Head Football Coach
Gabe Giardina was named the Head Coach at Albany State University on April 27, 2017.
Coach G comes to Albany State after the most successful four year run in the history of Charleston Southern University football. As the offensive Coordinator at Charleston Southern, he was a part of a staff that amassed 35 wins, two Big South Conference championships and two FCS playoff bids over a four year span. The Bucs also gained national prominence by playing in the FCS Kickoff Classic against North Dakota State on ESPN and advanced to the third round of the playoffs vs Jacksonville State which was featured on ESPN2 in 2015.
In 2016, CSU repeated as Big South champion and earned a spot in the FCS Playoffs for the second straight year. Giardina's offense was played an integral as the Bucs led nation in yards per play on offense, averaging over 6.7 yards per play. They led the Big South in yards per rush (6.0) and ranked sixth nationally in rushing offense (266.5). CSU posted six outings of 30+ points and four performances of 500+ yards on offense. Giardina's offensive line was anchored by senior left tackle Erik Austell who wrapped his career with All-American honors from the Associated Press, the American Football Coaches Association and STATS FCS. Austell is currently a member of the Houston Texans.
In addition to Austell, four other CSU offensive players earned All-Big South honors. They included offensive Guard Frank Cirone, running back Mike Holloway, who led the nation in yards per carry, and freshman wide receiver Kameron Brown, who topped the country in yards per catch.
Giardina's offense helped power CSU to an outright Big South Conference championship and the program's first-ever FCS playoff bid in 2015, a 10-3 record as well as a top 12 national ranking.
Giardina's offense thrived on an identity of running the football and clock management as CSU capped the season ranked 10th nationally in average time of possession, and 19th in rushing yardage. The trio of Darius Hammond, Mike Holloway and Ben Robinson powered the Bucs' running game. CSU also developed more balance behind second team All-Big South quarterback Austin Brown and a group of receivers led by fellow all-league selection Nathan Perera. CSU scored 30 or more points eight times, and went over the 40-point mark twice.
During the 2014 season, the Bucs led the country in time of possession for a second straight year, and ranked 16th in rushing offense at over 227 yards per game. CSU senior Christian Reyes posted another banner season and became the program's all-time leading rusher in just two seasons. Sophomores Mike Holloway and Ben Robinson enjoyed excellent campaigns as well, with Holloway's 100-plus yard performance in a near upset of Vanderbilt highlighting his year. UAB transfer Austin Brown emerged as the starting quarterback and played well in piloting an offense anchored in part by All-Big South selection, offensive guard, Clayton Truitt.
Giardina oversaw a Charleston Southern offense that helped the Bucs develop an identity during a historic 10-3 season in 2013. CSU led the country with an average time of possession of 33:44 behind a rushing attack which ranked 17th nationally at nearly 233 yards a game. Junior running back Christian Reyes served as the Bucs' workhorse, shattering the school's single-season rushing mark to finish with 1,254 yards. Giardina mentored a mostly young offensive line that gelled quickly and paved the way for Reyes and freshmen Ben Robinson and Holloway to turn in solid campaigns. The offensive line also continued to produce while playing with three different starting quarterbacks, including a pair of freshmen in Danny Croghan III and Kyle Copeland. Croghan went on to earn Big South Offensive Freshman of the Year honors.
Giardina returned to Charleston Southern after serving as Jamey Chadwell’s offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Delta State in 2012. He was also part of former Bucs’ head coach Jay Mills’ staff at CSU before leaving following the 2011 season to join Chadwell at DSU.
Offensively, Giardina guided the Statesmen to 377 yards and 24 points per game in 2012. DSU wide receiver Lavon Downs was named first team All-Gulf South and First Team All-Region in last season.
Coach G was the special teams coordinator and running backs coach at Charleston Southern from 2008-11. In his four seasons with the Bucs, CSU blocked six punts, had four kickoff returns for touchdowns and three punt returns TDs. His kickoff coverage teams ranked second in the Big South for three years and in led the Big South in net punting in 2011.
During his time at CSU, he coached six different players to All-Big South honors - Charles James and Antwan Ivey as punt returners, John Pagila as a placekicker, Andrew McKain and Mike Chocholousek as long snappers and Gerald Stephenson, who was an All-American kick returner in 2010. In 2008, Stephenson set an NCAA record for most kickoff return yards in a game, with 255, against Wofford.
In 2010, Giardina was promoted to assistant head coach by Mills. Giardina running back DeMarcus Moon, who is fifth in school history with 1,349 yards rushing and 4.5 yards per carry. In 2009, Giardina's backfield rushed for the second most yards in school history, culminating with a 145-yard performance by Antwan Ivey in a win against Coastal Carolina.
