West Texas A&M football names defensive backs and special teams coordinator

Story courtesy: West Texas A&M Athletics


West Texas A&M head football coach Hunter Hughes announced Thursday the addition of Will Wagner to the Buffs staff as defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator. 

“Will brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, not only in the secondary and special teams but in the Lone Star Conference,” Hughes commented. “His ability to teach the fundamentals and why we put guys in certain positions was a big reason we hired him. I feel extremely lucky to have a coach with his experience on our staff.” 

Wagner returns to the Lone Star Conference after spending 2019 as a defensive analyst at Abilene Christian. He was the head football coach at Angelo State from 2011-18 leading the Rams to an overall record of 48-41, one LSC Championship and one NCAA appearance.

In his final season in San Angelo, Markus Jones was named the winner of the 2018 Gene Upshaw Division II Lineman of the Year after leading the nation in tackles for loss by double digits. He also coached Jones, Justin Jackson and Fred Lawrence to All-American honors in 2017. 

He led the Rams to the inaugural LSC Playoff Championship in 2014 and to the programs’ first NCAA DII Playoff win since 1997. He was named the LSC and AFCA Regional Coach of the Year after leading ASU to nine wins, their most wins in more than a decade. They won six straight games during the season including a 35-33 victory over Texas A&M-Commerce, giving the Rams their first championships of any kinds since 1987.  

He spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach at Northwest Missouri State, helping the Bearcats to 10 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association championships, seven national championship games and three national titles. 

The Bearcats averaged 18 interceptions per season from 2004-10 under Wagner, with 12 of his defensive backs earning a combined 18 All-MIAA honors. He also mentored Myles Burnsides, a two-time All-American and 2008 National Defensive Player of the Year. 

As a player, Wagner was an All-American defensive back at Hardin-Simmons, where he played from 1992-95 and earned selection to the HSU 20th Anniversary Team. During his career, he started in 47 games recording an American Southwest Conference record 23 career interceptions. He also set the program record for most interceptions in a single season with eight. 

As a senior in high school, he helped lead Odessa Permian to the 1991 Texas 5A Division II State Championship. 

Will Wagner’s Coaching Career

Year                Position                            School

2019                Defensive Analyst             Abilene Christian

2011-18           Head Coach                        Angelo State

2007-10           Assistant Head Coach      Northwest Missouri State

2000-06          Defensive Backs               Northwest Missouri State

1998-99           Graduate Assistant           Northwest Missouri State

1996-97           Graduate Assistant           Hardin-Simmons

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