Skyler Cassity Appointed as Sam Houston’s New Defensive Coordinator

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Youngest FBS Defensive Coordinator, Skyler Cassity, Joins Bearkats for 2024 Season

Press Release From

HUNTSVILLE – Sam Houston head football coach K.C. Keeler announced the hire of Skyler Cassity on Thursday as the Bearkats’ defensive coordinator for the upcoming 2024 season. 

“Skyler first landed on our radar after we faced him during the 2022 season,” Keeler said upon Cassity’s hire. “He is a bright, young mind who has spent his whole life around the game. We are excited to have him leading our defense and playing a fast and aggressive brand of football.” 

“It’s an understatement to say that I am excited to be at Sam Houston – and in Texas, close to a large portion of my family,” Cassity said. “This school has a long history of success, as does Coach Keeler, on and off the field. That’s important to me.” 

Cassity comes to SHSU after spending the past two seasons as the defensive coordinator at Abilene Christian. At just 29 years old, his appointment makes him the youngest defensive coordinator in the FBS and one of the nation’s youngest coordinators on either side of the ball. 

“With this program going into year two in Conference USA, this team is going to see even fiercer competition. I welcome that challenge,” Cassity said. “As for the defense specifically, we will be tenacious and relentless in our pursuit of dominance. I have high standards and this group of players welcomes that. This school has a tradition of playing top-notch defense, and I look forward to leading that group into a promising future.” 

Since making it to Abilene prior to the 2022 season, Cassity has been named to both Dave Campbell’s Texas Football’s 40 Under 40 list and 247Sports’ 30 Under 30 list.  

During his two-year stint at ACU he joined forces with head coach Keith Patterson to help the Wildcats post a dozen wins, its most in a two-year period since the program moved to Division I. While there he coached four all-conference selections while his defense held 14 of its 19 FCS opponents under their season scoring averages and was a Top-35 Massey-rated defense each year.  

In 2022 he helped lead the Wildcats to a 7-4 record, the best for the program left the Division II ranks following the 2012 campaign. That season his defense was proclaimed as the top in ACU’s history and was near the top of the WAC in multiple statistical categories, ranking second in the league in rushing (116) defense, scoring defense (22.3) and total defense (364.2). Additionally, the Wildcats posted a unit that ranked in the top 20 of the FCS in third-down defense, first downs allowed, rushing and blocked kicks.  

A year later he helped lead ACU to five more victories while his defensive unit ranked second in the newly-formed United Athletic Conference and 23rd in the FCS with 12 interceptions. The Wildcats also ranked 29th in the FCS in defensive touchdowns and 27th in fourth-down defense.  

Cassity landed the defensive coordinator job at ACU ahead of the 2022 season, reuniting with Patterson, who he had worked under as a graduate assistant at Texas Tech. His stint in the Big Country came after spending two seasons coaching outside linebackers, nickels and safeties under head coach Bobby Petrino at Missouri State. The Bears’ defense finished the 2021 season ranked sixth nationally in turnovers forced, 11th in interceptions and 11th in defensive touchdowns while making their second consecutive appearance in the FCS Playoffs, snapping a 30-year playoff drought for the program.  
He made his way to Springfield after coaching outside linebackers as a defensive graduate assistant for three seasons at Texas Tech on his way to receiving a Master’s Degree in Sports Management. That followed a stint as a graduate assistant at Texas State where he helped the Bobcats turn in the top recruiting class in the Sun Belt Conference in 2017.  

Cassity spent his time as an undergraduate at Auburn where he got his coaching start by assisting with recruiting and the offensive side of the ball while earning his degree in Business Administration in 2016. 

He brings along plenty of football pedigree as well, growing up as the son of longtime college coach Mike Cassity who spent 40 years on the sidelines and 22 years as a defensive coordinator at the Division I level at Louisville, Illinois, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, East Carolina, Northeast Louisiana (ULM) and WKU. 

Cassity is one of seven children in his family with brother, Hunter, having played safety at Samford and brother, Braden, currently on the roster at Oklahoma State.