CLINTON, S.C. – Defensive Coordinator and former Blue Hose head football coach Tommy Spangler has been promoted to Presbyterian College head coach, it was announced Tuesday afternoon by Director of Athletics Brian Reese. He will begin his duties immediately.
“I’m ecstatic about this opportunity and I know the people at Presbyterian College are as well,” said Spangler. “I’ve been coaching for over 30 years and the best of those have been spent at PC. I want to thank Director of Athletics Brian Reese and President Bob Staton for giving me this opportunity to return to the head coaching ranks. They asked me to stay at PC, not just a head coach but as someone who means a lot to the program and the institution, as well as someone who could help create something special.”
“Tommy (Spangler) has seen success leading the Blue Hose football program in the past,” said Reese. “Tommy and I talked at length and I believe in the vision he has for the program. Blue Hose football has a long history of success and Tommy was a tremendous part of that. I know he will continue to foster a program that represents PC, Clinton, and the entire Laurens County with class and distinction on and off the field, and in and out of the classroom.”
Spangler just finished his fourth year back at PC, and 14th season overall, after having served as a defensive coordinator, an assistant coach, and head coach.
Earlier this season, the defense was ranked first nationally in third down defense, holding opponents to 25.5% through the first six games. Donelle Williams, a linebacker under Spangler, finished his career third in Big South history in total tackles with 402. Ed Britt tied the school single season and career record for interceptions with four his last season and seven for his career.
Under Spangler several Blue hose have earned Big South defensive all-conference honors, including two in 2014 and three in 2015.
In his first season back, in 2014, Spangler helped PC to a 6-5 record, the program’s first winning season since 2007. His defense shut down opponents and led to Blue Hose ranked wins over No. 12 Furman and No. 22 Charleston Southern.
Against FCS competition, PC finished with a 5-2 record, its only two losses coming to FCS playoff teams Coastal Carolina and Liberty. PC’s defense set new school Division I records in nearly every category, including total offense yards (4163), opponent points scored (270), opponent touchdowns (36) and opponent total offense per game (378.5 yards). Those records come in a season that saw the Blue Hose play three FBS teams and against FCS competition, PC allowed only 15.9 points and 310.0 total offense yards per game. The Blue Hose also finished the season with the nation’s second-ranked red zone defense.
Blue Hose defensive players earned four weekly awards in 2015, including the entire defense receiving the Big South Defensive Player of the Week award for PC’s win over Western Carolina. Defensive back Ed Britt and linebacker Donelle Williams also earned First Team All-Big South honors in 2015 under Spangler.
Spangler spent six years as defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech prior to returning to PC. During that time, Spangler took a Bulldog defense that ranked dead last in the country (among FBS programs) in scoring defense, rushing defense and total defense prior to his arrival and coached them into one of the top defensive units in the Western Athletic Conference.
He guided a defense that had six All-WAC selections in 2011, and that scored six defensive touchdowns, the best scoring defense Tech saw in two decades. The Bulldog defense ended the year ranked 13th in the nation in turnover margin and had a +15 turnover margin during the team’s seven-game winning streak.
Spangler was a 2011 Broyles Award nominee for his defensive efforts that season.
Spangler has spent almost three decades as a full-time coach on the college football sideline. He began his first 10 years at Georgia Southern, helping lead the program to a pair of Division I-AA national titles.
After taking the job as the secondary coach for the Eagles in 1987, Spangler was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in 1990 and then took over the sole reins of the program’s defense in 1992.
The Stone Mountain, Ga., native earned the Southern Conference Defensive Coach of the Year Award in 1993 as the Eagles won the league title and advanced to the playoffs. His defense ranked sixth nationally in scoring defense.
Spangler spent 10 seasons at PC the first time around, first as an assistant coach from 1997- 2000 and then as head coach from 2001-06, During his six years as PC’s head football coach, Spangler guided the Blue Hose to a 42-24 record – a mark that stands as the highest winning percentage (.571) among the school’s 14 head football coaches.
In 2006, Spangler’s defense ranked first in the South Atlantic Conference in scoring defense (13.2 ppg) and total defense (233.5 ypg) en route to a 7-4 record. In 2005, he led PC to a 10-2 mark, the South Atlantic Conference title, the school’s first appearance ever in the NCAA Division II playoffs, and a top 10 national ranking, earning him the league’s Coach of the Year Award.
Spangler garnered two American Football Coaches Association Region 2 Coach of the Year Awards while with the Blue Hose. His defenses were ranked in the top half of the South Atlantic Conference in all defensive categories each of his last eight seasons there, and his 1998 Blue Hose unit forced 48 turnovers in 11 games, and ranked first nationally in turnover margin (+2.27).
Spangler played defensive back at the University of Georgia from 1979 through 1982, and was a member of the 1980 Division I National Championship team that defeated Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl. He lettered his senior season after helping Georgia to the 1982 Southeastern Conference title, the program’s third straight.
Spangler earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Georgia in the spring of 1984. He is married to the former Kim Pierce of Ft. White, Fla., and they are the parents of three children, Pierce, Peyton, and Gracie.
1985 – 1986 Georgia (Graduate Assistant)
1987 – 1989 Georgia Southern (DB)
1990 – 1991 Georgia Southern (Co-DC)
1992 – 1996 Georgia Southern (DC)
1997 – 2000 Presbyterian (DC/Asst. HC)
2001 – 2006 Presbyterian HC
2007 – 2012 Louisiana Tech (DC)
2013 – 2016 Presbyterian (DC)
1 SAC (2005)
1993 SoCon Defensive Coach of the Year
2005 SAC Coach of the Year
2005 AFCA Region 2 Coach of the Year
2011 Broyles Award nominee
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