Giardina worked as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Alabama, from ’05-‘07. In 2005 he worked with special teams and saw return specialist Tyrone Prothro earn All-SEC honors, while kicker Jamie Christensen hit game-winning field goals against Ole Miss, Tennessee, and in the Cotton Bowl against Texas Tech.
In 2006, Giardina transitioned to the offensive line and over the next two seasons, saw linemen Antwan Caldwell and Andre Smith make first team All-SEC. Smith was the sixth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, while Caldwell was selected in the third round by the Houston Texans.
During his time at Alabama, Giardina worked for both Mike Shula and current Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban. Giardina also played for the Crimson Tide from 2000 until 2003. He appeared in nine games and earned Academic All-SEC honors in 2003.
Giardina is married to the former Wimberly Edwards from Greenville, Ala. She is a board certified Music Therapist and together they have three sons, Frank Foster (6), DeAra (4) and Whitt (2).
Newland Isaac joined the Albany State Football staff as the offensive coordinator on May 5, 2017.
A former Charleston Southern Buccaneer, Newland Isaac returned to CSU to serve as running backs coach, and enters his fifth season in that capacity in 2017. Isaac added the responsibility of recruiting coordinator in January 2017.
Newland oversaw the careers of Mike Holloway, Darius Hammond and Ben Robinson, all of whom graduated in 2016 following a production-packed four years. Holloway finished as CSU's all-time leading rusher, while Hammond and Robinson rank fourth and fifth, respectively. The trio combined for 5,610 rushing yards and 53 rushing touchdowns, powering a Bucs' ground attack that ranked top-20 nationally each year.
Holloway played the leading role for Isaac's backs last year, as the speedster led the nation in yards per carry. The Bucs ranked sixth nationally in rushing, averaging 266.5 yards per game. That production fueled CSU's run to a second consecutive Big South title and FCS playoff berth.
A deep group of running backs led by the trio of Hammond, Holloway and Robinson helped power CSU to an outright Big South Conference championship and FCS Playoff bid in 2015. Hammond earned second team all-conference honors, led CSU with 856 yards and ranked top-20 nationally in all-purpose yards. Holloway set a CSU single-season record with 12 rushing touchdowns, five of which came in two huge performances against rival, The Citadel.
Isaac mentored a group of running backs that enabled CSU to finish the 2015 season 10th nationally in average time of possession, and 19th in rushing yardage. The Bucs scored 30+ points eight times, and eclipsed the 40-point mark twice.
Isaac helped Christian Reyes become CSU's all-time leading rusher - in just two years - in 2014. Reyes had 946 yards in 2014 and played his best football late in the year to help lead CSU to a three-game Big South winning streak. He ran for a career-high 188 yards and two touchdown in the Bucs' pivotal win at Liberty, and capped his career with 2,200 yards. Isaac oversaw the continued development of underclassmen Holloway, Robinson and Hammond as well, all of whom have two years of eligibility remaining. Holloway had a breakout performance with nearly 200 yards of total offense in CSU's upset bid against Vanderbilt, and finished second on the team with 590 rushing yards. Robinson ranked third on the club with 505 yards, while Hammond saw his carries increase and tallied 100 yards and three touchdowns.
Under Isaac's watch, Mike Holloway shattered the school's single season rushing record with 2,623 yards. He was the catalyst in the Bucs' 10-3 season, twice earning Big South Offensive Player of the Week honors while compiling six 100-yard rushing efforts. Reyes was named to the Big South All-Conference First Team following the year, and led the way for a CSU offense that finished number one in the country in average time of possession. Freshmen Holloway and Robinson also played well as complements to Reyes, establishing CSU as the 17th leading rushing offense in the country. At tight end, Nathan Prater and Kirby Broome gave CSU a reliable duo and a formidable receiving threat as well.
Isaac was on Chadwell's staff at Delta State during the 2012 season and spent three seasons with him at North Greenville.
Isaac coached running backs at Delta State, guiding a group which combined to averaged almost 200 rushing yards per game and nearly 5.0 yards per carry.
Prior to taking over running backs at DSU, Isaac coached the same position and slot receivers for the Crusaders at NGU. The Crusaders captured the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association national title in 2010 (9-3) and appeared in the NCAA Division II Quarterfinals in 2011 (11-3).
In 2011, Isaac coached All-American Idris Anderson and All-South Region performer Teyran Rucker. NGU’s offense averaged 40.1 points per game, 250 yards rushing per game and 5.5 yards per carry. All three stats ranked in the NCAA’s top 10. In total, Crusader rushers accounted for 3,500 yards rushing.
During NGU’s NCCAA title season, the Crusaders averaged 281.1 yards rushing per game and scored 43 touchdowns on the ground. He also coached Rondreas Truesdale at Delta State who was a first team All-Gulf South selection.
