-team All-LSC recognition in his debut season under Beasley’s leadership.
In his first four seasons at Tarleton, he was the primary wide receivers coach and led two of the top wide receivers in this history of Texan Football – Clifton Rhodes III and Le’Nard Meyers. Rhodes ended his career as the school’s all-time leader in receptions (209) and receiving yards (2,757) while Meyers is second in receptions (202), fourth in yards (2,580), and the all-time leader in receiving touchdowns (27). Meyers also tied Devin Guinn for the school record mark in 100-yard receiving games (10).
Under Beasley’s leadership, Meyers had a banner year in 2015 as a senior. The Texan receiver from Gatesville was a first-team All-LSC selection, two-time all-region award winner, and a third-team All-America selection as well as being named the Lone Star Conference Receiver of the Year
In 2014, the Texans boasted one of the top receiving corps in the nation with the trio of Le'Nard Meyers, Bubba Tandy and Clifton Rhodes III, who ultimately set the school record for most receptions and most receiving yards in school history. For the second straight season, Beasley's receiving corps had four players top the 400-yard receiving plateau with Tandy leading the way with 830 yards and Meyers checking in at 755. Rhodes III (556) and Tyler Wright (432) were the other top receivers for the Texans while Rhodes, Tandy and Meyers were named all-conference at receiver.
Beasley also spent the 2014 as the team's Academic Coordinator and the Texans had three Texans named to the league Academic All-Conference team and Charles Moore was named an Academic All-America honoree and National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and finalist for the William V. Campbell trophy.
In 2013, Beasley helped sophomore Le’Nard Meyers have a breakout season with a team-best 731 yards on 58 receptions, including a career-high 178 yards on nine catches and two touchdowns to power a 24-point comeback win against No. 4 West Texas A&M on Oct. 12. Meyers wasn’t the only Texan receiver to shine under Beasley’s tutelage as Meyers, Clifton Rhodes III (675), Bubba Tandy (498) and Jeken Frye (419) all topped the 400-yard receiving plateau. Beasley’s receivers had five 100-yard receiving games in 2013.
In Beasley’s first season with Tarleton, he helped the Texan receivers combine for over 2,500 yards and 18 touchdowns with two receivers amassing more than 670 yards individually.
In his Tarleton career has had a total of four different receivers and one tight end earn All-LSC honors.
Beasley, a former star quarterback at Kansas State, came to Tarleton after coaching three years at his alma mater as an offensive assistant coach. Beasley returned to his alma mater and served as the wide receivers coach after being an assistant coach at Montana State in 2007 and 2008.
The Bobcats went 13-10 over Beasley’s two seasons. As part of the Bobcat coaching staff, Beasley also assisted with the weekly implementation of the offensive game plan and served as the MSU Community Service Coordinator.
Before arriving at Montana State, Beasley served as a graduate assistant at Emporia State as well as quarterbacks and running backs coach at Wichita North High in 2006 and JV and freshmen quarterbacks’ coach at Cactus High in Glendale, Ariz. in 2003.
He played professionally for the Wichita Aviators in the APFL (2005), the Wichita Stealth in Arena II (2004), the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars (2003), the NFL Detroit Lions (2003), and NFL Green Bay Packers (2001). He also played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (2001-02). His time in Wichita earned him a spot in the Kanas Indoor Professional Football Hall of Fame with the Class of 2016. The Wichita Eagle also named him one of the Top-10 All-Time Greatest Indoor Football players.
A native of Glendale, Ariz., Beasley was a third-team All-Big XII selection at quarterback for K-State in 2000 and earned MVP honors in the 2001 Cotton Bowl, where K-State defeated Tennessee 35-21 and Beasley earned MVP honors after scoring three touchdowns on 98 yards rushing and 210 yards passing, and 1999 Holiday Bowl. He also earned MVP and team captain honors for the 2001 Hula Bowl, and was the team captain for the 2001 East-West Shrine Game.
Beasley was a two-year starter at Kansas State, compiling a 132.7 pass efficiency rating in 2000, the top mark in school history to that point. He threw for over 30 touchdowns in his career and finished with 4,642 career passing yards. He holds the school record for most yards per completion for a game (23.9), season (20.1) and career (17.9) while also compiling a 21-4 record in two seasons as the Wildcat starting quarterback.
He led K-State to a Big 12 Championship Game appearance against Oklahoma as a senior, and led the Wildcats to a win over Nebraska that same season by throwing a game-winning 12-yard scoring strike in the game’s final three minutes.
Beasley married his wife, Amanda, in July 2014 and has a son, Tanner, and a daughter, Olivia.
