Tuskegee Football Camps
Offensive Coaching Staff
Assistant Head Coach / Offensive Line
Keith Higdon is entering his seventh season during his second stint at Tuskegee University.
He rejoined the Tuskegee staff in 2010 after a five-year coaching stint at SIAC-foe Clark Atlanta University (2005-09). His previous experience at Tuskegee was from 1998 until 2004, when he coached running backs and as the head track and field coach.
In 2017, Higdon coach offensive lineman Leeward Brown was the team leader with 35 pancakes, and played all four positions this during the season and is one of the reasons TU's backfield averaged a league leading 8.0 yards per carry. Higdon's unit is also helped running back Hoderick Lowe earn Most Valuable Player honors in 2017 SIAC Football Championship game when he rushed for a game high 124 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
In 2016, his offensive line unit protected quarterback Kevin Lacey propelling him to earning the 2016 SIAC Offensive Player of the Year honor.
In the summer of 2012, Higdon participated in the Bill Walsh Minority Internship with the Buffalo Bills. Following that season, Higdon was promoted to Assistant Head Coach for the Golden Tigers.
Last season, Higdon coached two all-conference selections in Leeward Brown and Vincent Williams that helped to spearhead the SIAC’s top offense. Not only was Brown named all-conference, but he was also awarded all-region status and earned an All-American honor. The Golden Tigers finished the year averaging 28.5 points per game, while piling up 321.8 yards per game on offense that included 158.6 yards per game on the ground.
During the 2014 season, the offensive line was very instrumental in Tuskegee being one of the top offenses in the SIAC. Tuskegee led the conference in scoring by averaging 34.8 points per game which was seven points higher than the next closest team in Stillman (27.9 ppg). They also finished top in the conference in total offense (385.8 ypg), pass efficiency (143.6), first downs per game (19.0) and third down efficiency (41.7%).
The Golden Tigers also finished among the best in Division II in major offensive categories. The team finished 44th in scoring offense (34.8 ppg), 50th in third down conversion percentage (0.417), 67th in rushing offense (173.8 ypg), tied for 81st in first downs (228), 90th in total offense (385.8 ypg), 95th in passing offense (211.9 ypg) and 98th in time of possession (29:35).
During the 2014 season, several offensive linemen earned postseason accolades include a selection to the College Gridiron Classic for Matthew Reese. He, along with, Jamil McKenzie, Darius Moore and tight end Tahj Dent earned First Team All-Conference honors. Reese was named an Honorable Mention All-American by D2 Football and First Team SBN Sports Black College All-America, while McKenzie was named First Team USA College D2 All-America. Several linemen were named All-Region including McKenzie, Moore and Reese earned BSN Division II All-Super Region; while McKenze and Reese were named Don Hansen Third Team All-Super Region.
During Higdon’s tenure at Clark Atlanta, he served as head coach, assistant head coach, defensive backs coach, recruiting coordinator and pro-liaison. Prior to his stint at Clark Atlanta, Higdon helped lead the Golden Tigers win four SIAC football championships, three Pioneer Bowl victories, one Black College National Championship and a perfect 12-0 season in 2000. He coached running back Bobby Wilson, who set new Tuskegee individual rushing records with 1,878 yards and 23 touchdowns in the 2001 season.
He started his collegiate coaching career at Cheyney University (Pa.), where he coached running backs from 1995 until 1998.
During his playing career, Higdon led the NCAA Division II in rushing in 1993, while at Cheyney, and earned All-America honors. He was the Pennsylvania State Athletic ECAC Player of the Year and USA Today National Player of the Week. He gained 1,748 yards on 330 carries in 1993 and participated in the First Annual Division II All-Star Football Game (Snow Bowl, now known as the Cactus Bowl) in North Dakota.
As Cheyney’s all-time leading rusher and scorer and the PSAC Rookie of the Year, the three-time all-conference player had a brief stay with the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League.
In 2001 Higdon was inducted into the Cheyney University Hall of Fame, he was then inducted into the Cheyney University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, with a focus in management from Cheyney in 1994. The Rochester, New York native is married to the former Yani Ridley of Macon, Ga., and the couple has four daughters - Tia, Alexis, Kevia and Nalani.
