Keven Lightner enters his second season at Vanderbilt as offensive line coach under Derek Mason. Lightner's relationship with Mason dates back more than a decade when both worked together at at Ohio University and New Mexico State.
In 2014, Lightner mentored an offensive front that included offensive captain Joe Townsend at center, guards Spencer Pulley and Jake Bernstein, and tackles Andrew Jelks and Will Holden. Jelks and Holden were first-year starters at left tackle and right tackle, respectively.
Before joining Vanderbilt, Lightner spent nine seasons coaching the offensive line at Ohio where 13 linemen earned All-Mid-American Conference accolades. In 2013, the New York Giants took guard Eric Herman in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. He was the first Ohio offensive lineman to be drafted since 1972.
Lightner spent the previous nine seasons coaching the offensive line at Ohio University, which included working alongside Mason, then a wide receivers coach, in 2005-06.
In 2012, Lightner's line paved holes for running back Beau Blankenship, who rushed for a school record 1,604 yards and 15 touchdowns. During his time at Ohio, Lightner saw the Bobcats set single-season records for total offense, scoring, yards per game, passing, touchdowns, completions, first downs and plays. The Bobcats also won the MAC East title three times and played in six bowls.
Prior to working at Ohio, he spent two seasons at New Mexico State, where Mason was the wide receivers coach in 2004.
Together, Lightner and Mason helped New Mexico State lead the Sun Belt Conference in passing and total offense, and ranked second in scoring offense. In 2003, New Mexico State ranked 12th nationally in rushing offense and led the Sun Belt. One of Lightner's top pupils with the Aggies was guard Steve Subia, an Outland Trophy candidate.
Lightner coached the offensive line and served as co-offensive coordinator at Western Kentucky for the 2001 and 2002 seasons. In two years, the Hilltoppers were 20-7 overall, made the I-AA playoffs twice and won the 2002 national championship. In 2001, Western Kentucky ranked second in the country in rushing and finished fourth the following season. Lightner coached three All-Americans at WKU and five all-conference players.
Lightner served as an assistant coach at Division II Nebraska-Omaha for three seasons (1998-2000). The Mavericks won their conference and made the playoffs twice while leading the nation in rushing in 1998. Lightner also coached two-time All-American guard Chris Bober, who played seven seasons in the NFL.
Prior to UNO, he also served as an assistant coach for two years at Division II Northern (S.D.) State, where he helped the Wolves produce their first 1,000-yard rusher in 25 years.
Before coaching at the college ranks, Lightner spent five years at two Nebraska high schools (Lincoln Northeast and Hastings) coaching the offensive and defensive lines.
Lightner played collegiately at Nebraska, where he earned first team All-Big Eight Conference honors as an offensive tackle in 1987. He also was selected to participate in the Hula Bowl in 1988. He briefly played professionally in three leagues - the NFL (Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1988), the CFL (Hamilton Tiger Cats, 1990) and World League of American Football (Montreal Machine, 1991-92).
Lightner, a native of National, Calif., earned a bachelor's degree in secondary education from Nebraska in 1996. He and his wife, Erin, have two children: a son, Kade, and a daughter, Alexis.
Lightner's Collegiate Coaching Career 2014-15 - Vanderbilt - Offensive Line Coach 2006-13 - Ohio U. - Offensive Line Coach 2003-05 - New Mexico State - Offensive Line Coach 2001-02 - Western Kentucky - Co-Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line Coach 1998-2000 - Nebraska-Omaha - Offensive Assistant 1996-97 - Northern State - Offensive Line Coach/Tight Ends Coach