Hinds Hired to Coach Defensive Line
Hinds is coming off a one-season stint as the defensive line coach and academic coordinator at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga. He helped lead the program to an 8-3 mark and a berth into the in 2016 NCAA Division II playoffs.
"We are excited to add Justin Hinds to our coaching staff. Justin is a bright and energetic coach with an innate ability to teach the fundamentals and to motivate his players to play at a high level," said Garrett, the Fred M. Kirby II '42 Head Football Coach. "Justin has experience coaching in the SEC and in the FCS. With his northeast ties, he will be a valuable recruiter for the Lafayette Leopards."
Prior to Valdosta state, Hinds was a defensive line graduate assistant coach at the University of Florida for the 2015 season and at Mississippi State University in 2014. During his time in the SEC, Hinds coached NFL Draft picks John Bullard (2nd round to Chicago Bears) at Florida, along with Preston Smith (2nd round to Washington Redskins) and Chris Jones (2nd round to Kansas City Chiefs) at Mississippi State. Alex McCalister (5th round to Philadelphia Eagles) also benefitted from Hinds' tutelage while at Florida, and Hinds' recruiting efforts also helped the Gators acquire five-star defensive line recruit CeCe Jefferson, who went on to become an All-American during his freshman season in 2015.
Hinds' longest coaching foray came at Wagner College from 2011-13, when he worked as the assistant outside linebacker coach and defensive line coach, helping guide the FCS school to a Northeast Conference Championship in 2012. Prior to Wagner, he coached at Woodbridge and Plainfield high schools in New Jersey.
His coaching career began in 2009 at his alma mater Rowan University as the assistant defensive line coach. He graduated from the Division III school in 2009 after a four-year career in which he played in 40 games at nose guard and defensive end. The native of Port Reading, N.J. earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Rowan in 2009 and his MBA from Wagner in 2013.