|Brian Jenkins Biography|
Bethune-Cookman University Head Football Coach Brian Jenkins has had one of the most phenomenal early careers in program history during his first two seasons as the Wildcats' 15th head coach, taking over the program on December 21, 2009.
To date, Jenkins is 18-5 as the Wildcats' head man, following up his impressive inaugural season with an 8-3 year in 2011, during which B-CU narrowly missed the NCAA Division I FCS Playoffs, but collected impressive televised wins over Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Champion Norfolk State, Prairie View A&M in the season-opening MEAC/SWAC Challenge, and wrapping the season with his first win over rival Florida A&M; the first for B-CU since 2007 (21-16 in Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Classic).
For the second straight year under Jenkins, the Wildcats had a player earn top conference player honor, as defensive end Ryan Davis would receive honors as the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year. Davis, who was seventh in the nation in tackles for loss (1.95/g) and 10th in sacks (1.09/g), later signed as an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He joins four other B-CU players Jenkins has mentored into the ranks of the National Football League (2) and Canadian Football League (2).
In each of Jenkins' years with B-CU, the Wildcats have ranked among the national FCS leaders for scoring offense, rushing offense, total yardage, total defense and turnover margin, making his teams a formidable force not only in the MEAC, but also in the nation.
Jenkins' hiring set the stage for both one of the most memorable runs in Wildcat history as well as a bright future for the storied program, as the culture has changed to fit the new Wildcat attack. Program enthusiasm is reaching a fever pitch.
In just his first season, the 2010 Wildcats won their first ten games, claimed a share of the MEAC Championship and advanced to the NCAA DI FCS Playoffs for the first time since 2003. In addition, the Wildcats were named HBCU National Champions for the first time ever. The Wildcats set single season records for points (457) and yards (5,107), tallying up 10 touchdowns in three different games, and finished the year ranked 15th in The Sports Network and FCS Coaches Polls.
Led by quarterback Matt Johnson, Jenkins' first team ranked second in the nation in scoring offense (38.2 PPG), 13th in rushing offense (212.8 YPG), 12th in total offense (425.6 YPG), fourth in passing efficiency (155.69), and were the FCS leaders in turnover margin (+2.25) from the opening game forward. Johnson finished second nationally in individual passing efficiency and earned MEAC Offensive Player of the Year honors. Under Jenkins' leadership, Johnson also collected the Alonzo S. "Jake" Gaither Award, the black college football counterpart to the Heisman Trophy, and was named HBCU National Player of the Year by Heritage Sports Radio Network.
Jenkins himself was named MEAC Coach of the Year, Sheridan Broadcasting Network Black College Coach of the Year and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Region 2 Coach of the Year.
Coming to B-CU as a former assistant coach at Rutgers, Jenkins heads a Wildcat football program steeped in HBCU tradition of 88 seasons of collegiate football, a pillar which he has never lost sight of.
"It is an honor to be coaching at such a prestigious university as Bethune-Cookman University," Jenkins said.
Jenkins was wide receivers coach on Greg Schiano's Scarlet Knights' team that was the 2009 St. Petersburg Bowl champions with a 45-24 win over UCF the weekend before he was selected at B-CU.
Prior to Rutgers, Jenkins served as running backs coach and special teams coordinator at Louisiana-Lafayette for seven seasons (2002-2008). During the 2005-2007 seasons, the Cajuns rushed for 8,080 yards and 77 touchdowns.
In 2005, Louisiana-Lafayette rushed for a school-record 2,797 yards and 34 touchdowns. The Cajuns followed with 2,264 yards and 20 scores in 2006. In 2008, the Cajuns once again broke the school record, running for 3,019 yards to become the first team in Sun Belt Conference history to rush for over 3,000 yards in a season.
Four-time All-Sun Belt running back Tyrell Fenroy was the biggest piece to the Cajuns ground game, amassing over 4,500 career rushing yards via four 1,000-yard seasons under Jenkins' tutelage. He was the 16th player in NCAA history to have three 1,000-yard seasons as a junior and was the 7th player in NCAA history to post four 1,000-yard seasons.
In 2005, Fenroy became the first running back in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season - doing so as a true freshman. A more impressive statistic is that the Cajuns' running backs lost only one fumble the entire 2007 season.
As the special team's coordinator, Jenkins helped the Cajuns in nearly all facets. In 2007, the Cajuns kickoff coverage defense ranked 20th in the nation, while the punt return defense had the identical ranking in 2004. In 2005, the Cajuns' punt return unit ranked 27th nationally.
Jenkins joined UL from the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe. While in Germany, Jenkins' special teams set several league and team records.
Prior to his stint in NFL Europe, Jenkins was the running backs coach at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
Before joining BGSU, Jenkins spent five seasons with Eastern Illinois University. From 1995-98, he served as running backs coach and was named the receivers coach in 1999. While at EIU, the Panther offense was one of the top rushing offenses in the nation, with a 1,000-yard rusher each season. Jenkins was the first running backs coach in school history to have three rushers rush for over 100 yards each in the same game.
In 1994, he was the receivers coach at Western Kentucky University. While at WKU, Jenkins coached Joey Stockton, WKU's all-time leader in receptions and all-purpose yards.
Jenkins played college football as both a wide receiver and running back at the University of Cincinnati. He was among the all-time leaders in kickoff return yards for a season (505) and was the all-time Bearcats' career leader in kickoff returns (62) and kickoff return yards (1,506) until the records were surpassed in 2009. He graduated in 1993 with an Associate's Degree in Education and Bachelor's Degree in Social Work. After college, Jenkins spent six months running his own social work business.
The past 17 years in coaching has been preparing the hard-charging Jenkins for this opportunity with the Wildcats. The adjustments to being the top man have been many.
"It's an adjustment, I'm not going to say it's not," Jenkins says. "You have to be even more careful now, because everything falls on you. When you're the guy who has to call the shots, you have to be detailed in thought, but you also have to trust your decisions. As a head coach, you don't know everything. That's the misconception that everybody makes, that a head coach knows everything, and you don't know everything. No matter what approaches you, you have to stay in the moment and work your way through it. You stay focused on the task and the goal at hand."
Jenkins and his wife Octavia have a daughter, Briana, and a son, Brian Jr.
In the "Jenkins File"
3rd Season at Bethune-Cookman
(18-5 Overall, 13-3 MEAC)
AGE: 41 - Born March 4, 1971
HOMETOWN: Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Dillard High School)
FAMILY: Wife, Octavia; daughter, Briana; son, Brian Jr.
COLLEGE: Graduated from University of Cincinnati in 1993 with Bachelor's Degree in Social Work
COLLEGE PLAYING CAREER : Played wide receiver and running back for the Bearcats of Cincinnati and was among the all-time leaders in kickoff return yards for a season (505) and was the all-time career leader in kickoff returns (62) and kickoff return yards (1,506) until the records were surpassed in 2009
2010-Present: Bethune-Cookman University, Head Football Coach
2009: Rutgers, Wide Receivers
2002-08: Louisiana-Lafayette, Running Backs/Special Teams
2001: Frankfurt Galaxy, Running Backs/Special Teams
2000: Bowling Green, Running Backs
1999: Eastern Illinois, Wide Receivers
1995-98: Eastern Illinois, Running Backs
1994: Western Kentucky, Wide Receivers
2010: NCAA FCS Playoff, L, 20-45 (vs. New Hampshire)
2009: St. Petersburg Bowl, W, 45-24 (vs. UCF)