FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Charles Huff has been named defensive backs coach at Northern Arizona University, Head Football Coach Jerome Souers announced on Thursday.
"Charles Huff is a very positive teacher and mentor," said Souers. "He brings a great deal of experience to our program. We welcome him as a new member of the Flagstaff and NAU communities."
The former NFL player with the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons brings a wealth of experience to the Lumberjack program with a collegiate coaching career dating back to 1989. He replaces Andy LaRussa, who took a position at San Jose State.
Huff joins Souers' staff after recent positions at Florida A&M University as defensive coordinator (2005-07) and defensive ends and special teams coordinator at Central Florida from 1997-03. He most recently coached at Miles College in Fairfield, Ala.
"I am looking forward to the opportunity to work for Northern Arizona University and Coach Souers," said Huff. "It is a very good program and hopefully we can take the next step towards winning a conference championship and competing for a national championship."
Huff began his coaching career at his alma mater Presbyterian College in 1989 before moving on to assistant positions at Murray State (1991-93), West Alabama (1993-94) and Austin Peay State (1994-97). In 1990, Presbyterian finished second in the nation in pass defense. He helped MSU rank second in the Ohio Valley Conference in pass defense in both of his seasons on the staff. He was also the defensive coordinator at Austin Peay State while coaching the linebackers, secondary and special teams units. The Governors led the Ohio Valley Conference and finished fourth nationally in run defense and ranked 19th nationally in total defense in 1994. Huff's 1999 special teams unit at UCF was responsible for a total of eight blocked kicks (five punts, two field goals, one PAT).
During his career, he recruited and coached defensive back and future NFL star Asante Samuel at Central Florida, as well as ends Elton Patterson (UCF), Reshard Jentry (UCF) and Anthony Hutch (Murray State) to All-America honors. Samuel and Patterson were both selected in the NFL Draft in 2003 in the fourth and seventh rounds, respectively. Samuel has been a three-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion during his career and currently plays for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Huff also tutored SBN Black College Defensive Player of the Year Kevin Talley at Norfolk State. Talley was a consensus All-America first-team selection by Walter Camp, Associated Press and The Sports Network.
Huff was a three-time All-American and all-conference selection at Presbyterian College before his four-year career in the NFL. He holds school records for punt and kick return average and career interceptions (20). He played with the 49ers from 1985-86 and the Falcons from 1987-88.
He became a 49er the same season as All-Pro receiver Jerry Rice. After head coach Bill Walsh and defensive back coach Ray Rhodes moved Ronnie Lott to safety in 1986, Huff moved into the starting lineup at left corner. He later suffered a severe knee injury and was released, but played parts of two more seasons with the Falcons.
He graduated with a degree in history and education from Presbyterian in 1985.