FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas Head Coach Sam Pittman has added two coaches to the Razorbacks’ staff with Cody Kennedy taking over the team’s tight ends and Jermial Ashley tabbed to lead defensive line. Michael Scherer has been promoted to lead the Hogs’ linebackers.
Kennedy joins the Razorbacks after a brief time at Southern Miss this offseason. He joined the Golden Eagles with new head coach Will Hall as the team’s run game coordinator and offensive line coach. Kennedy had spent the last two seasons at Tulane as the Green Wave’s offensive line coach, where he helped revive Tulane’s offense. The Wave’s running game ranked in the Top 20 nationally each of the last two seasons, including last year running for 217.1 yards per game to lead the American Athletic Conference. This past season two of his offensive linemen earned All-American Athletic Conference honors with Corey Dublin picking up second team honors and Joey Claybrook being named honorable mention. Kennedy’s offensive line paved the way for a school record 3,162 yards in 2019. Tulane scored 65 rushing touchdowns in Kennedy’s two seasons in New Orleans.
Kennedy spent the 2018 season working with Pittman at Georgia as a Bulldogs’ graduate assistant, helping UGA run for 238.8 yards per game and a Top 10 ranking in the final AP poll. Kennedy coached the offensive line at West Georgia in 2016 and 2017. Two of his linemen (Harley Vaughan and Austin Kastl) earned FCS All-America honors in 2017 as the Wolves went 9-4. He graduated from Southeastern Louisiana in 2012 and earned a master’s degree from West Alabama in 2014.
Ashley takes over the Hogs’ defensive line after spending the last six seasons coaching the defensive line at Tulsa. Last season the Golden Hurricane produced one of the best defenses in the American Athletic Conference, allowing just 333 yards per game to trail only Cincinnati in the league. In 2020, Ashley coached All-American Athletic Conference first teamer Jaxon Player, whose 9.5 tackles for loss were the second-most on the team. He helped the Golden Hurricane defense improve during his time in Tulsa, aiding in the transition from a four-man front to a 3-3-5 base defense in 2018.
Prior to joining Tulsa, Ashley spent two seasons at Trinity Valley Community College in Texas helping the Cardinals go 22-2 in 2013-14. He was a graduate assistant at Oklahoma State for three seasons (2010-12) working with defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Bill Young. He was on staff when the Cowboys went to the 2010 Alamo Bowl, 2011 Fiesta Bowl and 2012 Heart of Texas Bowl.
Scherer joined Pittman’s initial staff as a defensive quality control analyst. The Missouri graduate was vital in the turnaround of the Arkansas defense in 2020, stepping into an on-field coaching role during the Florida week when Associate Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Barry Odom served as head coach during Pittman’s absence due to COVID-19. A former Missouri linebacker under Odom, Scherer made 266 tackles during his playing career from 2012-16. Scherer inherits an experienced group led by All-American Grant Morgan and All-SEC member Bumper Pool.