When the 2018 football season begins, Tarleton alumnus Scott Carey will return to the sideline of Tarleton Football after being named the new co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
Carey’s ties to Tarleton run deep after starring on the field for the Texans as a four-year letterman on the offensive line from 1994 to 1997, including as a junior during Whitten’s first Stephenville stop in 1996.
After his playing days, Carey ventured out to Northeastern State and Colorado Mines to begin his coaching career and found early success with an LSC championship in 2000 and a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship in 2004. Carey’s 2004 team at Colorado Mines also boasted the nation’s top player as Carey’s offensive line oversaw the protection of Harlon Hill Trophy winner Chad Friehauf and the Mines offense was ranked as high as No. 1 in the nation in passing offense, No. 2 in total offense and sixth in scoring offense that season. Under Carey's tutelage, Travis Yenne was a two-time All-American (2004-05) and earned RMAC Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2005.
His success allowed him the opportunity to return to his alma mater in 2006 when he joined Sam McElroy’s coaching staff at Tarleton as the offensive line coach. Carey and the Texans saw immediate success as they shared the LSC South Division title in 2006 and the league title again in 2009. Also in 2009, Carey and the Texans advanced two rounds deep in the NCAA playoffs after upsetting Texas A&M-Kingsville on the road in double overtime.
Tarleton rushed for 143.3 yards per game and 26 touchdowns during that playoff-bound 2009 campaign. The Texans also averaged 386.2 yards of total offense per game, outscored their opponents by more than 10 points per game, and converted on 85% (40-of-47) of their red-zone opportunities that season.
In 2008, the Tarleton offense boasted the league’s second-best rushing attack at 187.2 yards per game to go along with 375.5 yards of total offense per game. The Texans saw their feature running back, Roderick Smith, rush for 1,024 yards and earn first team all-LSC accolades.
In 2007, the Tarleton front five paved the way for an average of 452.2 yards of total offense per game, including 175.5 yards per game on the ground. Three Tarleton offensive linemen earned All-LSC accolades in 2007, including a pair of first team honorees. In Carey’s debut season as a coach for Tarleton in 2006, the Texans' offensive line helped Tarleton average 370.6 yards of total offense per game. Tarleton’s offensive line blocked for the LSC South Division Offensive Back of the Year in Michael Sampson and the LSC South Division Co-Freshman of the Year in Smith.
During his five years as a coach at Tarleton, the Texans were 36-20 with two LSC championships. Carey spent time as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach over the span.
After leaving Tarleton after 2010, Carey returned to Colorado Mines for three seasons and then came back to Texas for three years as the offensive line coach for now-NCAA Division I Abilene Christian. He spent the 2017 season at McGregor High School.
In his return to Golden, Colo., in 2011, Carey’s group of offensive linemen tied for second in the RMAC in fewest sacks allowed (23) and the Mines offense led the conference and finished eighth nationally with 305.9 passing yards per game. The offense finished 42nd nationally with 31.6 points per game and 48th nationally with 401.6 yards of total offense per game. Quarterback Clay Garcia led the RMAC in passing yards (3,123) and running back Dan Palmer led the conference in rushing yards per game (92.4). Palmer's 1,016 rushing yards are the third-most in school history and just the third 1,00-yard season by a Mines running back in school history.
Carey, a native of Killeen, graduated from Killeen High School in 1993 before coming to Tarleton. He graduated with his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from Tarleton in 1997 and earned a master’s degree in college teaching from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma in 2001.
He resides in Stephenville with his wife, Danielle, who earned her master’s degree and was a graduate assistant basketball coach for Tarleton in 2008-09. The couple has two sons, Gabe and Eli.
When the 2018 football season begins, Marcus Patton will start his third season as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach for Texan Football.
In his debut season with the purple and white, Patton went to work in turning around a Tarleton defense that surrendered the most yards in school history the season before. In Patton’s debut season, the Texans improved dramatically by improving their points and yards allowed by large margins. The Texans saw an improvement of 120.9 yards and 13.5 points per game from 2015 to 2016 under Patton in his debut campaign, including a starring showcase against Eastern New Mexico on Oct. 15, 2016 when Patton’s defense held the No. 2-ranked rushing offense to 100 yards below its season average in a 26-16 road victory.
He coached Tarleton’s Cody Burtscher to one of the most decorated seasons by a single player in school history as the senior was named first-team All-LSC, All-Region, AFCA All-America, and the Lone Star Conference Linebacker of the Year under Patton’s leadership. In addition to Burtscher, Patton’s defense also boasted EJ Speed, who earned second-team honors and led the nation in forced fumbles, as well as honorable mention All-LSC players Dominique Martin, Chase Varnado, Basil Jackson, and Treston Ridge.
