|College:||University of Central Oklahoma, 2003|
Justin Deason is in his first season as the defensive coordinator for A&M-Commerce.
Deason comes to Commerce from East Central University where he spent the last five seasons as the Tigers' defensive coordinator. His defensive unit was ranked 15th in the nation in 2011 in fumble recoveries (16) and third down defense as opponents converted just 30.9 percent of the time. ECU also ranked 18th in turnovers forced (31), 20th in turnover margin and 43rd in total defense.
He has coached defensive All-Americans in the last three years, including defensive end Armonty Bryant in 2010 and 2012, outside linebacker Jason Catchings in 2012 and cornerback Dontae Smith in 2011 along with back-to-back conference defensive players of the year in Bryant (Lone Star Conference North in 2010) and Catchings (Great American Conference in 2011).
In 2012 he had nine players earn All-GAC honors, while seven earned the honors in 2011. The list includes back-to-back honors for Bryant, Catchings, Brian Gonzalez and Norris Wrenn. Wrenn finished his career as the all-time leading tackler at ECU, breaking the record set by NFL player Clifford Thirft in 1978, with 278.
Deason was also key in developing the Tigers first NFL Draft pick since 1979, when Bryant was chosen as the No. 217 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. Bryant is just the fifth player from ECU to be drafted into the NFL after setting the ECU career sacks record, with 27.5.
Deason was instrumental in ECU’s run to a Lone Star
Conference North Division title in 2010, guiding a big-play Tiger
defensive unit, led by Bryant, who was third in the nation in sacks
(led all defensive linemen in the country), along with all-region
performer and cornerback Dontae Smith.
Bryant and Smith, who led the LSC with six interceptions (two of which he returned for touchdowns) were First Team All-LSC North selections while four others – end Travis Buchanan, safety Norris Wrenn and outside linebackers Tyler McGrew and Jameel Whitney – were named to the All-LSC North Second Team.
His 2010 Tiger defensive unit was ranked 13th in the nation in sacks per game (3.09) and tied for 21st in total passes intercepted with 17. ECU also led the LSC in sacks, interceptions and turnovers gained. The Tigers scored seven defensive touchdowns in 2010 and registered their first shutout since the 1993 season.
Since joining NCAA Division II, his 2010 defense set the record for sacks (33) and interceptions (17) in a season and tied the mark for forcing turnovers (28).
Deason had a prior coaching stint at ECU from 2004-05 as special teams coordinator and linebackers coach. He coached five all-conference players and one All-American. He had the preseason linebacker of the year in 2005, a punt returner who finished 10th nationally in 2005 and punter who was rated 12th nationally. The net punting for ECU in 2005 was 35th best in the country and his kickoff unit was among the best in 2004, holding opponents to limited yards in net returns.
At West Texas A&M in 2006, Deason saw one of his linebackers make three different postseason All-American teams. The WT kickoff unit ranked 30th in the country, a punter ranked fifth in per punt average and a punt returner finished 17th in the nation in per return average. One kickoff specialist finished 19th in the nation and a punt team was 13th nationally in net punt coverage as he coached four all-conference players.
In 2007 with the Buffs, Deason had a kicker set two school records and was picked to play in the Cactus Bowl all-star game. He also had a specialist lead the nation in return average. His special teams ranked 13th in the nation in kickoff defense and one of his linebackers earned All-Southwest Region honors and was named to two different All-American Teams. He also had a linebacker awarded the preseason and postseason linebacker of the year.
With WT in 2008, his specialty teams were ranked among the best in the nation with a pair of return specialists garnering All-Lone Star Conference South honors while one of his linebackers picked up an All-American award. The same linebacker was voted preseason and postseason linebacker of the year. The team finished second nationally in net punting. The kickoff returner was 27th in the country and his punter, Cort Johnson, finished an astonishing average of 43.1 yards and is currently with the NFL’s San Diego Chargers. One of Deason’s recruits, defensive end Eugene Sims, was selected as conference defensive lineman of the year and was selected in the 2010 draft by the St. Louis Rams. WT also finished that season with 12 blocked kicks. Deason was part of a 34-5 run and several national rankings by the Buffs, under head coach Don Carthel, in Canyon, Texas.
Deason is a 2003 graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma after playing two seasons as a linebacker at Oklahoma State. He was a two-year letterman at OSU and played in the Houston Bowl in which the Cowboys claimed a victory. Deason also played in both of OSU’s wins over top-ranked and Bedlam rival Oklahoma. He also made appearances against highly-ranked teams in Nebraska, UCLA, Texas A&M and Texas. His mentor is long time defensive coordinator Bill Clay.
Deason and his wife, Autumn, have a son, Jaxon, and a daughter, Aubrey.