STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen restructured his offensive staff this week, naming Billy Gonzales wide receivers coach.
“I’ve had the chance to work with Billy and the opportunity to add him to our staff was one we couldn’t pass up,” Mullen said. “His experience in developing receivers speaks for itself and he has consistently and relentlessly recruited top players at every stop of his career.”
With Gonzales mentoring the wide receivers, Tim Brewster will move to tight ends coach and add the title of Assistant Head Coach. Brewster coached tight ends at North Carolina and Texas before moving to the NFL and coaching the position with the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos.
“Tim and I had several conversations about the possibility of moving him back to the position he’s coached for 18 years at the college and NFL levels,” Mullen said. “He did an outstanding job leading our wide receivers to their most productive season last year, and is a valuable asset to our staff and his flexibility and versatility as a coach are appreciated.”
Last season, Bulldog receivers set school records for receptions as Chad Bumphis, Arceto Clark and Chris Smith combined for 141 catches, 1,973 yards and 15 touchdowns. Bumphis set a school record with 12 receiving touchdowns and youngsters Robert Johnson and Jameon Lewis developed into reliable pass catching options under Brewster.
Tony Hughes, who has coached safeties for the Bulldogs since Mullen’s arrival in 2009 will also add the title of Assistant Head Coach. Tight ends coach Scott Sallach will move into the role of Coordinator of Football Scouting.
BILLY GONZALES BIO
Billy Gonzales, a veteran with 20 years of collegiate experience, will coach wide receivers for Mississippi State in 2013. Gonzales has coached in three Bowl Championship Series National Championships at LSU and Florida, and worked with Mullen for eight years at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida.
He joins the Bulldog coaching staff after a one-year stint as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Illinois. Prior to his time in Champaign, Gonzales spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons as LSU’s passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach, helping the Tigers reach the 2012 BCS National Championship Game. Prior to joining the LSU staff, Gonzales spent five years coaching the wide receivers at Florida, where he helped the Gators to national titles in 2006 and 2008.
Gonzales’ impact on the passing game at LSU was evident in 2011 with the development of LSU’s leading receiver Rueben Randle, who earned first-team all-SEC honors, and the emergence of true-freshman Odell Beckham Jr., who earned freshman all-SEC accolades.
Gonzales joined the Tigers in December of 2009, helping LSU prepare for its Capital One Bowl contest against Penn State. Gonzales spent his first full season with the Tigers in 2010, where he continued to coach Russell Shepard in his transition from quarterback to wide receiver while also grooming Randle to become LSU’s primary target in 2011.
Gonzales arrived at Florida in 2005 and during his five years with the Gators, he sent seven players to the NFL Draft, including 2009 first-round pick Percy Harvin and Chad Jackson, a second-round selection by the New England Patriots in 2007.
From 2005 to 2009, Florida produced seven all-SEC wide receivers, including first-team selections Jackson (2005), Dallas Baker (2006), Harvin (2007, ’08) and Brandon James (2008), and second-team honorees Cornelius Ingram (2007) and Riley Cooper (2009).
In two years at Utah, Gonzales helped the Utes to a 22-2 overall mark and a pair of bowl victories, including a 35-7 win over Pittsburgh in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl. Utah averaged 499.8 yards and 45.3 points per game in 2004, both of which ranked No. 3 in the nation that year. Three Utes receivers earned first-team All-Mountain West honors under Gonzales’ tuteledge, TE Ben Moa (2003), WR Paris Warren (2003) and WR Steve Savoy (2004).
In addition to his role as Utah’s wide receivers coach, Gonzales also served as the special teams coordinator for the Utes. In 2003, Utah led the nation in kickoff returns with a 28.2 average. The Utes also ranked third in the nation in net punting (40.8 yards) and fifth in the country in kickoff returns (26.2) in 2004.
Gonzales spent 2001 and 2002 at Bowling Green, serving as wide receivers coach and co-recruiting coordinator. The Falcons were 17-6 in his two years at the school and in 2002, Bowling Green ranked No. 3 in the nation in scoring, averaging 48.0 points per game. The Falcons also averaged 448.9 yards per game in 2002, a figure that ranked No. 9 nationally. WR Robert Redd was an All-MAC selection in both 2001 and ’02 and finshed his career as the school’s all-time leader in receptions.
Gonzales broke into full-time coaching at the Division I level in 1997 at Kent State, spending four years with the Golden Flashes. He coached running backs in 1997, helping RB Astron Whatley become a three-time All-MAC selectioin, before moving to wide receivers for the next three years and tutoring Eugene Baker, Kent State’s all-time leading receiver and a third-team All-American in 1997. Gonzales coached for two years as a graduate assistant at Kent State from 1995-96, where he received his master’s degree in sports administration.
Gonzales’ first coaching job came in 1994 at MacMurray (Ill.) as the wide receivers coach.
A four-year letterwinner at Colorado State and a two-year starter at wide receiver, Gonzales helped the Rams to a 9-4 record in 1990 and a win over Oregon in the Freedom Bowl that year. Gonzales is a 1994 graduate of Colorado State University.
Gonzales and his wife, Julie, have two children, Cole and Caylynn.