JONESBORO, Ark. (12/28/20) – Arkansas State head football coach Butch Jones announced Monday that A.J. Milwee has been named the Red Wolves’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Milwee comes to A-State after most recently spending the last two seasons on the same coaching staff with Jones at Alabama, where he has served as an analyst for the Crimson Tide in 2019 and 2020. Milwee has helped Alabama post an 11-0 record and a No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings this season, while the 2019 squad capped off the year with a 35-16 win over Michigan in the Citrus Bowl to finish ranked No. 8 in the final AP Top 25 poll.
“We are very excited to welcome the Milwee family of A.J., Ashley, J.J. and Jett into the Arkansas State football family,” said Jones. “I’ve had an opportunity to work with A.J. on a daily basis over the last two years at the University of Alabama, and I’ve been very impressed with his work ethic, ability to foster and create relationships and his overall knowledge of offensive football.
“A.J. has coordinating experience and has proved that he can manage, motivate and direct an entire offensive unit, which includes not only players, but staff members as well. He is also regarded as a coach who can develop quarterbacks to play at the highest level.”
Prior to Alabama, Milwee spent seven seasons at Akron, including his last six as the Zips’ offensive coordinator. He joined the Akron staff as a quarterbacks coach in 2012, and at the time he was elevated to oversee the program’s offense in 2013 was the second-youngest coordinator (age 30) in FBS.
The 2017 Akron squad (7-7 overall, 6-2 MAC) soared to first place in the MAC East with huge victories over Ohio and Kent State to claim the division title and a spot in the MAC Championship game for the second time in program history and first time since 2005. Akron also advanced to an FBS bowl for the second time in three years, another program first. The Zips won their third consecutive Wagon Wheel (and fourth in last five years) over rival Kent State.
The same year, Akron posted 24 passing touchdowns that ranked as the third most in school history. Redshirt senior wide receiver Tra’Von Chapman earned third-team All-MAC honors. Senior running back Warren Ball, senior offensive lineman Xavier Quigley, and senior wide receiver Anthony Young earned Academic All-MAC honors, while Ball was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District 5 football team.
Milwee mentored four quarterbacks throughout the season. Senior and three-year starter Thomas Woodson started the first nine games. He finished his collegiate career at No. 2 with 6,864 passing yards and No. 2 in career passing TDs (53). Redshirt freshman Kato Nelson took over the starting role, leading the Zips to wins over Ohio and Kent State as well as appearances in the MAC Championship game and the Boca Raton Bowl. Also seeing action were junior Robbie Kelley and sophomore Nick Johns, who also appeared on special teams.
In 2016, UA recorded a 5-7 overall record, finishing just one play away from back-to-back bowl appearances. The Zips won their second consecutive Wagon Wheel over rival Kent State.
Redshirt senior wide receiver JoJo Natson Jr. garnered second-team All-MAC honors, while junior wide receiver Jerome Lane earned third-team recognition. Nine Zips found a place on the Academic All-MAC team, including junior offensive lineman Xavier Quigley.
In spite of injuries that forced a rotation of three quarterbacks, the Zips’ offense set the school record for touchdowns (all passes) in a game with six in a win over VMI. Akron scored 25 passing touchdowns on the season, which were second most in the school record book. Natson ranked No. 21 nationally in receiving touchdowns (10), eclipsing the 100-yard receiving mark in two games.
Wide receivers Jerome Lane (New York Giants) and Natson (Indianapolis) signed rookie free agent contracts with NFL teams.
In 2015, Milwee mentored a corps of young quarterbacks, including sophomore Thomas Woodson who went 162-of-307 for 2,202 yards and 16 touchdowns in eight starts. Milwee also guided sophomore wideout Jerome Lane as he added receiver duties to his defensive skills. Lane was No. 12 nationally in yards per reception (20.05).
Senior offensive lineman Isaiah Williams was third-team All-MAC selection. Ten Zips earned Academic All-MAC honors, including three-time honoree quarterback Kyle Pohl, as well as offensive linemen Dylan Brumbaugh and Kyle Ritz. Brumbaugh and Pohl were selected as MAC Distinguished Scholar-Athletes.
Milwee was named to the inaugural American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) 30 Under 30 Coaches’ Leadership Institute in 2016. The prestigious program, sponsored by the American Football Coaches Foundation and NCAA Leadership Development, is aimed at training premier, future leaders in the football coaching profession.
The 2014 season saw senior Jawon Chisholm become just the fourth player in school history to eclipse the 3,000-yard career rushing yards. He finished with 3,403 career yards, second-most in program history.
Junior quarterback Kyle Pohl completed 208-of-383 passes for 2,189 yards, moving into fourth place in the Akron record book for career passing yards (4,993), all under Milwee’s guidance. Pohl earned Academic All-MAC honors and was a 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team nominee.
In 2013, he guided first-year starter Pohl to a solid sophomore campaign. Pohl completed 225-of-402 passes for 2,438 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Several of Pohl’s numbers earned him a spot in the all-time single-season program rankings, including lowest percentage of passes intercepted (2nd, .025), completions (6th, 225), completions per game (7th, 18.8), total offense (7th, 2,534) and passing offense (8th, 2,438). Pohl also earned Academic All-MAC honors.
A record-setting signal caller at Division-II North Alabama, Milwee oversaw fifth-year senior transfer quarterback Dalton Williams’ prolific season in 2012. Williams achieved the program’s single-season record for touchdown passes (25) and pass completions (326-for-522), while his 3,387 passing yards ranked as the third most in a season in school history.
Additionally in 2012, the Zips set a program record and led the Mid-American Conference in passing yards (3,753) and touchdown passes (30). The team’s school-record 312.8 passing yards per game ranked 17th nationally, while its 427.2 yards of total offense per game ranked 45th. UA’s 5,126 yards of total offense was second most in program history, behind the 2003 squad’s 5,643.
Milwee came to Akron after one year on staff at East Mississippi Community College, helping the program to an NJCAA national championship. He spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons on Terry Bowden’s staff at UNA as a graduate assistant. While on the Lions’ staff, the program went a combined 20-6, made back-to-back playoff appearances and were 2009 Gulf South Conference champions.
Having compiled a 33-5 mark as UNA’s QB during the 2006-08 seasons, Milwee set all-time school records for career passing yards (8,436), pass completions (677), passing attempts (1,030), touchdown passes (73) and total offense yards (9,401). He earned honorable mention All-America honors as a senior and is a member of the program’s all-decade team (1999-2008). At UNA, he was a two-time finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, awarded annually to the nation’s top player at the NCAA Division-II level.
Milwee spent his freshman year of eligibility as a member of the Alabama football team. He holds an undergraduate degree in finance from North Alabama.
Original article source: https://astateredwolves.com/news/2020/12/28/football-a-state-names-milwee-offensive-coordinator.aspx | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council