MONTICELLLO — Fans of the high-tempo spread offense made popular by former Arkansas State head coaches Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn will get another chance to see it this fall at Arkansas-Monticello.
Kyle Shipp, who spent a season with Freeze at Arkansas State, has been hired as the new offensive coordinator for the Arkansas-Monticello football team, the school announced Friday.
“If you watch Ole Miss, A-State the last couple of years, our offense will be very similar to what you saw,” Shipp said. “…The majority of what I’ve learned is from Freeze.”
Shipp served two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at Arkansas State with head coach Steve Roberts. With the Red Wolves, he helped coach an offense that set nine school records during the 2010 season, and aided the team to a No. 2 Sun Belt Conference rank in total offense (4,841 yards).
That season, he worked under Freeze, then the offensive coordinator, as A-State installed the spread no-huddle offense seen today with Freeze at Ole Miss.
“I think we will be able to do some great things offensively and put ourselves in a position to win a conference championship,” Shipp said.
Shipp takes his first coordinator position after serving the previous three seasons as the receivers coach and recruiting coordinator at his alma mater and fellow Great American Conference member Arkansas Tech.
“I think he will be a real good fit with our staff,” UAM head coach Hud Jackson said. “He is a good person, and I feel like he is exactly what we are looking for.”
Shipp replaces former offensive coordinator Matt Middleton, who according to Jackson, is stepping down from coaching all together.
“We want to be more of a power football team and that’s what Kyle brings to us,” Jackson said. “He fits well with what we want to do in the future.”
While at Arkansas Tech, Shipp helped the Wonder Boy offense average 30 points and 400 yards of total offense per game during the 2012 season.
“It is extremely exciting because this is my first (coordinating) opportunity,” Shipp said. “I am so thankful to coach Hud for giving me a shot at doing this.
“I can’t wait to work with the staff and the student-athletes.”
Shipp said he has spent about three days with the team.
“The kids are picking up the offense and seem excited about the change and direction (we are going in),” Shipp said. “I want to try to make practice as fun as possible, while still coaching them hard.
“I believe in having fun in practice because otherwise it becomes very mundane and the kids lose interest.”
UAM finished last year with a 5-6 overall record and 4-6 in the GAC. The UAM offense averaged 316 yards per game and 25.5 points per game.
“There are some things we want to accomplish,” Jackson said. “… And I think the personnel we have now will allow us to do that.”