Feb. 10, 2012
TEMPE - Larry Porter has been added to the Arizona State University football coaching staff, head coach Todd Graham has announced. Porter comes to the Sun Devils after spending the past couple seasons as the head coach at the University of Memphis.
Porter brings to the Sun Devils experience as a head coach at a Division I program as well as an impressive resume as a recruiter that has seen him ranked among the nation's best - if not the best - over the past several years.
Porter inherited a program at Memphis in 2009 that was 2-10 in the previous season, and led the charge to motivate the team, the staff, the fans and the city of Memphis to "Invest In The Helmet."
Evidence of Tiger Nation "buying in" to Porter's vision of developing a championship culture could be seen in the city of Memphis investing in Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, the alums and administration investing in the weight room and the turf field as well as the players investing in every aspect of the program.
Several Tigers received recognition for their contributions in 2010, and the squad also made strides under Porter, including improvements in the classroom and dedicated efforts to community involvement. Senior linebacker Jamon Hughes was one of five Tigers named to the All-C-USA team, and was Memphis' only first-team pick. Hughes ended the season ranked third nationally in tackles.
Porter set out with a no-nonsense approach to academics and the Tiger football program registered its highest team GPA since 2006 in spring 2010. For the fall 2010 semester, Tiger football landed 21 student-athletes in the 3.0 Club.
A native of Jackson, Miss., Porter spent five years on the LSU coaching staff. He had also worked three years with LSU coach Les Miles at Oklahoma State before joining Miles in Baton Rouge in 2005. He coached the LSU running backs while also holding two key roles on staff assistant head coach and chief recruiter. Porter was elevated to the position of assistant head coach during the spring of 2006. He was twice (2007 and 2009) named as the National Recruiter of the Year by Rivals.com, making him one of the top all-around assistant coaches in college football.
In three of his five seasons at LSU, the Tiger rushing unit averaged over 165 yards a game, including a high of 214 yards per game in 2007. That squad closed out the season ranked 11th nationally in rushing. From 2005-08, the Tigers totaled 108 rushing touchdowns, including 35 in 2007.
As LSU's running backs coach, Porter helped develop some of the finest players at that position in LSU's history. From 2005-09, LSU produced a 1,000-yard rusher twice Jacob Hester with 1,103 yards in 2007 and Charles Scott with 1,174 yards in 2008 as well as having five players (Hester, Joseph Addai, Quinn Johnson, Charles Scott, Trindon Holliday) selected in the NFL Draft.
In 2009, the LSU Tigers averaged 123 yards per game rushing and scored 15 of the team's 34 offensive touchdowns on the ground. Scott led LSU with 542 yards in nine games and scored four rushing touchdowns. Scott and Trindon Holliday were both selected in the 2010 NFL Draft, while Keiland Williams signed a free agent contract.
In 2008, LSU again had one of the top running games in the SEC as the Tigers rushed for 166.8 yards per game with Scott getting the bulk of the carries (1,174 yards on 217 attempts). Scott, who earned first team All-SEC honors in 2008, and Keiland Williams (417 yards, 2 TDs on 83 attempts) gave the Tigers one of the top "one-two rushing punches" in the league last year.
Porter and the Tigers had a "running back-by-committee" approach during the national championship season in 2007. Hester led all rushers with a career-best 1,103 yards and 11 touchdowns and was a second team All-SEC selection. He also posted four 100-yard rushing games, including a 120-yard effort against Tennessee in the SEC Championship Game. Williams was second on the squad with 478 yards and six scores, while Trindon Holliday was third with 364 yards and two touchdowns.
As a unit, LSU rushed for 214.1 yards per game and 35 touchdowns.The 214.1 yards per game and 35 rushing touchdowns both ranked second in the SEC. Another impressive feat for the Tiger running backs was the fact that they combined for 432 carries with just one lost fumble, which came against Tennessee in the SEC title game.
Following the 2007 season, Hester was picked in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers. Hester became the fourth running back coached by Porter that has been selected among the first three rounds of the NFL Draft since 2004.
In 2006, Porter juggled running backs as the Tigers started four different players, including two true freshmen, at tailback. In 13 games, the Tigers had five different running backs lead the team in rushing. Hester led the Tigers in rushing with 440 yards and six scores. Hester added another 269 yards and three touchdowns on 35 receptions, which ranked as the third-highest total for a running back in school history.
As a unit, the Tigers ranked second in the SEC in rushing in 2006 with 165.8 yards per game. The Tigers also had 25 rushing touchdowns, a figure that ranked No. 2 in the league.
In his first year with the team in 2005, Porter made an immediate impact on LSU's running game as the Tigers rushed 1,951 yards and 21 touchdowns. LSU's rushing offense ranked fourth in the SEC, while the 21 rushing touchdowns were the second-most total in the league.
Addai had his best year in a Tiger uniform, rushing for 911 yards and nine touchdowns. Justin Vincent added 488 yards and five scores. Addai had five 100-yard rushing games, capped by a 130-yard, one-score performance in LSU's 40-3 win over Miami in the Peach Bowl. He went on to become a first round draft pick of the Indianapolis Colts in the 2006 NFL Draft, becoming the first LSU running back taken in the first round of the NFL Draft since Harvey Williams was the 21st overall pick by the Chiefs in 1991. Addai was a finalist for NFL Rookie of the Year in 2006 and played a key role in the Colts' Super Bowl victory over the Chicago Bears.
At Oklahoma State, Porter's stable of running backs continued the tradition of"Tailback U," as he coached 1,000-yard rushers for three-straight seasons. In 2004, Vernand Morency earned second team All-Big 12 honors after rushing for 1,474 yards, which ranked eighth in the nation, and 12 touchdowns. Morency was a third round pick of the Houston Texans in 2005.
A year earlier, Tatum Bell earned first team All-Big 12 honors with 1,286 yards and 16 touchdowns. Bell and Morency combined for 2,204 yards and 24 touchdowns for the Cowboys in 2003. Bell then went on to become a second-round draft pick by the Denver Broncos in the 2004 NFL Draft. In his first season at OSU, Porter guided Bell to a 1,096-yard, 11 touchdown season for 8-5 Oklahoma State.
Prior to his arrival in Stillwater, Porter spent three years at Arkansas State, where he coached Jonathan Adams to back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Adams rushed for 1,004 yards and six touchdowns in 2000 and followed that with another 1,004yards and five scores in 2001. Under Porter's tutelage, Adams capped his career as the second-leading rusher in Arkansas State history.
Porter began his coaching career at Wooddale High School in Memphis, Tenn., serving as head track and field coach, while assisting with the running backs and secondary on the football squad. After two years at Wooddale, Porter moved to the collegiate ranks, coaching the running backs at Tennessee Martin in 1998.
Porter lettered four years (1990-93) at Memphis, serving as co-captain of the 1993 Tiger squad. He closed out his career with 2,194 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns, ranking seventh in school history in yardage and tied for fifth in touchdowns.
Porter had a total of six 100-yard games during his career, a figure that ranks tied for fifth in Memphis history. Porter graduated in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in education.
Porter and his wife Sharmane have three children: Brandon, Omari and Olivia.