About Kevin Higgins
Kevin Higgins recently completed his fifth season as The Citadel's head football coach. Formerly the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach of the Detroit Lions, Higgins is the Bulldogs' 23rd head coach.
The 2008 and 2009 seasons for The Citadel Football turned out to be among the toughest during Higgins' tenure. The Bulldogs faced tough opponent matchups against Clemson, Florida and three-time defending national champion Appalachian State in 2008, while 2009 was plagued by injuries at the quarterback position.
The 2009 season was highlighted by 10 players earning postseason All-Conference accolades, including five freshman on the SoCon All-Freshman team.
Despite finishing the season 4-7, the 2009 team earned the most SoCon Player of the Week honors than any other Bulldog team in school history with seven.
THiggins coached quarterback Bart Blanchard to tying a school and SoCon record for passing touchdowns in a game with six against Presbyterian, while backup quarterback Miguel Starks led the Bulldogs in a win against Furman with 327 yards of offense and five touchdowns, including four rushing TDs that tied the SoCon single-game scoring high.
Standout wide receiver Andre Roberts, who caught passes from three different quarterbacks throughout the season, moved up to second all-time in the SoCon in catches and receiving yards.
The Citadel finished the season first in the SoCon in punt returns and second in kickoff returns, while Roberts finished first in the SoCon in punt return average and sixth in the FCS.
Roberts, one of Higgins' first recruits, was also a finalist for the Walter Payton Award for the second consecutive season and earned All-America honors for the third consecutive year. The All-American was also invited to play in the 85th East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 23 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., but passed to accept an invitation to the 2010 Under Armour Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. on Jan. 30. He was also invited to the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and was the 88th overall pick in the NFL draft in the third round going to the Arizona Cardinals.
Also under Higgins' guidance, junior wide receiver Andre Roberts earned first team All-America honors, while also finishing first in the country in punt returns. Roberts broke his own record for catches in a season from 78 last season to 95 in 2008. He also broke the school record for the most catches in a career (208), receiving yards in a career (2,951), receiving yards in a single-season (1,334), and the most punt return yards in a season and in a career with 461 and 943, respectively.
Roberts led the Bulldogs to a first place finish in the nation in punt returns, while himself earning the national title for punt returns. Higgins also coached the first pair of receivers since 1983 and second in school history to earn over 100 yards receiving in the same game in Roberts and Scott Flanagan.
The 2007 season, however, proved to be the most successful for the fourth-year head coach, claiming the Bulldogs' first seven-win season in 15 years. Higgins also led The Citadel, who finished 7-4, to their second consecutive winning conference record, 4-3, while breaking over 40 school records throughout the season.
Under Higgins' coaching, senior quarterback Duran Lawson broke the school's record for the most offensive attempts in a game, total offensive yards in a game, total offensive yards in a season, passing attempts in a career, completions in a career, the best completion percentage in a career and the most passing yards in a career.
Nationally, the Bulldogs finished fourth in scoring, sixth in turnovers lost and 10th in pass efficiency. They led the Southern Conference in total defense and pass efficiency, while finishing second in scoring, third in pass offense and fourth in total offense.
After starting off the 2007 season 2-0 (marking the first such start for the Bulldogs since 1997), The Citadel traveled to No. 7 Wisconsin and tied the Badgers at 21 going into halftime. Despite falling to the Big Ten powerhouse, the Bulldogs went on to claim victories at Chattanooga, Western Carolina and VMI. They led an exciting offensive rally to defeat Furman in overtime, 54-51, totaling 641 yards. Lawson collected a record 486 yards, setting a career-high of 386 passing yards - the second highest in school history. The Bulldogs wrapped up their home season with a win against Elon, clinching a tie for third place in the Southern Conference.
In just two seasons, Higgins led the Bulldogs to their first winning conference record in 14 years when they finished the 2006 season 4-3 in SoCon play.
Higgins' squad won four of their last five competitions, including a homecoming victory over VMI in the "Military Classic of the South" and a dominating 44-7 win at Elon for their final conference win of the season. The Bulldogs went 2-5 in the SoCon and 4-7 overall in Higgins' first year at The Citadel.
Prior to his appointment at the helm of Bulldog football, Higgins served as the quarterbacks coach for his first three years with the Lions and was responsible for the tutoring and developing of Detroit's first-round draft pick, quarterback Joey Harrington. During his fourth season he assumed the position of wide receivers coach and was responsible for the development of one of the most exciting trios of wide outs in the NFL: Az-Zahir Hakim, Charles Rogers and Roy Williams. Higgins coached Williams to the Lions single season records for a rookie in receptions (54), receiving yards (817) and touchdowns (8).
Before joining the NFL ranks, Higgins was one of the hottest coaches in Division I-AA football at Lehigh University where he led the Mountain Hawks to three straight NCAA playoff appearances. The Higgins'-led team lost only one regular season game in his final three seasons and posted a 32-1 record during that time. During his tenure, Lehigh defeated Richmond and Western Illinois in the playoffs and posted regular season wins over I-AA powers Wofford and Delaware.
The West Chester graduate posted an overall record of 56-25-1 (30-9 in Patriot League play) during his seven seasons atop the Mountain Hawks gridiron program. He led Lehigh to four Patriot League Championships (1995, 1998, 1999 and 2000) and was named Patriot League Coach of the Year three times (1995, 1998 and 2000). In 1999 and 2000 he was a candidate for the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year Award.
In 2000, Higgins helped Lehigh accrue its second undefeated regular season (11-0) in three years and its third-straight league title. The team ended the season 12-1 after being defeated by Delaware in the quarterfinals of the Division I-AA playoffs. In 1999, Lehigh was 10-1 and earned an at-large postseason bid after being Co-Patriot League champions and ranked 14th nationally. He also was named GTE Regional Coach of the Year in 1999. The previous season, Lehigh completed its first undefeated regular season (11-0) under Higgins, and defeated third-ranked Richmond in the opening round of the playoffs before losing to Massachusetts, who went on to win the national championship.
Under Higgins' tutelage, Lehigh developed into one of the premier passing offenses in the country and topped the Patriot League in passing offense during five of his last seven years. Three former players, Rabih Abdullah (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Lehigh's all-time leading rusher, Rich Owens (Kansas City Chiefs) and Phil Stambaugh (Jacksonville Jaguars) played in the NFL in 2001.
During the summers of 1996-97, Higgins did an internship with the Philadelphia Eagles who held their training camp on the Lehigh University campus. It was there that he studied under current Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden learning the intricacies of the West Coast offense.
Prior to his arrival in Bethlehem, Higgins was an assistant coach at the University of Richmond from 1985-87, after beginning his collegiate coaching career at Gettysburg (Pa.) College from 1981-84. Before jumping into the college ranks, he worked as a head basketball and baseball coach, and was an assistant football coach at North Warren (N.J.) High School from 1979-80. He was also the head basketball coach and assistant football coach at Emerson (N.J.) High School from 1977-78.
A native of Emerson, N.J., Higgins attended Emerson High School where he was captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams during his senior year. In 2004, he was inducted into the Emerson High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Higgins, a 1977 graduate of West Chester (Pa.) University, earned a bachelor's degree in health and physical education. He played free safety on the school's football squad and was the team's most valuable defensive back. In 1981, he earned a master's degree in physical education from East Stroudsburg (Pa.) University.
Higgins and his wife, Kay, a former collegiate head basketball coach, have three children, Tim (25) and wife Sarah, Meaghan (23) and Katie Rose (18) .
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