Brown completes staff with two coaches, two graduates
Jul 26, 2010
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech football coach Watson
Brown has completed his staff for the 2010 season, naming two
assistant coaches and adding two former Golden Eagle players as
The staff’s new assistant coaches are Larry Crowe and Ron
Sigler, while Chris Grimes is the graduate assistant to work with
the defense and Brandon Barnes will serve as the staff’s
“We’re ready to go, and I really like the makeup of
this staff,” Brown said. “I feel fortunate to be able
to bring in two coaches the quality of Larry and Ron. They are not
only outstanding, experienced coaches, but they are exceptional
men. I believe our players will benefit tremendously from working
with coaches such as Larry and Ron.
“Chris and Brandon are also going to be good for our
program,” Brown added. “They both played here,
understand what we’re trying to do with this football
program, and they are also outstanding young
is a coaching veteran with experience in both the college and
professional ranks. He will work as a volunteer assistant coach
with the team’s tight ends, kickers and punters in his first
season and will also serve as the program’s recruiting
A native of Hueytown, Ala., Crowe was a
standout athlete both at Hueytown High School and later at
Jacksonville State. As a player, he went to the NCAA Division II
World Series twice with the Gamecocks and played three seasons at
shortstop from 1972 to 1974.
Crowe, 60, returned to his alma mater
as a coach from 1976 to 1980, working with the baseball team,
before taking a position with the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL
in 1981. Under head coach Raleigh Dotch, the Stallions won the
Eastern Conference championship in 1985.
He was at UAB as an assistant coach to
begin the 1986 season, helping to establish the Blazers first as a
club team through the ranks of Division III, I-AA and eventually to
I-A alongside Brown. At UAB, Crowe coached the tight ends and
He was on the staff at UAB until 2007, working as Director of
Football Operations and coaching the special teams, before taking
the same position at Samford University in 2007. After one season
(2008) out of coaching, Crowe returned to the profession in 2008 as
the offensive coordinator at Billingsley (Ala.) High School.
Ron Sigler will work with the
team’s talented group of wide receivers.
A native of Mobile, Ala., and a graduate of UAB, Sigler played
his collegiate career under Brown at UAB and began his coaching
career under the Golden Eagle mentor as a student assistant with
the Blazers. He has spent the past 11 years as an assistant coach
at Midfield High School in Birmingham, Ala.
Sigler, 36, was a standout athlete at
McGill-Toolen High School in Mobile, competing in football,
basketball and track & field. His college career was spent
playing on Brown’s team at UAB from 1993 to 1996. Originally
a runningback, he moved to the slot receiver and eventually played
the H-back/tight end role in Brown’s system because of his
He earned his degree in psychology from
UAB in 1997 and in 1999 he embarked upon his career in coaching as
an assistant at Midfield High School. He spent the next 11 years as
the offensive coordinator at Midfield, helping the team to eight
area titles and the AHSAA playoffs in nine of the 11 years. The
team won an average of nearly 10 games per year and his potent
offense averaged 37 points per game.
returns to his alma mater to fill a role as a graduate assistant
coach. A former cornerback known for his hustle and hard-hitting
style of play, Grimes will work with the defense.
After a redshirt season in 2003, Chris
became a fixture on the field for the Golden Eagles during the next
four years, playing in 39 contests and starting 25 contests. He
chalked up 158 total tackles including 101 unassisted tackles from
his cornerback spot
He earned a reputation of being an
extremely hard-hitting defender with a knack for getting to the
ball and making punishing tackles. In addition to his stops, he
also recovered seven fumbles during his career, caused two fumbles
and broke up 16 passes. He had three career interceptions and
finished with eight tackles-for-loss.
He was a two-way player for coach Don
Thomas at LeVergne High School, starting at tailback and free
safety. He rushed for 3,650 yards and finished his prep career with
231 tackles for the Wolverines.
He recently served as an assistant
coach at LeVergne High School under head coach Will Hester. In that
position, he coached the defensive backs and special teams.
Chris graduated from Tech in 2008 with
a degree in multidisciplinary studies.
Barnes, 25, will provide support to
the Golden Eagles in his first season as administrative assistant.
Barnes was a starter in the offensive line during his four-year
career with the Golden Eagles from Tech 2004 to 2007.
He graduated in December 2007 with a
bachelor’s degree in sociology, specializing in criminal
justice. Now back at his alma mater, he’s enrolled in the MBA
A native of East Ridge, Tenn., Brandon
was a team co-captain and three-year starter for coach Tim James at
East Ridge High School. A standout on both sides of scrimmage, he
helped the team to consecutive playoff appearances including the
region title as a junior. He was also a three-year letterman on the
track & field team, finishing as state runnerup in the shot put
as a junior.
After his prep career, Brandon
originally signed to attend East Tennessee State, but when the
school’s football program was eliminated he made a smooth
transition to Tennessee Tech. He played all but one game as a
redshirt freshman in 2004. He was a regular in the offensive line
for the next three years, including starting 22 consecutive games
over the final two years. With Barnes up front, Tech had seven
different OVC Offensive Player of the Week winners during his
In 2007, Barnes became just the fourth
offensive lineman to win Tech’s Sonny Allen Leadership
In his role as Administrative
Assistant, Barnes will work in a variety of assignments to support
the Tech coaching staff.