Muleriders hire Matt Tyler as linebackers coach

Third-year head coach Brad Smiley has announced that Matt Tyler has been hired as Southern Arkansas' Linebackers Coach. The official announcement was made on February 28. Tyler, who brings experience at the Division II level and a familiarity of the Great American Conference to Magnolia, takes over for Derrick Berry who left the program in January to join the defensive staff of the United Football League's San Antonio Brahmas.

"I am excited to get to work with Matt and have him back in the GAC," remarked Smiley. "He's going to bring a lot of energy to the defense and to our program!"

Tyler comes to SAU after a successful stint as the Tight Ends/Recruiting Coordinator/Special Teams assistant at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This past fall, Davenport posted an 8-2 record, while reaching as high as #9 in the D2 AFCA rankings. The lone losses suffered by the Panthers in 2023 were to top 10 ranked and NCAA playoff teams in Ferris State and Grand Valley State. While assisting the special teams unit he helped mentor a pair of All-GLIAC specialists in kicker Brandon Gielow and punter Kyle Wojahan.

Prior to his one season stint at Davenport, Tyler served as the Running Backs Coach/Out of State Recruiting Coordinator at American River College in Sacramento, Calif. During his time at American River, he mentored multiple running backs on their way to an undefeated conference championship and Nor-Cal Championship game appearance. He also assisted with special teams which ranked among the top of the conference.

Magnolia isn't Tyler's first stop in the Great American Conference. The Californian played fullback at Henderson State for three seasons. While with the Reddies, Tyler earned all-conference honors both on the field and in the classroom. The Henderson State offense ranked among the best during his time at HSU. In 2021, HSU had the fourth-best total offense in Division II (494.3 ypg) and seventh-best scoring offense (40.5 ppg). Between 2019 and 2021, the Reddies won 18 games and made an appearance in the 2019 Live United Bowl.

Before HSU, Tyler attended and played at Butte College in Oroville, California where he played fullback for head coach Robby Snelling and the history-laden Roadrunners. made an appearance in the 2017 State Center Bowl.

Tyler received his Associates of Arts in Sociology from Butte College in 2017, his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 2019 and his Masters of Arts in Sports Administration from Henderson State in 2021.

Born in Sacramento, California, Tyler attended Rocklin High School in Rocklin, California graduating in 2015. He currently resides in Magnolia, where he enjoys weightlifting and hiking in his free time.

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