Isaac was a four-year letterman under former Bucs' head coach Jay Mills at CSU. The Hopkins, S.C., native was a former walk-on who worked his way to a scholarship at wide receiver at CSU. He helped CSU capture the 2005 Big South Conference title, the first in its history.
Isaac holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from CSU (2009) and a earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from North Greenville in 2011.
Cory Peoples enters his first season as the Defensive Coordinator at Albany State University. Peoples comes to ASU after serving as the defensive backs coach at South Carolina State University in 2016.
Prior to last season Coach Peoples coached along with Head Coach Gabe Gardinia at Charleston Southern University for two years.
In 2015 Coach Peoples guided cornerbacks Malcolm Jackson and Troy McGowens to All-Big South Conference honors. His secondary played a major role for a CSU team that led or ranked near the top nationally in total defense, claimed the Big South championship and advanced to the FCS playoffs.
In 2014, Peoples’ secondary led the Big South in pass defense while the Buccaneers also finished first in run defense and pass defense. Defensive backs Troy McGowens and Demaris Freeman both went on to receive Big South's All-Conference second team honors.
Prior to his time at Charleston Southern, Peoples spent one year as secondary coach at Saint Augustine University (N.C.). His other coaching stints include Clark Atlanta University, Georgia Military College, and Keenan High School in Columbia, S.C.
A native of Bishopville, S.C., Peoples was an all-state quarterback and defensive back at Bishopville High School. After high school Coach Peoples attending Georgia Military College for two years where he won the NJCAA National Championship 2001, later securing a scholarship to South Carolina. He starred in the defensive backfield as an upperclassman for Lou Holtz’s squad, tallying 74 tackles over his final two seasons.
After graduating from South Carolina in 2005 with a B.A. in Retail Management, Peoples spent the two seasons on the Philadelphia Eagles' roster. He went on to play one season each with the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League.
Peoples is married to the former Keilah Speed and the couple has a nine-year old son, Cory, Jr. and 2 year old daughter name Isabella Peoples.
Assistant Coach - Quarterbacks
Adam Miller begins his first season as the quarterback coach at Albany State. In 2016, Miller was a graduate assistant at Florida International University.
A 2011 graduate of John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio, Miller graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications and theater arts before going FIU. He had successful four-year stint, 2012-2016, as head football coach/director of football at Coral Springs Charter High School before arriving at Florida International.
While at Coral Springs, Miller guided the Panthers to a 31-11 four-year record which included a perfect 11-0 mark and a Southeastern Football Conference (SFC) title in 2015. Following the season, Miller was named the SFC coach of the year.
Miller also served as offensive line coach in December 2014 for the Florida Athletic Coaches Association All-Star Game, and linebacker coach in December 2012 for the Broward Beach Bowl.
He began his time at Coral Springs serving as assistant head coach and offensive line coach from 2011-2012 before taking over the head coaching reigns.
Prior to his final year at John Carroll, Miller jumpstarted his coaching career as a coach and video director at Tom Arth’s Cleveland Passing Academy.
Assistant Coach - Tight Ends
Anthony Kelly, a native Mississippian, has served as an assistant coach with the Golden Rams since 1990 and will be entering his 26th season as an assistant coach for the Golden Rams. He currently serves as the Rams' wide receivers coach after serving as running backs coach in 2010. In addition to the wide receivers, Kelly has also assisted in coaching the ASU special teams.
Kelly earned an athletic scholarship in football to attend Albany State College in 1984. In 1984, he was part of the first SIAC Football Championship team at ASC. During his college career, he received numerous awards and recognitions for academic excellence, including the SIAC Student-Athlete Award and was named a research assistant for the Minority Biomedical Research Program in the Department of Natural Science at Albany State.
Kelly earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry with a minor degree in Mathematics from Albany State College in 1990 and a Master’s degree in Science Education/Biology from Albany State University in Fall 2002.
In 2013, Kelly was inducted into the Albany State University’s Sports Hall of Fame. Active in numerous professional, civic, and social organizations, Kelly is a member of the Prince Hall Masons and the Prince Hall Shriners. He is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and Mount Zion Baptist Church of Albany, Ga.
Kelly is the father of a daughter, Ranetta and the grandfather of Derrinijah, both of Meridian, Mississippi. He is the son of Ms. Paulette Carson and the late James Odell Carson of Meridian, Mississippi.
Assistant Coach - Offensive Line
Adam Hollifield begins his first season as the offensive line coach at Albany State. Hollifield comes to ASU after two season as a graduate assistant at Texas State University. At TXST, he worked with both the offensive and defensive lines.
Hollifield went to Texas State after serving three seasons as an offensive line coach at Birmingham Southern College. He went to Birmingham Southern in 2012 after a stint as the defensive line graduate assistant coach at the University of Alabama-Birmingham in 2011 after working as the Blazers’ strength and conditioning graduate assistant in 2010-11 and as the offensive line student assistant in 2009.
