RUSTON, La. (Feb. 20, 2014) – Louisiana Tech head football coach Skip Holtz announced the hiring of Oscar Giles as the program’s new defensive line coach Thursday.
Giles joins the LA Tech Family after spending the last nine seasons at Texas as the defensive ends coach, helping develop two Ted Hendricks Award winners as the nation’s top defensive end and guiding the Longhorns to eight bowls and a national championship.
A former player for the Longhorns that won two national titles in 1987 and 1991, Giles has a deep knowledge of football and recruiting in the Lone Star State. After breaking into the coaching ranks at Southwest Texas in 1998, he was a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 1999 before moving on to stints at SMU and Houston before returning to Austin.
In close to a decade with the Longhorns, Giles has helped develop two Ted Hendricks Award winners as the nation’s top defensive end in Jackson Jeffcoat (2013) and Brian Orakpo (2008), along with two other finalists in Sergio Kindle (2009) and Tim Crowder (2006). Jeffcoat led the team in tackles (86), TFLs (22), sacks (13.0) and pressures (19), and tied for first in fumbles recovered (3). He was the only FBS lineman to lead his team in tackles, while ranking first in the Big 12 and tied for third nationally in sacks (1.0 per game/13). He joined Cedric Reed (10.0) to form one of the most dominant DE tandems in th country and the only one in the nation to each have 10 or more sacks. Jeffcoat also earned first-team All-America honors and was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, while Reed was tabbed first-team All-Big 12.
In 2012, Alex Okafor was a first-team All-Big 12 pick for the second-straight year and earned the CFPA’s Elite Defensive Lineman Trophy, while Jeffcoat was an honorable mention all-league pick despite missing the final six regular season games with an injury. Okafor led the Big 12 in sacks, while also ranking among the best in forced fumbles and tackles for loss. He earned Defensive MVP honors at the Alamo Bowl, registering a dominant 4.5 sackes and six TFL before being drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft by Arizona. As a group, the DEs recorded 21 sacks and 41 TFL.
In 2011, Okafor and Jeffcoat started all 13 games at defensive end with each ranking in the top 10 in the Big 12 in sacks and tackles for loss. Okafor was an AFCA All-American and unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selection after recording a team-high seven sacks to go with 14 TFL and 17 pressures. Jeffcoat was a second-team All-Big 12 choice and led the team with 21 TFL and eight sacks, while nine pressures on the year. The two ends helped the defense rank first in the Big 12 in total defense (11th NCAA), run defense (sixth NCAA), pass efficiency defense (10th NCAA) and pass defense.
In 2010, senior DE Sam Acho became one of the most decorated players in UT history. Acho won the William V. Campbell Trophy, the Wuerffel Trophy and the ARA Sportsmanship Award, along with becoming UT’s seventh two-time Academic All-American, a second-team All-America selection by the WCFF, a member of the AFCA Good Works team and a Lott Trophy finalist, while recording 59 tackles, 17 TFL, nine sacks, 18 pressures, five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. His five fumble recoveries led the nation and tied the UT single-season record. Acho finished his career ranked second in UT history in fumble recoveries with nine, and 10th in sacks with 23.5, and was chosen in the fourth round of the 2011 Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. Senior Eddie Jones was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection and notched 52 tackles (32 solo), six sacks, 10 TFL, 14 pressures and one forced fumble. His six sacks and 14 pressures both ranked second on the team behind Acho. True freshman Jackson Jeffcoat also emerged to earn Big 12 Honorable Mention Defensive Freshman of the Year honors and contributed six TFL, 2.5 sacks and seven pressures despite playing in only eight games due to injury.
In 2009, Giles helped mold senior DE/LB Sergio Kindle into the first player in college football history to be a finalist for both the Hendricks Award (nation’s top DE) and Butkus Award (nation’s top LB). Kindle led the Longhorns with 22 TFL and 36 pressures en route to first-team All-America honors. Junior Sam Acho led the team with 10 sacks and was named a semifinalist for the Lott Trophy. Jones contributed five sacks and seven TFL to a unit that helped the defense rank first in rushing defense, third in total defense, 12th in scoring defense, along with being in the top eight in both sacks and TFL. Alex Okafor also earned Freshman All-Big 12 honors.
