ASU’s Malzahn adds Gunn to 2012 coaching staff

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JONESBORO, AR – New Arkansas State head football coach Gus Malzahn has announced David Gunn, currently serving as the Red Wolves’ interim head coach during their preparation for the upcoming Bowl, as the latest addition to his coaching staff.

Gunn will return for his 11th season as an assistant coach at ASU in 2012. Gunn served as ASU’s running backs coach his first 10 seasons at the school, and he has been instrumental in the Red Wolves’ in-state recruiting efforts since his arrival in 2002. He was also named Director of Player Development for the 2011 season.

“I am looking forward to working with perhaps the best offensive mind in all of college football,” Gunn said of Malzahn. “We are excited about the future of Arkansas State Football.”

Gunn is the second assistant named to the Red Wolves’ coaching staff under Malzahn. Rhett Lashlee was named ASU’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Friday, and Malzahn will continue filling out the remainder of his coaching staff over the coming weeks.

Over the last 10 seasons, Gunn has coached three All-Sun Belt Conference selections and two of the Red Wolves’ top three all-time leading rushers. Under Gunn’s watch, ASU has had a running back named the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year and the league’s Freshman of the Year.

Since arriving at ASU in January 2002, Gunn has overseen some powerful performances coming out of the A-State backfield. ASU’s most recent back to attack the ASU record books is Derek Lawson, a senior who is currently ranked 13th in career rushing yards and needs just 92 yards to become the 12th player in school history to rush for 2,000 yards.

Arnold, A-State’s featured back from 2006-09, was listed as a Doak Walker Award candidate entering the 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons. Arnold entered his senior year as the third leading active rusher in the NCAA and finished his career as ASU’s second all-time leader in total rushing yards and tied for second in rushing touchdowns. Arnold piled up numerous awards, including All-Sun Belt Conference honors three times.

Gunn’s first season featured Danny Smith, who broke ASU’s all-time rushing record which had stood for 50 years. Gunn proudly watched Smith receive Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year Honors. A unanimous pick for first-team all-conference, Smith ended up scoring 14 touchdowns while picking up 1,390 yards.

Then, Antonio Warren and Shermar Bracey churned out extraordinary rushing totals and signed contracts with teams in the National Football League. In fact, Warren finished his career as ASU’s third all-time leading rusher with 3,040 yards.

Prior to joining the ASU staff, Gunn served as the head coach for Little Rock McClellan High School and took his team to the 2001 AAAAA playoffs. Gunn was the head coach at McClellan for five seasons (1996-2001), taking the Crimson Tide to the playoffs twice.

Prior to that, he served as the boys head track coach at Watson Chapel High School in Pine Bluff. While at Watson Chapel from 1991-95, he also served as the running backs and defensive backs coach and helped that team go to the AAA playoffs three straight years and won the 1996 state championship.

That was the second stop at Watson Chapel for Gunn, who began his career as the linebackers and wide receivers coach from 1987-89.

Gunn, a native of England, Ark., who excelled in football, basketball and track at England High School, has also coached at Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, Texas, where he coached running backs and helped his team to a 1990 conference title.

After graduating from England High School in 1982, he attended the University of Arkansas, where he played defensive back and running back from 1982-87.

As a Razorback player, he played in the 1984 Liberty Bowl and the 1987 Orange Bowl. He graduated in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and biological science.

Gunn is married to the former Aleachia Stephenson of England, and they have two daughters – 27-year-old Tiffany, a second year Law student at Arkansas, and 19-year-old Bethany is a sophomore at ASU.

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