Patton came to Tarleton after spending the 2014-15 seasons as the defensive coordinator at Colorado Mesa. In 2015, his Maverick defense was one of the best in the nation and finished in the top-10 in the country in multiple defensive categories including: fourth-down conversion defense, defensive touchdowns scored, and turnover margin with 28 defensive takeaways including 19 interceptions. Mesa also finished No. 11 in the nation in red-zone defense and No. 12 in the nation in scoring defense after allowing just 17.8 points per game.
“In today’s football, there’s going to be a lot of offense,” said Patton. “People are going to score points in today’s game, but you have be able to play good enough defense to give yourself a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter. It’s unrealistic to think that you can hold teams to the zero-to-three point range, but we want to keep it manageable and give yourself a chance to win the game. We’re going to do that with fundamental defense.
“I think one of my big strengths is teaching the fundamentals,” he continued. “We need to be able to tackle, be tough, and fly around. You can talk schematics all you want, but I’m a believer that you win football games with tackling and taking on blocks.”
Patton, who has also spent time as a collegiate assistant coach at Fairmont State, Seton Hill, UCLA, Indiana State, and South Florida, played football for Kansas State University from 2000-04. He joins former Wildcat, Jonathan Beasley, on the Tarleton coaching staff and was a student-athlete when Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Performance Rod Cole was the head strength and conditioning coach for Coach Bill Snyder’s team. Patton was also teammates with NFL athletes Darren Sproles, Jordy Nelson, and Terrence Newman.
"Patton was an outstanding player at Kansas State and he's proven to be an outstanding coach. I'm very excited to have him at Tarleton," said Cole.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Patton earned a bachelor’s degree in social science from Kansas State and then went on to coach four seasons at the high school level in Florida before returning to the college ranks as a defensive assistant. In his career, he has coached numerous all-conference players and had an NCAA All-American at Colorado Mesa last season. He has had over 10 former players continue their careers at the NFL level and was responsible for recruiting even more that went on to play professionally.
“I'm excited to be at Tarleton and coach alongside Coach Whitten because he is a winner,” said Patton. “He has won here before. He showed me the vision of this school, and also being able to recruit football in the state of Texas, were big draws to making this decision for me. This is an opportunity where special things can be accomplished. I’m a competitor and this is an opportunity for me to come in and potentially win a national championship.”
When the 2018 football season begins, Marc Martinez will begin his second season as a full-time linebackers coach for Tarleton state and third season with the Texan coaching staff overall after spending two seasons as a graduate assistant linebackers coach.
Over his two seasons as a graduate assistant coach, Martinez helped turn former running back Cody Burtscher into one of the most decorated Texans to don the purple and white. Under Martinez’s leadership, Burtscher finished his senior season as a first-team All-LSC, all-region, and AFCA All-America selection as well as being named the Lone Star Conference Linebacker of the Year in 2016.
Martinez made the transition from the gridiron to the sidelines following a stellar four-year playing career for the Texans, including an all-conference senior season as the team’s leading tackler.
He was a two-time all-LSC linebacker capped off by his senior campaign when he topped the 100-tackle mark to lead the Texans. He made 44 solo stops while assisting on 66 and leading the nation with four fumble recoveries. He also made 5.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in his swan song season for the Purple and White.
For his career, Martinez played in 35 games over three seasons and was a part of the 2013 Lone Star Conference Championship team. He amassed two interceptions, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in his career while making 253 total tackles, including 119 solo stops. He made 17.0 tackles for a loss in his career and deflected seven passes.
Martinez graduated with his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from Tarleton and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in the same field.
When the 2018-19 year begins, Tate Whitten will begin his first year as a full-time athletic assistant coach. In this role, Whitten will assist multiple sports for duties as assigned including the football team as the wide receivers coach.
Whitten spent the last two seasons as a graduate assistant coach with the athletic department, helping Tarleton win 11 games over the last two seasons and qualify for the Corsicana Bowl in 2017. His transition to the sidelines came after a four-year playing career for the Texans as a receiver.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Tarleton in 2016. He came to Tarleton from Frisco Heritage High School where he was a standout student-athlete.
When the 2018 football season begins, Benjamin Seifert will begin his first season as a graduate assistant coach for the defensive backs, as well as serving as the team’s quality control coach.
This will be his second season with the Texan coaching staff after spending last year as a student assistant to the defensive coordinator.
Seifert graduated in 2010 from Devine High School where he lettered three years in football and track. After high school, he attended the University of Texas in San Antonio for one year before transferring to Tarleton to complete his undergraduate degree.
Seifert earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and, upon completion of his masters, is planning to enlist in the United States Military.