Brent Barker enters his second season as Faulkner's head football coach, having guided the Eagles to their first winning season in 2012. Faulkner challenged for the MSC West Division crown for much of the year before finishing with a 6-5 record.
Also serving as Faulkner's athletic director, the Texas native looks to continue to turnaround the program, which had a 10-41 overall record prior to last season. Barker was an ultra-successful high school football and baseball coach in talent-rich Texas before arriving at Faulkner in 2001 to lead the Eagles' baseball program. The former Texas Christian University infielder took the Faulkner program to new heights in his seven years at the helm before becoming the Eagles' athletic director in 2005.
"Brent Barker has years of coaching experience both at the high school and college level," Faulkner president Billy D. Hilyer said upon the hiring. "He was an outstanding athlete himself in multiple sports in high school and, although he could have played college football, he opted to play baseball at TCU. But, what really excites me about Brent is his enthusiasm, his people skills and the personal interest he takes in his players. Also, he is a tireless worker. He has a passion to win - the right way."
Barker took over a program that had only won 10 games in the first five years of existence. He quickly impacted the dynamic in the football fieldhouse in a positive way.
"I enjoy working with all of our fine young men who play football at Faulkner," said Barker, 47. "We feel that we can compete nationally, and that is our goal. Ultimately, however, we want to represent Faulkner University in a Christ-like way both on the field and off of it."
In Texas, Barker was an assistant coach for eight seasons, including a three-year stint at national powerhouse Southlake Carroll. During his time at Southlake, the Dragons won 77 regular season games in a row and in the midst of a 33-game win streak won a state championship. As the head coach at Southwest Christian School in Fort Worth, Barker posted a 42-17 record en route to a pair of district championships and a state championship game berth.
Barker earned a bachelor's degree in Education from TCU. He is married to the former Belinda McLeod of Ft. Worth, Texas, and the couple has two children - Brooke, age 23, and Bridget, age 20.
Charlie Boren, who built an ultra-successful high school coaching career mainly in north Alabama, joined the Faulkner staff in December of 2011 as the assistant head coach and works specifically with the Eagles' running backs.
Boren came to Faulkner from Newton County High School in Mississippi, where he was the head coach and guided the Cougars to the state playoffs.
Boren's head coaching career spans 18 years, having led the programs at Midfield, Montevallo, Bibb County and Saint Clair high schools in Alabama. His 113-81 record as a head coach in Alabama ranked him 10th among active head coaches in the Birmingham metro area. Four of his teams finished their seasons ranked in the top 10 and in addition to having 17 players selected to all-state teams he had 43 players earn college scholarships.
Boren and his wife Linda have been married for 30 years and they have three children - Blake, Ashlyn and Meagan.
Blake Boren, a Faulkner graduate who has assisted at perennial power Hoover High School in Alabama and at Newton County High School in Mississippi, is in his second season as the wide receivers coach.
In the summer of 2012, he became the football program's recruiting coordinator as well.
Boren was a part of Faulkner's coaching staff during its first two seasons of intercollegiate competition, assisting as the running backs coach in 2007 and the wide receivers coach in 2008. He coached wide receivers for a pair of seasons at Hoover High School, and was part of the staff that led the Bucs to the 2009 6A state championship. He joined his father at Newton County High School this past season, serving as the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.
Boren and his wife, the former Amanda Pence, were married in May of 2012.
Brandon Slay is headed into his third season as Faulkner's offensive line coach, having joined the Eagles' staff after coaching at Tarleton State University in Texas, his alma mater.
Slay also coordinates the Eagles' running game.
Slay played on the offensive line at Tarleton State from 2006-2009, helping guide the NCAA Division II Texans to a pair of Lone Star Conference championships. He was a graduate assistant at Tarltown in the fall of 2010 and the spring of 2011, working with the running backs and the offensive line.
For the past two seasons, Faulkner's offensive line has provided protection for record-setting quarterback Josh Hollingsworth and opened holes for a talented stable of running backs as the Eagles have been among the nation's leaders in total offense.
Slay graduated from Georgetown High School in Georgetown, Texas, before earning his bachelor's degree in Exercise Sports Studies. He also has a master's degree in Education, with an emphasis in Kinesiology. He is married to the former Laci Crais.
Keith Houston, who played collegiate football in the Southeastern Conference at Ole Miss, is in his second season at Faulkner and is the co-defensive coordinator. He will work closely with the Eagles' defensive backs.
Houston spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss., where he also served as the strength and conditioning coach.
Houston was a four-year letterman at Ole Miss from 2003-2006, having played for Rebel head coaches Houston Nutt and Ed Orgeron. He started his career as a safety, but was moved to tight end when Orgeron took over the program. His primary responsibilities will be to work with Faulkner's cornerbacks and safeties, as well as recruiting.
Houston earned degrees in Criminal Justice and African American Studies from Ole Miss. He and his wife Deidra have two children - Miley, age 3, and Keith Jr., age 2.
Jamie Carter, who played at the University of Alabama and in the National Football League, is in his second season on the Eagles staff and will serve as co-defensive coordinator, working specifically with the defensive line.
Carter most recently was an assistant coach at Oak Mountain High School in Birmingham, Ala., where he served as the tight ends coach and the strength and conditioning coordinator. He previously coached the defensive line at Marietta College in Ohio and John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham.
As a player for the Crimson Tide, Carter was a four-year letterman and a member of the 1999 Southeastern Conference championship team. He played in three bowl games at Alabama - the Outback Bowl following the 1996 season, the Music City Bowl following the 1997 season and the Orange Bowl following the 1999 season.
Carter earned a Health Studies degree from Alabama in 2008. He and his wife, Roshanda, have three children - Nikeem, 17; Jada, 10 and Miyah, 3.
Charlie Knapp is entering his seventh season as Faulkner's Director of Football Operations, and his second as the coach of the Eagles' outside linebackers.
Knapp, who owns a bachelor's degree in History from Faulkner, was a four-year letterman at Mosley High School in Panama City, Fla., having played linebacker and strong safety. He was a volunteer assistant at Alabama Christian Academy for the 1998 and 1999 seasons before accepting a job in Faulkner's admissions department, where he worked for eight years prior to joining the football staff in 2007.
Knapp and his wife Julie are the parents of two sons - Austin and Cooper.