Youngstown State running backs coach Pepe Pearson has accepted the same position under Marshall coach Doc Holliday, according to a source.
Pearson replaces former Marshall running backs coach Chris Barclay, who was let go last month and was hired in the same position at Western Kentucky.
This past season was Pearson’s second at Youngstown State. Prior to that, he was Ohio Dominican’s running backs coach for a decade and also oversaw the program’s special teams his final four seasons.
While at Ohio Dominican, he helped running back Brandon Schoen break the program’s career rushing mark. Schoen and Mark Nichols each surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing barrier under Pearson in 2013. Pearson also tutored former Ohio Dominican running back Mike Noffsinger, who ended his career in ’11 with a then-school record of 2,714 career rushing yards.
The 40-year-old Pearson was also coach and general manager of the Continental Indoor Football League’s Marion Mayhem from 2007–09. That was after two seasons as coach of the National Indoor Football League’s Daytona Beach Hawgs.
Pearson had stints as a running back with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions from 1998–99. He played in NFL Europe from 2000–01 for the Rhein Fire and scored the team’s game-winning touchdown in the 2000 World Bowl.
A Euclid, Ohio, native, Pearson also spent time with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the XFL’s Las Vegas Outlaws in 2001. He was a running back for Ohio State from 1994–97, finishing as then the Buckeyes’ fifth all-time leading rusher (3,121 yards).
Marshall had its third straight double-digit win campaign under Holliday with each capped by a bowl victory. The Thundering Herd’s 10–3 record this past season boosted Holliday to a 50–28 mark in six seasons at Marshall. He figures to be a target for Power Five jobs next hiring cycle.