Higdon is a member of the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), Fellowship of Christian Athletes(FCA) and the Black Coaches Association.
Assistant Coach / Wide Receivers
Craig Agee begins his fifth year coaching wide receivers at Tuskegee University.
Last season five different receivers caught touchdown passes with two wide outs hauling in at least three TDs. He returns eight guys from his unit that played a significant role during the 2017 season.
In 2015, the Golden Tigers led the conference in scoring at 28.46 points per game and averaged 163.15 yards per game through the air. Agee coached a pair of receivers who recorded 24 or more receptions last year, including Marquel Gardner with 25 and Desmond Reece with 24. He also coached Travis Hawkins, who finished the year in double digits in catches with 15; while nine different receivers caught a pass last year.
Agee coached Gardner to second-team all-conference honors, while he also earned a Third Team All-American nod for his
performance throughout the year (25 rec - 414 yds - 5 tds).
In his first season with the Golden Tigers, the offense ranked as one of the best in the conference in several categories, including total offense in which they finished as they best in the conference at 385.8 yards per game. They also finished tops in the conference in passing efficiency at 143.6 and first downs per game at 19.0 per game. The Golden Tigers also finished first in third down efficiency (41.7%) and in the top three in the conference in passing offense at 212.6 yards per game.
Tuskegee finished in the top 100 nationally in several offensive categories in the 2014 season. They finished 44th in scoring offense (34.8 ppg), 50th in third down conversion percentage (0.417), tied for 88th in fourth down conversion percentage (0.444), tied for 81st in first downs (228), 90th in total offense (385.8 ypg), 95th in passing offense (211.9 ypg), and 98th in time of possession (29:35).
Agee also coached Marquel Gardner finished fifth in the SIAC with 687 receiving yards (57.2 ypg), while the receivers helped Kevin Lacey finish second in the SIAC in passing efficiency (142.4).
During the 2014 season, Devonzea Gaines was named an Honorable Mention All-Super Region by BSN.
Agee arrived at Tuskegee after a stint coaching in the Pacific Northwest, coaching at Lewis and Clark where he served in a defensive role for the team. He joined the team in 2013 as a defensive assistant coach, and was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in charge of defensive backs starting in the spring of 2014.
Agee grew up in Taylorsville, Miss., where he was a three-sport athlete at Taylorsville High School where earned state titles in both football and track.
Agee attended Jacksonville State University where he played two seasons as a wide receiver, before finishing out his career at cornerback. He was also part of the punt return teams all four seasons. In two seasons at receiver, Agee accumulated over 700 yards, where he led the conference and entire nation in punt returns in 2004. He four seasons as a punt returner, he recorded over 1000 yards, earning All-Conference and All-America honors.
Agee graduated from Jacksonville State University with both his Bachelors and Masters of Science in Sports Psychology.
Agee and his wife Megan are the proud parents of three daughters; Zykierrea, Tierra, and Jahzara.
Assistant Coach / Quarterbacks
Montressa Kirby begins his 11th season on the Tuskegee coaching staff, handling the quarterbacks.
Last season, Kirby coached quarterback Jamarcus Ezell who helped Tuskegee’s offense lead the league in total offense averaging 353.5 yards per game. Under Kirby’s assistance, TU fiished the 2017 season with the third best passing efficieny in the league.
In 2016, Kirby coached quarterback Kevin Lacey, who was named 2016 SIAC Offensive Player of the Year.
In 2015, the Golden Tigers led the conference in scoring for most of the year and finished by averaging 28.46 points per game. The team finished with 88 first downs passing and finished the year averaging 163.15 yards per game through the air.
Kirby coached starting quarterback Kevin Lacy to a nation-leading 16.70 yards per completion throughout the year, and 16 touchdowns.
The Golden Tigers also finished the season by averaging 321.8 yards of total offense on 757 plays - 25 yards more than their opponents on 105 less plays.
During the 2014 season, Tuskegee led the conference in scoring by averaging 34.8 points per game which was seven points higher than the next closest team in Stillman (27.9 ppg). They also finished top in the conference in total offense (385.8 ypg), pass efficiency (143.6), first downs per game (19.0) and third down efficiency (41.7%). The team also finished in the top three in the conference in passing offense (212.6 ypg).
