Third-year head coach Brad Smiley has announced that Dionte Dean has been hired as Southern Arkansas' Defensive Coordinator. The official announcement was made on Feb. 7. Dean, who brings a plethora of experience in the Great American Conference to Magnolia, takes over for Will Reed who was left the program to become the defensive coordinator of the United Football League's San Antonio Brahmas.
"The excitement of Coach Dean is that we are bringing in a defensive coordinator and secondary coach who's been exactly where we want to take this program. He has won multiple conference titles in the recent years, made several NCAA Playoff appearances & coached multiple All-Americans, including Senior Bowl invitees and an NFL draft pick," noted Smiley. "I could not be more fired up for Coach Reed and proud of his opportunity to coach at the professional level, but I'm also looking forward to what Dionte will bring to our program."
Dean spent the 2023 season at UT Permian Basin, champions of the Lone Star Conference, where he orchestrated the Falcons' defensive unit to a top 10 ranking nationally behind top 15 marks in scoring defense and passing defense as well as a top 35 ranking in rushing defense. Dean's unit featured the both the LSC Linebacker of the Year (Hayden Kelly) and Defensive Lineman of the Year (Dom Varella). UTPB's historic season saw the Falcons fly into the D2 playoffs where Dean's defense held a Bemidji State offense to just 10 points and 220 yards of total offense.
Prior to UTPB, Dean spent five seasons as the defensive backs coach at Ouachita
Baptist University. During his time at Ouachita, he helped the team to a record of 43-5, three Great American Conference titles, three NCAA playoff appearances, and the program's first Division II playoff victory over the University of Indianapolis.
In those four seasons (2018-2022), Dean coached the first Cliff Harris Award finalist in school history, Keandre Evans, and Gregory Junior, who became the school's first-ever NFL Draft selection when he was selected in the sixth round of the 2022 draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Dean helped coach and mentor two All-American defensive backs, two All-Region defensive backs, and nine All-Conference defensive backs. In Dean's first season, the defense led the country in points per game (9.6), only allowed five passing touchdowns and created 19 interceptions in 11 regular season games.
Prior to Ouachita, Dean was the offensive coordinator at Blinn College in 2017 where he helped guide the Buccaneers to the NJCAA playoffs after BC missed out on the postseason the previous five seasons. Dean's offense averaged over 500 yards a game, 250 passing yards, and 255 yards rushing, all of which ranked in the top five in NJCAA.
Before Dean's stint at Blinn, he wore multiple hats at Cisco College, serving as head coach from 2014-17, as well as quarterbacks coach and offensive play caller, and as defensive coordinator from 2011-14.
CC's Richard Lagow was rated the No. 1 Quarterback in junior college football, eventually signing with the University of Indiana. Notable players from that team include defensive end Michael Clemons, who signed with Texas A&M and was drafted in the fourth round by the New York Jets in 2022, and defensive back Broderick Thomas, who signed with the University of Alabama - Birmingham and as an undrafted free agent with the Denver Broncos while also spending time with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Dean played his collegiate ball at Tyler Junior College before transferring to East Central University where he became an All-GAC safety, leading the team in interceptions and tackles his senior year.
Following his playing career, Dean served as a graduate assistant for the Tigers coaching the cornerbacks in year one and the quarterbacks and wide receivers in year two.
Dean is the son of Twondlyn Carhee and Willie Green. Green played collegiately as a wide receiver at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) from 1986-1989 before being drafted in the eighth round by the Detroit Lions. Green played in the NFL from 1989-98 spending time with the Detroit Lions (1989-94), Carolina Panthers (95-96), and the Denver Broncos (97-98) winning Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII with Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway. Dean has two children, daughter Madison and son Kyler.
Dean, a native of Dallas, Texas and a graduate of Lancaster High School, earned his Bachelor's of Science degree in Kinesiology, Exercise and Sports Science from East Central where he also received his Master's degree in Sports Administration: Secondary Education.