Brent Dearmon stepped on stage in Arlington, Texas last Friday in his first media day appearance as the new head coach for North Alabama. Dearmon was announced as the 12th head coach in school history on Dec. 3.
He will be tasked with rebuilding a North Alabama program that was 1-11 (0-5 ASUN) last season. The Lions have only recorded one winning season (2018) since the university’s transition to the Division I level. North Alabama spent over 40 years as one of the most successful Division II programs in the country, including three consecutive national championships from 1993-95.
This is the first head coaching position for Dearmon since 2018 when he led Bethel College to a 10-0 (6-1 Mid-South) season. He spent the past three seasons at the FBS level, serving in various roles at Kansas, Middle Tennessee, and Florida Atlantic.
Dearmon spoke with Zach McKinnell of The Bluebloods about his expectations for his first season in Florence, Alabama.
“You want to see growth,” Dearmon said. “It’s easy for anybody to come up here and hold the microphone and say we want to win conference championships. You want to do all this… You want to see growth. We want to see our guys that are better today than they were yesterday and then we want tomorrow to be better than today.”
“We’re going to constantly measure growth, whether it’s your percentage blocking in this game was 72 percent, next game we want it to be higher than that. We want to grow. Your GPA is a 2.7… We want to grow that to 2.9 and just continuous movement and continuously forward is our expectation as we move forward.”
Dearmon constructed an extremely young, but promising staff to lead the Lions into his tenure. He spoke about his ideology on building his staff at North Alabama, including a former player that Dearmon coached in high school and the collegiate level.
“I’ll tell you what, we’re going to find out how well we coach,” Dearmon said. “If we played a pickup game, I think we would be pretty competitive… I know that.”
“The first one I always bring up is Deshaun Davis. Deshaun has a special place in my heart. I coached him his freshman year at Vigor High School and was able to be on the staff at Auburn when we were recruiting him there. His whole life he was told he was going to be too short to be successful and he constantly proved people wrong. He coaches with that same chip on his shoulders as he did as a player.”
“Jake Bentley is another name out of the state of Alabama, South Carolina, a four-year starter at quarterback. He’s the first guy I’ve ever allowed to coach quarterback for me, so he’s probably got more pressure on him than anybody. Sammy Parker, another big name, Oregon’s all-time leading receiver, played for the Kansas City Chiefs and then was just able to bring Kerryon Johnson on staff as well.”
“So there’s a lot of big-time names as players that they’re now going to build a name as a coach as we move forward,” Dearmon said.
North Alabama opens the 2023 season against Mercer on Aug. 26 in the 2023 FCS Kickoff in Montgomery, Alabama. The full interview with North Alabama head coach Brent Dearmon can be found below.
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