The Golden Tigers also finished in the top 40 nationally in statistics during the 2014 season, finishing 28th in passing yards allowed (185.3 ypg) and 36th in team passing efficiency (143.49).
Under Kirby, Kevin Lacey finished 10th in the SIAC in passing average per game, averaging 108.2 yards per game with 1,299 total yards passing. He also finished second in the conference in passing efficiency at 142.4 with seven touchdowns, while teammate Justin Nared finished third in the conference in passing efficiency at 142.3 with eight touchdown passes.
Prior to his stint at Tuskegee, Kirby spent two seasons coaching wide receivers before making the move to quarterbacks during the 2004 season at Jacksonville State University.
Under Kirby’s guidance, the Jacksonville State’s quarterbacks tossed just five interceptions during the 2004 season, the second-lowest total in all of NCAA I-AA (FCS) football. Junior quarterback Maurice Mullins led the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) in passing efficiency and was fifth in total offense.
Kirby, a native of Anniston, Ala., was the 1998 Southland Football League Offensive Player of the Year and is Jacksonville State University’s all-time leader in total offense (7,688 yards) and second all-time leading passer (6,587 yards). He led the Gamecocks to a 7-4 record as a senior and the most wins in school history – at the time - in Division IAA (FCS). Kirby signed with the Hamilton Tigercats after his stellar collegiate career, in which he was named an All-Amercia, and was a member of the 1999 Grey Cup Championship team.
He was just selected for induction in the Jacksonville State University Athletic Hall of Fame.
He was the starting quarterback for the Birmingham Steeldogs of the AF2 indoor league, and posted a 12-6 record en route to leading his team to the Conference Championship game of the Af2 playoffs in 2002. Kirby passed for more than 3,800 yards and 82 touchdowns and helped the Steeldogs to their first post-season win.
Prior to his collegiate experience, Kirby led Anniston (Ala.) High School to the 6A State Football Championship in 1994.
In addition to coaching football, Kirby is entering his sixth year as the head baseball coach at Tuskegee. In 2011, he guided the baseball Golden Tigers baseball team to their first winning season since 1995. During the 2013 and 2014 seasons he led the team to the SIAC Baseball Championship game, with 2012 being the first since 1989.
Kirby earned his Bachelor’s degree from Jacksonville State University in the Spring of 2001 and he is married to the former Keisha Fant. The two are the proud parents of Caleb (3) and Payton Louise Kirby (1).
He is also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated.
Assistant Coach / Tight Ends
Most recently, Samuels was the head coach with the Tampa Bay Storm (2014-2016). He was also the offensive coordinator there from 2012-2014. The Mobile, Alabama native also coach wide outs at Central State in 2011 and prior to that, he was the offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Wharton High School during the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
Samuels played his college football at the Livingston University, and was an AFL wide receiver/linebacker from 1994 to 1998. He received both his Bachelors and Masters from the University of West Alabama.
He made his AFL debut in 1994 with the Tampa Bay Storm racking up 247 receptions through the 2000 season for over 3100 yards (3120 yards) in his first tenure with the Storm. In 2001, Samuels left the Storm and played the season with the New Jersey Gladiators, catching 65 passes (a career high at the time) for 742 yards, just short of his 844-yard career high receiving season he recorded the year before with Tampa Bay. After a single season in New Jersey, Samuels returned to Tampa, where he finished his playing career. From 2003-2007, Samuels notched 1,000+ yards receiving in 4 of 5 seasons, including back-to-back-to-back 1,100 yard+ seasons in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Was named MVP and Ironman of Arena Bowl XVII.
In 2007, after 5 losses to begin the season, Samuels was again named to the AFL’s All-Ironman Team after leading the Storm to a #3 seed in the playoffs. 100+ catches, 1000+ yards, and 100+ TDs also helped Samuels earn the honor. On June 15, 2008, Samuels became the first receiver in AFL history to record 1,000 career receptions which lead to him being inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame.
In 2002 and 2003, he was an assistant coach and wide receivers coach at Central High School in Brooksville, Florida.
Samuesl is married to wife Dr. Kellei Samuels. They have two daughters Landry Samuels (15) and Wilson Samuels (11). His younger brother Chris was a 6-tme Pro Bowler for the Washington Redskins.