Guilford College Fills 2008 Coaching Staff

Greensboro, N.C. — Guilford College added five assistant football coaches and promoted Joe Mitskas to defensive coordinator Tuesday. Interim athletic director Tom Palombo announced the addition of Brad Davis ’08, Matt Hutchings, Bracy Maynard and Shawn Thomas to head coach Kevin Kiesel’s staff. In addition, senior David Hayes will serve as a student assistant coach in 2008.

Mitskas assumes the defensive coordinator’s post in his second Guilford season. The Quakers’ defensive line coach in 2007, he replaces Michael Vite after Vite took the head coaching post at the Apprentice School last spring. Mitskas worked with Mike Six ’09 in his first year and helped the junior to his second straight all-conference commendation. Guilford placed three students among the Old Dominion Athletic Conference’s (ODAC) top-seven tackles for loss leaders in 2007.

A native of Feasterville, Pa., Mitskas played for Kiesel at Millersville University from 2001-03 and earned First Team All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference honors as a senior. The three-year starting nose guard had 62 tackles in his final two seasons, 13 for loss.

Mitskas started coaching as a Millersville student assistant in the spring of 2004. He coached the defensive line and junior varsity team at William Penn (Pa.) High School in the fall of that year and served as Albright College’s defensive line coach in 2005. Mitskas spent 2006 at Muhlenberg College and helped the Mules field NCAA Division III’s 36th-ranked defense. He has worked the Jerry Sandusky Football Camp in Pennsylvania in three of the past four years.

A 2000 graduate of Neshaminy (Pa.) High School, Mitskas earned First Team All-Suburban One League honors under coach Mark Schmidt.

Davis starts his college coaching career in a familiar place surrounded by familiar faces. Guilford’s top offensive lineman for the past four years, he will coach his former linemates and new recruits in 2008. Davis started 33 of 34 career games and garnered Second Team All-ODAC honors as a senior. The left tackle also won the Quakers’ 2008 Charlie Griffin Award, given for loyalty and dedication to the team. A member of Guilford’s Spring 2008 Student-Athlete Honor Roll, Davis earned his degree in criminal justice. The Quakers’ offense ranked among the NCAA Division III leaders in Davis’ final three seasons and led the country in passing yards in 2006 and 2007.

A 2004 Central Davidson High School graduate, Davis enjoyed a stellar career for coach Eugene Everhart. The team’s Most Valuable Player in 2003, he played in the 2004 North Carolina Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game and was a two-time All-Central Carolina Conference pick.

Hutchings enters his first season on Guilford’s staff as the Quakers’ linebackers coach. He played the position for his first three college seasons at the University of Virginia College at Wise before moving to defensive end. As a senior, he captured honorable mention All-America recognition from Don Hansen’s Football Gazette. He also earned the Cavaliers’ Charlie Price Memorial Award for sportsmanship. A dean’s list student, Hutchings earned his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from UVA Wise in 2007. He volunteered as a defensive line coach with his alma mater in the spring of 2007.

Hutchings grew up in Midlothian, Va., and graduated from Clover Hill High School. He served as the defensive coordinator at Cosby High School in his hometown last fall.

Maynard will serve as a volunteer assistant coach at Guilford, coaching the defensive linemen. The veteran scholastic mentor spent nine years as an assistant football coach at nearby Western Guilford High School, where he continues to teach science and coach the boys’ track and field teams. He spent eight seasons working with the Hornets’ defense, including two with former Guilford assistant Charlie Griffin. A three-time Triad 3-A Conference Track Coach of the Year, he has coached three state track and field champions.

Maynard also made local football coaching stops at Western Alamance High School, Ragsdale High School and Northwest Guilford High School. While at Ragsdale, he worked alongside Dick Cline. He assisted Guilford alumnus, Charlie Groves ‘76, at Northwest Guilford from 1993-98.

A 1978 graduate of Bob Jones University, Maynard earned his master’s degree in physics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1992. He has three children and resides in Greensboro.

A veteran of the United States Army and multiple professional indoor football leagues, Thomas makes his college coaching debut in 2008 volunteering with Guilford’s kickers and punters. An all-star kicker at the Paxon School in Jacksonville, Fla., Thomas served in the Army for five years before enrolling at Winston-Salem State University in 1996. He kicked all four seasons for coach Kermit Blount’s club and captured First Team All-Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) honors in 1997 and 1999. In 1999, Thomas led the CIAA with 11 field goals and 23-of-24 point-after touchdowns, which helped the Rams win the league title.

After finishing his eligibility, Thomas spent five seasons kicking in the Arena Football League2 and the National Indoor Football League with teams in North Carolina and Florida. He earned his bachelor’s degree in recreation administration from North Carolina A&T State University in 2005.

Thomas has coached kickers and special teams for head coach Mark Holcomb at North Davidson High School in Lexington, N.C., since 2003. A number of Black Knights have gone on to kick in college, including East Carolina University’s Ben Hartman.

An Army Reserves medical officer, Thomas resides in Winston-Salem.

Hayes starts his college coaching career as a student assistant with the Quakers’ offensive line. The Guilford senior played in 15 games over his first two years before missing the 2007 campaign due to injury. Hayes graduated from Trinity H.S. in 2005 after starting three seasons at center for coach Kevin Gillespie. He garnered all-county and all-conference recognition and helped the Bulldogs to the 2003 state quarterfinals. He is pursuing his degree in sport management.

Kiesel returns 14 starters among 58 letter winners returning from last year’s 6-4 club (2-4 ODAC). The Quakers, picked fifth in the preseason ODAC coaches’ poll, have led NCAA Division III in passing yards per game and posted a winning record in both of the past two seasons. Guilford opens its 102nd football season Sept. 6 versus visiting Greensboro College in the 12th annual Gate City Soup Bowl. The contest marks the first Soup Bowl played under the Armfield Athletic Center lights.