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).
Assistant Coach - Quarterbacks
Adam Miller will be entering his second season as the quarterbacks coach at Albany State.
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 second season as the offensive line coach at Albany State. Hollifield comes to ASU after two seasons 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 second 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 - Cornerbacks
Darius Buck is in his second season on the Albany State football staff. 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
2018 will mark the second season for Nick Reveiz at Albany State University.
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 and a daughter Zeal.
Assistant Coach - Defensive Line
Travian Robertson will begin his first season on the football staff at Albany State University. He will serve as the defensive line coach for the Golden Rams.
Robertson joins ASU after spending one season as a graduate assistant at Georgia State University where he worked with the defensive line, primarily coaching the nose tackles.
A native of Laurinburg, NC, Robertson played high school football at Scotland County under Mark Barnes. He was named his team’s Defensive End of the Year after recording 74 tackles with 7.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles. He would go on to be named all-conference, all-region and team Defensive MVP for the Scots who reached the playoffs three straight seasons.
At the close of his senior season, Robertson went on to play in both the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas and the Offense-Defense All-Star game in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Considered one of the top four-star prospects in the country by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, Robertson accepted a scholarship to play for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.
During his time in Columbia, Robertson played 43 career games (only four his junior season due to injury), seeing action in all contests as a freshman and sophomore and a later started every game as a senior. His final year of eligibility (2009), Robertson helped anchor one of the top defensive fronts in the SEC, which earned him fourth team All-SEC honors from Phil Steele. He wrapped his season with 42 tackles, including 10.0 for loss and 4.0 sacks, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.
In the Chick-fil-A Bowl post season bowl game for the Gamecocks, Robertson posted five stops against Florida State and was later named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll. He went on to be one of six Gamecocks to be selected in the 2012 NFL Draft as the 249 overall pick (seventh round) by the Atlanta Falcons.
Robertson played two seasons for the Falcons then was signed in 2014 by the Seattle Seahawks and was later claimed off waivers by the Washington Redskins.
Robertson earned a B.A. in Criminal Justice from South Carolina in 2011. He is married to University of South Carolina Track and Field Indoor SEC Pentathlon Champion Kettiany Robertson and together they have three sons, Travian Jr., Trenton and Tristan. His brother, Tony Robertson played collegiate football at Appalachian State.
Assistant Coach - Co-Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
Denares Waites begins his first season on the football staff at Albany State.
Waites comes to ASU after eight seasons as an assistant coach at Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, TN. At CNU, he guided the wide receivers for one year before moving to the defensive side to coach the Eagles’ secondary for the next seven seasons. He also spent time as the coaching special teams during his tenure in Jefferson City.
Waites was named the AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year for his efforts as C-N's defensive backs and special teams coach in 2013.
Waites’ kickoff return units were some of the best the nation had to offer in 2014. Lonnie Williams earned All-America honors as a kick returner. He was one of 10 players in the country with multiple kickoff return TDs and was second in the nation in kick return average.
Waites coached his first All-American in 2013 when Eien Jacob picked off five passes to lead the team. He was second in the SAC with the tally as the transfer garnered All-American honors from Don Hansen's Football Gazette.
He has also been instrumental in the development of TraShaun Ward as a return man. Ward ended his Carson-Newman career as the school record holder for total kickoff return yards, a record he set in his junior season.
Under Waites tutelage in 2012, safety Issac Kinley earned all-South Atlantic Conference honors. Kinley was C-N's third leading tackler. As special teams coach, Waites oversaw a kickoff unit that pinned opponents to their own 25-yard lines. The Eagles' punt coverage teams only allowed four yards a return.
Waites was a former standout safety for Carson-Newman for three seasons. He was a preseason All-SAC selection twice and helped the Eagles record a 10-1 record in 2007. Waites had a five-year career with the Eagles but saw both his final seasons end early with injuries. In 2007 he finished fourth on the team in tackles, led the team in pass break ups with 10, pass defenses with 11 and had one interception.
Coach Waites earned two degrees from Caron-Newman; a B.A. in Middle Grades Education in 2009 and completed his Masters in Curriculum Studies in 2011.
Waites and his wife, Maddie, have two sons, James Apollo and Titus and one daughter, Rose.