Hollifield also was the recruiting coordinator at BSC and in charge of the region of South Alabama and the panhandle of Florida.
A native of Hoover, Ala., Hollifield started five games on UAB’s offensive line before suffering a season-ending injury in both 2007 and 2008. He earned a scholarship after serving as an offensive lineman on the scout team in 2006 and a walk-on redshirt in 2005. He also was a two-time member of the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll.
Assistant Coach - Wide Receivers
Sean Lampkin enters his first year as the wide receivers coach at Albany State after a three-year stint at Charleston Southern University (2014-2016).
In 2016, Lampkin was part of a staff that helped CSU to its second straight Big South championship and an FCS playoff bid. That season Lampkin coached freshman wide receiver Kameron Brown, who led the nation in yards per catch and earned All-Big South Freshman Team honors.
His first season at CSU, Lampkin assisted with the tight ends and video coordination as the Bucs went 8-4 overall and 3-2 in Big South Conference play. In Lampkin’s final two years he served as the assistant wide receivers coach and assisted with video coordination.
Lampkin attended South Carolina State University for two years before transferring to Brevard College where he obtained a B.A. in Kinesiology in 2014.
A native of Goose Creek, S.C. and All-State tight end at Kingstree High School, Lampkin was a two-year starter at both the NCAA Division I and Division II levels. He also played briefly in the Canadian Football League before pursuing his coaching career.
Assistant Coach - Safeties
Darius Buck enters his first season as the defensive backs coach at Albany State. Prior to arriving at ASU, Buck was a graduate assistant at the University for South Alabama for two years.
Before going to USA, Buck was an assistant coach at Jones County Community College where he also coached the defensive backs. Buck played football at Southwest Mississippi Community College (2008-2010) and Murray State University (2011-2012).
Buck is a native of Vicksburg, Miss. where he played at Warren Central High School.
Assistant Coach - Linebackers
2017 will mark the first season for Nick Reveiz at Albany State University where he will lead the Golden Ram linebackers.
Prior to his arrival at ASU, Reveiz was on the football staff at Carson-Newman University staff for four years (2013-2016). His first three seasons were spent coaching the Eagles backfield and in 2016 he took over the linebacker corps.
Reveiz coached running backs Damian Baker and Andy Hibbett during their respective Harlon Hill trophy campaigns at CNU. Both players were finalists for Division II’s Heisman equivalent (Harlon Hill) and were voted consensus All-Americans.
In his first year with the program, Reveiz coached a trio of tailbacks in Brandon Baker, Tyron Douglas and Andy Hibbett, who combined to gain 2,888 yards. Baker and Douglas were both All-South Atlantic Conference selections while Baker would go on to earn All-Region accolades.
A former walk-on and three-time All-SEC Academic selection at the University of Tennessee, Reveiz finished his playing career with the Vols in 2010 with a 108-tackle season, including a career high 14-tackle performance in the Music City Bowl versus the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill).
Reveiz's father Fuad was a Vols placekicker before an 11-year NFL career in which he kicked 188 field goals and 367 extra points. After spending time as a businessman, Reveiz said he had to jump at the opportunity to get back into the sport with which he grew up.
During his senior year at UT, Reveiz was one of five finalists for the inaugural Burlsworth Trophy, recognizing college football's most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on. Reveiz was also one of 10 Vols to start every 2010 game and was the first Vols defender to post at least 14 tackles in three different games since Jerod Mayo in 2007.
A two-time team captain for the Vols, Reveiz earned preseason All-SEC honors from the media prior to his senior season. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Enterprise Management.
A standout at Farragut High School, Reveiz was Class 5A All-State in 2005 and Mr. Football finalist at lineman position.
Reveiz is married to the former Brittany (ne Baird), and they have two sons, Zane and Zeb.
Assistant Coach - Defensive Line
Collins Ukwu enters his first year as the defensive line coach at Albany State. Coach Ukwu comes to ASU after a serving as the defensive Graduate Assistant at Georgia State University.
During the 2015 season Ukwu was the Football Operations intern for the GSU Panthers.
A former four year starter at the University of Kentucky, Ukwu was a three-year starter at defensive end for the Wildcats. A standout performer for the Wildcats during his career (2009-12), he was a four-year letterman and served as a team captain his senior season.
After his Wildcat career wrapped, Ukwu signed a rookie free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings He later inked a deal with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League but unfortunately suffered a career ending injury.
Before landing at Georgia State, Ukwu began his coaching career in football operations and as a defensive assistant at Overton High School in Tennessee. A native of Nashville, TN, Ukwu earned his B.A. in Community Leadership and Development from Kentucky in 2012 and completed his Master’s in Sports Administration at Georgia State in May of 2017.