10 assistant football coaching positions finalized for App State


Zack Antrum, Senior Reporter

After being named App State’s head football coach last December, Shawn Clark has completed his coaching staff and the Mountaineers are set to begin spring ball to prep for the upcoming season. 

The final member of the staff, defensive line coach Robert Nunn was announced on Feb. 10. A former linebacker at Oklahoma State, Nunn is a 31-year coaching veteran with 19 years of NFL coaching experience with various teams as well as a 7-year stint as head coach at Georgia Military College. During that time, he achieved a 66-19 record and produced multiple junior college All-Americans and multiple NFL players as well.

Out of Clark’s 10 assistant coaches, Nunn shares NFL experience with cornerbacks coach James Rowe who most recently spent time as a defensive backs coach with the Washington Redskins.

Along with Nunn and Rowe, the rest of the defensive staff are defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach Dale Jones, outside linebackers coach Cortney Braswell and safeties coach Mark DeBastiani.  

Jones is returning to App where he was a defensive assistant in various capacities from 2005-18 before spending a season as an inside linebackers coach at Louisville.   

DeBastiani most recently served as a linebackers coach at Central Michigan and Braswell is a former Liberty University player who has enjoyed a successful career as a high school coach in Georgia. Braswell was also a quality control coach under Scott Satterfield at Louisville in 2019. 

On the offensive side of the ball, Clark welcomes offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tony Petersen, offensive line coach Nic Cardwell and special teams coordinator/running backs coach Brian Haines.

Petersen is a former Marshall University player and was most recently an offensive analyst at Missouri. Cardwell is a former App State player returning to the program after spending a season at Louisville as a quality control coach. Prior to that, he racked up over 10 years of coaching experience between time at App and North Greenville University. Haines joins the staff after most recently coaching tight ends at Ohio University.

Wide receivers coach Pat Washington and recruiting coordinator/tight ends coach Justin Watts return from the 2019 staff.

The Mountaineers kicked off spring ball on Feb. 18 in preparation for the 2020 season.