Coaches

J.J. Eckert
Position:
Head Coach
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Eckert will begin his 11th season at Kilgore College in 2017 as head coach of the Rangers. Eckert was the offensive coordinator for the Rangers from 2001-2004 where he was a part of KC's 2001 and 2004 SWJCFC Championship teams. In 2005, Eckert was named head coach at Garden City Community College (Kansas) where he coached the 2005 and 2006 seasons.  At GCCC, his his teams compiled a 13-8 record and appeared in the 2005 Dixie Rotary Bowl in St. George, Utah. Eckert has complied a record at KC of 57-47 (55% winning percentage), with four bowl appearances (2007, 2012, 2015 and 2016). The Rangers were also the SWJCFC Champions in 2015.  Eckert is married to wife, Amanda, and they have three children.

Nick Dobler
Position:
Defensive Coordinator
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Dobler is in his fifth season in 2016 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.

Keith Browning
Position:
Defensive Line
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Keith Browning, who has had a great deal of success coaching at the two-year level, begins his third season in 2016 at Kilgore College as defensive line coach. He was running backs coach at Butler Community College for 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.

Willie Gooden
Position:
Offensive Coordinator
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Gooden, a native of Hempstead, begins his ninth season in 2016 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.

Chase Ford
Position:
Tight Ends Coach
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Chase Ford begins his first season as an assistant coach for the Rangers, coaching the tight ends.

Ford attended Corrigan-Camden High School in Corrigan (TX) where he was a letterman in football, basketball and track. In football, he played as a tight end and earned All-District honors as a senior. In basketball, he was named to All-State basketball team in Class 2A. In track & field, he competed as a sprinter and ran the third leg on the Bulldogs' 4×400 meter relay squad, helping them win the Texas Class 2A T&F Meet with a time of 3:20.08 minutes.

Following his senior season, he played football at Kilgore College where he earned Second Team NJCAA All-American honors after leading the conference with 32 receptions for 545 receiving yards his sophomore season.

After KC he played for The University of Miami where he played in 21 games.  As a senior in 2011, he played in all 12 games, recording at least one catch in seven games. He registered a season-high 33-yard reception against Kansas State. He also recorded two receptions in games against Florida State and Virginia.  He majored in sociology at the University of Miami, earning his degree in spring 2012.

In April of 2012, he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent.  In December 2012, he signed with the Minnesota Vikings and was added to the roster in 2013 where he played nine games for the Vikings, making 11 catches for 133 yards (12.1 average).  The following season, he played in 11 games for the Vikings with 23 catches for 258 yards and one touchdown for 22 yards.

Dustin Smith
Position:
Running Backs/Tight Ends
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Dustin Smith, a Kilgore native, begins his fifth year in 2016 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.

Gary Wade
Position:
Special Teams
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Wade will enter his 11th season as KC's special teams coach in 2018. With Wade's lifelong love and knowledge of football, he serves 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.

Matthew Gregg
Position:
Assistant Coach