Pelton will mentor ends on the Vanderbilt defensive front.
March 4, 2010
Mike Pelton, a former coach at Iowa State and Troy, has been hired as a Vanderbilt defensive mentor, Head Coach Bobby Johnson announced today.
Pelton, 38, will mentor ends on the Vanderbilt defensive front. He replaces former linebacker mentor Warren Belin, who left 10 days go to join the Georgia staff. Assistant Head Coach/Defense Bruce Fowler is expected to assume the vacant linebacker mentor role on the Commodore staff.
"I'm really pleased to join the Vanderbilt football program and get a chance to work with such a great staff of defensive coaches. I've also heard so many great things about Coach Johnson, both as a coach and person, that I'm looking forward to growing that relationship," Pelton said. "Having played my football in the Southeastern Conference, I'm also ecstatic about coaching in the nation's best conference."
A native of Alabama, Pelton's most recent stint in college football - a two-year tenure as defensive line coach at Iowa State - ended in 2008 when Iowa State head coach Gene Chizik accepted the Auburn position.
"I believe Mike is going to a fantastic addition to our defensive staff," Johnson said. "Mike has exhibited impressive knowledge during the interview process, has strong recommendations, and has worked effectively with members of our staff. He's going to be a tremendous asset."
Pelton and current Commodore defensive line coach Rick Logo worked together as defensive assistants at Troy, sharing defensive line responsibilities under Larry Blakeney. In 2005, Logo's final year on the Troy staff, Pelton and Logo were co-defensive coordinators for the Trojans.
At Iowa State, Pelton's defensive lines were an area of strong improvement during the Chizik Era. In 2007, Pelton's pupils helped the Cyclone rush defense jump from 12th to sixth in the Big 12 conference.
Pelton also mentored a pair of second team All-Big 12 selections at Iowa State: nose guard Ahtyba Rubin and defensive end Kurtis Taylor. Rubin just finished his second year as a starter at tackle for the Cleveland Browns after being selected in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL draft. Taylor ranks among the Cyclones' all-time top ten sack specialists and topped the squad with 6.5 sacks in 2007.
Pelton went to Chizik's staff at Iowa State after serving six years on the staff at Troy, including the final two years at co-defensive coordinator.
The Troy defense was consistently among the nation's leaders in several categories. In 2002, the Trojans ranked fourth nationally, allowing just 277 total yards per game. In 2004, the Trojans ranked 16th in total defense in the NCAA.
Together, Pelton and Logo worked with two of the finest defensive linemen in Troy history, Demarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora. Ware just finished his fifth year as a linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys who specializes in rushing quarterbacks. He was recently named to the All-Pro after the fourth consecutive year. Umenyiora is a two-time Pro Bowl defensive end for the New York Giants, and played a key role in the franchise's Super Bowl title in 2007.
Prior to going to Troy, Pelton coached the defensive line at Valdosta State (Ga.) University in 2000. The Blazers posted a 10-2 record and made the NCAA Division II playoffs.
As a player, Pelton earned four letters as a linebacker and defensive tackle at Auburn, and served as a senior co-captain in 1994. He earned first team All-SEC recognition in 1994. Pelton also played a key role in Tiger squads that captured a school-record 20 consecutive games from 1993-94.
Pelton was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 1995 NFL Draft.