Recruiting Areas: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky/Dayton/Arizona/Southern California
Brian Sheppard is in his third season as an assistant coach with the Indiana State football program. Sheppard serves as the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
In 2014, the Sycamores had a historic season that saw them finish with an 8-6 overall record and, most importantly, their first trip to the NCAA FCS Playoffs since 1984 and their first postseason victory since 1983.
The play of senior quarterback Mike Perish, a Second-Team All-MVFC performer, was a big reason for the Sycamores' success. Perish wrapped his career with the school record for pass completions (620), attempts (1,051), yards (6,696) and touchdowns (45). He also set the single-season record for pass completions (324), attempts (528), yards (3,515) and total offense (3,309). His 75-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Johnson in the FCS playoffs set a new school record for touchdown passes in a season with 21. His 3,515 passing yards ranked fourth in all of the FCS in 2014.
In total, eight different Sycamores were named all-conference, three were listed as academic all-conference and three more were named to the MVFC All-Newcomer team.
When you dive deep into the Sycamores' 8-6 overall mark, Indiana State owned a FBS victory plus five other wins over nationally ranked foes. They had the nation’s toughest strength of schedule and their five wins over ranked teams were only bettered by FCS Championship Game foes North Dakota State and Illinois State.
Sheppard tutored a number of new faces on the offensive side of the ball in his first season with the Sycamores, including MVFC All-Newcomer Team selection LeMonte Booker, who was the team’s third-leading rusher with 42 rushes for 175 yards, averaging more than four yards per carry and one touchdown, while adding seven catches for 39 yards.
The Sycamore offense had two players named to the All-MVFC Team, including offensive lineman FN Lutz III who was selected to the second team, while Tanner Riley was tabbed as an Honorable Mention selection. Lutz III was a leader on the Sycamore offensive line, which averaged over three touchdowns per game in 2013, while Riley finished as the Sycamores' leading receiver with 42 pass receptions for 397 yards and one touchdown.
The Sycamore offense also had two representatives on the MVFC All-Academic Team in Lutz III as well as Riley.
Sheppard came to Indiana State from Willamette University, where he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
"Brian is a bright, young and innovative offensive mind who is a great addition to our staff," head coach Mike Sanford commented. "He is a rising star as an offensive coach."
In Sheppard’s first year at Willamette in 2012, the Bearcats finished 8-2 while breaking numerous school records and concluding the year as one of the most prolific offensive teams in NCAA Division III. In their first game of the 2012 season, the new-look Bearcats beat Hardin-Simmons by a score of 58-34 while exploding for 727 total yards offensively. In the season opener, quarterback Josh Dean tied the school record with six touchdowns to go along with 468 passing yards. He went on to set new Willamette season records with 273 pass completions, 422 attempts, 40 total touchdowns and 3,345 passing yards. Dean also led the Northwest Conference in passing efficiency rating (152.18). His 334.50 passing yards per game ranked fourth nationally, and he was also sixth in both completions and total offensive yards per game.
As a team, Willamette ranked 10th nationally in total offense, amassing 4,981 yards and 55 touchdowns. Overall, the Bearcats finished the seasons with one of the most potent passing attacks in the nation, piling up 3,550 total passing yards with 37 touchdown passes at a 64 percent completion rate. Willamette finished the season with the No. 4-ranked passing offense in the nation. Willamette also finished in the top-20 nationally in scoring (17th, 39.6 points per game), third down percentage (17th, 48.34 percent), first downs (eighth, 25.3 per game), and red zone offense (17th, 86 percent score, 76 percent touchdown).
The Bearcats finished the season ranked No. 1 in the Northwest Conference in total offense (499.1 YPG), passing offense, scoring offense, 3rd-down percentage, and red zone offense. Willamette’s prolific offense owed it’s success not only to Dean, but also to a bevy of talented playmakers surrounding him. Jake Knecht (Sr., WR), Jake Turner (Sr., WR), Benny Weischedel (Sr., TE), Terrell Malley (Sr., ATH), Dylan Jones (So., RB) were all selected as All-Conference performers along with Dean.
Sheppard brings a great level of enthusiasm and a strong commitment to teaching the game. He has worked with several exceptional offensive programs during his coaching career, including the University of Tulsa, New Mexico State University and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
He spent the 2006 season as the offensive quality control coach at Tulsa University for head coach Steve Kragthorpe and offensive coordinator Charlie Stubbs. While at Tulsa, he served as an offensive assistant and assistant quarterbacks coach. The Golden Hurricane finished with an 8-4 record and earned a trip to the Armed Forces Bowl.
Sheppard coached at New Mexico State for three seasons and worked under two head coaches. The first two seasons were under head coach Hal Mumme. Sheppard initially worked with the secondary before moving to tight ends and inside receivers. He was also the punt team coordinator for two years. During his third year at NMSU, he coached the tight ends for head coach DeWayne Walker.
At UCLA, Sheppard worked with head coach Rick Neuheisel and offensive coordinator Norm Chow, where he coached the Bruin tight ends.
He also served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at West Virginia Wesleyan College and Alderson-Broaddus College (W. Va.)
Sheppard's father, Mike, was a highly influential as not only a role model to Brian, but as a coach at both the collegiate and professional levels for more than three decades. Following a college playing career at California Lutheran, he became one of the architects of the West Coast Offense in the late '70s-early '80s, learning from the father of the passing game, Sid Gillman, and mentoring future luminaries such as John Fox (current Chicago Bears head coach) and Mike Solari (current Green Bay Packers offensive line coach) along the way. Mike won an FCS (then Division I-AA) national championship at Idaho State in 1981, propeeling him to other collegiate jobs at Long Beach State, Kansas, New Mexico and California. From 1993 until his retirement in 2011, Mike Sheppard coached for eight different NFL teams.
Sheppard played college football at Saddleback Junior College (Calif.) for Mark McElory, Southeastern Louisiana University for Hal Mumme, and Baker University (Kan.) for Mike Grossner. He played mostly at quarterback, but also spent some time at wide receiver throughout his career.
After concluding his eligibility in the fall of 2005, Sheppard graduated from Baker in the spring of 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business.
Sheppard and his wife, Victoria, reside in Terre Haute. Victoria is a local first grade teacher.