Under Giles’ guidance, the 2008 season saw Brian Orakpo become one of the most dominant players in college football and one of the most honored in UT history. An eventual first round pick of the Washington Redskins, Orakpo became Texas’ 19th unanimous All-American and won the Nagurski Trophy (nation’s top defensive player), Lombardi Award (nation’s top lineman) and Hendricks Award (nation’s top defensive end).
He was also the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and a finalist for the Lott Trophy (nation’s top defensive IMPACT player). Orakpo helped the Texas defense lead the nation in sacks, finishing the season with 11.5 sacks for minus-100 yards, 19 TFL, 30 pressures and four forced fumbles. Giles also helped senior Henry Melton make a successful transition from RB to a starting role at DE where he registered four sacks and 10 TFL and went on to be drafted by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round.
In 2007, Giles led a group that helped Texas rank sixth in the nation against the run (93.4 ypg). Seeking to replace NFL draftees Tim Crowder (second round, Broncos) and Brian Robison (fourth round, Vikings), veterans Orakpo and Aaron Lewis began the season as starters, but both missed significant time due to injury. Despite missing more than four games, Orakpo led the team in sacks, while sophomore Lamarr Houston stepped in to lead the team in TFL and pressures.
The 2006 season saw Giles’ defensive ends produce Texas’ first 10-sack season since 1998. Crowder, who earned second-team All-America honors, was a finalist for the Hendricks Award and led the team with 10.5 sacks. Robison also pitched in with 5.5 sacks and 15 pressures on his way to second-team All-Big 12 honors. Brian Orakpo added 4.5 sacks and 11 pressures. Overall, the defensive ends produced 24.5 sacks, 44 TFL and 59 pressures.
In his first season with Texas, Giles aided in the Longhorns No. 10 ranking in total defense (302.9 ypg) and a No. 8 ranking in scoring defense (16.4 ppg). Three of the defensive ends earned conference honors with Crowder and Robison being named honorable mention All-Big 12, while Orakpo earned Defensive Freshman of the Year honors. Orakpo was also named Defensive Freshman of the Year by The Sporting News.
Giles spent the previous two seasons as an assistant coach at Houston, where he worked with the Cougars’ defensive line. He joined the Houston staff prior to the 2003 season after spending three seasons at SMU. Giles helped the Cougars to a 7-6 mark and a spot in the Hawaii Bowl in 2003, the first bowl appearance for UH in eight seasons.
After joining the SMU staff in the spring of 2000, Giles tutored a defensive line that developed into a unit that led the Western Athletic Conference and ranked 22nd nationally in total defense (320.1 yards per game) in 2001. He was kept on by new Mustang coach Phil Bennett and remained at SMU for the 2002 season.
Giles was a graduate assistant coach at Texas in 1999, where he assisted with defensive backs and helped the Longhorns earn a Big 12 South Division Championship, a spot in the Big 12 Championship game and a Cotton Bowl berth.
Prior to accepting a graduate assistant position at UT, Giles coached the defensive line and served as a strength and conditioning coach at Southwest Texas State (now Texas State) in 1998.
A four-year letterwinner at Texas (1987-90), Giles played defensive end and linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons and went on to play in the Canadian Football League from 1994-97 and helped the Toronto Argonauts win the Grey Cup Championship in 1996.
A three-year starter at UT, Giles earned AP All-SWC honors as a senior when he helped the Longhorns to the 1990 SWC Championship and an appearance in the 1991 Cotton Bowl. Texas was 10-2 and finished the year ranked 12th that year. Giles also helped the 1987 Longhorns to a No. 19 final ranking and a victory in the Bluebonnet Bowl. He led Texas in sacks in 1988 (6.5) and 1989 (7.0) and finished with 22 in his career (T-No. 10 on the UT all-time list). A semifinalist for the Outland Trophy and two-time GTE Academic All-SWC selection, his nine career fumble recoveries are tied for second on the UT all-time chart. Giles was awarded UT’s Tenacity Award twice during his collegiate career.
A native of Palacios, Texas, Giles earned his Bachelor of Science degree in speech communications from Texas in 1991. Giles and his wife, Kim, have two daughters, Olivia and Kourtney.
Giles’ hiring is pending approval from the University of Louisiana System (ULS) Board of Supervisors.