Reggie Herring is in his third season as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. In his 25th season as a collegiate coach and his 27th overall, he joined Houston Nutt’s staff on Dec. 4, 2004, after one season as the defensive coordinator at North Carolina State.
In 2006, Herring’s defense was among the league’s best with junior defensive end Jamaal Anderson and senior linebacker Sam Olajubutu earning first-team All-Southeastern Conference accolades. The All-SEC second-team also produced a couple of Razorbacks in junior cornerback Chris Houston and sophomore defensive end Antwain Robinson.
The squad ranked 33rd nationally and fourth in the SEC in rushing defense (114.57), 18th nationally and fourth in the SEC in pass efficiency defense (107.82), and 24th nationally and fifth in the league in scoring defense (18.29).
Olajubutu led all Hogs in tackles with 115 with 10 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He ranks third in school history with 371 tackles. He was just the 14th player in school history to register 300 tackles in a career.
For his efforts, Herring was named one of five finalists for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s top assistant coach. He was also named the Master Coach Survey National Defensive Coordinator of the Week following UA’s decisive win over Tennessee, 31-14.
In 2005, Herring’s first squad at Arkansas showed tremendous improvement throughout the season, finishing sixth in the SEC and 35th in the nation in rushing defense (132.5), 45th in the nation in passing defense (209.4) and 34th in the country in total defense (341). Over the final five games of the year, the Razorbacks allowed just 243 yards per game.
The Razorbacks were also fourth in the league in sacks (33) and in defensive third-down conversion percentage (.348).
His linebacker crew included Olajubutu, who led the team with 118 tackles and 14.5 tackles for loss. He was also third in the SEC in tackles.
Olajubutu earned honorable mention All-America honors and was first-team All-SEC while Freddie Fairchild, who had 59 tackles with six tackles for loss, earned freshman All-America honors and was named to the SEC’s All-Freshman squad.
In Herring’s one season at North Carolina State, the Wolfpack led the nation in total defense, allowing just 221.36 yards per game after giving up 421 and ranking No. 89 the previous year. NCSU also led the nation in pass efficiency defense (91.77), was second in total pass defense (119), 13th in rushing defense (102.36) and 25th in scoring (19.82).
Before going to NC State, he served two seasons as the linebackers coach for the NFL’s Houston Texans under head coach Dom Capers. In 2003, Texans’ linebacker Jamie Sharper led the NFL with 164 tackles.
Herring spent eight seasons under head coaches Tommy West and Tommy Bowden at Clemson. From 1994-2001, he served as the linebackers coach. In 1997, he added the title of defensive coordinator. He coached NCAA leading tackler and Butkus Award finalist Keith Adams in 2000. He also was part of teams that played in seven bowl games — four in the Peach Bowl, two in the Gator and one in the Humanitarian.
His first defensive coordinator experience came in a two-year stint at Texas Christian University (TCU) from 1992-93 under head coach Pat Sullivan.
Herring served as linebackers coach under Pat Dye at Auburn from 1986-91. During that six-year span, the Tigers captured three SEC championships with five bowl appearances including two trips to the Sugar Bowl, and one each to the Citrus, Peach and Hall of Fame bowls.
He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Jimmy Johnson at Oklahoma State in 1981. Johnson promoted Herring to full-time linebackers coach in 1982. He served in that role for Johnson and Pat Jones until 1985. Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt was a fellow graduate assistant on the 1981 staff and worked with Herring at OSU from 1981-82 and from 1984-85 while making four bowl trips — two to the Peach, and one each to the Independence and Bluebonnet.
As a player, Herring was a three-year starting linebacker at Florida State from 1978-80. While with the Seminoles, he led the team in tackles three straight years and is currently No. 3 on FSU’s all-time tackle chart with 452 stops. He played in three bowl games, two Orange and one Tangerine, and was part of teams that finished in the top 10 two straight years with records of 11-0 and 10-1. His senior year, he was named a team captain of the 1981 Orange Bowl team. He was inducted into FSU’s Hall of Fame in 1989. He earned his bachelor’s in criminology in 1981.
Herring, 48, is married to the former Lisa Ward of Griffin, Ga. The couple has a daughter, Caroline (7/26/86), and a son, Adam (5/1/89).