Nowell new Pearl River defensive coordinator

June 16, 2011 - 6:06am -- braswell

POPLARVILLE Jim Nowell has been named the new defensive coordinator for the Pearl River Community College Wildcat football team for the 2011 season, replacing three-year DC Casey Cain who resigned the post in mid-May. Nowell hiring was approved by the PRCC Board of Trustees at Tuesday June meeting. Cain, a Pearl River alumnus, returned to Oak Grove High School near Hattiesburg where he was a long-time teacher and football coach when he accepted the PRCC position in 2008. Nowell arrives at The River via Greenwood High School in Bowling Green, Ky., where he was defensive coordinator and strength coach for the past year. But the Magee (Miss.) native boasts an impressive resume with strength and conditioning coaching stints at four different senior colleges, including Western Kentucky in Bowling Green (2007-2010), Mississippi State (2004-2006), West Virginia (2002-2004), and Louisiana State (2000-2002). PRCC head coach Tim Hatten dished out plenty of praise on his new coordinator. Ive known Jim since we were students at Southern Miss in the late 80s, said Hatten. We had classes together, worked out together, and have been friends ever since and Im very comfortable with him coming on board. Jim the kind of guy that has a motor that runs 90 miles an hour, 24-seven and is going to be a huge motivator for our guys. He has a great relationship with kids, he added. I expect him to be one of the top coordinators in our league. Nowell earned his bachelor of science degree in coaching and sports administration from Southern Mississippi in 1990 and was immediately hired on at Byram High School (Miss.) as secondary coach before moving on to Clinton High School as head ninth grade coach and varsity linebackers coach. From there, he moved to Escambia High School in Pensacola, Fla., before returning to Mississippi as defensive coordinator at Collins High School. Nowell joined the staff of Madison Central High School (Miss.) as defensive coordinator, strength coach, and assistant athletic director. He earned his master of science degree in administration and supervision from William Carey University in 1998. MCHS 1999 football squad went 15-0 and won the MHSAA Class 5A championship, while Nowell power lifting team were state champs in 1999 and 2000. He was named the state Strength Coach of the Year in 2000. He also worked with the Madison Central track team that took a state title in 2000. From there, Nowell moved on to Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge under former head coach and current Alabama head coach Nick Saban, where he served as assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Tiger football team through 2002. He was head strength and conditioning coach for the LSU baseball and softball teams. Then-head coach Rich Rodriguez West Virginia in Morgantown, WV, came calling in 2002 and Nowell served as director of skill development and strength and conditioning coach through January of 2004. While there, the Mountaineers won the 2003 Big East championship and earned two post-season berths in the 2002 Continental Tire Bowl and the 2004 Gator Bowl. Former Mississippi State head coach Sylvester Croom hired Nowell in 2004 as strength and conditioning coach and he served in that capacity in Starkville through December 2006. He served as director of strength and conditioning for all MSU sports, developing and implementing a year-round program for the football program. From Feb. 2007 through May 2010, Nowell was director of strength and conditioning at Western Kentucky before moving to Greenwood High in Aug. 2010. All told, Nowell has coached nine NFL first-round draft picks, an Olympic gold medalist, and numerous other NFL and major league baseball players. He has been married to the former Linda Vernamonti for the past 22 years and they are the parents of two children, 19-year-old son Taylor, and 13-year-old daughter Jordan. Nowell had an impressive array of references for the PRCC job, including University of Florida head coach Will Muschamp, University of Michigan strength and conditioning director Mike Barwis, LSU head strength coach Tom Moffitt, University of South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, Florida State University assistant head coach and offensive line coach Rick Tickett, and Minnesota Viking defensive line coach Karl Dunbar.