West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen has announced that Erik Slaughter will join the Mountaineer coaching staff. Holgorsen will announce the coaching responsibilities of his new hires on Monday, March 5.
“Erik brings an extensive background with more than 20 years of coaching experience to the Mountaineer staff,” Holgorsen said. “Having spent his entire career as a coach and a recruiter in the state of Texas also gives him an outstanding knowledge and extensive network base that will increase our recruiting efforts in the Southwest as we enter the Big 12 Conference. I look forward to having him on the coaching staff here.”
Slaughter brings 22 years of coaching experience at the high school and collegiate levels. At the collegiate level, he has coached nine all-conference selections, three All-American honorees and has sent two players to the National Football League.
“It’s a great time at West Virginia University, coming off the Orange Bowl victory and heading into the Big 12 Conference this coming season,” Slaughter said. “WVU is one of the top programs in the nation, and I am excited to work with Coach Holgorsen and be part of the Mountaineer coaching staff. I look forward to helping the WVU football program carry on its strong tradition.”
He comes to West Virginia after serving as the defensive line coach at Stephen F. Austin for the past three years. During his time with the Lumberjacks, Slaughter helped lead SFA to a 25-11 record, two Southland Conference titles and two appearances in the NCAA FCS playoffs. The SFA defense finished with at least 40 sacks each year, the only team in the nation to accomplish that feat.
In 2011, Stephen F. Austin led the nation in sacks (48) and tackles for loss (112). The Lumberjacks were No. 14 in total defense and No. 24 in rushing defense. Under his direction, Slaughter helped convert Willie Jefferson from a tight end into one of the nation’s top defensive ends. Jefferson was named the 2011 Southland Conference Player of the Year after leading the league with 16 total sacks. Along the way he set an SFA single-game record with 4.5 sacks against McNeese State, only to follow that up by tying the conference record (5.0) in the season finale at Northwestern State.
Malcolm Mattox was another leader on the ‘Jacks’ defensive front in 2011. As a sophomore, he earned second-team All-Southland Conference honors after finishing second only to Jefferson in the league in sacks. It marked the second-straight year that SFA has produced the league’s top two sack leaders.
In 2010, Slaughter took Kenneth Charles, who spent the previous three seasons as an interior lineman, and turned him into a defensive end. Charles was selected for first-team All-SLC honors and earned All-American distinction. He capped a career year, finishing among the nation’s top 15 in sacks and tackles for loss.
In his first season in Nacogdoches, Slaughter helped produce one of the nation’s top defensive players in defensive end Tim Knicky. A two-time All-American and four-time all-conference selection, Knicky battled through injuries his senior season to record 15 tackles for losses, and finish second in the nation with 12.5 sacks (1.04 pg). Knicky was among the players considered for the 2009 Buck Buchanan Award, an award given annually to the top defensive player at the NCAA FCS level. The 2009 SLC Defensive Player of the Year, Knicky graduated from SFA as the school’s all-time sack leader.
Prior to his stint at Stephen F. Austin, Slaughter was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Texas A&M Commerce for one year. One of his pupils, defensive lineman Ricky Hope was named to four All-American teams.
Slaughter spent three years as the linebackers and strength and conditioning coach at the University of Houston from 2003-06. He helped lead the Cougars to two bowl games in his three seasons, the 2003 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl and the 2005 Plains Capital Fort Worth Bowl. In 2004, Houston was No. 23 nationally in turnover margin. In 2005, outside linebacker Brendan Pahulu was No. 2 on the team with 94 tackles (22 solo, 72 assisted), as well as recording nine tackles for loss, four sacks and an interception.
He also served as the athletic director and head football coach at Glen Rose High in Glen Rose, Texas (2006-07), Springtown High in Springtown, Texas (2002), East Bernard High in East Bernard, Texas (2000-01) and Linden-Kildare High in Linden, Texas (1999). He was an assistant coach at Stephenville High in Stephenville, Texas, for nine seasons (1990-98).
While at Glen Rose, Slaughter led his squad to back-to-back district titles and an appearance in the 2007 state quarterfinals. Prior to his arrival at Springtown in 2002, the program had a three-year Class 3A record of 9-21, and in his first year, he guided them to the Class 4A state playoffs. He also helped lead Stephenville High to the Texas high school state championship in 1993, 1994 and 1998.
Slaughter graduated with his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas, in 1990.
He, and his wife, Shawna Marie, have three children, Seth, Paige and Bailey.