Eckert will begin his eighth season at Kilgore College as head coach. Eckert was the offensive coordinator for the Rangers from 2001-2004, before accepting a head coaching job with Garden City where his teams compiled a 13-8 record and appeared in the 2005 Dixie Rotary Bowl in St. George, Utah. As Kilgore’s offensive coordinator, Eckert was a part of Kilgore’s 2001 and 2004 SWJCFC’s championship teams. Thus far, he has complied a record at KC of 37-34, with one bowl appearance. He is married to wife, Amanda, and they have three children.
Dobler is in his fourth season at Kilgore College. He started his career at Independence Community College in Kansas and earned his Associate’s Degree. He then transferred to Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla., and finished his collegiate career. His senior year, they won the Lone Star North Championship. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Human Performance.
Gooden, a native of Hempstead, begins his eighth season as a coach at KC. Prior to KC, he spent three seasons at N.E. State University in Tahlequah, Okla., as defensive line coach. In 2005, he graduated from NSU and became a grad. assistant defensive line coach. In 2006, Gooden took over the defensive line. He began his playing career at KC in 2000 and earned all-conference in 2000-01. He was also a part of the undefeated 2001 Ranger team.
Keith Browning, who has had a great deal of success coaching at the two-year level, begins his first season at Kilgore College as defensive line coach. He was running backs coach at Butler Community College for the last three seasons. Under Browning, the Grizzlies had two running backs, Ty Suggs and Riley Oharah, who were named to the All-Conference team in 2013. Browning spent his first season at Butler coaching tight ends in 2012, as he tutored Eric Ostgren, who was a First-Team All-Jayhawk Conference selection at tight end. Before Butler, he coached at Blinn College where he coached three eventual NFL players and was the position coach for an NJCAA All-American in six of his seven seasons with the program. Browning coached running backs in 2005 and 2006 and was the team’s defensive line coach from 2007 through 2011. Browning helped lead Blinn to five bowl game appearances and two national championships (2006 and 2009). Originally from Houston, Browning played football at South Houston High School. After graduating, he attended Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas. While there, he was a two-team all-conference selection was named the conference defensive lineman of the year in 2001. Browning went on to graduate with a degree in business.
Cory Whitfield begins his third season as assistant coach for KC. He is a native of Palestine, TX. After high school, he played football at KC on the 2007 Conference Championship team. After KC, he played at Texas A&M Commerce in 2008, 2009 and 2011 where he was a two-time All-American linebacker.
Wade is entering his seventh year as a Ranger assistant coach this year. He also serves as coach of the special teams. With Wade's lifelong love and knowledge of football, he will serve as a recruiter and assistant coach for the Rangers. Wade is an owner of the famous Boomtown BBQ located on Hwy. 259 in Kilgore, an internationally known barbecue joint.
Running Backs/Tight Ends
Dustin Smith, a Kilgore native, begins his second year for KC as an assistant coach. Dustin began his football career as a student athletic trainer for Kilgore High School in 2008 under head trainer Red Ganus. In 2011 Dustin was a student athletic trainer for Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, TX, for their football and basketball teams. In 2011, TVCC's women's basketball team were undefeated national champions. In 2012 Dustin was a coaches assistant at KC under head coach J.J. Eckert. Dustin is now working on his Associate's Degree in Kinesiology.