BOONE — Appalachian State has hired Brian Haines as an assistant coach who will work with the Mountaineer offense, head football coach Shawn Clark announced Jan. 29.
Haines comes to Boone after spending 12 of the last 13 years on staff at Ohio University, where he helped lead the Bobcats to 91 victories, two Mid-American Conference East Division titles, nine bowl appearances and the first five bowl titles in school history.
“We’re excited to welcome Brian and his family to the App Family,” Clark said in a statement. “He has a reputation as a great recruiter and a strong developer of talent on the field. He will be a great asset to our program.”
A native of Williamstown, W.Va., Haines has served as a special teams coordinator for the last eight seasons and as a recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach for each of the last 10 seasons. He also had stints at West Virginia and his alma mater, Marietta College, early in his coaching career.
“My family and I are really excited to move to Boone and get around the App State players,” Haines said. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to join such a tradition-rich program and excited to get to work with Coach Clark and the rest of the staff.”
Ohio did not have a losing season in the 10 years after Haines joined Frank Solich’s staff as a full-time assistant in 2010. In that decade, Haines helped the Bobcats win eight or more games on seven occasions, including a 10-4 record in 2011 when they won the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl for the school’s first bowl victory.
Other Ohio bowl wins during Haines’ tenure included the 2012 Independence Bowl against ULM, the 2017 Bahamas Bowl against UAB, the 2018 Frisco Bowl against San Diego State and the 2020 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against Nevada.
The Bobcat offense set numerous school records in recent seasons and ranked among the best in the FBS and MAC in a variety of statistical categories. The 2019 offense was 20th in the country in scoring average, while it ranked 12th in 2018 and ninth in 2017. Ohio’s rushing offense was 20th in 2019, ninth in 2018 and 16th in 2017.
Three of Haines’ Ohio tight ends went on to play in the NFL: Jordan Thompson, Keith Heitzman and Troy Mangen.
Under Haines’ watch, Ohio’s special teams unit consistently ranked as one of the best in both the FBS and the MAC in terms of kickoff and punt returns and kickoff and punt defense. He coached the two highest-scoring players in program history in Louie Zervos (437 points, 2016-19) and Matt Weller (409 points, 2009-12) as well as three of the top four kickers in terms of field goals made in Weller (79; 2009-12), Zervos (73; 2016-19) and Josiah Yazdani (31; 2013-15).
Zervos’ school-record 29 field goals in 2016 set an NCAA record for field goals by a freshman.
Haines also developed four-year starting punter Michael Farkas into one of the best in school history.
The Bobcats’ kickoff return defense was top 15 in the country each of the last three years, including No. 2 nationally in 2019. It was also No. 8 nationally in 2015, No. 7 in 2013 and No. 9 in 2012, his first year directing the special teams.
In 2010, Haines returned to Athens in a full-time capacity after spending 2009 as a graduate assistant at West Virginia, supervising the Mountaineers’ slot receivers and running backs. He helped coach the team’s leading rusher (All-Big East first team tailback Noel Devine) and leading receiver (Jock Sanders) as the team made an appearance in the Gator Bowl.
From 2010-11, he coached the Bobcat tight ends and served as recruiting coordinator before adding special teams duties the next year.
Haines served as a graduate assistant for the Bobcats’ offense during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. He assisted the offensive staff and worked directly with the wide receivers and offensive line.
Haines served as an assistant coach at Marietta College, his alma mater, for three seasons from 2004-06. He coached the wide receivers for two seasons and the secondary for one. He also served as the strength and conditioning coordinator for two years.