Arkansas special teams coordinator and running backs coach Jemal Singleton is the new running backs coach for Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano, according to a source.
This past season was Singleton’s first with the Razorbacks. He is the program’s second running backs coach to leave for the NFL in less than a year, joining Joel Thomas, who took the same position with the New Orleans Saints early last February.
The highly regarded Singleton replaces former Colts running backs coach Charlie Williams, who was fired last month after a season at the position.
In Singleton’s lone campaign with Arkansas this past year, he helped running back Alex Collins rush for 1,577 yards with 20 touchdowns on 271 carries, all career highs. That was enough for Collins to forego his senior season last month and enter the NFL draft.
Prior to Arkansas, the 40-year-old Singleton was Oklahoma State’s running backs coach for four seasons. Under him, Cowboys running backs didn’t commit a single turnover in 2014. He helped the program rush for 35 touchdowns in ’13, 15th-best in the FBS. Singleton also tutored former Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle, who earned All-Big 12 first-team honors in 2011 and ’12.
Before Oklahoma State, Singleton was Air Force’s running backs coach from 2006–10. He was also the Falcons’ run game coordinator for his last four seasons with the program, campaigns in which Air Force led the Mountain West in rushing and was among the top 10 in the FBS. He was a varsity assistant at the academy from ’03–05.
That was after a two-year stint as public affairs officer at Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, Ark. He got his start in coaching at the Air Force Prep School as assistant head coach and offensive coordinator in 2000.
A Incirlik, Turkey, native, Singleton was a running back for Air Force from 1995–98 after he graduated from William Howard Taft High in San Antonio.
He’s tasked with reviving an Indianapolis rushing attack that was among the NFL’s worst this past season. It was a disappointing campaign for the Colts, who struggled with injuries to quarterback Andrew Luck and went 8–8, missing the playoffs for the first time in Pagano’s four seasons.